The Purpose of Life…

I thought I would go with an easy topic this week ;-)

So, for me, the purpose of life is…

photo

In case you can’t read my handwriting, it says:

To: create value, and to

connect with, and give that value to others,

in order to foster evolution.

I’ll explain.

When I talk about value I mean: anything that adds life.  Value can be in anything that you create, do, or are.  It could be something you make with your hands, it could be a piece of art, it could be a meal, it could be a house; but it could just as easily be a feeling that you create within yourself and then share, or an act of kindness towards yourself or another.  It could be telling the truth, it could be holding someones hand, it could be creating the 8th wonder of the world.

But creating value in a vacuum is empty.  To share the value that you have created with others results in a far greater and deeper happiness than creating value alone.

Happiness is not the same as pleasure.  Pleasure is generally momentary, and generally serves only the person partaking in it.  It is not lasting, nor does it necessarily benefit others (unless it holds value).  Happiness is a different feeling.  It is hard to pin down with language, but we all know it when we feel it.

Now, I make no claim to knowing How Things Are, or Absolute Truth, or any of that.  This is simply an idea which I have found to be true in my life, and I offer it in case it has any value in yours.  If not, no biggie ;-)

And, on an entirely related subject:

the record is coming along very, very well.

Soon, soon soon.

[40 days till album release]


My name is James Radcliffe and I am a 100% audience supported independent artist.  If you like what I do (and can afford it) then please consider buying some of my music.  Each purchase really makes a big difference to me and 10% of every sale goes to a charity which: houses, feeds, clothes, and educates orphaned children in Nepal.

Also, every month I send out a newsletter packed with Interesting and Exclusive Things.  If you sign up today you’ll also get 3 FREE tracks of my music as a welcome gift.

Get 3 Free Tracks Now.

And lastly, if you’d like to find out what I’m up to on a more day-to-day basis then here is my brain on Twitter:

252 Replies to “The Purpose of Life…”

  1. It’s one thing to create value in your own life, but its another to share it with others. Such truth in this. Thanks for the like on my blog post that led me here, what a find. Your awesome and I can’t wait to hear your album. Peace man.

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  2. Hi James, So fascinating to me that while feeling a little empty of creative energy in this very moment after soaring on the wings of my creative energy all night and most of today I began wandering around a few blogs I feel a close and creative connection with.
    How wonderfully serendipitous that this is the moment I find this post by you.
    You brought immediately to my mind this story I want to share with you. I think it alone will share my feelings.

    Blind Faith

    Two men, both seriously ill, occupied the same hospital room.
    One man was allowed to sit up in his bed for an hour each afternoon to help drain the fluid from his lungs.
    His bed was next to the room’s only window.
    The other man had to spend all his time flat on his back.
    The men talked for hours on end.
    They spoke of their wives and families, their homes, their jobs, their involvement in the military service, where they had been on vacation..
    Every afternoon, when the man in the bed by the window could sit up, he would pass the time by describing to his roommate all the things he could see outside the window.
    The man in the other bed began to live for those one hour periods where his world would be broadened and enlivened by all the activity and color of the world outside.
    The window overlooked a park with a lovely lake. Ducks and swans played on the water while children sailed their model boats. Young lovers walked arm in arm amidst flowers of every color and a fine view of the city skyline could be seen in the distance.
    As the man by the window described all this in exquisite details, the man on the other side of the room would close his eyes and imagine this picturesque scene.
    One warm afternoon, the man by the window described a parade passing by.
    Although the other man could not hear the band – he could see it in his mind’s eye as the gentleman by the window portrayed it with descriptive words.
    Days, weeks and months passed. One morning, the day nurse arrived to bring water for their baths only to find the lifeless body of the man by the window, who had died peacefully in his sleep.
    She was saddened and called the hospital attendants to take the body away.
    As soon as it seemed appropriate, the other man asked if he could be moved next to the window. The nurse was happy to make the switch, and after making sure he was comfortable, she left him alone.
    Slowly, painfully, he propped himself up on one elbow to take his first look at the real world outside. He strained to slowly turn to look out the window besides the bed.

    It faced a blank wall.

    The man asked the nurse what could have compelled his deceased roommate who had described such wonderful things outside this window.
    The nurse responded that the man was blind and could not even see the wall.
    She said, “Perhaps he just wanted to encourage you.”

