Fame is a harsh mistress, just ask my cat.

 

 

mario my famous cat face

“I’m already crazy. I’m a fearless person. I think it creeps up on you. I don’t think it can be stopped. If my destiny is to lose my mind because of fame, then that’s my destiny. But my passion still means more than anything.”
~Lady Gaga

 

My famous cat Mario is beside himself.  He fears his fame is fleeting and soon he’ll be forgotten. I was shocked. My cat never talks this way; he has been always a positive force, what happened to his great lion-like confidence?

Apparently he’d noticed his page-rankings were down. He had Googled himself multiple times over the past few weeks and had been disappointed by the results. I laughed and cited his numerous accomplishments, awards and medals.

In a light hissy tone he ranted on and on about link analysis algorithms and numerical weighting. He then he spewed out formulas and equations. Honestly I was lost there.

He complained that his new book “Napping for the Sophisticated”  hasn’t been selling and that he’s sick of “playing some fool human’s pet in tawdry pet food commercials.”  

Mario confided in me that his secret dream is to be the star of his own talk show. He wants to bring back the glamour and as he put it: “The Va va va voom of old downtown Burbank back into late night T.V. just like his idol Johnny Carson.  He said he needed to “create a stir online to garner support and create a buzz”.

I offered to write a blog post about him and he laughed at me with disdain for suggesting such a thing. He brought up the fact that my readers are few, a devoted few( thanks guys) but a few nonetheless.

 

 

mario sleep nap sun

He said we need to hire a production team to make an overly dramatic and wildly expensive but tasteful You tube video about his napping habits. He showed me this pic of him I took last summer. He called it “golden” and asked how could anyone human or cat “resist this cuteness?” 

He also wants a publicist “that knows what they’re doing” and a secretary to keep all his projects together for him. He demanded money to pay these “over-priced but well worth it professionals”.

He went so far as to suggest he could pull a wild stunt possibly involving himself and that other cat Spotsy who he calls White Fang in some sort of well-documented and digitally enhanced posturing incident where Mario wins a place atop all the furniture ( yeah right) while The Fang is delegated outside.

How did I get involved in this? ~Spotsy
How did I get involved in this?
~Spotsy

 

In a fit of  hysteria he told the tale about the cat down the street who flushed the toilet all day long while his human servants were off “working”. Eventually he become so famous for this one simple act a news crew showed up and filmed him.

“He now has his own pilot coming out this fall on NBC.”  Mario wailed in a mournful and pathetic mew.

Like I said, I had never seen Mario like this. My poor loving and faithful friend was reduced to a sad and desperate victim of that bitch goddess, fame.

 

Follow your bliss Mario, I said in no uncertain terms, he rolled his eyes knowing it was just me quoting Joseph Campbell again.  There is a reason I do this.  I  brought up the fact that his true love is music, which it is and that if he diligently and deliberately pursued this love, all that he desired will come to him. As some of you may or may not know,  Mario is a fabulous vocalist. He has the soul of Cat Stevens with all the pizzazz of a young Catty Purry. His lack of confidence holds him back, it’s something we share, that and pure laziness.

Your family loves you and that’s all that really matters Mario, I told him. Fame is supposed to be fleeting, love is not.

We spoke on throughout the afternoon. Mario entertained us with a medley of his favorite show tunes and we twittered away the rest of the day lost in a sweet and legal marijuana haze his musician friends contributed to the packed room of neighborhood cats and trippy neighborhood people.  We drank tea and enjoyed the music and that is what it’s all about.

