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September, 2007 | Lifestyle Integrity

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27

Sep

God’s Own Drunk – Wake the Dawn

My friends David and Seth came to visit me when I was living in Charlotte, NC so that they could record an album for their band God’s Own Drunk. We produced an album of 14 songs called Wake the Dawn.

David and Seth came with a bunch of songs that they had been playing with the band in Boston. The band is generally a four piece, but only the two of them could make it down for the week, so we had Dave on acoustic guitar, harmonica and lead vocals and Seth on lead and acoustic. They recorded the eleven songs that made it onto the album in this small time. This left me to fill in on bass, program drums and add what ever other bits of noise I saw fit after they had left. They also ended up including three of my instrumental pieces on the CD.

Some of the songs stayed quite pure and simple as they were written and recorded. Some Have Been Lost is one of these. It’s also one of my favorites. Dave wrote this for dear friends for whom the world was both too much and not enough and who are no longer with us, as well as for the rest of us who are.


God’s Own Drunk – Some Have Been Lost

Some of the songs on the album ended up a bit more rock or blues as the band usually plays them live. Clockmaker is one of these. Some became more esoteric and haunting like Rise Through the Ashes. These are songs of spirit and soul and the American hole and all of the crap that gets stuck inside.

Seasons Change left me feeling like the music that was recorded did not fit the vocals and the lyrics. So I threw out everything except for Dave’s voice, and created a slightly dancy remix (or ReVerse as I call it; as Verse is my musical alter ego…or just ego).

If you are interested in hearing what an integrally informed lyricist comes up with, then I do not know of too many places to look. David is one of those places. His interest and knowledge in all things spiritual and integral has truly been blossoming in the years since the writing/recording of these songs, but I think that they can give you a glimpse of a burgeoning 2nd tier awareness and much of the grace, grit and harmonica spit that builds the foundation for such a leap.


God’s Own Drunk – Seasons Change (ReVersed)

The album was release on my label NoAffiliation in 2005. Please be kind to the dilapidated website that was built around the same time. If what you’re hearing strikes a chord and you’d like to hear more, than the album can be found on iTunes, CDBaby and probably a few other places as well.

21

Sep

Fast and Slow – The Master Cleanse

It is time for me to take stock of my eating once again. I have felt the need for a cleanse coming on for a month or two, but have been finding excuses around every corner. Once a year, for the past four years, I have done Stanley Burrough’s ‘Master Cleanse’ for ten days. I limit myself quite strictly to nothing other than the lemon juice, maple syrup (grade B), cayenne pepper and water drink that I have begun to call ‘cajun lemonade’ as well as laxative tea in the evening and water as desired. I have managed to find something in my schedule for the past couple of months that would make not eating (or drinking alcohol) for ten days a real pain in the ass socially and professionally, and I have caved to my baser desires each time.

Along the way I have been pushing myself farther and farther from the path of my ILP. I have been meditating less and less, working out less and less, doing yoga less and less, and drinking, over eating and eating crap more and more and more; culminating in the past week. I spent the past week in Stamford teaching a class on card access software. This means that I and one of my coworkers spent the week holed up in the Holiday Inn on the company tab. It also means that we felt obligated to entertain our customers who were in town to take the class. The food was wonderful. From a 3 person $600 dinner at Morton’s with amazing steaks, wine etc. to a great wine and Italian food meal at Siena’s Ristorante to copious amounts of beer at the hotel bar and numerous other locations throughout the city, I was full the entire time. This, of course, did not stop the consumption. Not until today.

Today I have not eaten a thing. Not even some cajun lemonade. I am still full. But I am excited to learn what hunger feels like once again. To experience the heightened sense of smell that comes with a cleansed palate and truly clear sinuses. I am excited to explore my desires to eat, teasing out the subtleties of boredom, nervousness, tension, stress, lust, exhaustion, loneliness, imbalance and many other things that I often confuse or mask with hunger. I am excited to feel the increased energy coursing through my body. Each time I have done this fast/cleanse I have found myself having an increase in my energy levels after the first couple of days. This probably sounds backwards, but has been an obvious result each time. I am well aware of the many ways in which I overeat, and of the many foods that, when eaten, seem to require more energy to process than they are providing during that processing, but I never realized the extent of energy required for digestion.

I recently read ‘Enzymes: What the Experts Know’ by Tom Bohager and was a little surprised to read him write that ‘the act of digestion consumes as much as 80% of our daily energy'(p101) The interesting side is what this has to do with enzymes. This is one of the strongest arguments for a raw food diet that I am aware of. Digestion requires enzymes. “Enzymes are catalysts, substances that cause a chemical reaction to move faster. For example, air is a catalyst for fire…enzymes are the catalysts of biochemical reactions in living organisms”(p7) Most food, when ‘alive’ contains all of the necessary enzymes to digest said food. “I’m sure you’ve observed an apple going “bad” because it sat…too long. You didn’t eat it, so it ate itself… The enzymes within that apple have become active in a digestive manner.”(p14) So, food, in it’s natural state contains enzymes……unless we heat it above 116 degrees (cook it). When you heat food it kills the enzymes in it. Some actually start dying at 106 degrees. But what happens when you eat something that does not contain enough enzymes to aid in its digestion in your body? Your body provides the necessary enzymes. This is one of the major roles of the bacteria in your body, they creates enzymes. The problem here is twofold. One, through ingestion of antibiotics, which kill all bacteria, good and bad, most of us are low on the good bacteria. Two, our body needs enzymes for a number of processes in the body other than digestion.

