Blogging from Asheville, NC circa Feb. 2003, when we were dorks.

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Even in absurdity, sacrament.
Even in hardship, holiness.
Even in doubt,
Even in chaos,
Even in paradox,

jay's books:

Digging the Immaterial Rainbow Over Crossroads One for the Nameless


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Mon 14 Apr 14

Time, getting "a way" from me

Time is a warped, wicked, and wanton wastrel. I feel that I was only just in Palmer Lake, Colorado celebrating the life of my cousin Joslin Nagle, then only moments before that I was in Belize in 2013, and Asia 2012. Spring seems to have a strange momentum to it as far as getting out- of your physical locale anyway. Getting out of one's head, preconceived notions, well-worn maps need not be seasonally conditioned, however- these are journeys that are ticketed by the moment... all for which I'm grateful, even upon the most perilous of terrains. These travels remind me I have the unique and cosmically rare experience of existing, and that I have a duty to persist for all those dear to me that have not danced the calendar as far as I have. In persisting, do so with their highest dreams in my rucksack. It really is the least any of us can do to pay tribute to those we love, and to time- tricking us into not noticing it's made off with our watch.

filed under: from the birdy's beak blogged: 01.10 Mon, 14 Apr '14

Mon 03 Mar 14

Finding shards of humor from a broken (into) home

Finding shards of humor from a broken (into) home:

* I am shocked (SHOCKED!) that the thieves didn't trifle with by bitcoin-infused conditioner and nano-diamond toothpaste!
* Cats find that massive displaced piles of clothes & bed linens on floor are great for sleeping and are campaigning for their permanency. Denied, as they didn't even throw a single cat ninja star during the invasion.
* There's no section in Martha Stewart Living for "Unburgling Your Home: The New Spring Cleaning."
* It looks like I picked the wrong week to quit using Kafka-esque Facebook backgrounds!

1622830_10151990507698730_495995720_n.jpg 1964866_10151990507663730_1063806577_n.jpg

filed under: from the birdy's beak blogged: 11.07 Mon, 03 Mar '14

Sun 02 Feb 14

11 years, and still puttering along

Some say the blog is dead. Perhaps the medium has been corralled to the few, the looney, those who don't ascribe to the constant updates, character limits, or convert their sites to glaring click-bait-y advert brothels. BOTM as an 11 year old, is still a precocious brat that will follow only the edicts of the spontaneous impulse to go out and play. You may see the kid here and there, but the kid will do his own thing in his own time. Says the 41 year old man.

Who knows what will transpire in the next year, and what kind of year end summing up will be going on... how many or few posts. Yet this has been a stalwart presence through thick, thin, and thinning out. As one of the original Asheville bloggers, I feel in several turns, the site has fulfilled its need. But there's no need to close up shop. I don't count how many or how few stop by. I just put up the occasional New Thing, and come what may of it. I hope it does something good. At the very least, this serves as a repository of what I truly wanted to make public; FB and Twitter be damned.

That's that. Tomorrow I fast for a week. I wonder how my brain will adapt to no food on the job- one where articulation is key. I've no idea. But I'll know next week, and perhaps find a way to say something about it that makes its way here. Regardless- thank you, who ever you are (the future???) for sticking with me and this home on the range.

Oh the places we've gone.

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filed under: from the birdy's beak blogged: 00.34 Sun, 02 Feb '14

Mon 13 Jan 14


My eyes were given to me by Africa
Sharpened on the darkening violet horizon
Training my spine to align with a galaxy-lit night
Springing into the brush a savage, emerging a gilded royal.
My claws were given to me by Asia
Where the fecund scream of the jungle
Carried me to the canopy, then the mountaintop,
And the people took my exhalations as a herald; I was roaring “This life!”
My fur was given to me by Europe
That my every laying-place was warm enough
None but my kind have the senses to know our movements
Harder the task to find us in the rough, while we wrote ourselves in your epics.
My soul was given to me in America
Where my million-year story I called deeply upon
To survive your cold un-giving streets, dodging your anxious lives,
To find shelter in a place where other wanderers have gathered- together, we outsiders.
My name was given to me by you
Your every outstretched hand, your every kindness,
Affirmed my path as clearly as the gleaming backbone of stars-
I lived long enough to have been given a name; now you can call me loved,
Now you can call me wilderness.

