A Town without Music

Taking Chances

Flagstaff is a little gem of a town filled with musicians. I mean, there is music going on here on any given night, with top-notch musicians doing their thing.

Usually.

Over the past couple of months, the town (obviously) has been silent. There is no music. It feels weird and sad. It was my first time actually downtown since the beginning of March.

We were talking to another musician who also has been out of work since March – also playing for this fundraiser. He’s getting worried – he and his wife had plans to move to Austin, but now they may be moving in with his parents instead.

Orpheum – May 22, 2020

Cheers Flagstaff!

Every Friday night, there is a a zoom episode of Cheers Flagstaff – it’s a fundraiser show for folks in the service industry. The Orpheum Theatre is closed, but is hosting the zoom shows now. Everyone in the club is wearing masks till we get on stage.

It was strange wearing headphones and playing to a virtual audience in this gaping black hole club with empty seats, save for a couple of other musicians waiting to play – and that’s how it goes right now.

Afterwards, Paul and I went home and had dinner – feeling a mixture of gratitude and joy at playing, and grief, too, for the way it is.

Playing with Paul is a life saver. Getting together in the last couple of weeks and having socially distanced rehearsals with the Lofi Sofias has been helpful, too.

Downtown is silent.

Even my art is hanging in a building that has been closed to the public for almost three months.

lofi social distance rehearsal - holly, jessica, diana. 5.2020 - photo by David James
Lofi Sofias social distanced rehearsal – photo by David James

It’s weirder than ever being an artist. Keep on going, keep on going.

The music is happening on the fringes now – inside private rooms, on porches, and in windy fields at the foot hills.

As I was driving home I was wondering – is it really going to be worth it for me to stay here much longer? (And the more ominous question that I have been keeping at bay – Can I actually afford to stay here)? If I am going to have to isolate, should I just move to a more isolated place (that’s cheaper)? Flagstaff is a very expensive place to live – rent is high, food is expensive, and the mountain is really crowded lately.

I think a lot of artists and musicians have been asking themselves these questions.

Music (connection) and the solitude of the mountain are the things I love about this place.

Embracing the I-don’t-know of it at the moment (like everybody else). Playing what-ifs regarding money, lifestyle, home, and art. I’m going to keep doing my thing no matter what. And, I have been busier than ever. We’ll see how things go.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Big love and thanks for reading, watching, commenting – and just being here!

Holly

Paul and I could use your help! If you are able, a donation is very much appreciated!

venmo @cosmic-holly-troy or @paul-james-perreault paypal – paypal.me/sacredfolly or paypal.me/pauljamesperreault

Sharing the posts and video help, too. Thanks again!

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I'm a rock-n-roller poet who left the Big Apple for the Big Sky Desert where I've been letting it be and grooving with universal love, singing to the gods, dancing with the muses and bicycling with dreamtime messengers. I like altering my reality through imagination, movement, breath, and makin' stuff.

38 thoughts on “A Town without Music

  1. Wonderful post on the truth that is grief and gratitude and great things and grating things all at one and the same time.

    I hear your question of not being able to afford Flagstaff. I had a similar gig in Santa Fe, NM for 4 years, though it worked out differently, and of course not relative to the pandemic back then. And, I even more hear the clarity of, “if I’m going to have to isolate, why not do it for much less dough somewhere else.” It’s an important time to reduce outflow to mitigate the hemorraghing.

    On another note to EVERYONE READING THIS BLOG:
    HEY EVERYONE reading this who also has the good problem to have of still having work though these times like me, PLEASE send Holly & Pauly some coffees as I will be doing in a couple of minutes. These are the people where toot your own horn issues don;t apply. They toot their own horn, as SOMEBODY’s gotta start the band.

    Can we pull together a Coffee Crusade for Holly and Pauly today to give them the breathing room to make the decisions Holly expresses above not out of any kind of desperation, but out of what’s real and right and true for them to keep their art thriving?

    “Art drives culture. Technology simply supports it.” Can I request your assistance to support at least one pair of artists to evolve and adapt in a less-than-suffering mode? Are you with me!

