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Soon

August 27, 2016 Leave a comment

light03While CD Baby inspects the EP for digital and physical distribution, I am making ready to send copies of the CD and thank-yous to the wonderful people who supported this effort.  I belong to a remarkable, generous community and I am very grateful.  If you gave your support and are reading this now, THANK YOU.  I look forward to sending you your CD.

While I am waiting for the release of the EP I am thinking of the next Rubenoff Project endeavor to come, choosing music and playing with art, writing some new stuff and practicing my instruments.  As it is taking shape in my mind it will be more instrumental and less vocal, with more of a Latin feel.  In any case it will be fun.  🙂

Of course I will let you all know when and where “Songs of Love, Despair and Regret” becomes available for purchase.  I’m sure that will be soon.

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Hope

December 25, 2015 Leave a comment

Boston002“Hope springs eternal.”

I think that one can arrive at the end of hope, yet usually I find myself drifting into that warm mixture of fantasy and desire:  “hope.”  While pleasant and for the most part harmless, it is important to remember that hope looks to the future.  While we can to some extent influence the future, we cannot truly control outcomes.  They will happen as they will, and not, perhaps, as we envisioned them in our hopes.  Hence the statement, “His hopes were dashed.”  We know this does not mean hyphenated; it means dashed to pieces like a ship on the rocks.  So, logically, no hopes, no dashing.

Because hopes focus on the future, while we are hoping we are missing the present.  Since one’s life can only occur now, this is a loss.  When one spends time hoping they sacrifice moments of their life.  They are not here/now, they are there/then in some place that is not yet and may never be.

My teacher tells me that trust is better than hope and I agree.  “Trust the outcome” is the saying.  It is closely akin to the saying, “The Lord will provide.”  Both express the belief in a benevolent Higher Power, whether one calls that power “God”, “Allah”, “Jesus” or “The Universe.”  I have observed that people who express this belief usually find that their trust becomes truth – that the future that arrives is the best possible outcome, and exactly what the individual needs at the time.

In trusting the outcome we put aside our concern for it and waste no more of the precious present moment thinking of it.  Trust that the best will be and leave it to unfold on its own.

How does that work when we are making something happen?  We schedule the tasks that will lead us to our goal and do them in order, step by step, concentrating on each step as we take it.  Fully present and unburdened of our fear that our efforts will be in vain, the steps themselves become accomplishments and stand alone in our memory as individual and significant successes.  Then in the end, if the outcome is something other than you intended, you may be disappointed, but you still have all of these successes behind you.  You can value the memories of your efforts instead of dismissing them as part of a failure.

I recently experienced this as my plans to record some of my music imploded rather spectacularly a few days before the recording session because of a faithless friend.  Looking back, we made some excellent music in our rehearsal sessions.  Instead of a lack of successful recordings I am instead left with an abundance of ideas and learning.

I will make plans – and I will doubtless have hopes, but I will trust the outcome.  I find that it is really true that the journey is much more important then the destination.  So let’s go.  🙂

Good Luck, Bad Luck

November 12, 2015 Leave a comment

dawnSometimes it can be difficult to face events with equanimity.  It is not a difficult concept to grasp that one cannot with any certainty predict the future, yet the brain often seems to do just that, jumping ahead to negative outcomes manufactured out of its fears.  Never mind that, again and again, the brain has watched the universe unfold in beautifully unexpected ways that delight and inform; still it jumps to fear, blame and anger instead of openness and patience.

When I encounter difficulty, my first instinct is to overcome it with strength.  Yet usually I find that first instinct to be mistaken.  Usually the difficulty will resolve itself when given time to do so.  Usually the exertion of strength leads to imbalance and recurrence of difficulty – unless strength is used to curb the urge to swift action.

Swift action is useful when faced with a real danger.  However, when my “fight or flight” response is triggered by baseless fears, the swift action that may result will often produce negative results.  In truth, one cannot truly recognize danger when they are afraid of it.  I find that when true danger arises the best response is to ignore all emotions and look mindfully, with clear, calm eyes on what is taking place.  Then my response can be sensible.

The feeling of urgency to take action usually comes from the ego clinging to some desired outcome.  To free myself, I detach myself from these and leave myself open to what the universe will bring.