(for Annabelle)

Support resources for Feral Cat programs

filed under: from the birdy's beak blogged: 20.27 Mon, 13 Jan '14

Sat 04 Jan 14

Free Radio Friendistan Episode 44: The 23 of 2013

(Preamble & Intro)
23. Two Men in Love - The Irrepressibles
22. Manchester - Kishi Bashi
21. I Am Dust - Gary Numan
20. Wishes - Beach House
19. Limousin - Movis!
18. Punkodrom - Taraf de Funiculàr
17. Farafina - Art Melody
16. Aashianeh - Fereidoon Farrokhzad
15. Lost Innocent World - Gogol Bordello
14. Everything - VNV Nation
13. No One Knows Nothing Anymore - Billy Bragg
12. Life On Mars? [Cover] - Seu George
11. Sing to the Moon - Lauren Mvula
10. Cut Copy Me - Petula Clark
09. Serpents - Sharon Van Etten
08. La La La ft. Sam Smith - Naughty Boy
07. Came Back Haunted - Nine Inch Nails
06. Run Boy Run - Woodkid
05. Free ft. Emeli Sandé - Rudimental
04. Sail - AWOLnation
03. Fitzpleasure - Alt-J (∆)
02. How Would It Be? - Ellis
[Recap and Supercut* of the Top 10 that almost made it to the list, or should have if it were a longer show]
01. Pompeii - Bastille
(Outro & benediction for the new year)
00. Auld Lang Syne - The Pipes and Drums of Leansich

*Supercut- Almost in the top, but damn good;
(1. Bring in the Katz - KW Griff; 2. Phoenix - Hucci; 3. OPR - Gesaffelstein; 4. Jubel - Klingande; 5. Under the Bridge [Cover] - Hackney Colliery Band; 6. Tenu Leke - Red Baraat;
7. Dougou Badia ft. Santigold - Amadou & Mariam; 8. Blessed Love; Jimmy Cliff; 9. Let the Water Do the Work - Hey Mavis; last but NOT least 10. All American Boy - Steve LeGrand)

Episode Archive:

filed under: the arts blogged: 21.57 Sat, 04 Jan '14

Mon 30 Dec 13

Meditation: "Do You Believe In Magic? It's In Your Genes"

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“The wolf shall live with the lamb, the leopard shall lie down with the kid, the calf and the lion and the fatling together, and a little child shall lead them.” The parable sings of the union of opposites, of perhaps impossible dreams of peace, as seen here in the most precious of my grandmother’s gifts to me, a painting that fascinated me since I was a teddy-bear hugging nerd child- “The Peaceable Kingdom” by Quaker pastor Edward Hicks, a surreal dream of transcendent unity. Get a warm fuzzy? Let’s do a little reality therapy- it’s easier to paint a vision of unity than making it “actionable,” and fulfilled dreams may long exceed lifespans. Upon glimpsing 2013, Isaiah’d pull a Redd Foxx, and be going up to see Elizabeth. Earth is cazy. Yet we share an inheritance with Isaiah that transcends bloodlines and time. Exquisite mysteries yet unknown lurk in the bodies we’re given the privilege to inhabit, biological testaments writ into each twist of DNA, each twirl upon the pulsating dancefloor called life. The message of these Holy Days may well be that we are the creators of legacies- should we choose to act.

“It’s in every one of us to be wise.” A good feeling, but also a hard reality. Until autumn I worked in crisis intervention with those ready to go over the cliff, yet from their dark places they drew more truth from the world’s brutality than most theologians could from dusty treatises. Now, I’m working with men who’ve taken the next step in recovery yet face judgment as “addicts;” rarely heard outside the rooms are their wisdom stories gained from having endured fiery crucibles of transformation. Wanna hear hard-won wisdom that beat the odds? As it’s said in the recovery culture, keep coming back.

