- S a s h a
- N Y C and Nashville, United States
- Hippie, Gypzy, Biker Chixie. Yep, that's me. www.bikerlady.com and www.chromecowgirl.com - my websites and I welcome your comments in this blog called Down the Road a Peace. Because, after all "do you wanna a peace of me?" : ) I'd love to hear your thoughts, so share them here. Personalize the topic and make it your own by sharing your own experience relative to the topic at hand, or let's create a new topic. U R Loved by Me.
"Send in the artists, mystics, and clowns. Their fertile imagination pours the new wine of the gospel into fresh wineskins (Luke 5:38). With fresh language, poetic vision, and striking symbols, they express God's inexpressible Word in artistic forms that are charged with the power of God, engaging our minds and stirring our hearts as they flare and flame"
One cannot put a price on such truth. In fact, the precious gift of artists, mystics and clowns are felt so deeply in the soul, gifting the mind with simplistic pleasure and engaging the physical with hearty emotion brings us to that treasure of experiencing pulsing life in the moment. Imagination is a national treasure. A good place to hang out and enjoy the day.
Flat Stanley is all about having a fertile imagination, eh?
More on Brennan: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pQi_IDV2bgM
"You're only gonna be as big as your own concept of God." http://www.brennanmanning.com/
I've gotten your e-mails asking Where is Sasha! since it's been quite awhile since I have written in my blog.
Well, as it is, right now I'm trying to finish up my book The Chrome Cowgirl Guide to the Motorcycle Life which is a fun, kitchy little read, sure to delight and fit in your back pocket to be taken along for the ride of your life...
Also, I have accepted my Chrome Cowboy's hand in marriage and so am planning a nifty elopement which has now turned into a backyard southern style gathering for this spring. Complete with a pig roaster and all the BBQ you'd want to feed upon. So, that just came up a few days ago. Quick switch from the fancy fairytale elopement in LaJolla to a backyard hoot and hollerin' honky tonk, tent city, BBQ in my new backyard on the Cumberland River.
Oh, and my husband to be bought us a new house. Not just a house...a freakin' PAD my friends. It is on the river...a total hippie house on the river. The folks that owned it before were loving and amazing with divine energy and angel attraction for sure. They have infused so much love and serenity on this property. There is a Japanese meditation garden and stone steps leading right into the drink. This is a dream, ya'll. I knew I could always live in my Vantastic down by the river, but now I don't have to....I can live in a real house down ON the river.
Two of my songs have been requested by the ever laudable Smithsonian Institute's new Smithsonian Channel documentary, "Sturgis" which will debut sometime next year. You can go to my Patrick's myspace and dig on the two songs that were mixed and mastered (and they are still not all the way done, but I got 'em as done as done for this awesome opportunity) www.myspace.com/patlassiter - listen to the songs here!
What else? Um, my darling best wind sister friend Betsy Huelskamp will be co-starring in the controversial Beyond Everest Discovery Channel mini epic adventure debuting on 10/30 -- 12/18 -- so go to the Discovery Channel website for listings. She's a tremendous inspiration and character for sure...quite beloved by many. Photos to come. http://dsc.discovery.com/convergence/everestbeyond/everestbeyond.html
Betsy and I will be revving throttle next week together in Los Angeles...so dig that!
Also, my book The Chrome Cowgirl Guide to the Motorcycle Life with Motorbooks International will be completed in a few weeks....it's awesome. My editor sent me some book covers that are just knock outs. What a tough assignment, you know why? Because I struggled to complete this project...and it was due to the many changes in my life...sort of like, the book was evolving as I was evolving and now it is such a God inspired, powerhouse little presentation. I started out with it being something other than what it is and now it has taken on a life of it's own. And that's bound to happen when you compose and let the creative spirit take you over...it just grows and evolves. It's set to arrive on book shelves in Spring 2008. I adore my editor because he is a beautiful soul. He understands the divine movement of creativity....or else he just tolerates this quirky little artist!
There are lots of other projects that I just can't wait to get to. I have a couple more books in me, that are eager to find a home: a fiction book and a children's book. And there are alot more after that.....
Let me close this and get back to it, my precious friends and readers. I need to pay attention, focus, focus, focus on my task at hand....writing my book...
U R loved by me!
I find this info super encouraging as you and I achieve our most desireable goals:
Did you know that:
· Einstein’s teachers told his parents he would never amount to anything.
· Thomas Edison went broke four times.
· Michael Jordan was cut from his high school basketball team.
· A newspaper editor fired Walt Disney for having no good ideas.
· Steven Spielberg was put into a class for students with learning disabilities.
· Colonel Sanders talked to 1005 people before he could find one person willing to try his recipe.
How did they succeed where so many others fail? Because they each had a grand and sincere vision of what they wanted to accomplish. With a grand vision, there are no such things as permanent failures. There are only temporary setbacks. *
So, friends, hang in there and never give up. Last night, oh, I was a weepy girl....feeling blue about the struggles of juggling all this magical career stuff and making dreams come true...but I believe God blessed me with this sweet info today...so I'm passing it along to you because you know that I love you all and care so much about your well being and your own dreams coming true, too. Be true to self. Own your life.
Read this my dears: http://www.topachievement.com/persevere.html
*I found the above information at: http://searchwarp.com/swa141107.htm
Fast. Big. Two Wheels. - See even as a youngster that's what I wanted. I had a need for a big, beefy bike...a bike that was even way bigger than me. Note the Richard Petty sticker on the bike...it was all about speed and big. Big Speed, Two Wheels.
That bicycle -- I loved it. A Yard Sale treasure. My mother said, it's too big. NO! It was perfect. You see how tiny I am on that bike! But I had my own way of steading it and hopping up on the pedals and taking off. I loved how that bike would just sail me along the road. That love for two wheels grew ever stronger.... it became an obsession.
Before the motorcycle love affair began...it was bicycles. Oh I would go on Centurian Rides...that's how insane I was. Big bicycle quests every weekend. I'd easily do a 25 mile a day jaunt...sometimes as much as 60 miles. But the big 100 miles that was really challenging...hills, the whole nine. A real challenge. I mean it was awesome. My legs would be shaking and the next day, I could barely lift my legs to walk I would have trashed them from going the distance and doing those hills.