😀  

~NLM

 

mario my famous cat sing song

 

 

 

mario my famous cat sings sing a song

 

“The world is a wonderfully weird place, consensual reality is significantly flawed, no institution can be trusted, certainty is a mirage, security a delusion, and the tyranny of the dull mind forever threatens — but our lives are not as limited as we think they are, all things are possible, laughter is holier than piety, freedom is sweeter than fame, and in the end it’s love and love alone that really matters.”
~Tom Robbins

 

(UPDATE: Mario will soon be coming out with a new album. A bluesy reggae pop sound he’s been working on. I’ll keep you all posted)

 

Related Articles

The New Face of Friskies (strawberryindigo.wordpress.com) 

Cat Stevens – If you want to sing out

 

 

mario my famous cat in garden

 

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The Song of the Universe

tumart art psych

Music effects me like nothing else; pure sound melts into my body and fills my every pore. It travels down deep through my veins and capillaries straight to the heart then to the soul where it lingers a while, resonating like a fine wine. I am intoxicated.    Even amid what may seem like chaos one can feel those fine melodic tones pushing through to the surface. They cover me like a soft blanket of warm sand. They scintillate and tickle me, tantalizing my arm’s and legs.  I feel a rush of joy like a child in the sun. I am warmed and revived. Music does that to me. Good music, harmonious music.

I carry this with me, in snippets of memory; in songs that get stuck in my mind and play as a soundtrack to accompany parts of my day. This inner soundtrack lifts my mood and encourages me. It  strengthens my spirit and resolve. It calms me, makes me happy but also allows me to feel a million moods from sunny yellow to deep stone black. Through music I hear the song of the singer. I feel their thoughts and hear their dreams, even experience their heartbreak in a small way.  I hear their soul singing out and I hear a hundred million others.

Music is that powerful.

 

 

guitar moon col

 

According to string theory, absolutely everything in the universe, all of the particles that make up matter and forces, including you and I and my cat Mario are comprised of tiny vibrating  strings. Because of this some have likened the universe to a symphony. 

Michio Kaku the famous Physicist once said ” We are nothing but melodies. We are nothing but cosmic music played out on vibrating strings and membranes. Obeying the laws of physics, which is nothing but the laws of harmony of vibrating strings.” 

Playing the song of the cosmos I suppose…

 

This image from the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope shows Sh 2-106, or S106 for short. This is a compact star forming region in the constellation Cygnus (The Swan). A newly-formed star called S106 IR is shrouded in dust at the centre of the image, and is responsible for the the surrounding gas cloudÕs hourglass-like shape and the turbulence visible within. Light from glowing hydrogen is coloured blue in this image.

 

I think that is how we are connected and why music holds a universal appeal with us. It’s something we can all share. It is a ancient connection that’s been wired into us since the beginning. It is the ultimate in communication.

I’ve had musicians tell me that playing with others in concert operates on a very intimate level and that doesn’t surprise me.  I have felt similar feelings when engaged in a slow dance with a partner. I think most of us possess the ability to connect with others through music and with music itself.

This makes me think how life on earth is like a orchestra and we are all members of that orchestra.  We hum along, creating our own music in everything we do, think and feel.    I can see how imbalances could cause the music to distort and become unpleasant. Only when harmony is restored are we whole and playing beautifully once again.

I believe we on the planet are in a state of extreme disharmony. There are too many voices that sing songs of hate and exclusion,  inequality, indifference and greed. Songs that disrespect and pillage our planet, songs that kill the soul and lull desire.  We need to sing together for the common good; for peace and love, for kindness and understanding in concert with the earth and with the universe itself. 

African Children's Choir spreads peace.
African Children’s Choir spreads peace.

 

Most of us go about our lives encased in a hard shell that we have developed from our own personal experiences of being alive and living in the world we do.  Many of us hide our true thoughts and feelings from each other and to an extent I think we rarely realize, we are all connected by circumstance, by fate and by our very atoms themselves, down to those tiny vibrating strings but we act like strangers to each other. I think society teaches us this; that we should be wary of the different, have disdain for the unusual and mistrust the independent minded. Our mutual fear of each other causes misunderstanding and disharmony.   Children have a natural affinity for other beings. They don’t see what adults have been trained by society to see. We share so much and yes we are capable of singing a beautiful song in harmony  made up of beautiful voices, of varied colors and hues of thoughts and ideas.

 

Together we are the song of the universe.