The thing is, it’s in all of our genes to magicians, healers, wisdom-keepers, prophets, and on the molecular level it’s limitless who gets to “become.” Any mountain monk, particle-colliding scientist, artist spiraling in colors, any sorter of different shaped bits on an assembly line has equal mojo. We are created, briefly animated, with body and mind to explore it all. The Universe bade you come, your experience of life confirms vast magical mysteriousness. That alone is open and shut case for true magic.

Close your eyes for a second and put your hand, as you are able, on the shoulder of the person sitting next to you. You are touching a temple, a shrine. At some point the soul living there made a choice, knowingly or unknowingly, to surrender a fear, perhaps reconciling with a trauma, reflecting this metaphor: “The wolf shall live with the lamb, the leopard shall lie down with the kid, the calf and the lion and the fatling together.” Open your eyes and give those shoulders a squeeze. [If you’re a massage therapist keep going but remember half of what you charge goes to the Jubilee! Compassion Fund]. Breathe deeply, body temples.

“They will not hurt or destroy on all my holy mountain; for the earth will be full of the knowledge of the Lord as the waters cover the sea.” The world- God’s body- is crying out in signs a plenty that we are besmirching her with war, fear, blood-lust, crimes against ecology, and MUST do something about it. …the earth will be full of the knowledge of the Lord as the waters cover the sea. And the Earth is but a seed in Holy One’s eternal wind.

There is a leading theory that life on Earth came from cometary debris, blazing toward our fertile planet already ripe with that certain molecular je-ne-sais-quois that led up to you being you, from the Ctenophores to the Commodores, from Tricerotops to the Four Tops- a theory called Panspermia.

Go ahead with your awkward giggles. Look it up, this is not a weed ‘em out Sunday- it’s a Wikipedia Sunday. There are the thousands of creation stories but put all the Cosmology cards on the table, and each could be just as wacky as the other. Science’s hand could be a rough wager, as it changes with Knowledge. None of us can truly prove nuttin’ honey, so just the fact that we are created is a Blessing, and from that, we are Blessed to Bless. Good stuff. But let’s face it, the business of Is-ness is the hardest sell there is because we’re studying at the Universe- a non-human thing- through human lenses. We can only expect the results we have the senses to perceive. It’s like asking my cats to explain Obamacare back to me. The brain explodes! Meow! Let’s just call it magic and have brunch. Breathe Deeply.

John the Baptist dropped a hint: prepare, holiness is immanent. What if your day consisted of the adventure of recognizing holy beacons of greater things to come- within you, for the world? Make way! But let’s consider making another way… what if those signs were everywhere, within everyone? Go deeper- what if every birth magically and prophetically sang out the Christ-potential for greatness in each and every human being, from the untouchables of India to the untouchables of Wall Street? Consider God’s child right now born unto a barrio above Cusco, Peru, or a shanty of Capetown, a Chicago housing project, in a Cambodian rice paddy? What if we lived the movement we call Creation Spirituality in such a radical way that not a single living soul could ever be exempt from being a child of God, but a co-creative partner with God?

This is the one of whom the prophet Isaiah spoke when he said, ‘The voice of one crying out in the wilderness: “Prepare the way of the Lord, make his paths straight.” Here is John the Baptist, Jesus’ wildman, mud-caked, catfish-loving cousin proclaiming that his kin will get the red phone with Upstairs. Doesn’t go down well and soon instead of a typical middle-eastern jello-mold at the party it’s his head that’s on the platter for heresy. But something shook that family tree. Magic. It was worth dying over. Are you willing to stick your proverbial necks out and proclaim magic is alive and afoot in this world today, and if not, what will it take? Not turning top hat and rabbit magic, but remembering ourselves self-aware bits of Cosmos kind of magic- a message of millennia as ancient as Buddha, Pachamama, and as current as our hottest astrophysicists.

You’re a geek when you call astrophysicists hot. Carl Sagan will always be my Superman and I’ll be his Lois Lane any day. It was he who said that “We are a way for the Cosmos to know itself.” Say that with me, “We are a way for the Cosmos to know itself.” Another way of saying magic is in our genes. Neil deGrasse Tyson, director of the Hayden Planetarium, a child of the Bronx whose love of science got him into Cornell, and who became Sagan’s student has made one of the most vital statements I’ve ever heard: “We are all connected; to each other, biologically; to the earth, chemically; to the rest of the universe atomically.,” and “I know that the molecules in my body are traceable to phenomena in the cosmos. That makes me want to grab people in the street and say, have you heard this?” Have you heard this? This chokes me up because it places all that leads up to now in such immensity- and absolute interconnection with Divine Imagination.