The only bicycle I have now is little Lollipop - the vintage Schwinn that I got at a yard sale last year. $8.00 find. That wonderful freedom machine you see in the photo above is some where I don't know...my parents got rid of all that stuff I had stored at their house. Yeah, I wish I still had that bike. But I had no where to put my stuff because I lived in a super tiny apartment in NYC. The Shimano bike that I had (that's when Shimano actually had their own brand of bikes) -- the one that I did all my amazing treks on -- was stolen from my NYC apartment building -- the locks were sawed completely off. Can you imagine? I was devastated, in such shock I didn't know what to do...I was pretty much lost without that bike. I couldn't believe it. Someday I'll get another one...but that has been quite a long wait for my someday.
Two wheels and a fast bike...that's my ticket to ride. xoSasha
a Jay Hart sandwich.
Yes....Chop Smiths is about deluxe custom bike building. It is rock n roll n skateboards. It is loud guitars and complex lyrics. That's the inspiration behind Jay Hart's builds. His bike builds are lyrical and complex. Aggressive like rock. And as personal as a skateboard.
Malysa Wyse and I decided to go to the Smoke Out...rekindle our wind sisterhood, after all it was eight years since I'd last seen her....a long time...
She was amazed at the artistry of bikes there, as was I -- sheer beauty --- sheer down and dirty elegance....can you imagine describing the sweet sweat of a custom build that tears up your knuckles elegant. But they are elegant. The elegance is in the refinement, the pursuit of individual excellence that makes the statement that This is ART! Motorcycles are art.
What I love about The Horse magazine is its raw and realistic presentation of the lifestyle and the machines...the holiness of the machines. Tore to the core. Exposing the soul of rider and ride. Speak! And you are welcomed to compose a winding piece -- elabroative and bold, sometimes jarring, whatever needs to be communicated...the craft of writing is so appreciated in The Horse.
And that brings me back to Mr. Jay Hart...the chop smith....he is elaborate and bold...his designs jarring and brilliant. So many of the bikes that I saw at the Smoke Out truly belong in an alternative gallery of artistic expression having to do with all things motorcycles. In fact, perhaps I'll suggest that to Hammer....
Peace & love.... and happy trails and keep on s'milin...
Me and the boys from Music City Motorcycles!
Well, I found me a home here in Nashville. A motorcycle home. It's Panhead Phil's Music City Motorcycles...right in the heart of Music City. Oh he and I are going to be building Dirty Flirty together, which will be based on a rigid frame with an 1200 EVO engine. It's going to be the most glamourous rat bike you've ever laid eyes on...yes indeed. Now, she will have treasures adheared to her sexy curvy frame and she will have fabricated limbs that mirror a most celebrated Greek goddess.... This little bike will be flying so close to the pavement that my controls are going to have to be lifted higher on the bike so that the stillettos don't get sanded down by the asphalt!
Girls you know what I mean! Dirty Flirty will remind you of a most voluptous burlesque dancer, ornate and unashamed to be so totally feminine and all girl. If there is a way for me to ride around with a boa on the handlebars, you better be sure that I'm going to do that. Believe that this lil' Chrome Carni is all about the beauty of a cheap thrill!
So, please visit www.musiccitymotorcycle.com - and don't forget to come to Nashville for the big garage bash on September 22nd!!!!!
Peace, Love and Pipes
So, I decided I would combine this passion for riding with other passions, that of performing and writing music; and writing books and articles. I have composed a wonderful fiction book, though it is in the progress now. She (the book) is a story about female riders. She is good and it is about the journey. It is about the evolution that happens on the open road, saddled upon a chrome horse -- and what that chrome companion means to us.
This book, She, though that isn't going to be the title, it is my pet name for my first work of fiction in the form of a novel --- is going to reveal to the world so many things about the journey; about sisterhood; about how strangers are angels in disguise. Those who come along on our life journey and provide a sparkle to it.
The characters I reveal here because they are names which will linger long after the story is told. GypZ, Cherry, Jolene, Angie. These are the sisters. These are the sisters who will show the world what it means to have a passion for riding, and the journey of life. These are the sisters who are just like you and me.
Look at how FREAKIN' cool my father is! I just think this dude is the bomb. I mean he was restoring cars as a greaser guy way back when...he's a brilliant artist, too. When I think of how my father sacrificed to put food on the table day after day and dealing with unemployment issues from labor strikes and layoffs, this man is a hero. I remember as a little girl seeing my dad's hands totally scarred and cut-up from day after day working with metal, fabricating and so on for his job. They were permanently stained with oil and grease from working on cars and at his regular job as a "tin-knocker" sheet metal worker.
Poppi, I LOVE YOU MORE THAN WORDS CAN EVEN SAY. Thank you for the gift of Life. You're the coolest Dude!! Thanks for never telling me to act like a lady, when I was always just this girlie, hippie biker chick with Rapunzel-length hair.
Lunch today was eventful.
My friend David and I were served by an eight year old child. She was our waitress.
Her mom works in the kitchen at the restaurant. This pint-size server was helping the other servers.
Now, let me tell you about the light that this child was to the customers. Why, she would bound up to the table, completely focused on the task at hand and enthusiastically serve, and ask questions, such as "Does it taste good!" "Do you want more ice!" "Do you want another drink!" "Are you all finished? Can I take this out of your way!" She danced while she was asking these questions, and just locked eyes with whom ever she was speaking.
Her name was RENEE! So she announced! She lived fully in the moment of her task at hand. She was so delightful to watch. And then, I thought about some things when I left the restaurant. Things that were inspired by watching little Renee so engrossed in her moment as a server.
I thought about some of the other servers...their minds were heavy with other thoughts when they approached the table. Their lives having been colored by experience. Been colored by their enthusiasm being, shall I say, erased....or dented. If you were to have told little Renee that she cannot do or be whatever she had set out to do -- and in this case it was waitressing, she would have ignored you...and continued on her merry little way. But, maybe she would have had a dent -- in her feelings that may have altered the course of her day....of her thoughts.
