Ramblin’ Jack Elliot

March 29
Watching video “Ballad of Ramblin’ Jack” (Elliot). Found it in a free box today. Must have been meant to watch it. Really changing my attitude towards success. Jack was so great as a musician, so authentic in living his own life, and so dis-organized. For all his talent and all the effect he had on others, he himself never had more than some success, mostly due to being his own worst enemy, yet his gift is incredible and leaps off the screen. To be who he was he had to be who he was (and is, still alive).

April 2
Watching Ramblin Jack again. It’s got me checking out all kinds of other folksingers on youtube. Played today on the street, could hear how all these new influences were adding some new wrinkles into my playing in a good way

April 3
At the risk of being repetitive, watching Ramblin Jack video again. Somehow this is speaking to my soul and helping me make peace with the fact that i’m 61 and still just playing on street corners, a busker, which Ramblin Jack says comes from the spanish word buscar, to search, seek, look for.

I went to Europe with a backpack and a guitar in 1990, got back 15 months later. From 91-now the longest i ever spent under one roof was 2 1/2 years in Monterey. I basically had a circuit in California of places i’d be for a few weeks or a few months.

Used to see my life in mythic terms: Robert Johnson and others used to travel around the Mississippi River Delta, for me California with occasional forays to other places, Seattle, Omaha, Santa Fe. They say we all pick myths to live by. Drifting seemed glamorous to me up until the past few years when i got really tired of it.

Harbin was the place i kept coming back to 92-7, Monterey area 98-06. Spent a bunch of time in Bay Area and San Diego all along. Maybe a year total in Big Sur, 6-9 months Mt. Shasta, various other places, SLO, Marin, Arcata, Santa Cruz, and others. Spent a lot of time in nature, especially Big Sur and Shasta campgrounds. Now i am blessed to have a garden outside my door. Yay Stan! (House owner upstairs).

And the truth is i always wanted to have a place and travel, just didn’t have the money, especially in California where you need the Do Re Mi.

So now i’ve got a pretty sweet little in law type place in Eugene, Oregon. Coming up on a year here. No desire to ramble (maybe a few short trips) because it is extremely clear to me the truth of the old saying “wherever you go, there you are”. Wouldn’t mind a nice large injection of funds, but otherwise feeling more at peace recently than i have in a long time.

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