 

And as I go about my week I am going to keep this in mind and try to remember that we are all connected, even those that may disagree with me. We all share the same needs, wants and fears.  We can attune ourselves to the same frequency if we listen and find some common chords.

 

~NLM

 

“Through our eyes, the universe is perceiving itself. Through our ears, the universe is listening to its harmonies. We are the witnesses through which the universe becomes conscious of its glory, of its magnificence.”
― Alan W. Watts

 

 

Related sounds of the universe

 

Lady Gaga sings America’s National Anthem/The Star-Spangled Banner at Super Bowl 50

Fiona Apple – “Across The Universe

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Our beautiful planet Earth naturally resonates at a frequency of 7.83 Hz. Many believe we can tap into this “heartbeat of the Earth”

Schumann Meditation 7.83 Hz 

unnamed-6 meditate art fantasy color
The above link connects to music that contains isochronic tones of Schumann Resonance or 7.83 Hz. Often it is referred as “Earth’s pulse”http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Schumann…. Research that have been done with experienced meditators (Zen meditators) show that it is a significant frequency. Its benefits are: Stress minimization, Healing acceleration, Muscle rejuvenation, Learning skills enhancement and mental well-being.

 

 

SOUND

“In the world I am
Always a stranger
I do not understand its language
It does not understand my silence”
― Bei Dao

All I want for Christmas is some peace and quiet.    I need a retreat. A retreat from noise, a retreat from interruption. A break from the outside world that interferes with my thinking and writing.  I must do both of theses things and if I don’t for a while I become like a caged tiger. I pace the confines of my cell all stored up and ready to pounce, except that I don’t pounce–I suck it all in.

I am kind and patient. Seldom do I lose this demeanor but there are times that I feel as though I am a ticking time bomb ready to go off.  The pressure builds and builds, I cannot flee–I cannot fight–I hold it all in. This can’t be good for my health.

 

tiger art maxresdefault

 

There is no place where noise does not scream at me. I pretend that it doesn’t effect me like it does. I learned to fake nonchalance a long time ago but there is nothing nonchalant about me. I have prided myself in my outer coolness but I must confess and it feels damn good to confess that at times on the inside I can burn hot like a volcano.

 

WOMAN fire art

I try to meditate in my own way.  I seek out nature and I think good thoughts. I am earnest in my devotion to goodness, truth and beauty and all that. I believe I only lack one simple thing. Something that if granted to me would enable me to take on the world–whatever it takes. Silence, a wee bit of silence would save me. Time to listen to nothing would be utter bliss.

 

quote quiet still

 

If you have ever listened to silence you know what I mean.

Silence allows the mind to wander freely.  It gives us a chance to take a deep breath and relax.  The world is a noisy place, most of us experience a great amount of it in our daily lives.  These form the soundtrack to our lives. Most of it we cannot control.

 I seldom mention this but I am on the Autism spectrum (Asperger’s) and sensitive to sound. I have always been this way. Certain noises are amplified  in my head and at times this can be overwhelming.  Echoing reverberating noises, kids screaming, crowds of people talking, generally loud and unpredictable noises, these sounds can unhinge me but also small and meaningless ones too can set me on edge. I have learned to control my urges and I can block a lot of it out but this is tiring and doesn’t allow me to ponder like I like to do.

Noise effects me in good ways as well as bad. There are good sounds. Music is exquisite rapture and so are the sounds of nature; songbirds, the breeze in the trees, crickets, the ocean. These sounds speak to my soul. They call to the restlessness and the calmness in me. They soothe, invigorate and inspire.

These sounds are big and open like waves,  they do not mind sharing space with all the thoughts my mind.  These sounds not only allow me to think, to contemplate, they allow my mind to simply wander freely without intent purely for the sake of wandering.

Haystack Rock Cannon Beach Oregon sky water beautiful

 

I feel at one with the universe. I feel at peace.

Sounds can transport one to another place. I have listened to recordings of birdsong and whales and other natures noises. I will close my eyes and imagine myself there; in the forest or by a lake or in a bird sanctuary wherever it be my mind can travel there.