I immersed myself in Renee's enthusiasm. She was out to do her best. Show her skill, show that SHE CAN DO IT -- just like the big girls whom she shadowed in their roles as a server. It made me think about the fragility of us all...as little children, deep inside, who want to be praised and understood and encouraged -- we want to be considered precious and fragile and strong at the same time. We want to be known as little and big. We want to be noticed and respected...treasured and held. Touched and loved and spoken to with interest and kindness.
To live life with the enthusiasm of a child, no matter what we HAVE to do in life. I want to approach life that way. . .because we all know the have to do's --- the jobs that we end up having to do, to pay our dues, to get to the destination. Like paying tolls on the highway to our dreams. But let us be enthusiastic and hopeful, and skip along, KNOWING with faith and purpose that what we have set out to do, so moves us, makes us dance, makes us feel special and strong...no matter what that is.
We may not SEE the end in sight with our plain eyes...but we can feel it in our gut. And that ought to make us BEAM like little RENEE, so that no matter what we have to do, we may BEAM with enthusiasm, knowing deep in our souls that the minute that we are spending, we are living and we shall do it with enthusiasm. And if the minute we are living is wraught with a tragedy or situation that so pains us, let us be able to seek comfort from the giant enthusiasm of love inside ourselves, that cares for us and speaks to us like the most important little big person in the world.
Let us live with the wonder and enthusiasm of a child, in each moment. Let us refresh ourselves with that boundless energy and hope. And let us GREET one another as if the other is that special, bright light, greet the soulful child of the other even if that person is a bitch of a person...let us NOT greet that dark energy...but realize the bounding energy, enthusiastic and strong and willing and able and wanting to connect with that wonderful childlike innocence.
Let's make the child in another smile....and let's make the child within ourselves smile.
This is Miss Gypz Jingles. She was once a shelter kitty, then a foster kitty. I adopted her and she adopted me at the end of July last year. We were destined to become family.
This little baby feline teaches me so much. She is the fine example of love, and independence. Her personality is that of curious, social, intellectual and ambitious. Yes, she has ambitions. And, she is quite opinionated.
Every morning she ventures onto her terrace, upon which she is posing in the photo. I will say to her, "Let's go say hello to the world Gypz!" And I'll dramatically whoosh open the french terrace door and she'll leap out there chatting at the birds and then she'll either go sit in her tent or in her kitty stroller and peer out into the wonderland before her. The terrace is a second floor perch off the house so this is quite a royal view for such a tiny feline.
Gypz is adventurous too. She likes to go camping, in her own little world. When she enters her little tent, she transforms into a little lioness and her ears twitch and move -- receiving the sounds of the world. I love watching her because her world and perspective is so queenly and natural. She is so in tune with nature -- the ebb and flow of everything around her fascinates her. The littlest movement she notices. She is so aware of her environment.
Gypz Jingles uses her senses full blast. All six senses are alive and alert; she lives completely in the moment. And it's a wonderful learning experience to observe her every movement, the sounds she makes -- her interpretation of life happening around her. She doesn't miss a thing. She's fully involved even if she is so still with her little eyes closed...she is completely and lovingly involved with the art of living life.
My feline is quite appreciative. She is in a state of thankfulness all the time. She is humorous and doesn't take anything too seriously. She desires to experience everything full tilt and is grateful to do so. Her life as a shelter kitty, then as a foster kitty, has not been easy -- but I believed she remained hopeful, perhaps in a state of grace somehow. Because she received me cautiously...as her new mother. She took her time to get to know me. Her taking her time, to me, meant that she really wanted to connect, not just throw herself at who ever would give her love and the time of day. No, Gypz wanted a quality relationship. It was evident in the way in which she did not campaign herself at the adoption place. She was absolutely unemotional, unattached -- did not throw herself up against the cage with grand purr....no, she has purrrpose to her action.
Purrhaps that's why she and I connected so very spiritually and emotionally. My kitty gives me shelter...she shelters me from the past...living there. Oh, you know how thoughts creep their way in....she pulls me into the here and now. She lets me know that strong and purrposeful is about living in the moment and tasting it, feeling it full on. She shelters me from thinking negatively about if, when, and so on, about my career....the future of it all.
To Gypz Jingles, life is all happening as it should, unfolding like a never-before-seen theatrical presentation. And she is fully involved in her six senses even though she may be still, with her eyes closed.
NOTE: Gypz Jingles was adopted from the fine foster care of Nashville Cat Rescue. They rescued this baby kitty from an animal shelter in Bowling Green, KY, according to her paperwork. The precious little went through a tough time. Thank GOD the Nashville Cat Rescue crew rescued this awesome feline and spared her little life! Please support your local animal adoption centers and make it a goal to investigate pet adoption through rescue organizations. These animals NEED good homes and love. Because they have soooo much to give to a willing and loving human family.
http://www.petfinder.com/shelters/TN369.html - Nashville Cat Rescue.... and the overall web is www.petfinder.com and you can click on the organizations in your area that have little animals to adopt.
More about Gypz Jingles: http://www.bikerlady.com/portfolio/GypZ%20Jingles.htm
and here's a pictorial about Annie, my previous kitty of 20+ years! http://www.bikerlady.com/portfolio/annie.htm
She gazes upon her little World with all Her children inhabiting the Globe and wonders why can't they understand that THEY ARE ALL RELATED?
Why can't they help one another, as I have encouraged them to do so? Why do they IGNORE the cries, why do they silence the laughter? Why do they DO NOTHING when a whole lotta something needs to happen? And how can they think that all their failures have to do with me? And that all their successes have nothing to do with me -- that they have achieved everything they possess and all their accomplishments without the gifts of achievement, intellect, resources -- and so on...without an instant of my DIVINE GUIDANCE? This is what our GREAT MOTHER EARTH ponders.
The little earth spinning so fragile in space is simply linked by a single thread of gravity at the axis. What can I do? -- Mother Earth thinks out loud as tears pool around the moon of her right EYE. The SUN carries hope in the passion fire leaping off its surface...her watchful left eye that warms the globe.
