Tuesday, December 24, 2013


The travel that I'm doing around the country is a journey of discovery.  I want to learn all about this existence that we're a part of.  How does it work?  What are the best practices for being human?  Which questions should I even be asking right now?  If it must be boiled down to one thought, it would be:
"what IS this place?"

As I figure out some of the ways this universe works I've taken to sharing them and leaving random chance in charge of the distribution.  I leave little gifts around in my wake.  

I'm writing these secrets on small scrolls of  paper and leaving them in tiny glass bottles with a message of invitation written on the outside of the jar.

The jars get hidden in public places just slightly outside of where you'd normally look if you're living via your default setting.  

don't know who will find them or how they'll react.  Maybe they'll laugh.  Maybe they'll think it's stupid.  Or maybe it'll be exactly what they need to hear.

The ones who will find the secrets of the universe will be the ones who are curious about their environment.  Those who participate with their surroundings will be rewarded.  Just like in life.

Keep your senses and your minds open, friends.  You might discover that you're already playing a massive game with complex rules that we are all simultaneously writing together.  If you play the game really creatively, there are prizes!!



Monday, December 23, 2013


I spent last night sleeping in my car, lulled to sleep by the rainfall on the roof.  The weather was warm and I wanted to test it out to see if the back of the van was a plausible sleeping option, should the need arise along the journey ahead of me.  

I was able to sleep with reasonable comfort on my amazing yoga mat (it's woven & padded, not rubber) & a mattress made of scattered Indian pillows.  Duvetyne became my blanket and with a couple of old black sheets I'd packed with me I suddenly had a fort!  6-year old Andy was giddy.  

The thought occurred to me, "Does this make me a vagrant now?"
I wondered, "Where's that line between hobo and traveler?"  
Then I concluded, "Why do I care?" 

Before I drifted off to sleep I could hear the occasional passersby on the street.  Sometimes they'd comment on the "Burn Bright" words and shooting star symbol in blue paper tape on the side of the van.  Some chuckled.  Some merely read it aloud.  One teen exclaimed, "yeaaaaah!!!! He's talkin' about smokin' trees!!"  I should just park her somewhere and record people's reactions.  Maybe I can camouflage a GoPro on the roof or something.  So many art projects...

The process of this new logistical consideration; i.e. space to sleep, helped me to figure out how to strip-down the van even more.  I'm going to need to drop some more stuff in storage.  Less baggage to weigh me down.  More understanding of want vs. need.  That means back to Brooklyn, briefly.

Today was spent working from inside my van on my laptop.  We're getting to know each other well, Eshe and I.  I was utilizing the coffee and wifi of a local dunkin' donuts.  In the afternoon I went for a 2nd visit to refuel and found the door was locked with a small sign up saying:

We will be closing our 
dining at 1:30PM today 
for couple hours to 
celebrate our Christmas 
in our store but we 
are open and very happy 
to serve you thru our 
takeout window.  

Sorry for the inconvenience.


Two employees at a time would work the window taking orders while the rest all sang karaoke together and had candy canes and cake inside the dining area.  Every now and then, they'd rotate around, so everyone shared the work AND the play.  It was beautiful.

karaoke on the counter

Taking time to appreciate your fellow members of any given group and take a break together is so important.  I think I used to take that for granted when I was in white collar jobs.  The office Christmas party, the obligatory birthday cake arranged by the sectretary or office manager...these things actually ARE important.  The ceremony is really just an excuse for us to come together, to feel like 'we.'  It's an important feeling...connection.

As I stood at the window waiting to refill/refuel on coffee, I got to watch them all sing some song I could not recognize.  They were extremely enthusiastic about it.  The couple of employees having their own conversation near the back looked over to smile and join in too.  The people at the microphones all hugged when they finished the song.  Some laughed.  So simple.  So nice.

If anyone got annoyed at the small inconvenience of having to line up outside, I did not see evidence of it.  There was an overhang from the roof to keep people out of the rain, and they were being entertained.

The hugging part was my favorite.  I don't think people hug enough.  Sure, we may give that polite hug hello or goodbye, but I mean a REAL hug...where you CONNECT with that other person, right through your chest.