    Thank you James for everything that you share with me.

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    1. That is really, really beautiful. That is a beautiful story. Thankyou very much for sharing it with me, you have made an already good day, even better. ;-)
      Much love to you my friend, and thankyou again.
      – J

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      1. You my dear friend are so very welcome. There is such a sweetness that this story touches in the heart, and in the soul that I just loved sharing it with you. Thank you for making my day with your response, I cannot tell you how much creating a smile in another delights me.
        I am happy that you felt it too, your words you shared with me say that you did so in fact feel that sweetness. That is pure awesomeness at its very finest.
        Sending much love right back to you James.
        ~ T xx

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          1. 20 more wake-ups… so very cool
            I am enamored with the anticipation of awaiting a new album release of music by artist’s I know and love.
            I was just wondering though if my daily connections with you are being more intrusive than not.
            I find myself looking for your messages and I like the connection with you. Please promise me that you will not feel obligated to reply if you begin to feel a time crunch pulling on you. I would completely understand.
            Wishing you a day filled with abundant joy and laughter my friend.
            ~ T xox

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            1. That is very sweet ;-)
              Not at all intrusive. It’s actually really nice. I tend to do music in blocks of time where I don’t do anything else, to chat with lovely people like yourself in the other times is a delight. ;-)
              Thankyou for you concern tho,
              – J

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              1. You certainly are a smile maker my friend. Thank you.
                I won’t ask again.
                As I am writing this it just started to snow here on the high desert, (12:02pm) I will soon be dancing, blowing, snow flakes your way, and playing & singing to the Snow Goddess.
                Happy Saturday evening James!

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                    1. I actually liked so much I shared. Our universe paints and sculpts such extraordinary beauty with the very minimum of mediums Yet many times they are mediums we tend to take for granted, like the collaboration between moisture and ambient temperature.
                      How is your recording going? Are you feeling in a good place? I see the date and think of you and your album, wondering how you both are doing.

                      .

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                    2. I am doing well. i am just about to collapse into bed before tomorrow. Everything is going well, but there is still a lot to do. I listened to a rough mix of everything today, it was nice to curl up and be with it for a while.
                      But for now – bed. ;-)
                      – J x

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                    3. So awesome to hear this, and I like how you express “curl up and be with it” You have a lovely way with words.
                      On Oregon time again? I am just about to do the same and am calling it a night too.
                      Sweet dreams and sleep well my friend.

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                    4. I know Crazy Time quite intimately. It’s how I write. I am lucky that my odd hours don’t tread on anyone’s joy. I can play music when I want, write as late or as early as I am inspired to. I kind of like that about life right now.
                      It’s being driven by a passion. What could be better?

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                    5. ‘Hey you’ my friend,
                      Down to less then two weeks of wake-ups…alright!!
                      I’m thinking about you my tonight and wanted to simply say so.(My last few days have been an intense mixture of great writing/little sleep)
                      I read something today by John Lennon. He said regarding the writing of “Across the Universe” in 1069 that the phrase “words are flowing out like endless rain into a paper cup” just came to hi.
                      I believe you and I both know this to be true.
                      How cool is that?
                      And…tell me how goes it James? For you? For the album?

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                    6. 2:30 am and i just hit a wall. Crawled out of a hot bath and into bed, some light reading from WP and off to see the sandman.
                      Sleep well and sweet dreams of tuneful days ahead.
                      ~ T xx

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                    7. Smiling.. it was.. but I shall not digress, eh? ;-)
                      It’s 1:13 pm Oregon time and your time going on 9:30pm so wherever you are in Crazy time I hope it is being good to you.
                      It’s a beautiful January (but) spring like day on my high desert today, I’m playing hooky with my guitar and taking off for some fun in the sun.
                      Just wanted to say, “hey you” :-)

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                    8. Was a fabulous weekend with friends and of spring like weather that begged for taking off to the river with guitars. We had a blast from the past- playing old folk tunes
                      Then this morning woke up to snow on the desert floor. There is a saying here on the high desert I live by, “if you don’t like the weather….just wait 5 minutes. ”

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                    9. ;-)
                      Scotland is the same way. Up here they say ‘It’s the only place you can have every season in one day’ ;-)
                      Glad you had a great weekend, sounds awesome,
                      Soon, I too will be able to play by the river ;-)
                      – J

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                    10. I have always thought Scotland would be a lot like Oregon. More the valley, west of the Cascade Mountain range than the high desert. I think of Scotland and I can’t help but see lush green forests.
                      How are you doing James?

