So This Is It... One More Week In Santa Cruz
Kasey hangin’ on the porch on a rainy day at Bean Creek.
The rain had finally left us. Clemmie had thrown a tantrum and blew her transmission to pieces. We were moving into a beautiful little commune on a floodplain, just North of Santa Cruz. It‘s on the back-side of a horse farm, with organic gardens, free range ducks and chickens, composting toilets and solar showers, with a meandering creek running along the south face of the property. Much of the property is dominated by towering conifers, with freshly grafted apple trees around the main building. Green trim lines the white building, reminiscent of early-century farm-hand hovels, and it sits bedded amongst the trees, stream and caravans. Dream catchers hang from the limbs of the trees, and newly made clay pots, vessels and figures are scattered across the whole property.
Bean Creek, from the road. It’s a hidden little nook… Perfect.
We had to get the van down the Santa Cruz Mountains, and into Felton, so we could get a tow over to Bean Creek. We only had 1st, 2nd and Reverse… So Clementine couldn’t make the trip on her own, unfortunately. We drove her down, and our buddy Gary followed us along the winding roads. We caught a tow from Felton, and were dropped off right outside our destination. It wasn’t more than a couple of hours, and we were settled at Bean Creek, sharing stories with our brand new friends, the Creekers.
Gig at Art Bar & Café.
The next couple weeks that followed were extremely eventful… We learned a single rule to expect and respect in everyday life in Santa Cruz, and that is that everything - no, really - everything is an adventure. Whether we were bussing downtown, organizing gigs, meeting up with The Shrugs, going up the mountains into Felton, chasing friends around Santa Cruz, or even hanging out at Bean Creek, everything became an adventure. There is no travelling from Point A to Point B… The path of travel starts at A, but always has several stops to make on the way to point B. It seems like everyone in Santa Cruz improvises his or her way through life.
This past month has seen us play at 4 separate venues multiple times, visit farmers markets and take advantage of free food drops in the area, jams with several characters, several reading hours, +/- 8 songs written, hikes through Henry Cowell State Park, perpetual trouble with fixing our transmission, a broken driver-side mirror, our music played on the air in town, dozens of encounters with the homeless, hippies, transients, gypsies and tramps, and pulled over by the Scotts Valley Police in a 1978 Camaro Z28…
(Gordon, our driver after a gig at The Poet & Patriot, had switched the plates from his Chrysler to the Camaro – The Chrysler isn’t running. The police ran the plates, and found it was licensed for a Camaro, so they pulled us over, impounded poor Gordon’s car, and made us walk home down a dark, windy road.)
Henry Cowell Park with our buds Gary, Tuff, and Drew.
So again, I reiterate… Everything you do in Santa Cruz sparks a system of wheels and cogs in the world that will take you for an adventure – regardless of what you do. I believe our good travelling friends Karl & Crystal, as well as The Shrugs can attest to this.
That being said, with all of the good and all of the bad, we have had a truly extraordinary time here in Santa Cruz. The amount of Friends-For-Life we met here is overwhelming. Kasey and I have never felt like we’ve fit in so damn well as we have here in Santa Cruz.
Shots of Mishka, Dan, and Clear Conscience at Reef/Pono Hawaiian Grill.
So all of this - each and every experience here in Santa Cruz - has brought Kasey and I here, to the McDonalds in Seaside California on April 1st. Clementine is still in the shop. I spent long hours last night listening to the rain storm and reflecting on our stay, our new friends, all the experiences we’ve had… And this is what I’ve come up with:
A couple of lessons…
The only thing separating where we are and where we want to be in life is ourselves.
Granted, Kasey and I have been greeted by several serendipitous events that have twist-turned our path for the good and the bad. (We’ve even wondered if we’re cursed…) The thing that has kept us going and enjoying our stay has been positivity, and maintaining an attitude in which we can’t be overwhelmed or brought down. We learned to take the world we’ve crash-landed into for what it is, and not what it should or could be. As a direct result, more positive things were happening for us… We booked gigs, ate heartily (NO MORE DOLLAR MENU!!!), rendez-voused with our dear friends The Puglias again (ROUND 3!!!), and even opened up an amazing music avenue with fellow artist (and friend) Mishka.
Newton’s Third Law: For each and every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction. When you’re living simply, eating meager meals, taking things as they come, and living presently – that is, day to day - it is really simple to see the causes and effects, the actions and corresponding reactions. With the addition of jobs, the glorification of wealth, fast-paced hi-tech counter-culture, the convolution of what most people call reality and everyday life obscures this fundamental law. With the myriad of those added distractions, it’s difficult (and occasionally) impossible to see through and feel the natural causes and effects of life. Simplicity has brought me peace, in truth. Things in every day life seem to balance now – the good with the bad. This is what I set out for back on September 29th, 2013, and six months later I believe I’m getting close.
Gary & Kasey at Henry Cowell.
So this is it. We’ve got one more week here in Santa Cruz, California - our new home away from home. It’s high time we tucked our tails and headed North - but that ain’t happening. We’re spending one more week with our new friends down here.
Santa Cruz is a bad eddy - it’s hard to get out. But it’s time to go. In the meantime, here’s our gig schedule for the weekend - please, come see us, and say farewell with us! We love all of you, Santa Cruz.
Thursday, April 3rd - The Poet & Patriot - TBA (w/ The Shrugs)
Friday, April 4th - The Art Bar & Café - 8pm
Saturday, April 5th - Reef Pono - TBA
See you soon Kelowna!
Next Issue: Meanwhile, At The Auto Shop…