Fancy Hat

November 4, 2015 Leave a comment

tomr1115

Continuing in the vein of making music with my betters, I will be sitting in with the Tracy Clark Trio at Brothers Restaurant in Brookline, Massachusetts tomorrow night (Thursday, November 5, 7 PM to 9 PM).  I am playing two pieces with them and the rest of the time carousing with friends.  Bound to be fun.  I’ll have to wait and see if I make it into work on time the next day.  I’ll certainly try.

fedoraComing up Sunday will be the next rehearsal for my upcoming studio date.  I will be producing a recording and I will call it “Fancy Hat” after one of the pieces.  I am sure no one will be surprised at the eclectic nature of the material.  🙂

At work things continue to change.  I am in the midst of an interesting transition there, and see other changes happening on the edges of my circles as well.  I am doing more training and less data entry – a challenging and welcome development.  At the same time I see the forces of inertia rising to conflict with the change.  All very interesting.

Change is exciting (if not a little scary).  As usual, the I Ching counsels admirable traits like equanimity, acceptance, balance, patience, reticence – well you get the idea.  It comes from the land of “Good luck, bad luck:  who knows?”

I’ll keep you posted.

Motivo Loco

October 18, 2015 Leave a comment

“Crazy Idea”me_tkfcpaintdaubs

So, as I go forward with recording some of my work with two groups of friends at some considerable personal expense, I know the odds of any of these intellectual/emotional children of mine amounting to anything is less than minimal.  (Unlike my real children who have all turned out to be very impressive individuals in my totally unbiased opinion.)   Yet I can’t help thinking that perhaps some movie producer will like my lyrics or some company that hawks on-hold music will like one of my melodies, or the combination thereof might attract a relatively small (yet substantial) following.  For if any or all of these occurred I would be justified in pursuing that which I love to do.

However, the love is, in fact, enough.  My history proves that I will keep producing music no matter what, so I may as well accept that and all the consequences, even if it means I part with money to give my musical babies their best shot at a good and fruitful life.

Anyway, we will be recording in December and looking to release early in the New Year.  I’ll let y’all know what dive I rent to have the CD release party.  I don’t really believe in CD’s, but I’ll make some as an excuse to have a party.  🙂

Returning

September 25, 2015 1 comment

little-garden

Life is change; embrace life. 

Things grow in unexpected places.  It is the way of the Universe.  If one open one’s eyes, one can see this unexpected growth and welcome it, no matter where it is in celebration of life in all its manifestations.

Too Klez For Comfort has grown to become a federation of musicians with the depth to field a viable ensemble for almost any venue at almost any time.  There is more 30’s swing and Latin flavor in the repertoire.  And it performs with more confidence and fluency.   I am honored to play my part.

Unclaimed Freight continues to evolve, all players bringing an influence, pulling the band in various directions within the broad envelope of rhythm and blues and jazz.  The horns add texture and excitement.  Again, I am honored to play my part.

My own garden of music continues to grow as I more deeply explore the use of vocals and lyrics, and beats from cultures less familiar to me.  I expect to have some finished recordings to share by the beginning of 2016.  I have attracted amazing musical friends of all ages and I am honored and blessed to be able to make music with them.

Different, yet the same, I continue, as do you.  I wish you peace and joyful surprise in your times to come.

Changes

Philly007

Life is change, so if one loves life I guess one must at least tolerate change.  Yet it seems natural to most of us to resist change, maintain the status quo, preserve the past, etc.  One of the significant challenges of life seems to be to avoid clinging to the past.  However, at times, one finds one must choose between the things (and sometimes people) they love and move toward one, leaving the other behind.  This can be a painful process, and it is difficult to know if one’s decision is the correct one – yet often I find that I am left with no choice but to choose.  Either I make the choice or the choice is made on my behalf by the same forces that brought the choice in the first place.

So I have left Eye On Life and I am no longer a poetry editor, only a poet.  So I continue to write my own poetry, but I no longer publish the work of others.  Now my judgments of others’ poetry are freed from the looming and often conflicting influences of such megaliths as free speech vs. my own tastes and values, the common good of the poetic community vs. the good of the magazine.

Eye On Life remains a good and worthwhile magazine.  I hope it will remain a place where good poetry is published as well as a place to read interesting and unique articles.

Most of my poetic energy nowadays is going into song lyrics and I am having a lot of fun with all that.  Generally I am posting works in progress on SoundCloud and more or less finished products on Bandcamp.  I hope you’ll listen to my offerings at either or both.

In the Door Hardware Genius world my role continues to evolve as I become more involved in training other door hardware geniuses and helping to define and streamline processes where I work.  In serving installers and hardware dealers I find that my depth of knowledge remains useful.  I remain grateful for that, and hope it remains so for years to come.