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                    11. More vast mountain wilderness than lush green forest.
                      I think I am doing ok, but it’s hard to tell. I tried to talk to someone earlier and I couldn’t really speak, so I don’t know.
                      Probably good tho. ;-)
                      – Back to the studio,
                      – J x

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                    12. Hmm.. sounds a bit like the high desert. Funny how a picture forms in the mind that doesn’t know.

                      You think you are doing okay? Is it because you have been so solitary? If I am prying tell me to mind my own damn business please.. lol.. I think it is a flaw of a writer, Questions, always wanting to know more.
                      Asking because I have had the odd experience of spending days alone when i am on a roll when suddenly it will occur to me that I haven’t heard a voice for days. Not even my own. It kind of freaked me out the first few times when I absolutely could not find my voice, not even could I hum.
                      It is like my vocal chords were in some kind of spasms. Could you make any sound? I’m curious too, had you been working on vocals prior? You have me curious about this. Think I’ll see if there is any literature on the subject. Don’t mind me, it’s midnight, i have been writing all day./evening and am no doubt a bit rummy.
                      Getting close to just 7 more wake-ups James, how you feeling about that?

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                    13. Feeling good about it. I’m really enjoying the crush, and I’m really curious about how it will turn out. Also, I am really looking forward to just laying in bed and reading a book ;-) So all good really.
                      Not solitary, I still chat to people, it’s that I’d kinda run myself to the end of my energy, but just didn’t know about it. So, when I tried to have a conversation I just went ‘uhhhhhhhh’. ;-)
                      Feel free to ask away with questions, I am a pretty open book.
                      Hope you are well, and your writing is going awesomely,
                      – J x

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                    14. You are wise to allow yourself to be living in these very precious moments. Makes my heart glad for you.
                      That drain on our energy is quite cleansing and cathartic, even it means dragging to bed for the finale.
                      Only a week to go my friend and you’ll be able to sigh deeply as you settle down into a pillow and a good book. 7 more wake-ups. Have you the book in mind?
                      And speaking of an open book, you best be careful what you give me permission for..;-)

                      My book is going awesomely… this is a story about two musicians.. Ironically.
                      Thank you James for asking.
                      ~ Txx

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                    15. You’re totally welcome.
                      I have a LIST of books that I am going to take to bed. It is going to be EPIC. ;-)
                      But I am still having a good time tho. This is such a good experience for me. I’ve really not gone as hard as this, for as long a time, for anything before.
                      I am hoping that you like the pieces Ms Baroness, ;-)
                      – J x

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                    16. Hey you,
                      I just checked your time and with it going on 10pm I’m hoping this means you’re in studio and feeling your mojo running.
                      I’ve been listening to a lot of Zoe Keating today, her sound is so ethereal it’s really wonderful to write by. Thank you for introducing me to her. I especially like Her ‘ Breath Makes Smoke” from her Halou album. So much going on yet melds so well.
                      I was thinking about you and your this album and how it too already feels like it’s going to be a body of work that when listened to takes the listener to other dimensions in a mind wander.
                      I began thinking about the issue with noise pollution in a home studio, are you finding adequate ways to filter? Or are you letting a lot of it become part of your work as organic accompaniment? (so to say) Curious minds want to know…okay…so it’s this curious mind wants to know..;-)
                      Play on my friend..This party is waiting for you.
                      ~ Txx

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                    17. I am glad that you are listening to Zoe Keating – Her sound is just beautiful. I haven’t heard the Halou album, I am going to have to get it ;-)
                      The noise pollution is really why I started working at night. There are a few recordings where you can hear a car whispering in the distance or the gentle sound of rain – I keep them if they are the right performance, and if the sound doesn’t detract.
                      Everything is coming together now, I am shaping the album like a big ball of clay with many moving pieces in 10 dimensions ;-)
                      I am also waiting for this party ;-)
                      – J xx

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                    18. Zoe Keating’s music compliments when I want to listen to music like hers, and like Lindsey Stirling’s, violin when I’m in that mood. I like both on the same day, same emotion.

