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Blurry Nights

Intoxicated with a lot of shit, then and always.  But the poison takes it over the edge.  I usually make pretty good decisions despite the constant intoxication of life.  I do my best to stay centered, healthy, strong, giving, loving.  But just like everybody else I SLIP.  And I make decisions that I will forever regret.  My friend Greg once told me “the ego can make one decision that will ruin your life”.   Regrets are lessons at the very least. These blurry nights are like dreams, anything can happen, sometimes it doesn’t make sense and you can’t really understand what happened until it’s all over and you can recall it. 

I preach love, truth, being humble, giving endlessly to others, standing for what is right, treating everybody with respect.  But I’m a damn hypocrite.  Because the ego takes over and I lose touch with myself, and “I” battle another ego.  And when two egos battle there are no winners.  You’re left with emptiness, no sense of dignity, no wrong or right, just plain despair. 

I know life has a lot to offer for us all.  I am constantly striving to tap into my fullest potential and really share what it is that I believe can be of value.  I want what’s best for every living soul, and I have the deepest love and respect for those souls who are no longer walking this earth. We can take each other for granted, not realizing how we’re constantly building and growing with each other.  If it weren’t for those who have come and gone, where would we be?  If it weren’t for all the selfless love you receive from those around you, where would you be?  I know I’d be gone. 

 I’m here to grow alongside all of you and I’m forever in debt to all of you who make this journey worth the while.  I’m very sorry to those who I’ve wronged, especially those who I love the most.  I am committed to becoming more self-conscious so that I can avoid the battleground of the ego and let the love flow from myself to others, unconditionally, effortlessly, and endlessly.  Thank you for reading and know that I love you forever and always.

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Believe

Embrace the discomfort, embrace the cold, connect with your roots.  How can we expect to thrive when our attention span has officially dropped below that of a goldfish.  How can we come up with creative solutions to our problems when we can’t focus long enough to read a paragraph?  There are simple solutions to the disease of our people.  Stay away from the doctor as much as possible and give nature a chance.  Our bodies can do miraculous things if you give it what it needs.  How about some deep breaths?  How about a walk in the cold air?  Take off your shoes and dig your heels into the fresh dirt.  Dirt has such a bad reputation.  Your water cup is fucking dirty, but the dirt is your friend.  You are dirt, so stop walking around thinking you’ve got it all figured out while you’re constantly detached from the “discomfort” of mother nature.  Move your body to the groove of life, breathe deep into your stomach and give your beautiful vehicle what it really needs.  Yeah, we’re all stressed with our jobs, relationships, things to do, laundry, cooking, grocery shopping, deadlines, family problems, death, politics, etc.  But turning to prescriptions, complaining, drinking, smoking, consuming sugar, soda, coffee, gossip, and negativity are only going to add to the problem.  You can reverse the effects of stress right now with just some deep breaths.  Start there and before you know it you’ll be a superhero inspiring people all around you to do the same.  When you take care of yourself you can take care of others, and what else is life about?  We got this!  Just some good decision making from a clear and healthy mind, free from inflammation and disease.  You are healthy and beautiful; don’t let anybody convince you otherwise.

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Inside Out

Some things are hard to put into words.  But so often I see people abandon themselves because they're looking for love or assurance or recognition or fulfillment from some outside source.  And it's not all terrible either, there's enough love to go around for everybody.  But the way we live today, so "connected" yet disconnected, can be a recipe for loneliness.  People jump at the first opportunity to connect, and compromise themselves because they're so thirsty for that connection.  But we all know that the truest, most fulfilling and long-lasting connections come from a bond that is built from truth and self-love from the very beginning.  Too many of us are seeking and using others as resistance to our own inner battles.  Nobody can fight the fight for us, and it is our responsibility to be strong, compassionate, and honest to build the strongest bonds and communities that will ultimately lead to a better place for us all.  Start from within and tend to the garden you can touch.  Others will be happy to eat the fruit you have to offer.