Mother Earth wants every individual on Her Globe, Her Real World, to greet the SOUL of another, never mind just receiving the name, a hand shake, offering a simple "hello."
If we gather in the TRUTH as all times, the idea of activity follows next.
She is highly estatic at the activities of her children who so care and so love one another and the Garden EARTH....our little home spinning in the Universe. But that is not enough. WE ALL NEED TO LOVE AND CARE FOR OUR EXISTENCE, OUR EARTH, ONE ANOTHER. THERE ARE NO EXCEPTIONS.
Because, that simple little thread of gravity that keeps the Globe ever spinning - is the AXIS OF LOVE.
This, my friends, is truly THE REAL WORLD.
You know, this fragment of memory comes to me....it was while riding in the bitter cold through Wyoming, alone, near penniless, and returning to the due-paying whilst trying to make all my dreams come true: You see, I wanted to quit. I wanted to pull over and cry and shout! The sky was as angry as I felt...thunderous and striking the ground with heat. The tears rained down my face as the sky pelted bullets of water from the deep dark clouds at 8am that morning.
I felt terribly alone. Caught in a fury of emotions from being frustrated that my dreams were taking so long to come true and so very tired from trying to prove myself, deal with artistic rejection from those gatekeepers that are the conduits to bringing art to the world.
The horizon ahead was no longer dark...there was a silver glow between the clouds and the ground...a new horizon was ahead of me.
But the average middle-school kid polled said that Memorial Day is the day when the pool opens and school closes. It's for shopping. Big sales, you know. It's for welcoming summer.
When folks say to me have a Happy Holiday. A Happy Holiday? I think. For Memorial Day?
Memorial Day is sad. It is hard reality. Cold truth. Tears for loved ones who gave themselves for this country. It is somber. It's about fighting and struggle.
Please review this photo journey:
"Do non Veterans recognize the significance of Memorial Day?" This rhetorical question was pondered during a service today that I heard on NPR. "It is our job to keep it in their attention span."
I went to a service here in Nashville. It was poorly attended. Though there was quite a number of folks there before I arrived, still, it was poorly attended. There were a sea of seniors, with tears in their eyes. There were families. Some camped out at the gravestone of their soldier. It is another world to be at the veterans cemetary.
If this is a Holiday, then it should be observed the way Easter or Christmas is savored. There are no big stores open on that day. Just as Jesus was born and died and we remember, let us remember who gave their lives so that we can have life.
Thanks for the great pictures. It isn't often you see WAVES any more. Like the men, we are losing many of the best ones. I was sad on Memorial Day because I could hear the taps and the guns from my house. I love the parades. We used to watch the parades from our window in Brooklyn. They were big stuff in those days. Now it seems like it is a dying art. Sometimes the Veterans bring tears to my eyes. They gave up a lot. Some were only teenagers when they left home. I was stationed at the Naval Hospital in Bethesda, Maryland and saw many wounded sailors and marines. Their spirits were always great. No matter what they always had a kind word. I sometimes wonder where they are today. Oh well, just reminiscing!!!! Hope all is well, Love Aunt Olive
Thank you so much for giving and sacrificing...
Yes! So true this quote! When someone begins to tell you NO and starts emitting negative vibes, you just turn up the YES volume and awash a WAVE OF CONFIDENCE and DROWN OUT THAT negative energy. Just stand up to it.
WHO THE HECK IS ANYBODY TO TELL US NO AND CRUSH OUT LITTLE DREAMS AND GOALS? NOBODY. Everyone has opinions, just like hiney cracks... And alot of times those opinions STINK. Just odorous noise.
Stay in the GARDEN OF HOPE with your dreams! ladeedadeeeeeda! Nurture the seeds with the food of inspiration. Water the roots with faith. Then SMILE A SUNSHINE POWERFUL grin all over them so that those little dreams and goals will GROW UP TO BE BIG! FILLED WITH FRUIT! FILLED WITH BLOSSOMS!!!!
Then weed out those that try to CHOKE OFF YOUR LIFE LINE. PRUNE THE SHOOTS THAT ARE DRAINING THE ENTIRE GOAL.
Make sure that your life is carefully filled with flowing rivers of divine inspiration from our GOOD Father in HEAVEN. The great UNIVERSE is filled with righteous information -- gormeut morsals of moral sustenance. Eat 'em up.
Anything BAD for you, creates BAD energy. Negative = BAD.
Now there's BAD to the BONE, as in Beautiful And Divine - that sorta BAD is way different.
I'm talking about the disgusting taste of crap that people season on your dreams....to make that delicious divine nugget taste awful and you think WELL I CAN'T SAVOR THIS DREAM. It's awful! It tastes like it'll never be a delicious experience.
NO NO NO! Don't let ANYTHING OR ANYONE belittle your precious ambitions. EVER. You pray about those things that make you feel like you can conquer the mountain as you strive for your goal. Oh yes....keep on keeping on. PRAY about direction for those precious little thoughts.
When a person comes along and says, to your heart and soul ambition, NAH, it'll never happen...for whatever reason. Remember to take those words and let them crumble and fall right in front of you AS IF THEY NEVER EXISTED. Those terrible words just shatter because they are the mirror of the ONE telling you such misery. SO THEY DON'T EXIST FOR YOU!
AND MOST IMPORTANTLY: Don't EVER speak those negative words or thoughts to yourself about your precious beautiful dreams and goals! THAT'S THE SAME AS SPEAKING TO YOUR PRECIOUS CHILD AND CRUSHING THEIR DREAMS. Because, in reality, we must become child like and innocent, with great hope, with great imagination, with great gleeful energy, thinking that we can do whatever we wish that makes us joyful and feel on top of the world. We don't think little, we think big...because even the very biggest ambition, is precious and little and tender and amazing in it's own way. Like a star in the mass canvas of heaven, twinkling and dancing in the evening. LITTLE but enormous power.
Anyone who trys to belittle your ambitions and comes to you like a fading light...dim and nitwit....you just amp it up and overcome that darkness, my friends.
Love love love! To all!