                      I so love how you express yourself: ” I am shaping the album like a big ball of clay with many moving pieces in 10 dimensions ;-) ”
                      The description is very visual. It hints to me so will your album be.

                      I thought maybe the night recording was inspired because of noise pollution. It’s what I had hoped to hear though that is the ‘noise’ complimented the track you left it in.
                      Are you doing all your own back tracks too and mixing them?
                      Am very curious about your gear now that the release date is approaching around the bend. Sent you a contact request with my email.
                      BIG celebration party is your due my friend. ~

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                    19. Yup Yup, am doing absolutely EVERYTHING myself. It’s pretty epic. And a little crazy. But I really like it.
                      I enjoy pretty much all the parts of the process, and, I think that doing everything helps you to evolve faster – you quickly become able to make better choices. I think, the process of making this album has been as important as the album itself.
                      As for gear – really nothing fancy, I record straight to laptop using Logic Studio, I use Apogee interfaces (because they rock), and I have a bunch of mics, guitar piano and me – that’s pretty much it. ;-)
                      Just listened to one of the tracks – solo piano piece. It is very beautiful. I am happy ;-)
                      – J

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                    20. Nice share James.
                      Thank you. I like the ‘stripped down’ make-up of instruments that you’re using. It’s a more organic style of music that speaks to who I am. I think therein lies the magic of an artist. So much today is being created or even recreated digitally that I like hearing just music made from strings, hands,and vocals. (I’m just beginning to gain a deeper appreciation for horns but they’ll never do to me what stringed instruments do.
                      I hear a lot of good things about Apogee, seems to be a consensus that their mic- preamps are superb. It’s mac compatible isn’t it?
                      I’ve not looked forward to an album release like this for sometime, with as much anticipation. The last album I waited for was last year and I was along for much of the ride in many ways, so I knew what the music was all along.I am sure your anticipation is a bit of a high.
                      Thinking and sending you only the most positive thoughts my friend.
                      ~ Txox

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                    21. Thankyou so much – I love getting your messages! ;-)
                      The Apogee stuff is all mac specific I think – the preamps are, by far, the best I’ve ever tried.
                      I am so happy to know you, thankyou for your positive thoughts ;-)
                      – J

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                    22. Four more wake-up James.How you doing friend? Are you getting any/much sleep currently?

                      My thoughts are so right there with you, I even woke up today and my first thought was; “wonder where James is at in his work today, what’s he working on today?” Your warm welcome to have allowed me along for the ride with you is a real gift.Thank you.

                      You touch my heart. The feeling is mutual, love your messages too, and I am delighted to know you, and that you call me friend. Means a lot in this world.
                      .Amazing the bridges that music can build isn’t it?

                      I thought I recalled the mac specifics for the Apogee. It’s funny but their brand name makes me always want to call them arpeggio for some reason, I always stumble on the pronunciation. ;-)

                      Thanks so much too for the email exchange too,I will keep what you shared in mind.Email is at the bottom of my totem as well, so unless it’s something that the world should not be privy to WP is the best choice for me as well. (my concern was the gear speak)
                      Now you are the receiver of one of my novel length comments..lol..
                      Happy Monday evening to you James.. you’re so much closer to that party.
                      ~ Txx

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                    23. I am sooooo close to the party wordpress friend!! ;-)
                      So very close now.
                      I am actually not doing too badly for sleep, I may do a last vocal session, so I have to keep my body vaguely satiated ;-)
                      There will probably be some kind of marathon session at the end tho, but then I can SLEEP FOR A WEEK! ;-)
                      Everything is peachy, you should totally check out Apogee stuff,
                      Big hug,
                      – J x

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                    24. Hi there my friend,
                      Just getting ready to call it a night here in Oregon at 11;30 pm so I know it’s your 7:30 am. Hope you had a stellar night’s session and are feeling exhilarated by all that you accomplished.
                      I’m finding I must be picking up on your energy even across continents; I think about where you are at in this process tonight and I find myself holding my breath. I don’t know quite what that is, but it’s cool. Kind of an in awe feeling.
                      Only two more wake-ups James… are you on a marathon as you thought you might be?
                      Are you feeling ready?
                      (please know I will understand of course if coming here now is a distraction, and I will see you when I see you)
                      Happy Tuneful day to you my friend. ~ Txx