Digestion is priority number one in the body. Without it we starve and die. Number two is probably the immune system. So guess who gets robbed of enzymes when our food requires more digestive aid than we have available? I know that I started getting a bit sick this past week, and I was eating a lot of cooked food, especially meat. I was also under slept and often drunk, but the food I was eating was not necessarily allowing my bodies energies to compensate for other systems need for increased resources. I probably needed more enzymes. Getting good bacteria through probiotics is one option.

I have been making my own probiotic at home. Kombucha tea (seen fermenting here):
That’s the mother floating on top. Isn’t she pretty. I actually drink that stuff. It’s alive and it helps me to stay that way….I think. Things such as yogurt and Kefir can be probiotics as well. I am also looking at Enzymedica, one of the companies recommended in Bohager’s book, for enzyme therapy, and probably for probiotic digestive aids.

So,I will be giving my system a break for the next ten days, but I will also be doing a bit of experimentation. During my last fast I found myself really wanting to continue beyond the ten days. I felt wonderful and energetic, but Thanksgiving was impending, and I decided to use the 3-4 pre-Thanksgiving days I had available to ease my self into the feast. This time I intend to leave myself open to the possibility of continuing, in some capacity, beyond the alotted ten days. What I am really interested in is supplementing the cajun lemonade with some other things that I have been experimenting with. I find that taking a large quantity of something on an empty stomach can be the best way to get to know it and its effects on my body. So I may try out a few things such as kombucha tea, maca, camu camu, reishi, crystal manna or raw cacao ‘on their own’ as I have mostly been eating them in smoothies. Could be interesting.

04

Sep

Edumacation

I just done been told that I be excepted to tha university of Fielding where they gonna learn me real good on the Integral stuff.

I have been accepted to Fielding Graduate University to earn a Certificate in Integral Studies, the credits from which can then be applied to the Concentration in Integral Studies in Fielding’s Master’s Program in Organization Management & Development.

So, basically, I’m a student again. It’s online, so I avoid the much dreaded classroom, but I am still in school. Which seems a bit weird to me. But, I figure I spend enough time studying this stuff anyways, I might as well get credit for it.

04

Sep

Cuttyhunk Island

Benjamin first invited me to come visit him on Cuttyhunk island a few years ago. I never made it until this past weekend. Cuttyhunk is a little island just northwest of Martha’s Vineyard. There is a ferry from New Bedford, MA that takes you on a 45min ride to the island of Cuttyhunk.

Cuttyhunk is a cute, low-key, island full of old (inherited) homes and new (big $) summer houses. It has very few cars and quite a few golf carts, 4 wheelers, and moorings. I spent Friday night in one of the apartments in Benjamin’s parents house and then spent Saturday and Sunday night with Sean at one of his parents homes.

The name of the day….every day….was consumption. We ate fresh caught tuna, lamb, beef kabobs, barbecued chicken, kielbasa, tuna BLT’s with bacon on a Portuguese sweet roll, bacon-egg-cheese on a Portuguese sweet roll, cold cut sandwiches, eggs with sausage, onions, canadian bacon and cheese, pancakes with bananas and chocolate chips, fresh sea bass, grilled corn on the cob, shrimp poppers, fries, pizza and then we drank. Cragenmore 12 yr, mimosa’s, box wine, cheap beer, good beer, Pabst Blue Ribbon on tap, rum and coke, vodka drink’s, sparkling white wine mimosa things……and even a little water in the morning after coffee.

This is all on an island that sells no liquor and has one little market and a food cart. We hung out with Jono at the Avalon Inn (seen above drinking from the umbrella straw). I stood on top of a WWII bunker on the top of a hill that provides a 360 degree view of the ocean, Martha’s Vineyard and Nashawena island . Went cruising with Ben to collect mooring fees from all of the sail and motor boats parked just off the island for the weekend. Took a cruise around the island with Sean in his parent’s boat. Had a bonfire on the beach. Dug holes in the sand, played fetch with Diesel, and got a send off from the island as the ferry left on Monday. You can see Sean in the picture below getting ready to dive off the dock pointing down at his dog Diesel in an attempt to stop him from diving into the water when he does.
And when I got home there were people shooting a movie out on my roof deck.
Now I’m back at work. Well, at home, in my underwear, but working…..and blogging. The office seems a bit drab today.