A Southern Man asks a Northern Chick to marry him. Be with him FOREVER. He's a gentle giant....loving dude. Just loves me for me. Doesn't want to change me in fact encourages me to be even more of myself than I even knew that I was. The dude loves New York City. But he has to live here in Nashville, for his job, his job as a professional, touring musician. He's on the road all the time! So a great deal of the time I'm pretty much alone working on my art projects and so on. That's when I get wrapped up in my thoughts and wondering where I ought to be in life...you know. But he's a pretty strong draw and a safe haven...all that love he blesses me with is so DIVINE. This freespirit is such a freebird. And he wants me that way. Has no desire to change me....encourages me to fly and experience life full throttle. "Jest call home, baby," he'll say in his South Carolina drawl.
I've NEVER been married. Neither has he.
He's an amazing person. Very loving, kind, social, extremely talented -- a good ol' boy. His friends are also really great. He's a care giver in the most charming sense of the world. He's everybody's rock.... loves to love and be friendly.
Dude loves me so much that he just stares at me with a big smile and tells me how pretty I am. All the time. How smart I am. He encourages me to be high voltage, high octane silly and pure as a Sasha belle can be ... Pure in the sense of : the truest form of little ol' me. And he's brought out some nice flowers in the garden of this Eve. Flowers I didn't know I could be.
The other night, I was all wound up -- going at 200 miles per hour. I was all emotional about missing my family, friends and home. Well, that man just swept me up in his arms and feather lightly placed me in his arms and just caressed me and stroked my hair and my face. Well, I was OUT like a light. His touch is like a DRUG, people. He would say sweet things to me while he was lovin' me up like that. I felt like a tiny faerie in his arms because he's such a big guy. His voice is all soft and deep and completely healing.
I think he's an angel. Truly. An angel in disguise. He let's God use him all the time for things. And you know what, he's rarely ever been to church. Doesn't know a lick of the bible. But he's more Christian than many Christians I know. He loves Jesus very much, even though he doesn't intellectually know much about the Son. He knows the Son, believe me.
So, this idea of marriage is a big one. That would mean that I would have to live in Nashville, though, he's thinking of buying an apartment in the outer banks of Brooklyn together someday, which would be awesome...out in the hood somewhere. I'd live out in the hood for sure. Near the water...oh yeah. I'm make it work. It may not be Manhattan, but, folks, to be near my beloved amazing family and super friends up North, in addition to being a Southern chick, okay...that sounds peachy. Plus my man would be able to take those stellar musical skills and jam with my many jazz and rock music friends in NYC.
So, once again, I consider, "Who Said A City Girl Can't Be Country?" especially when she has a gentle giant music and motorcycle chrome charming, as her southern rock.
Oh, NY is for the rich only. : ( all of us artist's are being pushed out! It's soooooooooo SAD. We love NYC so much. Even Brooklyn, Queens is becoming too expensive for US! The BRONX is the only reasonable $ place left? Sigh.
and read this latest article from Crain's NY
Tell, me, why every rich person in the world is buying up all the apartments and renting them for insane $$$$$$$????? So now the most amazing city in the world is ONLY for the wealthy who USE our gorgeous, bohemian town as a place to invest and shop. While we artists and natives LIVE and BREATHE NYC....it's in our blood. It's our pulse. These people...those with the money to buy up our little Manhattan ISLAND. . . .don't even know what it's like to ride a subway or a bus. To be ONE with the beat and the rhythm of this tiny little piece of land that is the most important influence to us native artists there.... We're being driven out!!!!
We CAN'T go home!
Being away from my hometown, is being away from my family. My mother, my father, my sisters and brothers, nieces and nephews, and life long friends. It's being away from all I know and love.
Maybe I chose a way that is, well, too hard? What the heck. I don't know. I'm so confused sometimes.
My hometown is New York. My hometown all of my adult life has been New York City. My mother comes from Long Island. My father is from Queens. My Grandmothers are from Brooklyn. Oh we bounced around alot, just outside of New York; my dad moving whereever he could find work in the early days.
New York...the boroughs....New York the lifestyle. These are my roots.
Since losing my NYC apartment to circumstances bitterly beyond my control, it has been a struggle on a daily basis to accept my life in Nashville.
I had to leave behind sentimental furniture in New York because I couldn't afford to move it. I could barely afford the gas to go and get my things. It was an emotional hell, I tell you. I left New York with an ol' 82 dodge cargo van peeing oil, and she decided to overheat and stop rush hour traffic, at, yeah, you got it, the Lincoln Tunnel. Lucky for Port Authority, they guided me to get me out of the way of the Tunnel's mouth leading to New Jersey. There I was, at their rescue garage, near broke, all my shit packed up in this ol' van...having coffee with the rescuers, thinking.... okay, I've got to be strong and get through this....
That was last year. Last May. It's been a year since. And it doesn't get any easier. Even though it will...I have to have faith about it. I lost my tiny apartment on 82nd Street, while I was living temporarily in Nashville, working on a music project and just taking a break in the south.
Yep. I want to go home. I want to be at home in New York City. My mother earth. But I cannot go home. Read the article above. And you'll know why. It's so painful. It's a knot in the stomach. I miss summertime at the Jersey shore and out in the surf of Long Island.
Oh, don't tell me about it's meant to be. If everything operated on the "meant to be" trip, then we'd have no freewill, no choice -- and things wouldn't occur just on circumstance. Meant to be is reserved for those who truly surrender their will to GOD. To the FATHER.
If you surrender your will, and say, Lord, only thy will be done...then things are, meant to be. Your will entirely becomes the will of the Lord.
But it doesn't save you from the trials and tribulations of life. No, it helps you to cope with them.
Is it the Father's will that I'm here. In Nashville? Maybe. I'm renting a fantastic cottage. It's spectacular. Though I can't afford to pay my gas bill from this past winter.
I have a hard time coping with the loss of my New York City apartment. Yeah, I shed tears about losing my home....that was only about 400 square feet in size anyway. But, it was my home...nestled in a city that was mother earth to me.
But now I have to find a new home, maybe? And new roots. Could it be Nashville. Folks, I don't know. I don't know if I fit in here. I'm too artsy fartsy...