“One who is more powerful than I is coming after me.” “One who is more powerful than I is coming after me.” What if we applied wild John’s vision to future generations, our kids, what if we truly lived in the now but for the sake of a holier tomorrow? Jubilee became my spiritual home almost 15 years ago because y’all taught that Jesus wasn’t a supernatural character attached to some horrific dogmas; he embodies one expression of transformation, through love. Here’s to the ones more powerful than us, coming after us. Breathe Deeply.

The Brand New Heavies are a UK “acid jazz” band that began recording in 1990 and released this track on their 1997 album Shelter. I believe this song has everything to do with the message of “AHSCKNYE” we celebrate here at Jubilee! Let’s rock this thing.

You're the future, and you've come for what is yours
The hidden treasure, locked behind the hidden doors
And the promise of a day that's shining new
Only a dreamer, could afford this point of view
You're a driver, not a passenger in life
If you're ready, you won't have to try 'cause,

You are the Universe
And there ain't nothing you can't do
If you conceive it, you can achieve it
That's why I believe in you, yes I do. [x2]

The word “gene” derives from the Greek from both birth and origin. There are tracers in your genetic code that lead you right back to the, you guessed it, Ctenophores. And everyone’s related to Napoleon or something. I snore like my Dad. Genes. I have wonky knees. Mom. Now, Mom’s fighting cancer like Rambo vs. Bambi. Though she in Delaware, she says to say to Jubilee that what we do here is fight planetary cancers- with love. Jubilants made her knitted caps for her chemo-head, and she says in thanks that these simple acts make transformative impacts on humanity, way beyond the scope of the giver. Thank you. So, you are a testament to the survival of lineages that overcame great battles for everyone of us to be living Earthlings right now. Survival of the fittest? Sure. But the prophets of old and the thinkers of today all say the same thing- and here’s to Mom- it’s survival of the loving-est. Where love and caring are- there is God. Put that into action from the cells of bodies and currents of rivers, from neighborhoods and statehouses, to all the places of power and let them witness what happens when the love encoded into our very bodies slips the bonds of mediocrity and comes together in one roaring YES to life!

You're a winner,
So do what you came here for
The secret weapon,
Isn't secret anymore!
You're a driver, not passenger in life.
And when you're ready,
You won't have to try 'cause…

You are the Universe!
And there ain't nothin' you can't do!
If you conceive it,
You can achieve it,
That's why I believe in you, yes I do.

We are one more Sunday away from the close of our fifth of the annual Jubilee quarters; AHSCKNYE, it’s time we come to the “K” in Advent, Hanukkah, Solstice, Christmas, Kwanzaa, New Years, and Epiphany (thanks to Meta Commerse for leading Friday’s Kwanzaa celebration). This is the fourth day, Ujamaa, which reflects on the principle of community sharing, of unconditional reciprocity for the greater good, not because it’s a good thing to do, it’s what’s natural, how other animal species survive and achieve symbiotic balances in their environments. With humans it how we affirm what the fellowship of community really means; that our resources are meant to flow so none are left out, none are put in jeopardy because the value of togetherness supersedes the value of things. We do Ujamaa with Room at the Inn, MANNA Food Bank, Habitat… What does this mean for Jubilee, on the 29th of December 2013? It’s your last day to give for this year, and there’s still plenty of need out there. Sustaining community beyond these walls is in our DNA, it’s our niche in Asheville’s ecosystem. These little pieces of paper- this is our Ujamaa- our way of saying that we are stronger together, and that we fulfill a higher pledge as good stewards of our little two story building, and little blue sphere- passing it on.

You're a driver,
Not a passenger in life
And when you're ready,
You won't have to try 'cause,

You are the Universe,
And there ain’t nothing you can’t do.
If you conceive it,
You can achieve it,
That's why I believe in you, yes I do.

