I want you to be aware that I'm aware of how long this project is taking. What was originally supposed to be a year has turned in to 5, going on 6 years. But also try to think about it this way: this project involves a story, which was always the intention. As a general rule, the longer stories get, the more interesting they tend to be. Not fully, but generally. In some ways I have no doubt that these delays are working to my advantage. In other ways, it might be more detrimental than I realize. But either way, it will be hard to know for sure until it's done, and it won't be done until I'm finished with my original goals.
1) create professional electronic and ambient music all around the American outdoor west.
2) create professional electronic and ambient music at the top of 6 American mountains in the west: Whitney, Shasta, St Helens, Adams, Hood, and Rainier.
I make that sound easy by summing it up in a couple of sentences, don't I? ;)) But oddly enough, these tasks are still well within my reach to do.
Additionally, I don't mean to bum anyone out more than usual lol, but I just wanted to disclaim that I'm well aware of how global issues appear to be approaching a tipping point and there is a possibility that an extinction of the human species might start soon. Yes, just a possibility, not a guarantee. So I wanted you to know that I'm aware of it, and I'm not just sitting here blind with my art. I'm trying to do good and make a positive difference in the world, but I don't seem to have the ability to make much of a dent. I'm an artist, so I don't hold a skill set that would make the difference we seem to require here. So in light of all that, screw it! To honor our possible human extinction, and our time left on this devious and beautiful world, I'm going to continue my work, my natural means of eco-political expression, and my personal passion for life. I hope that that's enough to help, because forcing positive change doesn't seem to work for me. I respect activists, because they carry a skill set and a constitution that I don't, making these fights more natural for them. Here's to that! :)
And don't get too bummed out by what I just wrote, either. ;)) It's because there are so many well-qualified people out there trying to make a difference that I think there is still plenty of hope. Again, here's to them!
Beginning The Update
I won't be attempting to broadcast live online from these locations much anymore, for the most part. This is mainly because there weren't enough people tuning in, hardly any, and I was breaking my back trying to set things up so that I could broadcast. Between killing myself to get to the top of mountains, and killing myself to set up for a live stream feed, and hardly anyone tuning in, it's just not worth it for more at the moment. Perhaps I will do it again regularly some day after this project has formed some buzz, God (or whomever) willing.
Also, I think I'm finally realizing that I've been dwelling too much on my failures here, for years, way more than even sensible people would be able to find entertaining. So to balance things out, I'm going to start gathering together video footage of some of my past triumphs, both recent and distant, and edit them into short bits to post on the internet and share with you. It's about time I start taking responsibility and a proper inventory of the good that's been done. I agree that that's a more interesting topic than the complications.
Further, in honor of those triumphs, and to be able to give you thorough updates and a good understanding of this 5-year project, I'm going to start treating this blog like a journal again. This will also give it the sincerity and humanistic integrity it deserves. I will write memoirs as well as current blog reports here on my music travels, and I will not hold back from those gruesome and honest details of my life and my mind that crossover into the story.
I would also like to remind you that this is a story about attempting victory over one's own mind, as much as it is about victory over anything in the external world. That's important. My mind has proven a formidable adversary, more than anyone else I know, which is saying a lot. If possible, I want you to embrace this factual dynamic with me in regards to the story, and without feeling put off by it. I don't want pitty or any non-beneficial thoughts if you can skip it, but as much sympathy as you can muster would be appreciated, even if you can't relate to a single thing I'm doing. ;))
To enjoy and/or understand this project, you may have to understand me somewhat, so I will continue to reveal myself. If you do decide to know me better, at all, who knows, you may find a whole new form of entertainment. I was told once or twice that my trivial suffering is very amusing. ;)) If that's true, then it's actually a great gift for me, the opposite being that I go through these difficulties for absolutely nothing. Please, by all means, laugh at me if you'd like. Laugh your butts off. Just don't abandon me and leave me to die on a mountain alone. ;)) (I love being dramatic.)
What exactly is all of my "trivial suffering?" Well, as I said, practically dwarfing all of the external-world challenges of this project has been the kinks in my own personality. Aside from being a somewhat complicated and sensitive person, I've also had to battle what it means to be an artist of my particular ilk.
What does it mean to be an artist of my particular ilk?
