January 7, 2004

BERRY NEW YEAR!! IT’S TOFU JERKY TIME!!! YEAH! It’s a new song - it’s about yankin on a vegan’s meat...er, I mean. Oh well. Never mind. So... Been a long time. What’s up with me? Christmas vacation in Texas. Saw some old friends some good friends, some best friends. What a trip - literally and figuratively. My thanks to Guitar George with his mighty hospitality on a cold windy December Thurs night in Denton, Texas. And thanks to ma friends Bill “Yes I Am Still a Vegan” Cornish, The Most Honorable Reverend Muddy Gates. And what a cool surprise with Texas Slim showin up. Always great when he’s jammin.

And of course to my best man, Dave “I was Bowern Rippin SON” Hineman. Always a pleasure jammin witcha, ma brutha. We had us another one uh them old-fine-ass-pickin-rippin-a-hole-in-the-night-kickin-ass-an-takin-names-veni-vidi-veci good times. Also was a cool breeze goin and jammin with you and The Stratoblasters. You and Jimmy were definitely firin’ it, and I really enjoyed that jam as well. And might I add still another good time in Fort Worth with you, Ludo, and The Flavours.

And then I got to see my old bud, Steve Wilson. Great catching up with you about the Cowboys (I don’t care what anybody says, it was the best season we’ve had in years and Parcells is EXCITED about next year!!! YEEUHH!) and life. By the way, the tunes were REALLY good, even worth the wait (Damn son, would you just start the track!) lol. That was too good! You rock, my friend, at whatever you do. And your melodies (vocal and instrumental) are the BEST! And thank you again for the very valuable “tips” you gave me on recording.

And a big thank you to one of my very best and oldest friends, Alison Trapp, for hosting the coolest Christmas party all year. And to Lisa and Ronnie Lingren for enough food to feed the entire city of Denton. And Todd, I’m really glad you liked the joke... And holy s#!t, but if Troy Powers didn’t show up. Man, what a treat that was. We truly gotta keep in touch, bro. It was too funny reminiscing about the road and the Ritz and the Air Force Base with you and Ronnie (What, are you guys on LUDES?!?!). And then the late night jam with Dave and Mike. That was great. And thanks to Holly for her help and wonderful presence and hangin out late with us.

Anyway, it was a good time. Gonna be a good year. Lotta work, but a good year nonetheless.

A friend of mine recently asked me if I would be willing to share a little about my spiritual path. I thought, well that’s a loaded question. Then she narrowed a bit for me and said, “Maybe a few key words would be appropriate -- authors, schools of thought, verbs, books titles or whatever.” And here is how I responded. Just thought I would start the new year sharing this:

Okay, a few key words:

Favorite book - "Illusions: Adventures of a Reluctant Messiah" by Richard Bach.

Other favorite authors with my favorite books by them:

Ernest Holmes - "Science of Mind"

Manly P Hall - "Adventures in Understanding"

Dan Millman - "Way of the Peaceful Warrior"

And I just read a book called "The Four Agreements" by Don Miguel Ruiz. First book that I have read by him, but it is really good.

Basically I try to live by understanding that reality is not really what we think it is, but rather a composite of our beliefs and what we have been told to think it is. It is like life is a waking dream, and it is our job to be lucid in it, because just as when we are aware that we are dreaming at night and then can control the dream, so too goes it in our waking dream. Everything that happens is a lesson, and the more that we realize this, the less the lessons hurt. You ever notice when people say, "Why does this always happen to me?" Sure sign that they are not learning the lesson involved... Of course, being aware of all this doesn't make it any easier, it just makes it easier to understand and let things go quicker...

Let’s all find better ways to support each other this year, and remember to laugh more, because life is a comedy to him who thinks, and a tragedy to him that feels...

Pax/Out

Matthew

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