Music is especially magical.  Slack Key Guitar music instantly takes me to the Tropics and certain Heavy Metal songs from the 80’s take me back to my rebellious teens.  Melodies paint colorful landscapes across the universe of my mind.

color tree mountain lake water night sinset beautiful back

Just thinking of all this is good for the spirit. Already I am calmed.  It’s through expressing myself I’ll find the peace I seek. I know that I create my own reality and I know that if something is important enough I will make time for it.

Writing and putting this post together has certainly worked it’s magic on me. And I hope it will for you too.  Please take a listen to the wonderful sounds by clicking on the following links that will transport you to the mythical land called Youtube where the music of nature will play for you.  Enjoy and have a nice day!

~NLM

beach waves gif

 

Sounds of Nature: Ocean Waves

 

White-throated Sparrow (Zonotrichia albicollis) perched on a branch in Manitoba, Canada.

White-throated Sparrow: Whistler of the North

 

field of flowers

Bach, Air (“on the G string”, string orchestra)

***

Related Articles

Musical Landscapes (strawberryindigo.wordpress.com)

Listen   (strawberryindigo.wordpress.com)

Waves of Sound

“Music melts all the separate parts of our bodies together.” 
― Anaïs Nin

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Darkness comes early now. I watch from my window as the light gradually fades.  I light a rose-scented candle and select the perfect sound to accompany this very moment.

The sound comes at me slow…then seizes me fast like a high tide. Waves of pure sound like the green sea surround and engulf me….I am taken to a place of exquisite color and fantastic landscapes that seem to go on forever.  I am alive in this one moment in time–suspended in sound.

Oh how it moves me. I feel each note resonate deep within like amber brown honey; smooth and sweet. I lie back and take it all in. The candle flutters in the breeze from the crack in the window. The shadows dance in time to the music like the beat of a heart…

red-heart-with-starry-background

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I think we first experience music hearing our mother’s heartbeat. This strong yet fragile piece of mortal human keeps our blood pumping, the very same organ that lets us love like crazy…it keeps a beat and a comforting predictable sound.  It is the rhythmic song of life and oh how beautiful!

Music is heartfelt as it should be. As in all great art it is infused with a tiny piece of its creator.  Music is sound….and sounds are basically waves made up of vibrations that move through a medium, usually air.  Sound is not tangible.  It can be recorded onto something tangible but what it is…the essence of it lies not in something to be held in the hand….the power that music has lies in the human heart and soul.

It never ceases to amaze me; this power of music. It can elicit such an emotional response in people.  The right melody can strike a chord and touch you in a way nothing else can.  To me it can be akin to stepping inside a pool of pure emotion.

It is unique and it can touch us in many intricate ways.

music dance tango-51631_640

Music is an art that, in one guise or another, permeates every aspect of human society. It is used for such varied social purposes as ritual, worship, coordination of movement, communication, and entertainment. We attach so much significance to music. It plays such a big role in many of our lives. It provides the backdrop to everyday…slowly coiling itself like a snake around our memories. It attaches significance to places, events and people and imprints itself on our perceptions of time and reality.

It has certainly made an impression on me. I listen to music every day, I can’t imagine not doing this and I can’t imagine life without it.

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“To stop the flow of music would be like the stopping of time itself, incredible and inconceivable.” 
― Aaron Copland

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I listen to a wide variety, I have my favorites, I like to visit…again and again, like old friends.

 There have been times when a certain song or artist was my only companion…


billie holiday
Billie Holiday

Music can be quite an intimate experience. There is a winsome loneliness, a crying out–an outpouring of emotion that I hear in some songs. I can feel the ache. It is these songs that I hold most dear.

363watercolor sky black
Credit: SBI

Take a listen to a song by a friend of mine. What do you hear?  What colorful landscapes does this beautiful music paint in your mind?

~The Mines of Moria  by Marc C. Miller~

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Strawberryindigo.

dove flying

One of These Days by Pink Floyd (Trippy Video)  I highly recommend this!