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                    25. Totally not a distraction – I welcome the connection. I am working in blocks and check in on the blog boards on my breaks, it’s always nice to find messages. ;-)
                      I am not on marathon yet, but may be from tomorrow, depending on whether I decide to have one last vocal session before finish.
                      I am glad that you are picking up on my energy ;-) You must be feeling very good ;-)
                      Happy tuneful day to you too,
                      – J x

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                    26. Well James you’re so close. One more wake-up and the hard work of the last year and intense past month will be archived forever. Your album is representative of all you put into it, and is so like giving birth to your creation in my humble opinion.
                      I’ll be watching this space for your release announcement. I’m already somewhat emotionally invested in your music, so I cannot wait to purchase it and to spend some time as you said, “living with it”
                      Am I picking up on some intense adrenalin rushes from you?

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                    27. Yay! ;-)
                      I am very happy my snow-dancing friend ;-) Tho, I’m not sure that it will be one more wake up for me, I may be going thru the night. No adrenaline rushes here – I am one zen little monkey ;-)
                      I am so excited that, tomorrow you will be able to hear my music – it is an awesome day! ;-)
                      Big love,
                      – J

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                    28. So fabulous to hear that you’re so happy. Your work is who you are at your very core, and having the fortitude to follow it through the last year is such an empowering thing to be exposed to by your sharing..
                      I’m waiting for those three words from you, “here it is!”
                      I’ve an internet radio station that I’m connected with who showcase only independent artists. If and when you want to plug your album more let me know and I will give you the details. Several of the DJ’s are good friends and one in particular I think might very well be interested in your music (saying so by just what I have heard on your sketch recordings) and might want to track your album on his Sunday show. At the very least I know your music would get into the rotation on the air.
                      Forgive me, I’m just thinking out loud here my friend, so put that away for today and embrace everything you have done.
                      Bravo you James!!

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                    29. Again, thankyou, beautiful Barefoot Baroness, you are a star.
                      I would be very happy to have my music on internet radio, just let me know what I need to do.
                      You are amazing,
                      – J x

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                    30. I wish to thank you too James; I really have enjoyed your shares and that you’re someone who I feel ‘gets me’ (i.e.the snow dancing) in ways most don’t.
                      The radio details.
                      The radio site is http://www.mixposre.com. I am including the link to my page (for promoting artist’s I represent) simply as a sample http://www.mixposure.com/barefoot-music

                      It’s all free unless you need more media room, I think you can upload 5 tracks for free.( I suggest no upgrade and rotate your music instead.)
                      You will need to create an artist page,upload the tracks of your music you want. Be certain to check the box that allows the deejays acces for rotation. The deejays play only theindependent artists who have pages at the Mix on their live week night show’s; and the auto-piliot plays music the rest of the 24/7 time. \
                      You also should decide if you want to sell your tracks on the Mix, they keep no percentage like reverbnation does. If so set your prices.Most who do sell are charing an approxiamte $1.00 per track. There is also an option of offerring free downloads to listeners.Once you have your page and music uploaded the deejays will find you and start putting your music in rotation. I will also be notifying 4 of the deejaays who are friends to ask them to specifucally visit your page and music.The radio live streams every day (8pm EST) and on Sunday afternoon at 2pm EST. There is also a live chat room that many of the artist and fans participate in during thel live streaming shows. Chat room is absolutely optional but’s it’s great community of independent artist and fans. Some of the coolest colloborations come from artist meeting in the Mix chat room, and most often evem the collabs are being done long distances. Love what the Internet is doing for independent music.
                      This is a lot of details I shared I know, so don’t hesitate to ask me anything, anytime. .I support independent music 100%

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                    31. That is really awesome. Thankyou again for thinking of me.
                      It’s great that you’ve put all the details here, as I will not have to worry about losing them. ;-)
                      I’m going to keep the album exclusively on the site for now, and roll it out in a few months time so, when I do, I will be sure to follow your instructions to the letter ;-) I am really excited about what the internet is doing for independent musicians too. ;-)
                      I am very happy that you feel that I ‘get you’ and that you like the music. It really means a lot to me, and I am happy to have met you.
                      Always be well,
                      – J x