    Paul and Holly could use our help! If you are able, Please send Coffee Gratitude!

    venmo @cosmic-holly-troy or @paul-james-perreault paypal – paypal.me/sacredfolly or paypal.me/pauljamesperreault

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You are so kind! Wow. Riding on the waves of humanity is the best trip of them all.

      I did a Gemini ritual with my friend Kar this afternoon/evening – and we did the soul twin meditation. I got so many insights on everything. Co-creating is where it’s at.

      This is such a generous and kind message. Thank you! Holly

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Hey all of Holy’s readers. I have also just shared this blog. I feel it is a valuable request that reaches out for what important people need. Are you able to re-blog or share this blog on your site as well?

    Liked by 1 person

        1. And, Nick, my intent is not to be affront or demanding. I simply see an opportunity here for all of us to step up in an impromptu NPR-style fund drive TODAY for Holly & Paul congruent to the need of their ask. No requirements of course. I simply felt more of a presence in Holly’s post of the NOW of it, so they frame perspective with abundance rather then lack.

          Also, I stepped up to this on my own. If it hits you sideways, that’s all on me Holly and Paul in no way asked me to ask. It simply felt their ask was more than presently intense, and consequently worthy of action. 🙂

          Liked by 2 people

  3. Ok, 111 coffees on their way in 2 parts. Go get ‘em so you can keep going to get ‘em with your work. Thank you for passionately reaching out. Sanctuaries are built with good questions. And, your question asking for support NOW is worthy of creating in the Nave of the sanctuary of the support I hope you are going to receive today. New Moon and Moira’s Blessings to you two. (Moira doesn’t much need explanation points as she rules the internal sense of time and timing)

    🙂 to you guys!!! I’ll give you !!! Though. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh Jordan – wow! Thanks for the coffees and the blessings. You sent this while I was doing the Gemini ritual – and we were both (Kar and I) feeling like we stepped through a portal of evolution and upliftment.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I hope this can cascade through your readers. I hope that many of them are in my same position where, yes, I’ve made the phone calls for deferments and reduced this or that or re-fi, etc, to reduce the monthly hemorraghe, as instead of a raise this year, I needed to reach out to reduce costs across the board to reverse-account for that.. so it feels like a raise. It’s a wonderful problem to have, that I still have consistent income, though, at the same time, it was just as important to rein in and cross-check my monthly outlay assumption. That is something I can keep and continue I see., which is a gift on top of the good problem that I have of an income And now, consequently, I can then support worthwhile gigs… as if I got a raise this year, though only received the raise of the opportunity to dial down and condense the draws, so it appears to me as a raise, and I can support things of fundamental value, like your and Paul’s work.

        Amen. A(wo)men.

        Liked by 1 person

          1. Amen. A(wo)men. In good time. Now, is the time, though, to focus on your work.

            Not to be presumptuous, or tell you what to do, though PLEASE don’t distract yourself with that nicety right now. I’ve been where you are, and maybe worse. With perspective, the worst thing is smoking too much narcotic hope of what you envision. The work NOW is the gig, the importance, IT’S what’ll get you there as you pay disciplined and passionately focused attention to it..

            Frankly. My 111 was an arbitrary resonance, though it came from my experience of the above. What felt right. And, now I could afford it.

            I became very familiar with Coinstar years back. That’s now for the savings account. 🙂

            Liked by 1 person

  4. A lot of tough questions and decisions have to be made if things don’t open back up. I really feel for performing artists. You mentioned the mountain is really crowded lately. Out here they closed all the parks, but not the open spaces, so the ditch banks and bosque behind our house that usually have just has a few locals are crowded with people from town.

