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Here is our spring/summer transitional release, Flipsides II: Sexy Sores? http://cdbaby.com/cd/colemitchell8 Man, that was a mouthful. Hope you enjoy these tunes! They are my versions of two songs I wrote during my time in Saddlesores. They needed to see the light of day and coming in a couple of weeks, we’re launching our YouTube channel. Stay tuned for that, as well as a full-length album we’ve been working on for a possible end of year release. Stop by the website often to see what’s coming. Until then, we hope to see you somewhere out on the twilight trail. 

This year winter couldn’t even make it through February, it had pretty much blown its wad in December, but never fear spring has been huffing and puffing and trying to claw its way into existence since its predecessor gave up the ghost. Its main characteristic besides a warming trend, with possible moisture, perfect causes and conditions for new growth is the wind. Everybody hates the wind, for its velocity and strength, for its duration, but mainly for the matter that’s blown around, the turmoil, the real estate we wear in our eyes and teeth. As with everything that has been going on since the beginning the wind is merely fulfilling its reason for existence, to lift and scatter seeds and dirt, basically to instigate a needed change.

 

Modern humans seem to be freighted of this, but I suspect that it’s been this way since our first evolution. Change has always been met with resistance, but is a necessary component for all beings to survive, it cleanses the palate, it white washes the canvas, it spurs creativity transcending the upheaval into miraculous beauty. I’ve been contemplating this for a while now and for the first time ever I’m not fighting the change for there is no need, its been coming for some time now and I’ve gotten to know it. The stagnation that’s been festering for years has come to an end. Time is now to reimagine the future, hell the present. It’s time to heal and forget the sorrow, the abject misery that’s been hidden just beneath the surface. It’s time to let it drift away with the wind. It’s time for growth, its time truth, it’s time for change. 

I spent time with an old friend last weekend, merely fulfilling promises that were made a long time ago for his last roundup. I keep my promises for the simple fact that when I could see, I just wouldn’t. I ran so fast, there was no time to see. Now that I can’t, the depth of beauty available to me is endless. Open your eyes now my friend. 

 

They say the road to hell is paved with good intentions. It is also said, “Hell ain’t no bad place to be.” Somewhere between the fiery gates and the first cobblestones of intention is a lost highway that I’ve been traveling since I first fancied myself a songwriter. This is a journey of my choosing, and not one that I complain about, though it can be rough until the right vehicle comes along.

 

 

 

That’s when this long strange trip really began; the day I fell in with this outfit known as Saddlesores. I wasn’t looking for a writing partner, but I have to admit, as we blazed down the moonlit highway with the headlights off, I knew this was a match. Keith and I were in tune. We were coming from similar influences with different points of view, while having a shared interest in hard living and keeping to the motto, “It’s better to look good than feel good.” The one thing that has kept us on the path is the songs, always the songs. In coming this far, we have picked up, traveled with, and lost a variety of musicians, the majority of which gave up the ghost along the roadside in one way or another. Each hired gun, brought yet another angle of influence to the mix. With style and tenacity, we are one for all, all for one, blah, blah, blah… 

 

Like stars that collide and fuse as one, separated only by death, so are some human connections, true connections of heart felt love and trust. As you might figure these pairings are rare and some, dare I say most of us, never find that soulmate for lack of a better term. We go through the motions, we meet, we date, we choose, we marry; we try to pool all our emotional strength to have, to hold, to mold this union into a true connection, a true love. Seldom is this the case, throughout history there have been countless noble attempts and left behind are the tales, the fables, literature recounting the sadness, the woe, the yearning for that unmistakable oneness, that ever evasive true connection. This is certainly not a groundbreaking revelation; divorce statistics prove this hands down. Sometimes we forget and become careless or impatient. The rush to get one’s search out of the way and move on, or the lure of sex causes us to stumble and make premature discussions, resulting in general unhappiness, broken homes, and unstable lives for our children.

