The Last Joyride

Hello from the sweetest little organic coffeeshop in Bend OR, day three of my five week late-summer trip. I have been banging around the east side of the Sierras/Cascades, going 395 north from Susanville (where I attended the Rainbow Gathering a few years back) and cutting west at Goose Lake in Modoc County. I spent the night in the shadow of Mt Bachelor in the Deschutes Ntnl Forest. Being in the trees is a different experience than my normal desert gallivanting; it’s introspective in a different way. All said, I am only too happy to be away from the 100 degree weather that is suffocating the Central Valley at the moment.

I had quite an incredible and productive last two months, complete with Pride shenanigans, fireworks, camping in front yards, new instruments learned, shows to jump in on, sound to run, storage units emptied, albums recorded.. it was a fun one! Bennett (previously known as Landon), my buddy from LA, came up to stay for these two months, and we had a hell of a time making music in the attic of my house, banging on drums and whatnot, and I believe we have completed his 8 song project that will help fund his top surgery! Done with tracking anyway, the many hours of editing and mixing will happen soon, but the project rocks! I lost my “S” key on my computer in the process, which has made my typing, shall we say, much more intentional. Stay tuned for more on that. The album, not the “S” key. Also in the process, I learned how to play the drums.. No shit!!

I’m heading down in a few hours to Lyons OR to a sober youth campout for the weekend. From there I will spend some days in Portland, then take a river rafting trip down (up?) the Deschutes with a good friend. I’ve never been rafting, so it should be a good time! From there I’ll head over to Spokane to see family, then wander down the west side of ID (new territory for me), and through WY to CO for Song School and the Rocky Mtn Folk’s Fest. I think this might be my fourth or fifth year! From there it’s over to Seattle, and down the 5 homewards. Today is the three day mark, the initial acclimation period, and I am settling into road mode comfortably.

I just passed seven months sober, which means five months cigarette sober; I feel like I have come out of some acute readjustment phase, and am moving along a less strenuous incline. Which I appreciate. The first few months one really just has to hang on for dear life and keep trudging forward, head down. Now I am able to look around, and the views tell me how far I have come (I see the mountains are having their metaphoric effect on me), and how much more there is to explore. I am not feeling particularly euphoric, if anything I am able to really hear what is happening in my mind, and I notice it is particularly busy.. There is always some song or another rattling around, little tidbits of conversations past or future, navigating made up scenarios, so many little tangent trails to wander off on. Such is the forest of the mind I suppose, and I am content to investigate.

This is also my last joyride before tour starts up again with Coyote Grace. I get home Sept 1st and CG’s Northwest tour starts up on Sept 19th. I can hardly believe this “probation period” is almost over, and that I am actually seven months into recovery… Things seemed pretty bleak back in December. They don’t anymore.
Check out the Facebook for some pictures, they’re a little hard to lay out here.

j

5 thoughts on “The Last Joyride

  1. Thank you Joemeister. Best damn blog you’ve sent in quite some time. You are sounding more confident, more awake, more aware, more in alignment with your real self. Can’t wait to hear the new CG when the tour starts. Will see y’all at Sebastopol C C.

  2. Joe. I do not know why, but I feel as if we would be friends if we met…(I swear I’m not a stalker)… But I worry about you like an old friend! I have a friend here in KY that is at the same place in his recovery…and if it means anything to you… You both feel sober to me. Energetically. I worry for both of your safety… But I feel like you both have this, this time. I love watching both of you becoming brighter and brighter…. It would be so sad to lose your genius to this dreadful disease.

    Thank you for sharing your life story with us. And thank you for being driven enough and for loving yourself enough to get and stay sober. Love ya to pieces! E

  3. I’m re-reading your blogs, and I love this entry. There are many lines that jump out at me, but one that made me stop and think for a bit: “…happening in my mind, and I notice it is particularly busy.. There is always some song or another rattling around…” This made me stop and remember how many moons ago you posted about how you were afraid that you would lose your song. I ached for you then, and now I am rejoicing with you.

    We all have our ups and downs, some more major than others, my last one a year ago. Coyote Grace was there for me in the darkest of days. I hope we can be there for you. Thank you for letting us on the ride.

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