The Eyes of Plenty

Stabbed.  Of course I’m not dead, but damn that shit hurts.  Love is your sacred knife so be careful who you give it to.  And if you lose trust in them at any point you better take that shit back when they’re not looking or else you will for sure get stabbed.  Sounds dramatic… but that’s where I’ve found myself.  And I take full responsibility for where I am.  Thank God for my dear friend Amick who constantly reminds me that I am responsible for my cirumstances and that I have the power to change them.  And also that I’m the fucking man (thanks bro).  I have so much hate and anger in my heart right now.  Probably enough to break through several walls, but I won’t do that.  I’ll write and I’ll express myself to this word document.  It blows my mind what people are capable of.  Words are so fucking meaningless.  Really sorry about the heat of my vocabulary but I honestly don’t give a fuck right now.  Not that more than 3 people read my blog anyway.  HEY DAD!!  Good thing my Dad probably understands how angry I am right now.

But what fuels you?  Love fuels me.  The people who unconditionally love and respect each other.  The ones who put their own selfish needs aside and consider another person’s feelings.  But I know we’re not all at that level.  Some people are little immature babies who aren’t capable of such a thing.  And those people probably won’t ever figure it out and will continue to thrash their way through life fucking up everything in their way.  And despite how brutally wounded I feel in this moment, I will never lose faith in the love that I know exists.  Because I see it everyday in the eyes of plenty.

I’ve always seen the good in people.  Because I know what is really at the core of a human being, I’ve experienced it within myself.  And I guess I have way too much faith in other people being able to consistently act from that source.  And I know even my anger now isn’t truly aligned with the love and light at my core.  But I’m going to feel these things and I’m going to learn how to direct them in a positive way.  I have no choice.

WeHo Below

With great power comes great responsibility.  I have to say that I’m actually afraid of where my life is leading me at the moment.  Not afraid in a bad way, but actually afraid because this is what I’ve always wanted.  I’m playing bass in a band called “Zachary Ray” if you don’t already know.  I found him on Craiglist when I decided to switch from the “Jobs” section to the “Musicians” section after a brief moment of clarity.  Zach always says to me “Thank God you answered that CL ad!”

Since then things have been moving pretty quickly with the band.  We found a drummer (@madamegolong) less than 2 weeks before our string of shows and we rehearsed up and hit the stage.  Things couldn’t be going any better for the band.  We’ve grown as a unit and are becoming more and more in tune with each other each time we hit the stage.  Our first show was at The Rainbow in West Hollywood and since then we’ve played Whiskey a Gogo and The Viper Room among a couple of others. 

All this timeline business is not the reason I wanted to write.  If you want to follow the band and what we’re doing, just look up Zachary Ray Music (@zacharyraymusic) and please give us your support as we do our best to bring light and creative bliss into your world.

I’m really writing to try and process how overwhelmed, excited and afraid I am about what is happening in my life.  It’s crazy how quickly things can change and you can meet people that will propel your life in a different direction.  I took a huge risk by moving to LA and I’m finally seeing how my hard work and commitment is paying off.  It’s a strange feeling though when you go on stage and really give your all because people feel it and appreciate it.  Zachary Ray’s manager, Jennifer (@jlstalent), always jokes with me that when I go on stage and take my shirt off I turn into a different person.  But being up there is the one place I feel entirely able to be myself and to share the one thing I feel can provide real value and substance to people’s lives.  And holy shit I’m so grateful for the opportunity to be able to do that and for the people who come out and give their time and attention to listening and feeling what it is we’re feeling.  Every time I go on stage I try to be more open and giving than the last time. 