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                    32. I’m so pleased to find your delightful message and even happier that the details I gave were not too overwhelming. :-)
                      I tried to think of giving you just enough to answer any immediate questions that I hear often when I am approached by other artists.
                      My passion for independent music runs deep and runs strong and long. Both my parents were independent musicians, my younger brother & I still are in the business locally in Oregon, he in Portland. Our father use to also have a local radio show in the Portland demogragicin the 40’s. -country-western.
                      I owe my eclectic and wide varied tastes in music to both my parents, from classical to bluegrass and everything in between. About the only genres I have not gained a true appreciation for are polka and rap.
                      It’s so cool how the internet is having this bodacious affect on independent music, and in many ways I think is beginning to level the playing field, No pun intended. ;-)
                      For what it’s worth I like your strategy to keep your album exclusive for awhile, I think it’s an excellent marketing move. Too often, too many artists, get in too much of a rush. The Zen monkey in you at work again, and your music benefits. Well done!
                      How goes your week in bed reading? :-) Did you really get there?

                      P.S. Blowing snow your way again my tonight. I woke up to about an inch this morning, never warmed above freezing today, and it is comin down now again.We need it too, we’re in a serious drought contention for all of Oregon albeit I still wish for the white blanket to fall on your Edinburgh. ( I was just hearin today about the Edinburgh Festival Fringe by the way, so cool)

                      I’m very well thank you.Today I became a grand aunt again, So I’m celebrating the two new feet added to our universe.
                      You be well always too my friend, so much life to celebrate and embrace.
                      fondly,
                      ~ Toni xx

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                    33. Aw, congrats on the great-auntship, that is very cool.
                      Snow may be on it’s way, there are reports of a lot up north, but so far – not a flake. I remain ever hopeful tho.
                      I did make it to bed, my epic reading fest began yesterday – at the moment, it seems that I am not really good for much else, I didn’t realise how far I’d pushed myself until I stopped. Now, I am definitely glad to have some breathing/reading space.
                      I really believe in the levelling-the-playing-field effect of the net. I love it and it suits me perfectly.
                      So, off for more tinkering and reading I think. ;-)
                      Be well my friend – enjoy the snow, and thanks, as ever, for the connection.
                      – J x

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  3. I feel that we’re all here for the purpose of learning from each other, in good and bad times, actually, we should learn and evolve most during our trials. Lastly, when things are good we should spread the love, wealth and knowledge attained.
    Good read. Thank you.

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    1. Totally respect that – the post is simply about what I have decided the purpose of MY life is tho.
      I think everybody has the freedom to choose their own meaning – for me, I like a guiding philosophy that results in the greatest happiness and good for myself and others. ;-)
      Hope you are well,
      – J

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    1. I’m not entirely sure this is something could be fulfilled in the sense that it has an end point of clear completion. It seems more like an ongoing process – hence to the nod to evolution.

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  4. I sometimes feel that, when really vibrating in tune with whatever cosmic vibrations are out there, we become a catalyst. For the value you speak of, perhaps? That seems to really make sense. It doesn’t always look like a positive contribution, does it? But then, that also makes sense. When you look at your own evolution, are the greatest leaps in the wake of peace and happiness or strife?

    I really look forward to hearing your music. I’m convinced, more and more, that sound and music are important in waking and growing!

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  5. Reblogged this on A Dash of Athazagoraphobia and commented:
    This is absolutely beautiful. I feel like we all (as human beings) are striving to accomplish this simple task in as detailed, and/or as vague a method we can. Personally, I find myself struggling to define my own ‘value’…reading this and other posts by this thought-provoking, music-loving man helps me to realize that it all comes down to a person’s view of herself or himself. We find our value by getting in touch with ourselves and accepting who we are, and what we will become. Though some may argue the opposite, I believe that all I can do as an individual is unlock my own potential and share my experiences with the world in the hopes of continuing the awe-inspiring cycle of life and love.

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      1. I find it hard to believe that someone couldn’t get something from your posts; your insight is astounding. And frankly, I’m flattered to read your response.