The Man I Love by Billie Holiday

 What Causes Musical Experiences? (anthonyramirez13.wordpress.com)

Poetry: Music for the Brain (johnbalaya.com)

How Music Can Be Better For You Than Sex and Cheesecake (youtube.com)

Streetmusic

Here I am in the middle of downtown Portland. The city is alive and pulsating with  creative energy and the streets are filled with happy people in a festive mood. I am one of those happy people walking in the fresh sunshine on a noticeably warm Saturday.

It is akin to a carnival atmosphere out here among the sounds of the many street musicians that have chosen this perfect day to brighten the streets with their colorful music.

I walk in time to the rhythm of the beat, jumping off one curb and onto the next. There is a man playing the buckets at the end of the block. He’s putting on a pretty good show and hamming it up for an another, obviously delighted man and his daughter. The man continues; snapping pic after pic of the Bucket Drummer as I pass by.

I head for what I call Portland’s Dysfunctional Living Room.

 If you want to find some strange very Portland events and meet some very Portland people, with a liberal smattering of bewildered tourists, visit Pioneer Square. (It also has a thriving Starbucks by the way, if anyone is interested)

Today a band of teens backed up by giant refrigerators are setting up for what I imagine will be very cool display of teen angst pop accompanied by huge containers of milk. I wish I could stay but I must move on. I make a mental note to return to the Starbucks on the corner later but now I have important business.

I am on my way to The Portland Farmers Market to take in the good food and the fantastic atmosphere under the late summer trees at Portland State University.

It is a lively place with lots of beautiful food and a vast array of impromptu concerts in the park to keep one entertained.

These guys played some wicked bluegrass and I had to stop and snap some shots. They had CD’s for sale, I silently wished them luck and headed towards the glorious food.

l enjoy perusing fresh healthy food out in the open air with lots of friendly people around. Add trees and music to the scene and I am as content as can be. There is something about fruits and vegetables in the sun: the way they smell. The colors can be intoxicating as well and I cannot help but be in a good mood by this.

There is music everywhere! In addition to the market stage there are at least half a dozen acts playing sweet music under the trees in this lovely park on this lovely day in late September.

lt was all good and made a pleasant day even so much more so. I decided at that point that even good things must come to an end, besides it was getting close to closing time and I was looking to mainline some caffeine. I made my way back to the Starbucks, I ordered a tall one and sat outside near the front steps on a bench facing Nordstrom.

I like to people watch and this is an excellent location. I just sat there and took in the atmosphere…

…I did not notice at first. It was as if he just suddenly appeared.  On an empty street corner in front of the Nordstrom and there he was: in a faded and rumpled raincoat, playing on a ragged double bass , strings askew, bow clutched tight. His hair; long, blonde and dirty hanging in matted clumps partially obscuring his face which seemed remarkably unlined. His eyes were closed in deep concentration; each note was deeply felt , I could see it on his face.

The music was beautiful. Funny, I don’t remember the tune. It was classical and I recall it being familiar but that’s all. I do remember the sound. It was clear and sharp and amazingly beautiful. I don’t know how he got such a delicate sound from such a shoddy instrument but he did.

A crowd had formed around him. Maybe 10 or 12 people, each person with the same awestruck look. On another day, each one of us would have passed him by, not giving a moment’s notice to the rumpled and forgotten man huddled behind the bus stop or in some shadowy forgotten doorway.Homeless, probably mentally ill and alone, he had this one gift. This wonderful gift of music. It was likely he didn’t have much else, but he had this one thing and there he was sharing it with whomever would listen.

He played for what seemed like several minutes then stopped abruptly. He never asked for spare change. He had no sign displayed or an empty musical case as many of the street performers had. He had nothing and he asked for nothing.  We watched in silence as he stood up, picked up his instrument and his rickety stool and slowly made his way up the street never once looking back.

I never thought to take his picture. I had been snapping them all day but for some reason I didn’t think to snap his. I guess I thought it would disrupt the moment, that I might have angered him and sent him into a rage. I don’t know. I sound like a chicken but I bet I echo what others were thinking.