 

Some have faired better than others in this arena, forsaking the passion of love, for passionate work or causes-basically giving up. Many fall into this rut devoting all their creative energy and passion developing, building, and maintaining this ideal above everything else. Being driven in this way is productive and most time satisfying, until you’re out there in the midnight beneath millions of stars and asteroids and the truth settles in: What is it that you have accomplished? What is it that you have to take solace in and who will you share it with? Who is it that you celebrate these successes with? Is this all there ever was, just the work, just the accomplishment? What has been the point of this kind of life? Hopefully one has this with their children if with no one else, but that’s not always the case. If you look back upon a life to gain perspective on how it’s been lived, one might find that a little compassion, a little tenderness; caring for someone other than oneself goes a long way and creates a comfort zone that only comes from this kind of behavior. I’m sure this isn’t everyone’s outcome, but I know that most receive more pleasure from giving that receiving. It’s hard to beat the feeling one gets from bestowing a gift, just step outside of the ordinary, open your mind to the flood of appreciation and good will, not a bad place to be. 

I’ve always been a dreamer, as a kid it was no big deal, that’s what kids did. I’m not talking about dreams from REM stage sleep, or dreams of a career and a future, I’m speaking of daydreams. The dreams that come in the light of day, dreams that wriggle into the hours filled with chores, the hours when we are told we should be working. These were always my secret pleasure that I didn’t have to share with anyone else. I dreamed, I wondered, I imaged and it didn’t seem wrong, quite the contrary, it seemed natural to me, but I found out early on that these were things others thought to be a waist of time, thoughts better kept to myself. So I dwell now, as always in a mist, an ethereal pool of near nothingness, where words, phrases, and stories swirl and this zone, this realm is familiar, it’s actually the most familiar I am anywhere. Not necessary the most comfortable or safe, but the most familiar and that’s what keeps me on this path.

 

There was never a shortage of artists or creative thinkers in my family. They were scattered among the agrarians, the ranchers and cowboys, the homesteaders, some kept to the land and still do. Others taught or simply found themselves living in town and a good portion of this ‘salt of the earth’ clan were and still are of the creative class. This is not a term used outside of artist circles, but it’s what I’m born to, I do not aspire to it, nor do I think it is gold in my hands, its simply what I am. My mind searchers continuously, looking for something to throw against the wall, just to see how much of it sticks. I don’t know if its possible for creatives to ever think in unison, but maybe communities could recognize them and make space for their works to be shown or heard for all to enjoy. Sometimes all it takes is stepping to the edge of your comfort zone and experience something unfamiliar, even if it’s through another’s eyes, even if it’s second hand, you might not realize what your missing. 

Being born in a little mountain town barely big enough for the hospital where the certificate of my birth was stamped was a fitting entrance to the rat race than has ensued. Living in that natural fortress and playground is where I gained my strength of mind and body, as well as a wild spirit taken from this wilderness, which transformed to wanderlust ingrained in my DNA, when I reached the age of its ripening and I followed those yearnings over and over to the eight directions and all points in between. I traveled with friends, I traveled with enemies some friends let me down some enemies saved my life. I no longer use the term “enemy”, it seems cut and dried, hostel and I no longer have space in my life for the mind numbing anger that is produced from that way of thinking. This allows more time for contemplation and reflection, time to notice and enjoy the absolute beauty of the world around us and the beings we share it with.

 

Bullets have been dodged and death knells have failed and in the distance like the last leg of a beautiful journey I am imagining home, before the faint glow teases the approach that will take some time to reach and there is time.  Time to love my children, time to teach their children, to enjoy the southern desert sunsets, to be proud of my son with his broad shoulders and quick wit, to be proud of my daughter with her real beauty and strength of mind, and to watch my progeny cure into middle age, hopefully learning some hard lessons from the old man without having to live through them. I’ve always been an optimist, a glass half full kind of guy and I’m putting my money on twenty years. That’s a fair amount of time and I don’t think when its over I will have outstayed my welcome. Just enough to write the best songs I’ve ever written, just enough to allow my heart to flood with the love that’s been damned up for so long. I’m talking to you, welcome me home, walk with me to the wilderness, love me from the clear light.  