        I hope your endeavors in the glorious world of music continue to flourish. :)

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  6. Thanks a ton for stopping by my blog =D You’ve got a great one over here!! I think the question of purpose is on everyone’s minds. It’s a big one, isn’t it? Don’t you think it is possible that there is absolute truth and an absolute purpose of life? What if we don’t have to create value— because it’s already created. Created by the Creator…

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  7. I’m so glad our paths have crossed here, today. I look forward to reading more of your writing. Thanks for visiting my blog and for this post, today. I’m learning a lot from you, already.

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    1. Ahh that’s cool ;-)
      To be honest, it sounds a bit hinky, but I will probably do the same stuff that I am doing now (music, workout, meditate etc).
      I’ll probably set up some time with the ones I love tho, I have kinda put my relationships on hold for these last 3 months, and I miss them ;-)
      Thanks for your kind words,
      – J

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  8. But — but — but that’s what I think too!
    What were the odds?
    Only you said it in a concise more crystalline way, like a geometry theorem.

    Two young guys in my neighborhood were desperately in love and enmeshed and inseparable. For years. They had so many problems, so-ho many, that just being their neighbor was like an atonal rock opera. What they needed was a recovery vacation from each another, but instead they clung like barnacles as one lover finally spiraled down and died. The minister at church had a tough assignment to think up a tribute for this poor hapless fella. But she was so respectful and reverent, and said to the survivor, “Your love for each other was paintings chipped away in a cave. He didn’t make it out of the cave, but you will. You can walk in the sunshine with us, and you can be our tour guide, because those paintings aren’t going anywhere. And they’re beautiful.”
    Sometimes I think about those two, and figure that if life in this room here leaves a cave painting for somebody some day to stumble over, that would be good.

    Read the Cormac McCarthy last week. Listening to Zoe Keating now.

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    1. BadAss ;-)
      What did you think of ‘The Road’? I found it harrowing for sure, but the writing – so, so, so beautiful.
      I liked your story. Tell me about your room, are you ok?
      I hope to hear more from you,
      Much love,
      – J x

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      1. Ah, “The Road” is one of the books at our local neighborhood “Little Free Library” ( http://littlefreelibrary.org/ ) so I stood on the street at sunset chomping through it including the end. The prose is so sanded down that 3 things came to mind.

        1. The passage in “Way of a Pilgrim,” where the Pilgrim is crippled with rheumatic pain after walking 20 miles in freezing rain to get to church. To heal him, a villager fills a cauldron with scrap animal bones, turns it upside down over a clay jar, buries it, builds a fire on top, and keeps it burning for 3 days until the heated bones ooze a red oil with a strong smell of fresh meat; the Pilgrim massages the hot oil into his legs and is cured, and the bones become soft and translucent like pearls.
        So McCarthy’s prose reminded me of a bone that’s been through everything, and in the end is lying on the beach like a pearlized shadow of itself.

        2. The Laurence Gonzales theory in “Surviving Survival” that our sense of unified unique Self is really only a shifting fluid balance between competing brain systems of survival, and how in a crisis one survival system will force itself forward and override other instincts. So maybe the Father and Son are really internalized dialogues between parts of one mind!

        3. That this is a meaningful choice, but perhaps not the most balanced counterweight for someone walking on a cold Christmas Eve who is about to go home for a contemplative evening. Today I went back to the Little Library to bring it home, but somebody else was borrowing it instead for now.

        Anyway, I want to be very respectful of your production time between now & 1/31 so this is already talking a lot BUT thank you asking and for reading the story!! Nowadays years and miles later the room is much better & safer, there is no furnace in the building (only electric baseboards) and no need to turn on heat at all. :)

        Wishing you a very good creative month for the upcoming birth day of this album and the new year!