“Stay away from the crazy homeless person.”

No matter how beautiful his music may be. No matter that he awestruck a small crowd across the street from Portland’s Living Room.  No matter how his melodies brought tears to my eyes. No matter. He was a crazy street person and I like everyone else will just try to stay out of his way and pretend that he’s no there. I feel bad for thinking this…

I finish my tall black coffee and head out the door. Another has taken the place of the raincoated man. Must be a prime spot.

The new guy seems much more approachable but has yet to draw a crowd. That does not stop him from playing his heart out. I am moved by his pluck, so much so that I gather up some of my own and strike up a conversation with him. Being a shy socially awkward wannabe writer this is amazing and I am rewarded with a story and a song.

Ryan has been playing on the streets of Portland for 2 weeks. He loves it here but is surprised and a bit daunted by the skill level and sheer numbers of his competition. He too has a CD for sale and a blog…this surprises me.  I guess everyone has one these days. If you want to visit Ryan his blog is 16-dollars-a-day.bogspot.com.

Strawberryindigo.

“Music washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life.”

Berthold  Auerbach

A Twist of Lennon with a Slice of John on the Side

“My role in society, or any artist’s or poet’s role, is to try and express what we all feel. Not to tell people how to feel. Not as a preacher, not as a leader, but as a reflection of us all.”

John Lennon

I remember the first time I heard “I am the Walrus, I mean really heard it. Something inside of me just clicked. I was impressed more by what the song didn’t say and how it went about saying what it didn’t say than what it actually said.

I was inspired that day by the words of Mr. Lennon and I continue to be.

Beyond writing songs with beautiful and eloquent melodies, John had a lot to say and he never minced words. He was a bit of a rebel who suffered from low self-esteem. He was unconventional and opinionated. He wasn’t  perfect nor would he want to be.

He was truly an original and although he was with us for such a short time, he added so much to the world while he was here.

Today, October 9th would have been his 72nd birthday.

There will never be another John Lennon.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY JOHN!

“We’ve got this gift of love, but love is like a precious plant. You can’t just accept it and leave it in the cupboard or just think it’s going to get on by itself. You’ve got to keep watering it. You’ve got to really look after it and nurture it.”
John Lennon

SOUNDS OF LENNON ( You Tube)

Nobody Told Me

Working Class Hero

Strawberry Fields Forever

Weekly writing challenge: The Sound of Blogging

I saw the headline: The Sound of Blogging. As if there was such a thing…but there is and it’s music to my ears  This is my first stab at the WordPress Weekly Writing Challenge and I want to make a decent showing. This idea made me stop and ponder a bit. I enjoy stopping and pondering. I think it is essential for a writer and me, in my long-winded way, am a writer, as most of us bloggers are.

I have mentioned a few times in the past the sound I make as I write; a rhythmic tap-tap-tap. It is how I describe what I do; it is in fact a sort of 4 finger quick-step, hunt and peck that has evolved into the tap-tap-tap. It starts slow then picks up speed and before you know it, I am going on at full clip. Not to say that my technique doesn’t need improvement. I will be the first to admit to that, but all in all it is a comforting sound.

When my family hears this tinkling of the computer keys they know that I am happy, they’ll get no trouble out of me. As long as the hot coffee flows I am content to be tap-tap-tapping the night away; writing my heart out.

I let the words flow like a melody that sings a song about hope and inspiration, compassion, kindness and how the power of love; the love of our planet and for our fellow humans can transform the world.   It is the song of life played out by a hack with a laptop and a dream that I hear in my tap tap tapping…and to me it’s the loveliest sound in the universe.

Thanks for listening,

Strawberryindigo.

While you’re at it check out those sounds…

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(Excellent music I like to tap to)

MASTERS OF STRING THEORY

An instrumental  journey through time on a string played by some the greats.

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Click here for some excellent tapping courtesy of The Nicolas Brothers

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The Typewriter Song

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Mr. Bojangles tapping with Shirley Temple

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