    Things need to open up so people can work again. States like California want bailouts now. It’s like these governors can’t figure out that when they close businesses, and force people out of work the states will not get the taxes. Then they pay unemployment of offer stimulus and the money they didn’t have in the first place is all gone. Our governor said her stupid, politically motivated decisions were made based on science. BS the reason she and most people end up as politicians is that they failed math, science, and obviously economics.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I have to say, if the bars opened up in our town today, I would not feel safe performing. We need to reopen, but we need to be smart – and we don’t have all the information. I know too many doctors and nurses who have seen people ravaged by this, friends who have been sick, and I personally know people who have died from it – including a friend about a month ago who was an elite athlete living in Sedona. And the Navajo Nation, last I looked (cuz I can’t really look anymore), had the fastest growing infection rate in the country.

      I feel we don’t know enough (I don’t know enough) about the virus to take chances. If Doug Ducey wouldn’t cut Flagstaff off financially for being closed, the town would still be closed. Most bars and restaurants are staying closed because they don’t feel safe. We have people in town who were using their laser cutters for making art to instead make masks – because there weren’t enough masks for the hospitals. I guess they are still making masks. Most of the people out and about right now – in the town and in the businesses, are Phoenicians escaping the heat. I know, too, that the medical center got over-crowded and they were flying patients out to New Mexico.

      As far as bail outs, yes, the $1200 was helpful, but what I saw was massive federal bailouts to people/companies who/that didn’t need it. Oil industry. Best case scenario our country rethinks its strategy and puts people over profit. (ha?) In the meantime, yes, people need to eat. I’m kind of feeling like my permaculture straw bale house dream needs to become a reality. I was rejected fro unemployment – even though I have been paying into it for decades – but I am gong to try again.

      Who knows how this is going to turn out. I am definitely embracing the I-don’t-know of this – I don’t know all the facts (and have a feeling I never will), and I don’t know how this will all turn out. I do not feel that things will be business as usual for a long time. Going downtown the other day – I realized, whoa – this place is going to be very different. The folks at the Orpheum were tired and on edge – I was tired and on edge. I guess I don’t feel so frightened anymore – but I feel everyone’s unease. Everything I do/did for a living was pretty much face-to-face connection with others. And the plans for this summer were to travel with the work. Teaching, performing, modeling – all face-to-face and close. The few things that are pretty solitary are writing and making art – but the presenting of that is face-to-face. Mostly about connection – and people need connection.

      I’m figuring out ways to make things work. I did a workshop last week online – and it was weird – but I learned from it and will do much better next time. Paul and I are planting seeds, so we have fresh veggies in case of food (and financial) shortages this fall. It was part of a dream/plan that we are now sort of being forced to put into action. Everything planted in buckets for if/when we move.

      Timothy – it really is a weird time. Yes, if we are gonna be closed, people need a fall back. Clearly, that isn’t happening. We need to ride this wave – and maybe make some big decisions. I will see a friend of mine today – at a social distance – he is in the Conduits – we are going to make music at a social distance outside – he is an ER doc working out in Tuba City. I haven’t seen him since the beginning of March – when we celebrated the hanging of my art show and before this got really crazy. It will be interesting to see how he is doing and what his thoughts are.

      I guess the big thing is – I was talking about this the other day – we have to really trust our own feelings on things.

      I am glad you are doing ok! And continuing to make your art. We will get through this! It’s a wild time for sure –

      Peace and love and blessings – Holly

      Liked by 2 people

      1. “I guess the big thing is – I was talking about this the other day – we have to really trust our own feelings on things.”

        Yes, on that. I settled into my Rock of Gibraltar on that. When the announcements of “You can open” and “You can go back to work” are made, I’ll watch the mass exodus rush of the ocean of people flow by as I metaphorically stand there in, “My gut says, ‘not a chance, not a chance at all at this time.’ “

        No one knowS, I don’t know, though from the Astro Read I did about this Back in late March, I do not feel uncomfortable in the least saying the following:
        ~ we’re going to see Round 2 begin in 2 – 4 weeks plus or minus 4-9 days either way. And, that hits the re-start button.
        ~ 3/19 to now 5/24 = approx 2 months. So, that puts us at the next “5/24” now mod August to early September.
        ~ And, as the pandemic current ebbs to calm again in October, another flurry that is less intense, though hits restart in a less intense way.
        ~ All that to say, my Astro Read indicates to me that by mid to late December I may entertain going back to the office.
        ~ Then, just common sense without Astro, that’s near/during the holidays, so call it 2nd week of January 2021 is when I will entertain working from the office.

