So I’ve been adrift in my own sadness pretty much since I last saw my Pop in late 2009…after caring for him for eight years since his stroke at age 80. Those eight years while I was in my 40’s were both cathartic and devastating to my spirit all in one. On one hand, I recieved the gift of hanging out with and really getting to know my Dad who prior to then was a man I feared, avoided at all costs yet craved to know and understand. The opportunity to do just that was presented to me just as I was setting up a small production facility in an old machine shop on the west side of Sonoma County along the Russian River where I was to manufacture my own line of bass guitars after five years of design and building of prototypes, my life’s dream gone in a flash with one phone call from my mother on a Saturday afternoon in September as the grape leaves turned orange in the surrpounding vineyards…she called to inform me that Dad had suffered a major stroke, was expected to survive but would most likely be partially paralyzed and may be unable to speak….I locked up the shop and flew over that evening to Phoenix. Little did I know then that the entire course of my life would forever be detoured off the path I had been on with a fair amount of certainty or percieved certainty at least. I’ve since come to believe that nothing in this life is predetermined or “certain” in any way except in one’s own mind as a means to maintain one’s delusional sense of security and well being. Those of us who believe our own delusional sense of “purpose” or “security” in one’s trajectory through this thing called life for the most part are lulled by that delusion into a calm existence for their lives. They sit in rush hour traffic twice a day with the others like them sipping coffee and listening to talk radio at 5 mph on freeways from suburbia to the urban cores of America to do something they consider to be worthwhile or at least valuable enough to exchange for a wage that supports them and their families through life until the time of their death. They live in drywall boxes spaced about ten feet apart just like their peers and they do the same thing on their vacations….sit in the same group of cars, at the same speed of 5 mph, only their families are with them in the car and they’re pulling a boat or a trailer or sandrails and instead of going from suburbia to the urban core they’re going further out away from the urban core to rivers, lakes, mountains and parks. I call these people the “lunch bucket brigade” and I’ve made it my life’s goal to always be heading in the opposite direction as they are as much as possible and I’ve managed to do just that about 38 out of the past 40 years so then why am I so fucking sad and depressed all the time?