1) It consists of constantly being bombarded with brilliant ideas that all persistently nag you like kids at an ice cream truck. Really. These ideas don't just fade after they hit. They become large, living, breathing, shouting animal lifeforms from the moment they are conceived. These ideas then demand to exist, for the rest of your life, and they even guilt trip you about it whenever someone else comes up with the same idea and acts on it. The phenomenon is almost like a mild case of schizophrenia, the difference being that I chose to be an artist haha.
And 2) is the self criticism and perfectionism I'm riddled with, which I adopted from the years when I was working a little more-professionally and writing music for TV. My self-criticism and perfectionism slows all of those acted-upon ideas and endeavors down to a snail's pace. I slow down so much that I can't finish acting on most of the rest of the ideas, and that makes them nag even louder. Haha so you see, it's a bit of a mess in there, even when I meditate regularly. It's a miracle I'm able to crank out any worthy products at all. These are just the things I have to deal with. They are my truest opponents. They are my main struggle and story: my own thoughts and personal mechanisms during achievement.
If any artists out there are reading this, perhaps you can relate to what I'm about to say. For almost 20 years now I've had ideas and abilities that have potential to be revolutionary, not just in music but in many areas, if I had just done something, ANYTHING with them. And take a guess as to why I didn't do something with them... that's right, the amount of my ideas was far too overwhelming. If you couple that with an additional amount of fear-of-success, and even a fear of acceptance (haha a total contradiction in me), then you get--absolutely nothing! Not only that, but you get to sit around for years and eventually watch other people come up with your ideas, and get praised as revolutionaries for it. Luckily, I am a good enough artist that, through the years, whenever I saw this happen, I just came up with more revolutionary ideas. But eventually people think of those as well. We are talking about 20 years here. I've accumulated so many of these ideas acted upon by others that I feel like I'm living in a world that I dreamt up all by myself. That's how absurd this has gotten to me.
Below are some guiding words that I've gravitated to during the many dark days and hours of this project. These words were written both by powerful people I know, and by famous strangers:
"I've been writing a piece about what motivates us to create anything beyond the food and shelter we need to survive this life. Creation never makes sense, Dean. It is driven into being by a life force that is hardly ever validated by the elements that challenge survival. For some, a life of routine, but one filled with security, is enough. For artists, who are driven to create, life is not being lived when we are not swimming in the deep waters of our souls. Down in those places, often hidden from the rest, we squirm to understand our insanity and try our best to play the part of ordinary people who fit into an understandable paradigm. But we don't. And we know it. Most of the time, we journey in utter alone-ness to the places we are driven to go. You can suffer the indignity of feeling disenfranchised from the "normals." I know it's difficult to stay the course when the insanity creeps in and begins telling lies about the worth of your creation and of you, as a person. Don't listen, Dean. Listen to your heart instead. It is perfectly suited to guide you to where you want to be. Let your heart guide you, let your intellect mastermind the construction. Let your soul fill it with love. And let your friends remind you of who you are. Build it.... and they will come........... really."
Sorry to hear of your ordeals. RE: your question of your blog readers, I think my answer is kind of two-fold:
I almost always feel that when something is really calling you, then you've gotta do it. Life is too short to spend time trying to conform to someone else's standards. So, YES you are worthy of both endeavors (art/music vs. travel).
My other answer is perhaps more selfish. But since I know you for your music, I would almost rather have you in the studio making more music … and maybe even persuading Spotted Peccary or another label to release another album of yours.
But in the final analysis, this is just a 'standard' or mental construct of mine. I think you've gotta do your Summit project & related travels. You are destined… ;-)
HEARTS OF SPACE Radio Pgm.
"If you stand up and be counted, from time to time you may get yourself knocked down. But remember this: A man flattened by an opponent can get up again. A man flattened by conformity stays down for good."
"Develop success from failures. Discouragement and failure are two of the surest stepping stones to success."
"Failure is often that early morning hour of darkness which precedes the dawning of the day of success."
"No is a word on your path to Yes. Don't give up too soon. Not even if well-meaning parents, relatives, friends, and colleagues tell you to get a real job. Your dreams are your real job"
"It's always too soon to quit."
"All the adversity I've had in my life, all my troubles and obstacles, have strengthened me... You may not realize it when it happens, but a kick in the teeth may be the best thing in the world for you."