Giving Thanks Giving

Gracias a la vida, que  nos ha dado tanto ..

Blessed rainy day here in El Cerrito, Cali, as I write .. slept in.. hanging with my beloved wife Debra Sue .. sipping tea and xocolatl … cozy …  Sergio Mendes+ Black Eyes Peas on the radio .. niiiice ..

I can’t exactly apologize for not writing, though I do certainly beg your understanding. I have been utterly taken up in an academic-institutional vortex these past nearly three months, not slackin. Perhaps if you have an urban public school teacher in your life, you have some idea of what the daily challenges can be. By invitation/ conscription, I took on all kinds of new quasi-admin-program managerial responsibilities along with added piles of hours to stay abreast of an daily avalanche of either starry-eyed-and-or-fractious students + mountains of program paperwork and coordination. And for different reasons this was the toughest Fall semester in my teaching career … wilting fatigue and almost unbearable stress/oppression, which made me physically symptomatic, unwell. Got it all done, though not a particularly happy time. Added arrgh.. the national squabble about how to reform public education and the general defamation of the profession, 

 This teacher sought solace and some non-linear relief.. the drawing-dreaming pad was swirling and pulsing …

Huli Ola


and worldOnelove music/radio sessions were flowing, in some healing/soothing response to the daily grind/carborundum …

Little BIG Sound .. 88.1 keCg 97.7

We are always adding all kinds of gorgeous, stirring, soulful, and insightful music to our worldOneradio flow+ broadcast; Native musics and tone poems from Louie Gonnie, Cheevers Topah, Bear Creek, Anthony Wakeman + Mr.Soon  … soaring classical interpretations by Hulschoff and Eichhorn,  intimate jazversations by Kenny Barron, Rose Murphy, Blossom Dearie, Sarah+Louis and spinning the globe with Flying Lotus, Asa, Olivia Ruiz, Guy Forsyth, Tchiya Amet, Chuck Prophet, Santana, Jolly Boys, Mark O’Conner,   New Mutitudes, Jackson Browne, The Pyramids, Paul Simon, Groundation, Liane La Havas, Gudina, Lulu Dikana, Les Tiki , Le Vent du Nord, Roxanne Olivia, El Gusto Orchestra of Tangiers, Les Surf, hip shakers by Allenko Brotherhood, Poolside, Janis Martin, film excerpts from George Harrison/ Living in the Material World   … and to help us unwind the mind .. Robert Rich, Erik Wollo, Steve Roach … been doin it and doin it since ’95 .. e como mai oh my ..

Through late summer and autumn, we joined Saturday morning dancers at our beloved Ashkenaz, to banghra dance with Dhol Rhythms (with whom we will be joyously collaborating in both an El Cerrito HS school dance event and in our 15th annual July 4 worldOnefestival). The following Dhol mandala image is by Fletcher Oakes 

I want to especially hail UP and acknowledge the San Francisco World Music Festival, in its 13th iteration, successfully assembling musicians form all over the globe in an impossible, and finally glorious and exuberant   collaboration in the presentation of a blended operatic cycle Again demonstrating that the most stirring music, emerges from deeper spaces, requires devotion, discipline and surrender, achieves connection, and reaffirms L I F E … .. from a super-title to a featured Azerbijani folk song .. with these chains we shall make music which will shame the drums of the monarchs” ..

U.S.A.llawe navigated the fearsome realities/vestiges of Halloween/Samhain  … Soul Cakes? anyone ?  Mayan prophetic accuracies +/- distortions ..  the election of a U.S. President .. no, not by a landslide .. but via inundation … of American angst, media, money, and finally, waters (# 2)  … lately .. post-election vitriol and backlash, bitterness, and contrariness, more amped divisiveness .. the oldest trick in the book of life …. a house/nation divided cannot stand ….   and how can we be ( seek to be) the “greatest nation on earth”, with a hobbled economy, 14 trillion in debt, millions jailed, and policies/practices that undermine ecology, EDUCATION and simultaneously aspire to world-wide military dominance..

that said .. I felt a palpable bolt of QI when GOBAMA! uttered .. LOVE + CHARITY .. which we remixed.

Especially NOW, we need to work for, and hope for deliverance (McCartney)  … wash our spirit clean (Walela)… we need an absolution (The Pyramids)  .. and to seek higher ground (Stevie Wonder) .. re-imagine U.S.All .. dreaming  red, white, blue, red, gold, and green and all the colors and creatures in between .. seen ? (another Fletcher Oakes image): 

And reserving the right to respectfully, unthanks .. unthanksgiving  .. it is Native American Heritage Month .. and it’s a particular irony that about the only national holiday that hazily includes some kind of cooperative Native iconography, also includes revisionism of the arc of official hostilities, policies and machinations, between “manifest destiny” and Native Americans. Destiny itself seems to have other ideas, much more consistent with modern ecological science, and the deep cultural wisdoms and spirituality of Native America (what is otherwise commonly called “religion”) and all genuine wisdom/spiritual traditions.  Our youth broadcasters  generated a series of Native American cultural featurettes, and these are pronounced daily via PA and on-air. We note how virtually whole-scale absent is any substantive Native cultural curriculum in our public schools. In 2012 we seem determined to keep the same idea-factory humming? along (noting the recent tussle in Arizona and elsewhere regarding Chicano studies).

Oh, Great Spirit, whose voice I hear in the winds
And whose breath gives life to everyone,
Hear me.

I come to you as one of your many children;
I am weak …. I am small … I need your wisdom
and your strength.

Let me walk in beauty, and make my eyes ever
behold the red and purple sunsets
Make my hands respect the things you have made.
And make my ears sharp so I may hear your voice.

Make me wise, so that I may understand what you
have taught my people and
The lessons you have hidden in each leaf
and each rock.

I ask for wisdom and strength
Not to be superior to my brothers, but to be able
to fight my greatest enemy, myself.
Make me ever ready to come before you with
clean hands and a straight eye.
So as life fades away as a fading sunset.
My spirit may come to you without shame

~ (translated by Lakota Sioux Chief Yellow Lark @1887)~

Carlos Santana included the prayer above,  in the liner notes to Shape Shifter. We simply cannot keep doing, thinking, feeling the material-commodity-transactional-buy-take-day-mares that have become the grist of the daily bs-statusquo-go-round-mill.  We’ve got to learn and accept daily, higher, and sacred ground  to vibrate at higher frequencies (Blackalicious) …  and yes,we can still keeps it fonki  .. and real  .. the BIG question is .. compared to what?

While please consider adding the Peace Project Book to any holli~jolliday gifting you may have in mind ..

On worldOneradio at this moment .. John Arnold music > We’re all beautiful .. dig that to the bone .. mind spirit body soul .. Rise UP Everybody ! 

Join us for a magicalmysterylisten, won’t you ?

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Winter Soulstice approaching, northern hemispherical season to collect, store, slow down, retreat, rewind,  remember,  and hope/wait = esperar / spero  .. for the return of the light, so to speak .. the crisp clarity of wintry days and snowy scapes .. ‘tis the season .. to Rest and be Blest .. wishing you bright blessed days and dark sacred nights ..   p  e  a   c  e  … = ; ) ~