Nashville and New York City. Can it go together? Well, according to the CMA it could with the CMA Awards going to NYC two years ago for Country Takes Manhattan. But they didn't care about us country musicians who actually live in Manhattan....we were left out of everything, except the mayor's office invited a few of us citybillies to his mansion for a CMA shindig he was hosting. cool....but I was here in Nashville at the moment...working on a music project.
Well, me being here is: Manhattan takes Country. And I'm called a Yankee anyway. I feel like I'm in a meadow, alone. Just me and my art, and Miss Gypz Jingles, my cat....and Tigerlily, my motorcycle. Miss Tigerlily had to surrender her beautiful NYC license plates two weeks ago. Sigh.
Who Said A City Girl Can't Be Country? - Well, who cares?
I just want to go home and have a delicious Katz knish with spicy mustard, and a plate of crispy french fries. I want to go see my friends play at 55 Bar, Hank's, at SouthPaw, at Pete's back room, at the Baggot Inn.
I want to curl up in my dad's lap and watch the news. I want to annoy my mother with my silly antics that make her laugh anyway. I want to have a Starbucks with my big sister, Donna, and race around the Hamptons in her corvette that her awesome husband bought her for her birthday. I want to play cowboy and Indians with my nieces and nephews. I want to get ridiculously silly with my two sisters and brother Linda, Lou, Brian....and laugh, laugh, laugh.
This weekend is my nieces communion. In Yorktown Heights.
I won't be there. Fu*k.
I want to go home. But I can no longer afford home. And I don't know where else to go.
So I stay in my home in Nashville and do my artwork. I hoola hoop in my yard. I bartend at a local bar in Antioch. I pick up odds and ends work whereever I can, while I do my art. I'm in the land of $8 - $10 an hour.... $20 below what I made in NYC. And they say it's because it's cheaper to live in the south, that's why.
Bullshit. Gas is still nearly $3.50. Food costs just about the same. So does utilities. The only difference is rent. And, let's see, last time I checked you're still talking about somewhere between $700 - $900 for a decent place to live here in the South. In NYC, it's far more money now....but still. Who can make ends meet on $8 or $10 per hour? Anywhere!
That's why our economy is in such trouble with this false reading that it's flourishing. IT'S BECAUSE OF CREDIT CARD PURCHASES. I don't know one person, outside of the socialites and celebrities, who can live on their income. NOT ONE. Most people have credit cards, or have inherited money, or something like that.
But, here I sit trying to figure it all out. Where the hell on earth do I belong? Nashville is okay....but I NEED friends and family. I've got to get out and make friends...but WHERE? Sitting at a bar? Gosh....no I need to figure out the art community here....burst onto the scene somewhere and find some cool people to hang out with.....
Oh, how I miss my little piece of earth in NYC. The little piece of earth that I hung onto for years....the humble one room that I rented for $975 per month...so tiny and incredibly modest. It's gone...long gone...now being rented for over double that. God, what to do?
Dig into Nashville, perhaps...yes...okay! ? It's a sweet little town. I can get used to it....but,
I want to go home. But can no longer afford home. But that's where the decent jobs are that I can secure that support my art. The jobs where you don't have to have a degree. It's all about experience. Now the ratio of income to rent price is so off kilter. People are living in their offices, folks. Or you've got a one bedroom shared by four or five people....just to engage in a job that is the ticket to a strong career? Oh my goodness....is there any government person that cares what's happening to our world? When one can't go home.
I don't know where to go. I don't know what the f*ck to do.
The challenging way.
The way where there is no definitions.
The path where the outcome is so blizzard over and one cannot see beyond the bend. Or else it's empty with seemingly no direction, except the inner divine compass that's often times so hard to read and accept, but yet the most resourceful tool. Maybe there is fog...as in foggy notion if the desired result will be achieved. There is nothing sure about the path. The only thing that is sure is the path leads to a summit, a goal, a rainbow's end maybe. Something desire is at the end of the path, that branches off to a new found perspective, once all the challenges have been overcome, once one has been pushed to the limit. Once one has burst through their life experience boundaries and accepted that there is much more than meets the eye, and the unaware mind.
The climbers on Everest right now so deeply inspire me. The soldiers in Iraq so deeply make me wonder. The plight of genocide now assaulting African communities is deeply troubling.
Let me talk about the Everest climbers, of which within the Himex climbing expedition there is my very dearest wind sister, Betsy Huelskamp. She is climbing Mt. Everest. But, I'd like to discuss the PEAK. The SUMMIT. THE TOP OF THE MOUNTAIN that seems so near impossible to attain. It puts the human spirit, mind, and body to an extreme test of will, of faith, of power. Pushing past limits. Climbing is an extraordinary of activity because the most demand is placed on the body first. Then the mind. Then the spirit. Because the spirit can achieve many things, beyond what the mind and body are capable. Because the mind will place insane limitations...the mind, the filtering system of earthly existence. The mind that makes choices that governs activity.
If we attempt goals that we know will be ridiculously difficult, but the will we have inside and the confidence that we possess suggests that we have a fair percentage of achieving the desired summit, what a beautiful way in which to test are abilities and fully live life. So many of us have bottled our extremely precious energy and reserve it for nothing.... It is dormant. We do not allow ourselves to think beyond our own psychological limitations based upon our experiences...whatever they maybe....based upon the good, bad and ugly there are definitions of what we can and cannot do, without even trying we decide and make the choice to close a chapter of our lives that begs to be explored. To close the door of opportunity or slam shut the window of possibilities, because there is a degree of discomfort so we'd rather seal ourselves up in the fake comfort zone. Like rolling the windows up and blasting the aircondition so that NO real clammy, hot, discomfort can reach us; or we blast the heat in our sealed container, so that NO nasty COLD can make us shiver -- and experience deeply the sensation of a chill.
The climbers are fully exposed to the grueling climb to achieve their dream to summit the mountain. How can we fully expose ourselves to gruely climb and achieve our own dreams which nag us on a daily basis....to summit...to narrowly edge along a slim traverse, to hoist ourselves up the ropes of that cliff and climb, climb, climb! Whether we make that summit all the way to the tip - top, or not....it is the attempt and where will that lead us? What other path or summit awaits us near or at the top?