        And, I already see the question of “What’s the point of going back to the office? Allow the company to grow. Hire someone to occupy my previous real estate in the office, and give me a stipend for using my home water, power, gas, electricity for office use, and I’ll work from the real estate of my 2nd bedroom now office. Of course, does that beg the contingency of I get canned or resign if it comes to us cross-checking each other into the blue line wall hard enough that our helmets shatter the glass?

        If so, that’s just some movement on the ice, sometimes more intense than others. I’m good with that. Like any ultimatum or intense engagement, it’s important to inspect your expectation of outcome to be comfortable with any outcome, especially the unforeseen ones and be present and thoughtfully conscientious in, as Holly put it, “we have to really trust our own feelings on things.” And, those feelings are not just gut or nebulous gigs. They are form-givers to the decision we make actionably in our and our community’s’ best interest(s).

        Informed intuitionS. Fluid actions. Patience no as passive, patience as focused strength, energy, and power as still in its fluidity as a clam lake with water like glass. Maybe not immutable or unmovable, though close enough to count. The strong only survive in the times between the in-between times. We are in an in-between time, an interstice. At these times the strong and superficial fall off like chaff from wheat in the wind as people have the fuzz of head chatter and over-stimulation removed, go into a bit of the DTs from not ALWAYS swimming in their news feed… to reveal… Substance, heart, value, what actually matters to them that they may not have seen before interference-patterned by all the self-induced media static…to reveal…

        “Adversity does not build character. It reveals it.” ~ James Lane Allen

        In the in-between times the adaptable ones survive. And, in doing so, the most adaptable ones most likely did not start from the base of survival or Just covering basic needs. They/We start from the base of asking the good questions to start off on the right foot such as… for myself, the question I keep in my forefront is, “What does it take for me to thrive. What must I do for myself and others for me to thrive?” It’s not a question I will publicly respond to currently as it is a point on my Not-Knowing-Map that I keep as the heartbeat of the pulse of my focus.

        What is or are your questions that are life-heart healthy so to speak at this time?

        Liked by 1 person

        1. J- I also feel that it won’t be safe until 2nd week of January – especially after all the Pluto/Jupiter/Saturn stuff begins to separate – and Mars gets out of Neptune. More on this at another time! 🙂

          Liked by 1 person

          1. I agree, and for those same reasons, plus we are seeing the affects now from the April 24, 2014 Grand Square of Pluto~Uranus… which is a 250-year (246-274 years) Empire Cycle. More on that at another time as well! 🙂 !!

            Liked by 1 person

            1. And, I’ll hold to these numbers as the language of the stars is grammatically correct when you are fluent in it. It’s not some nebulous woo woo stuff. I’m not woo woo. I’m just Woo. Architect~Tarot Reader/Author~Astrology Reader~ Artist~Writer~Poet~amateur Psychologist. It energy and orbital forces that are mathematically calculable, and able to be seen Simply by the geometry in the language of planetary relationships WITHOUT the math even, and that is not to diminish it. “When science gets to the top of the mountain, it will find spirituality to have been there the whole time.” ~ Albert Einstein deliberately misquoted.

              Regardless of what the government or media indicate, cover up, mislead with, or… nah that’s giving them too much credit… regardless of what they accidentally omit, ignore, or miss, I trust my Astro read of these times. Interestingly enough, after I got my Charts and readings coordinated and squared up in late March, my Mom sent me Susan Miller’s Astrology Reading for the Pandemic. I was wonderfully floored. She and I were in line plus or minus 4 days on all. And, that’s pretty much indicative of identical. She’s a wonderful Astrologer, which gave me quite the tingles to notch myself up an Astro Temple step. I’m grateful for that.