I had a good life growing up, better then most I imagine, I wasn’t abused, I had everything that I needed, maybe not everything I wanted, we want so much don’t we?

Brainwash

 

Walking upright might be something that is taken for granted at times, like after a long day at work, or an intense and grueling week added to the ones before, and possibly this cycle has been the same for years, no one is immune to hard or disappointing times and occasionally we forget how fortunate we actually are, after all we woke up this morning and the ability to walk and talk for most of us its still there, so why the mental congestion, the constant yearning?

 

Nora had lived her life with this affliction and as with so many, she tried to escape it with whatever was at hand. Drink, drugs, deviant behavior, still the clouds continued to mass, until darkness was the constant. She was there, proverbial rock bottom this was the catch phrase every program, every counselor used it. It’s said that you have to get there before you can get out, so Nora tried. She tried AA, she tried NA, both with little success, until she stumbled into a Buddhist meditation class and something started to click, the words made sense, the people weren’t pushy or preachy and the mediations began to affect her mind positively, but she was still wary. She shared her experience with a wizened coworker, “You know the teachings are practical and positive and it all seems to be helping, but the people, I mean they’re as nice as they can be. I don’t know it just seems like were being brainwashed.” The coworker sat down his coffee and gave a long kind gaze and replied, “You know Nora, maybe your brain needs a little washing.”

 

The moral of this story being, when your mind is crowded with black clouds of delusion and filth, when you think you have no where to go and no hope of returning, collect some tools, have someone teach you some practical skills, ways to settle the mind, it’s simple, but not easy. We have to do the work, no one can change another’s mind, it is up to the individual. So if you’re every feeling mentally foggy or tarnished get in your toolbox and pull out the scrub brush and solution, it could be as simple as this, “If your brain gets too dirty, wash it.” 

Being a creative person, I’ve never really let public opinion effect, or more to the point change my art and that has always been a satisfying fact of my life. Friends, family, and others closer to my inner circle have never detracted from it either, if anything I’ve every said or done was a determent to their lives or beliefs it was never spoken or if it was they merely drifted into the shadows. 

 

For the past twenty-two months, I’ve been witnessing a transformation, which I’ve labeled the third act for that is exactly what it is. During this time of rebuilding and refocusing I have reached out to many whose connection I have lost over the years. This change is not a decision that has been arbitrarily put into action; it acts more like destiny, karmic structure, a realization. Not that I’m full of realizations, but if I have ever recognized anything as such, this would be it. Without doing the math it’s hard to say exactly how these rekindled friendships exist in the spectrum of spiritually, politics, or tolerance of different views and those who hold them. Suffice it to say that I have always collected acquaintances and friends with diverse beliefs and views. Many of which I disagree with, but accept and that’s the beauty of tolerance.

 

Politically, I believe the constitution of the United States of America to be the corner stone of our democracy and even though some key points, phrases, and amendments have been interpreted wildly and out of context, the foundation stands firmly held by this anchor.  I believe in the separation of church and state, we are the product of people wishing to be free from religious persecution and taxation without representation. Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness includes the right to believe whatever you wish without fear of reprisal. Spiritually my beliefs are similar, no one is required to believe as I do, nor will I proselytize. I try never to harm anyone and am vehemently appose to killing. Some may find it hard to accept my friendship or find it hard to believe that I actually have friends with different views on so many subjects. I am speaking now primarily of my reconnected friends, for we haven’t been as close for the past twenty years or so. So, here it is, call it a mission statement, guidelines for living, or just my philosophy as it stands for the moment. I have voted for republicans, libertarians, democrats, greens and independences what ever my conscious dictates. I am morally grounded and accepting of others beliefs. All this being said, I’m not trying to prove anything, I’m merely trying to live a life, as close to the truth as possible and hopefully that will make me a good example for my grandchildren. 

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