The soldiers in Iraq who are engaged in battle. Who are laying down their lives. Who are not sure of the outcome and cannot see the destination at all. It is a gigantic mystery. But they are serving, selflessly. They are sacrificing so much. They chose this path of service. To defend. To protect. To be like Archangel Michael. There is no guarantee. You skirt death. If you can. You greet each day with the angst of the mission. But you march on. You wonder what the day holds. You wonder about many things back home where it is comfortable and secure, but now you are locked into the mission. There is no time for self. Only service. The is choosing the hard way. Especially when death and mystery surround you.
Death and mystery make me wonder. We know that we die and depart the earth. It is a mystery. It is a path. And we think we can choose the easy way out of this. There is no easy way out. The mystery is in the living. Well, and as best as one can. And in service. I believe that service should be incorporated into daily living. Some kind of service. In our jobs, no matter what we do for a living, we are servicing someone of something and we should do so to the absolute pure degree of perfection. Of pushing ourselves past the limits of mediocrity and be as the highest skilled craftsman who take enormous pride in their work. We need to take our activity in life and execute it to the degree of perfect beauty...to the absolute purest ability to do so. We can because we have the freedom to choose and do so. We can choose the way in which we live based upon our physical and mindful ability to do so. And I say the very absolute purity of our physical and mindful ability. If we are born with a challenging physical disability, we find the purest ability within it so thus there is no dis-ability, but pure ability within the uncontrollable disability. For example, the great scientist, Professor Stephen Hawking, has Motor Neurone Disease and Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis. But this does not stop the great Professor http://www.hawking.org.uk/ - his mind and spirit explodes into the greatest absolute purity to overcome his physical limitations. The challenge is beyond comprehension as he painstakingly sits in his wheelchair and composes books, with an assistant, who must read his facial expressions in order to understand just what word he intends to "write" while composing a volume of scientific findings and theories via a special computer program with pull down word choice menus. Professor "speaks" at 15 words per minute through a synthesizer. This is choosing the best possible way in which to live, which is far difficult than our lives.
So how do we choose our lives? Many opt to place unnecessary challenges that are illusions.
The plight of Darfur, however, is not an illusion. www.savedarfur.org - this is absolute hard way imposed upon a population. This from their website:
Darfur has been embroiled in a deadly conflict for over three years.
At least 400,000 people have been killed; more than 2 million innocent civilians
have been forced to flee their homes and now live in displaced-persons camps in
Sudan or in refugee camps in neighboring Chad; and more than 3.5 million men,
women, and children are completely reliant on international aid for survival.
Not since the Rwandan genocide of 1994 has the world seen such a calculated
campaign of displacement, starvation, rape, and mass slaughter.
Since early 2003, Sudanese armed forces and Sudanese government-backed
militia known as “Janjaweed” have been fighting two rebel groups in Darfur, the
Sudanese Liberation Army/Movement (SLA/SLM) and the Justice and Equality
Movement (JEM). The stated political aim of the rebels has been to compel the
government of Sudan to address underdevelopment and the political
marginalization of the region. In response, the Sudanese government’s
regular armed forces and the Janjaweed – largely composed of fighters of nomadic
background – have targeted civilian populations and ethnic groups from which the
rebels primarily draw their support – the Fur, Masalit and Zaghawa (notes about
our use of ethnic terminology).
These are people climbing a mountain of faith and hope to get to summit where they will find they way to peace and community; to free will and the safety of their heritage before the violence. These are a people who have been robbed of their ability to experience life and live fully and wonderfully. The horrific experiences that they must survive on a daily basis is beyond out comprehension. This is a vastly different definition of what it means to choose the hard way. Because, these dear people, they have NO choice to live. The don't even have a choice to escape this genocide.
When you hear about these terrible episodes around the globe, remember, people, to step out of your comfort zone and pursue those goals that seem impossible, and expand your horizons because these precious and incredibly innocent civilians of Darfur cannot. . . Though it may seem like a mountain to climb, choose to serve in some way, those who are so less fortunate due to circumstances beyond their control.
So, with this my dear friends I say choose the hard way which helps you to expand and grow and reach beyond your limitations, beyond your comprehension, the path whereby the resistence is simply overcoming your fears, inhibitions, and conquering self-doubt, hurdling over the moments when you feel like you cannot forge onward because your legs are tired from climbing, your arms are tired of trying to embrace the wall you wish to scale.
To reach a goal in life is not easy. And anybody or anything that tells you that life is easy, is not explaining something well. You see, what we gather along for the journey, such as the ropes to help us climb, the experience to scale a larger mountain, the basic training in order to serve, etc., are the skills that assist us to achieve our goals set forth.
Don't let life pass you by because you want everything comfortable and easy. Step out, climb the wall, serve, and be sure to realize that we are all one. We need to be the best we can be in this life so that our contributions can be used to better this world, can inspire, encourage, and give breath to purpose.
you see, i'm writing and recording these songs pretty much home grown style. for now. what's fun about that is, when the final versions are finally recorded....whew....quite the production I would imagine. for now, they are CAMPFIRE versions. you know....versions of my songs as if we were all sitting around the campfire after a loooooooooooooooong day of riding far in the saddle.
we're just singing out loud and living out loud. tuned into our moment.
i felt i had to say these things, because the expectations of perfection are becoming increasingly soul-less. plus, in the music business, that's important lingo apparently. this campfire girl is just all about the crack snap pop and sizzle of a magic natural moment. lots of the songs i like to sit with and let 'em reveal the most awesome journey it's going to take not only me, but all of us on.
have a wonderful day...and week...
Hang In There My Friends - NEW SONG.
New song written, recorded by Patrick Lassiter and ME, Sasha. And God. It was Jesus speaking to me on Easter Sunday. The link is at the end of this blog.
I'm convinced the song was delivered to me because I was feelin' blue...heavy in soul. I missed my friends and family in NYC. My daddy's been ill with this mylodysplastic bullshit disease and I just wanted to be with my daddy and mommy. Yeah, my daddy and mommy and hunt for Easter Eggs with the lil' nephews. My sister and her boys went to visit the folks. I wanted to be there so badly. But circumstances didn't allow for the 20 hour journey north.