After the show at The Viper Room last night it was a very new and strange feeling for me.  I’m learning about this world of rock n roll and everything that comes along with it.  And there are moments that enrich my heart and soul on such a deep level.  For example, I had a conversation with Ron Jeremy last night.  He’s one of the most famous porn stars and this was the third time I’ve seen him out in West Hollywood.  He looks like shit and is probably drunk and drugged up beyond my comprehension.  I mean… the things I’ve already seen and the way people act in these environments has been a lot for my cradled, Boca Raton self to process and understand.  But nonetheless I have an immense amount of love and compassion for all of these people that I meet.  But from the few sentences I could make out (he’s a bit nuts at this point), Ron Jeremy and I had a meaningful conversation and I felt so much love for him.   Hollywood is a very insane place and is worlds away from the lifestyle that I’m used to. 

 

But with all of this being said, I love a challenge.  And I’m so grateful for this challenge in particular because it is part of me reaching the heights I’ve always imagined were possible.  To get to a place where I can have a real impact on the people I’m exposed to.  The challenge of staying grounded in who I am and not losing myself in this other world.  Thank you to everyone who believes in me and what I’m doing.  It feels like my life is taking a turn into the unknown and that is exactly where I want to go. 

The Space

Just got home from a great studio session with a couple of good friends.  My buddy Guy laid down drums on the last song of an EP I’m going to be releasing in the near future.  What an honor it really is to work creatively with people who love music and collaborating as much as I do.  My goal with music is to bring people together to create something more beautiful than I could’ve done on my own.  This may sound wrong, but as an artist I’m just using different tools to ultimately express something.  In no way am I “using” these different musicians to create my vision, but making them a part of the creation and giving them space to also express themselves which unlocks different parts of me that I had no idea existed.  I think the most underrated part of music these days is the space.  Without the space, how can anyone get in there and feel what is going on?  You can’t hide from the truth, and why would you want to anyways?

At Yaniv's studio with Guy Azulay and Lui Pavon.  True musical heroes.

At Yaniv's studio with Guy Azulay and Lui Pavon.  True musical heroes.

 

Living in LA for over 3 years now I have developed relationships that I couldn’t be more grateful for.   There will be at least 3 other artists that are featured on this album and I hope to continue this journey of connecting, collaborating and creating to ultimately bring us all closer.  Thank you all for your support and for reading this.  Music coming soon!

A Lost Soldier

Feeling like a lost soldier.  I know I was fighting for something at some point, but I seem to have forgotten the cause.  Where did all of my brothers go?  The remnants of an unfinished fight scattered throughout the field.  Memories, love, loss, dreams, friends, all unrecognizable.  The last breath of the wind blows them away and the fight starts over.  What will I leave behind this time?  How long will it take until I get lost and find myself alone again in the dusty aftermath of passion?

The journey begins and ends all in a moment.  Nothing left to give and nothing left behind.  The blink of an eye and the sea will rise.  There’s no passion in the past and the future is a fantasy.  Camaraderie is a blessing and community is a work of art, individuals doing their best to open the eyes and hearts of others.  Everything is so simple but blocked by the complexity of our thoughts.  Let the music tickle your arm hairs and work its way into your core.  You are the music hiding from the world.  Everybody wants to sing and everybody wants to dance.  Don’t be afraid.  Nurture what is true and love what isn’t because it shows you what is.  No mountain is too high for a strong heart.  Loving and embracing are underrated.  Let’s get together and acknowledge our true selves.  How does it feel to be alone?  Even the loneliness will sing you a song if you listen.  What do you want to hear?  Create the song of your dreams and dream the life of your heart.  One time in the light and the rest in the dark.  Nobody to lie to.  The forgotten faces are no longer forgotten, but actually gone.   The window to your world is shut.  Leaving the space for some time until you are realized in another.  Aware of anything that guides us back to the light, and the journey never ends.

Feeding the Homeless?

It is clear to me that happiness doesn’t come from possessions.   There is something so rewarding about giving.  What better feeling than working so hard with love and passion and then giving some of your earnings away?  Most of us don’t know what that feels like because we tend to be afraid to give away what is “ours”.  But something so much more valuable is gained from giving and I’m so grateful that my heart frequently inspires me to do so. 