It’s in every one of us to be wise; to be interdependent; to be in awe of newborn babes with pure, infinite eyes from Bethlehem or Bangladesh refreshing the world with their sudden newness. Next time you’re by a mirror, take a good look at your own eyes, those portals to the soul, the infinite, to “the Cosmos know[ing] itself.” Will you prepare your eyes for a great vision to come, from anywhere, at anytime? Seek out the star-stuff in your sight and follow the trail of the wider vistas. With all time leading up to right now, look at how far you’ve come, and us as a community, and we as an awakening planet. How is that possible? It’s simple; you are creation in action, you are the universe. What will you do with it all?

You are the Universe,
And there ain’t nothing you can’t do.
If you conceive it,
You can achieve it,
That's why I believe in you, yes I do.

(w/m (C)1997 Brand New Heavies/Siedah Garrett

filed under: the soul blogged: 23.22 Mon, 30 Dec '13

Mon 16 Dec 13

Unanswerable (for now)

Here's this edge
the desk, the hour, the night,
we all have those limits from which we
dare not extend, yet the curiosity pulls us forward-
should I have shut up?
Folded the mind's map?
I seem to be a tunnel that collapses,
on occasion, upon itself, and I claw out to
breathe the rushing air of the great sustaining mystery-
When? Where do I plunge off the edge?
where upon my own two feet upon I do
land, and through wordless,
I dare stand- heart, ink, sleeve and all?

filed under: from the birdy's beak blogged: 00.46 Mon, 16 Dec '13

Thu 05 Dec 13

Viva Madiba

As a child, when MTV and worldwide broadcasts were still exciting and new, I caught an advert for Paul Simon performing live in Zimbabwe as a giant unifying musical collaboration against Apartheid. Being the weird nerd kid I was, I knew of Apartheid, and of Mandela, and of Stephen Biko, and I felt a strong connection to these issues without knowing why. Would it be the little Apartheid I'd face later in my life? Was it a connection to a continent that I knew- in my blood- that I shared a deep biological connection with... a spiritual nameless cord my youth perceived and chased but knew not what after? I watched the concert in its golden lit distant light, sweat pouring from every upturned face, and clenched fists demanded freedom for Madiba, a single person that was the perhaps the first in history to change global dialogue and policy through the medium of communication through the masses. His unlikely path from Robin Island to President in the course of a few years proved to this young mind that global movements *by, for and of the disenfranchised* not only can happen, but with the growing ability to talk around the world that they will happen. Mandela, my first true childhood hero, remains a global pioneer and a name for the ages. In researching my ancestry I've discovered that I have a shard of African matrilineage. If one man can create an overwhelming transformative power that can offer hope to the Motherland, then each one of our voices can ring around the planet and petition for the highest ideals of freedom, justice, and peace. Madiba, in my inner world you help free me of my own oppression. My gratitude to you is as endless as your legacy is long upon this good Earth. AMANZA!

filed under: from the birdy's beak blogged: 22.05 Thu, 05 Dec '13

Tue 22 Oct 13

I hope you find

Just heard that song again
the one you thought was pretentious
but we were all pretentious then, trying to
figure out who and what we were, these
oscillating quanta of love, distrust,
moored to the past, insistent little boats.

We're decades older now, and I never knew you then.
Do I know you now? Did I ever? A cipher from
the "out west" I took a Greyhound to find,
looking under the massive pillars of
cooled lava, billions years, what
did I expect to uncover?

"Wish I knew what you were looking for...
Might've known what you would find."*

There's this bridge, perfectly safe to cross
yet a single budge and we're a'teeter over the abyss.
Can't have that. Right?

It's not you, it's me, and if we're to believe
the atoms it's all just me; all else is a maybe and
ain't that just the way it goes?

"Under the Milky Way tonight..."*

I threw some words into the fire the other week
when in fact those words doubled as me in the
cathartic flame and crucible of the Alchemist,
beating away at the Secret in the dark.

Just as I am now.

Still don't know what I'm looking for.
But I hope you find.

*(c) 1988 Kilbey & Jansson "Under the Milky Way Tonight" by The Church

filed under: from the birdy's beak blogged: 01.53 Tue, 22 Oct '13


"Aut Viam Inveniam, Aut Faciam." - Seneca