I dragged myself to a church on West End Avenue here in Nashville. I so longed for my Central Baptist Church on 92nd Street in Manhattan. But I visited this Catholic big house. Couldn't see a thing. Standing room only in a jammed foyer. I figured, wow, so many folks come for a bit of gospel. Well, that makes for a loving world if only for a little while.
I propped myself up against the wall and heaved a heavy sigh. I sighed about missing my home, my family and friends. I sighed about alot of things. But I signed to, as a , whew, thank GOD I'm alive and Jesus is raised. I hung around the church for awhile, had the communion and said my grace while walking around in the street.
I didn't want to wait for the grand blessing that would end the service. I thought I'd just....well...talk to Jesus as my own grand blessing.
Oh, I whispered, Jesus, I'm sad. I ache for my friends and family. What am I doing? Should I stay in Nashville? I'm working hard to make all my dreams come true and I'm standing in the zone of dreams come true. Right there! But it's been so much sacrifice. It was times like these, the holidays, the gathering moments with long beloved friends and family NOT THERE, that makes the heart ache. The soul feel heavy.
So, the small still voice spoke: Hang In There My Friend. And then the song was born. Out of my gut. Out of my heart. 'Cause I was out of my mind with the hard core effort of striving to make a living as an artist. That limbo stage where ALL this amazing stuff is just about to happen in my life...but I'm hundred yards or so from the summit of the mountain top. The air is thin. And I ain't givin' in, givin' up, or givin' out....and it could be sooo easy to do.
The inspiration came on fast, and strong. I wrote that song in 15 minutes. Pat and I recorded it that Easter afternoon. There was no family's house to attend for the holidays. So, we held a jam session. Hang In There. It's a work in progress.... and I want the whole world to hear it because, it's presented with sheer Hang In There passion and I hope it becomes a blessing a true blessing that will help many folks to Hang In There....because I care as a fellow human being who's been there.
Hang in There. That's what Michael Parks tells the dude in the "cage" on Then Came Bronson when he rolls up to the stop light on his coolio Sportster.
So, Jesus told me to Hang In There. I imagine he would roll up on a shovelhead lowrider with a beanie cap on that says something like "Lifeguard" you know.
He's the ultimate Lifeguard....Hang Ten and Hang In....friends. Keep your dreams alive. Persistence is key. Never give up....
Check out the new tune on Pat's myspace: www.myspace.com/patlassiter
Much love, fire, wind, water, earth....
You won't find this card proudly presented at Daniel's in New York City. Or LeCirque.
I'm a bartender in some hard core local bars here in Nashville. The local watering holes. Oh, but first before I went to work at the local hangs, I went to work downtown Nashville to service the tourists, and the more polished suits, the college kids.
But they don't tip.
And they're not personable.
And they don't care what your name is.
So, I decided to go work in the local hangs. When I first started working at the one bar, here in Nashville, well, Antioch, I was definately in a new landscape. I was amongst proud rednecks. And they were proud to declare the title.
I was a Yankee. Damn Yankee at that. And still am to them, but now called THIER yam dankee, instead. There is a difference between North and South. And here I thought we were all one and .... I felt like a stranger. And that's strange because I'm not a stranger anywhere. I can walk in all kinds of circles and environments and feel a kinship.
I thought that maybe I would never fit in here. I'm an artsy fartsy New York City biker hippie chick singing southern rock style music. What the?
But Who Said A City Girl Can't Be Country?
At the bars where I work, I've met the nicest, most loving kind folks. They care. They want to commune at the bars because they love to socialize. And at these bars, it's like a party. Maybe like being in your best friend's basement at your mom's house growing up, like on That 70's Show.
And the first thing they want to know is your name and will repeat it all night long so that it is in their hearts and rolls off their tongues as if you're a lifelong cousin.The customers call me baby, sweetheart, honey, darlin'. And in New York, well, poop thumbtacks, some girl bartenders would think that was deroggatory. Not me! Because these folks say it with care and an invitation for friendship. They say it differently. Very differently. They speak these endearments, endearingly. It's part of the culture here in the south. They also like to stand in that "personal space" area that us New Yorkers vehmently protect. We northerners keep folks at arms length unless we really know someone. But here in the South, well, these beautiful people, you know, completely stand INSIDE arms reach right when they meet you. Warm welcome. Indeed.
My one boss, David, is what I call, my "Hillbilly Hero" and I've written a song for him. He and I are like brother and sister. He is so Southern and I'm so Northern, but we work well together. He adores me and I adore him. He's my Hillbilly Hero because he cares so much and is concerned about my wellbeing as one of his employees and friends. He came to visit me at the other bar last night and brought me a token from Vegas, a Harley-Davison purse featuring a chick on a motorcycle dated in the '50s. With rhinestones splashed across the design.
Well, I stopped sweeping, opened this gift and was just bubbling and fountaining with gratitude. He's the best. What a beautiful and caring move, eh?
These are real, down-to-earth, honest AMAZING folks here in the good ol' south. They are FUN and they are loving and kind. Not that New Yorkers aren't! I miss home SOOOO bad alot of times. I'm a city girl forever and I long to be home.
And someday I hope and pray that I will be able to afford to return home because my beloved hometown of NYC has become so expensive.
Oh, Northern friends say, move to Queens, Brooklyn, and I've lived there before. I know the boroughs are there and available as choice locations to reside. But those places are the alternatives to where I really want to be, at home. And that is right in the heart of Manhattan. With it's bustling streets and fantastic neighborhoods, and ART! ALL THINGS ART!
For now, however, it's like I left the barstool for a moment, that New York City barstool, and for the moment:
GONE SOUTH, DON'T F(*K WITH MY NORTH.
I am relieving myself in the South. Stress relieving, that is. Enjoying the solitude and simple pleasures of a beautifully tepid pace... and learning what it means to be quiet and think. To breathe very deeply and become totally aware and to act carefully and with thought.
And being around people who take the time. Alot of time to make sure you're doing alright. : )