              “If you don’t read the paper each morning, you’re uninformed. If you do, you’re mis-informed.” ~ Mark Twain over 100 years ago. Sounds like a pretty stable statement today as well.

              “we have to really trust our own feelings on things.” ~ Holly Troy

              Liked by 1 person

      2. One of the many really irritating things about the bailouts, stimulus, etc. are they are rife with corruption. Government types can’t let a good crisis go to waste without greasing palms and making sure plenty of money goes back to them. Throw the crums to the masses and maybe they well be happy. It doesn’t matter the party involved.

        The Navajo Nation is particularly at risk.

        Maybe starting performances outside since it’s summer would help.

        We just had our 7th annual Dr Huey Tour on Facetime. While Laurie and I get out and about, our friend who participates in the annual tour is particularly at risk, so she’s not ready to get out in the world just yet. It worked out pretty well.

        Liked by 2 people

        1. Yup!!! Oh, so maddening. The corruption is outrageous.

          I get out, too, though not so much downtown. My band mates are at all different levels of feelings on actually playing together. The good thing is – Paul and I have learned I think – 15 new songs and are currently learning more and writing as well.

          Stay safe! And happy! 🙂

          Liked by 2 people

          1. Playing together virtually might be a good way to start. That’s great you’re learning new songs and writing new songs. I’m working on a new art guitar with a painting by Tiffany, one of the artists I follow. Oh! I’ll bet some of your paintings would go well on a guitar.

            Liked by 2 people

          2. I love that you and Paul are amending the soil in your musical garden By learning new songs as much as you are bucket planting a garden as well. Strong and healthy stuff. Being allergic to boredom and starvation are healthy allergies. 🙂

            Liked by 1 person

    2. Yup on most all, though when the lockdowns are released or loosened, I for one will not be in the crowd of Who-Let-The-Dogs-Out mass exodus from home to office. I firmly feel my own personal ethics simply watch a gate/cage door open, that I wasn’t in in the first place. Home? Office? Home forced some adaptation, and is frankly better. I get better game mileage, like 3 weeks to the gallon now.

      I hear you on the tough questions, especially the “you can’t work, so you can’t pay us taxes, though we pay you stimulus.” That’s not a sustainable system other than “to maintain” which = “to backslide” any time the wind blows.

      It seems to me the rhetoric can be dropped by the politicians. Though, of course they won’t. Though as well, if they actually asked substantial questions rather than waving their Mickey Mouse Flocking Behavior Hoakey Paokey Fantasia Wand, value could be built.

      Though, and yes another though, 🙂 , It’s no strange stretch that a group of Baboons together is called a Congress. Like Mark Twain expressed. “I’m a patriot 100% of the time. I’m behind and support my country all the time, and the government only when it deserve it.”

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Hi Jordon. Well said. I won’t go back out into the crowds because I don’t generally go out into crowds in the first place. We are pretty much hermits. Most social contact outside of work is the few neighbors we see while out walking on the ditch banks and in the bosque. Now it’s those few neighbors and a whole lot of strangers. We rarely visit other people or people visit us. Lockdown is a bit like our standard way of living.

        I’ve had to go to the office couple of days a week and out to do fieldwork during the lockdown, but my wife taught her math classes online 3 to 4 hours a day. I had to upgrade our internet. When both of us were video conferencing it killed our connection.

        I am so sick of the whole partisan divide. It’s like get over it for a few months and help work through this crises without bankrupting so many people and the nation. They couldn’t do it. And neither could the press. But can we expect any more from morally bankrupt elected officials and partisan press?

        Liked by 2 people

        1. Thank you, Timothy. Well said as well. I agree on life not changing much for me, either, except it became much larger. With an hour+ commute twice a day, and a 125 German Shepherd (+Wolf as well I think, she was a rescue) who’s now 12 in less than a month, I lost the commute. With all that I had gotten into a stuck loop of ZERO life except a year ago I re-upped writing after 3+ years of Brainspotting, and 2 weeks before the shutdown came out of a 5-year Tarot~Astro self-imposed radio silence… felt I had some self ablution brainwashing to do to squeeze out the Neptunian sponge so to speak.