There is a man who lives on the street a few blocks away from my apartment.  They call him Sarge because, like many other homeless men and women, he is a war veteran.  He is in his 70’s and he’s in great shape.  There is a park right near his spot on the sidewalk and he takes it upon himself to rake all the leaves in the park, pack them into trash bags, and throw em out on a regular basis.  I was lucky enough to develop a relationship with him from bringing him food once in a while when we had leftovers at work.  Him and his other homeless buddies were always so happy when I showed up with the goods.  Whenever I’m biking to the beach I’ll stop by and say hi to Sarge.  He always gives me words of encouragement and lets me know that he loves me.

Sarge waking up from an afternoon nap to say hi

Sarge waking up from an afternoon nap to say hi

I could continue to write about different people I've met on the streets here in LA but I’m really just writing right now to express my extreme gratitude for life and the opportunity to connect, inspire, love and share.  Life here is so temporary and I am committed to digging deep and sharing what I know to be beautiful and true.   Take time to nurture yourself and let that abundance overflow on to those around you.  Thank you to everybody who reads this and for everyone in my life that continues to inspire me to be a better person.

Looking Back

Once in a while I find myself going through old memorabilia.  I usually end up watching youtube videos of my former band, Heart Prevails.  It takes me back to a time when community, friendship, and music trumped everything else.  It’s always easy to think of the “good old days” without remembering all of the tough growth that took place during that time. Sometimes I wish I could go back and have another crack at being in a rock band.  Now, with a greater self-awareness, I’d be able to really immerse myself in those magical moments I was able to experience on stage with my best friends.  I swear I’d be doing backflips off my amp and leaping into the crowd every chance I had.  I’d be digging into those fat bass-strings and staring my drummer in the eye while we lock in on the sweetest groove we’ve ever felt.  What is the point of music anyways?  In my opinion, it’s to honestly express yourself and to connect with yourself and others.  I think we are all constantly suppressing our true selves for the most part.  And what better way to let it all out than a live show!  We had this fan that loved our band so much.  He would always be in the front row of every single one of our shows, and once in a while he would leave with an injury because of his passion for honest music and expression.

 

For a person who strives so much to live in the present moment, I can’t help but frequently glorify the past.  The future doesn’t even exist to me; it’s not a real thing, so luckily I don’t really worry all that much about it.  But the past is so real to me.  And how sad it makes me to remember how things were and how they’re now gone. But when I truly tap into myself I can confidently say that I’m insanely grateful for all of the experiences that I’ve been so lucky to have.  The people I’ve met and the places I’ve seen have all shaped me and taught me so much.  I can’t even express in mere words how sad/happy it all makes me.  That’s where music comes in…!  Or poetry… Or silence.

 

I’ve been in LA for 2 and a half years now.  Driving cross country and leaving it all behind felt so surreal.  But now I feel how real the consequences of your decisions are.  I never thought about how difficult it would be to be so far away from my family, friends and girlfriend while I was watching the colors of the Grand Canyon fade into reds and purples as the sun set on that glorious day in Arizona.  And I’m not saying I made the wrong decision.  Not at all!  I love breathing in shitty air and swimming in dirty oceans…  Seriously though, I don’t regret a damn thing (that’s probably a lie).  Though one thing I definitely regret is not making the most of every moment and truly expressing myself when I had the chance.  But life goes on and here I am in Los Angeles trying to figure out who I am, where I’m going, and how I’m going to make a positive impact on everything around me.  One thing I know for sure is that one of the only things that truly fulfills me is creating music.  And I’m so excited to be able to share this burning passion I have with the world.

 

I’m currently working on recording an EP.  There is no definitive date as to when it will be released.  It’s coming together organically and I’m really enjoying the process.  I appreciate all of you so very much and I thank you endlessly for your support and for taking the time to connect with me.

 

ML