Not everyone is comfortable with that, and that's okay.  When I meet you, I want to offer you the opportunity.  You can say no if you want,  or keep it polite if you want.  But...

But maybe it's been a while since you really hugged.  Maybe you really need it.  Maybe you don't know how to ask.  

When we fall into a comforting hug with someone and we truly let our guard down, even just a little, something happens.  Something restorative.  Something magical.  I love that feeling.  Not that feeling of someone else hugging me, although that is great.  I love that feeling of me hugging someone else, that feeling of healing someone.

I don't need to know what's wrong.  I don't need to notice you being sad.  You don't even need to realize that something from your life is bothering you.  But chances are there's something inside you that makes you need a hug in your life.  And even if everything is incredible, wouldn't a hug make it feel even better?
So I strive to give you the guilt-free opportunity of being offered one, and not having to ask.  Asking for what we need can be hard, because something about asking for a hug implies weakness.  You don't need to do that.  All you need do is accept.

So when I meet you and you extend your hand out to shake mine, I will open my arms wide and say, "We hug around these parts!"  If you reciprocate and come in for a hug I give you as deep a hug as you go for.  

If I don't do this when I meet you, please feel free to be the one who offers a hug, because that usually means i am the one who really needs one.

Saturday, December 21, 2013


The other day I left New York City to begin my journey, to take the inertia-breaking first step.  I am most definitely a creature who is ruled by inertia. 

With my things packed, my goodbyes said, and my departure slightly more delayed than I'd hoped, I was off.

I went through a tunnel in the earth and came out in Korea.  I've been there the last few days.  Sooooo-ho-oooo much to write.  I cannot do it now though.  I feel the need to write this in the mountains, under the stars, with far less man-made light around me.  For now I'll simply say that the tidal pool which sits atop the first fall of the Dragon's Gate path is an incredible one.  This is how the journey began: going outside of my own space to end up traveling inward.

wfmu 91.1 fm reminds me that tonight is the solstice... the longest night of the year. How appropriate that this is when I re-emerge.  
Time to climb. 

first provisions, then...

So kids, if you hear the sound of someone howling at the moon tonight...well...it may just be me.
Don't be afraid.  Join on in!!!!

Entry composed while listening to 91.1fm play "AQ BULAQ" (http://www.shazam.com/discover/track/3121133#referrer=iosemailshare), followed by "NAGYANG CH'UN" (http://www.shazam.com/discover/track/70127021#referrer=iosemailshare).. the second of which is a traditional Korean Court Song.
Thanks for winking at me while I write this universe!  Hahaha!  Your sense if humor is awesome!  So glad I can hear it finally!!

Until there's more...


Monday, December 2, 2013


When I tell people that I'm shooting a documentary, I get LOADS of suggestions of other docs I should watch.  Some are close to my subject, some are simply people's favorites.  

It's amazing how MUCH watching a bad documentary can teach you.

Things I learned/confirmed today:
1.  If your documentary has some sort of thesis (which they all should), do not include yourself in the documentary.  Let the topic be the focus, not the documentarian.

2.   Do not do any kind of voice-over yourself, unless you have an amazing voice and can completely disconnect from the experience you went through making the thing.  A director who does their own voice-over risks sounding full of themselves and preachy.

3.  When choosing which segments to include in the final piece, make sure that each story provides a progression from the last.  Repetition is boring.

4.  Cinematography is EXTREMELY important.  Unless making your project look DIY has a specific purpose that's related to your theme, and that look is done in an original and properly accomplished way, it'll simply look like what it is:  amateur-hour.

5.  Unless the primary focus of your documentary is Burning Man, do NOT include Burning Man in your tale.  The filmmaker needs to earn the level of emotional/philosophical/magical wonder that people have at Burning Man by gradually leading their audience into that.  Without establishing it properly, everyone on the playa sounds either full of it, or like a cult member.

6.  In my project, my journey will not be part of the documentary at all.  Couchsurfing... staying with friends... driving across the country for the first time... none of that will have a place in the film because that is not the topic.  I will be sharing those things via social media... but the documentary is not the place for that.

Burning and learning... every day.