          I took the 1st week of the shutdown off as I rarely take time off, and had 5 weeks of vacation banked up. The joke in the office became, “Dafuq? It takes a Pandemic or his Dad’s heart attack last summer for Jordan to take a vacation.” 🙂

          Within a week of the shutdown I was not only not radio silent anymore (3 weeks at that point and building up to full steam ahead), I stole time from the commute for MORE writing, exercise, and meditation, and ostensibly, brought my life back on line, literally online.

          So, I was already fine with the Hermit as well, though interestingly, I’m also very extroverted in places, and basically the shit that went down balanced me out like Justice to immerse and nestle into and drive what I value.

          I empathize with all who have lost loved ones and have suffered. I’m glad I already started back into what I love 2 weeks prior to the 3/19 shutdown (here in PA) as I don;t have to attribute the kick in the rump to anyone but me. And, that’s a good problem to have.

          “If we were to kick in the pants those responsible for most of our troubles, we ourselves each wouldn’t sit for a week.” ~ Teddy Roosevelt

          I have been sick of the partisan divide since my ‘rents made we watch Crossfire with them in the 80s. I just shake my head, go about my business, and when politicians point to something, I usually turn 180 degrees the other way as I think, “Oh, what you want me to miss is over here. I see. Thanks for being such a bad liar so I know how to read your misdirection. Oh, how do I know you’re a liar. It’s really very simple. Your mouth’s moving.”

          If anything, personally, I took my life back 2 weeks before this started, and this had helped me KEEP IT, and also to help others, and release ImaginAction at no charge to help others as well. 🙂

          Liked by 2 people

          1. Plus, “NEWS.” I see it as an acronym (often acrimonious — 1st the killings, then the weather, then the sports… not a healthy diet at all. Missing many important food groups I’d say.)

            I see it as an acronym for North East West South, which tracks the rune Sowilu not mirrored, directly tracks it if stand at the top of it looking down the symbol like you’re standing on the North Pole looking south. North above, tracking to sunrise East to sunrise West, to South. And, the meaning of Sowilu is:

            “Sowilo is the rune of the extreme strength, embodying and channelling the power of the sun where it symbolizes the energy and light. Literally, this rune is the vital principle of solar light. Sowilo represents the necessary powers to reach his(her) objectives.”

            Now, that said, never have written that before… the NEWS will now be officially digressed to news as it’s mostly exterior head chatter, static, and unfocused fuzz, like leaving a badly tuned AM radio station on in a Temple. 🙂 Plus, I see news as a concept that’s SUPPOSED to be “N E W S,” stories of directions of things going on in context. Since journalism is all but banned by omission these days — there are a few good journalists out there, though they’re most often called Whistleblowers which is too bad — … since journalism is all but removed I rarely watch or read the news.

            I rarely did the news before all this, though now even less — except to inform myself when to duck. Someone asked me how I stayed so informed without watching the news. “Simple. Ever read Congressional Quarterly? Ever read Depth Psychology Alliance? It’s like adding sugar or salt to food. There’s usually plenty already in there, and OH, get your calcium from Broccoli kinda thing.”

            For example: watch the current POTUS. Without political leanings. Without care or worry of fact-checking. Just turn off the sound and watch him. Feel into what his non-verbals are pretty much screaming. They’re screaming “Pouty Little Lord Fauntleroy Sure is Effin NEEDY.” Then, turn the sound back on and you can ignore the rhetoric. His body’s always telling the truth, and that’s what makes the rhetoric so dangerous to magnetize many like iron filings in flocking behavior being led into danger in every step, and actually then never bringing the danger to bear, just inducing anxiety with it.

            Interesting, this is the 1st time in 10 years I’ve expressed politics at any length. Hmmmm… ok. I can go another 10 years now. 🙂 !!

            Liked by 1 person

          2. That’s excellent. An economist once said if you want to know what a government program really does, take the opposite of its title. Pretty much the same with what most politicians say.

            Liked by 2 people

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