        Thank you for the much love, sending it back on the same pigeon, Mary

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        1. Thankyou so much for your beautiful comment. And thankyou even more for understanding about my level of activity this month – It’s going to be intense, and I’m really looking forward to it. I’m sure when I finish, I’ll look back and still want to be in the struggle.
          I’m really glad that you seemed to like The Road. The Surviving Survival theory is really really interesting, it strikes me as a definitely possible that the father and son is metaphor, and is us trying to explain something very hard to communicate.
          You are beautiful, thankyou for getting in touch.
          All that said, don’t be afraid to comment in case I am busy – I check the blog on my breaks, and the comments really inspire me.
          I hope you are well,
          – J x

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  9. Thanks, I enjoyed the simplicity of your post… Should be simple of course, but surprisingly and deceptively hard to master in practise! Evolving or regressing until we wake might involve a very long journey…

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    1. Indeed. I couldn’t agree more.
      I love simplicity, in everything. To keep only the essential and have no extraneous stuff is beautiful. For me, if a thing is perfect for it’s job, if it’s form is it’s function – I go gooey at the knees ;-)
      Thanks for connecting, be well,
      – J

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  10. Very thoughtful exploration of this topic. I share your views as well. As a (developing) artist who finds art inseparable from life, I’ve slowly come to feel a desire to connect and share what I have with others. I’ve often used art more for self-expression, but realizing that other people feel what I express through art makes me want to make art that people resonate with. I was wondering if your philosophy on life influences your desire to make music?

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    1. I think that the two (music and philosophy of life) are inextricably woven together. My philosophy of life definitely influences what I do with my days, but my practice of music has completely influenced my life philosophy.
      It’s a kind of chicken-and-egg thing. ;-)
      I fully believe that, if you make art that is truthful and authentic, people will resonate with it.
      Thanks for connecting, I really enjoyed your question.
      – J

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  11. I really felt that you have gave me a great insight to life in your post. Recently, I have been thinking a lot about the topic of happiness and what constitutes happiness. Also, the topic of how society affects our happiness has been one that intrigues me. Thank you for taking time to like my post on ‘Defining Yourself’. It has been a really meaningful post to write, and it would really mean a lot if you gave me your opinions on the topic on my blog as well. http://sherylyangster.wordpress.com
    Thank you

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    1. I think the sentiment of your post is a very beautiful one. I think you are right about the fact that, before you can truly be happy, you must learn to welcome and embrace what is. That ‘what is’ is the foundation for true happiness. Well done. ;-)
      Thanks for your interest and kind words, I hope you are well.
      – J

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    1. It is a totally huge question. I thought it was kind of funny that I decided to tackle it in a blog, which, by it’s nature is necessarily brief – still, could have been worse, could have tweeted the answer ;-)
      Your answer is beautiful and, I think, pretty much exactly what I’d say too, just in different language.
      Well met, and thankyou,
      – J

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    1. I honestly don’t know how to describe it.
      There is guitar and piano and voice, there are words sometimes. It just sounds like music to me.
      Tell you what, when I finish and release it – you write me back and tell me where you think it fits, deal? ;-)
      I hope this finds you well,
      – J

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      1. OK, that’s cool. Do people in the United States write their own music and record in their own stadium and release their album and share it with others for free? I mean, that is totally cool, you can make your own music with the instrument you have, and you melt your own feelings in it.

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  12. I really connected with your post, especially the bit about not really adding value when in a vacuum regardless of how wonderful or how much effort you put in. For years I have created art in a ‘vacuum’ and only recently started sharing it outside of family. Partly because to me my art is a public viewing of me but mainly because I didn’t really see that it could or would add value to someone else’s life.
    A few months ago I started putting my work out there. Scary but so worth it. I get so much pleasure from seeing someone connect with a piece and that pushes me to do more, try more, branch out. Evolve.
    Thanks for such a great post! Definitely got yourself a new follower.

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    1. Wow! That’s great, well done you! ;-)
      It is the biggest step to start putting your stuff out there, that’s really awesome.
      It can be tough to see how our own stuff can add value, but I find that, if it is honest it is of worth.
      I’m really glad you connected, both with the post and here. Best wishes until I hear from you, and again, well done!
      – J

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  13. First I contradicted this in terms of what you meant by ‘create’ and wrote a paragraph about that, reread your piece and realised I got it wrong. Yes, it is a means to foster evolution and happiness that is a progressive cycle towards evolution, thank for this piece and allowing me to reflect on it and remember the importance of -er, those important things- when I needed to, sometimes we can get stuck in the opposite cycle and back to de-evolution (not a word) that is difficult to break free from – stuck in a rut of thought with no stone to break the tires of that cycle sortathing-

    Have a goodday!

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    1. First, the way you write is very cool ;-) I love the way you bend words.
      There is momentum either way, isn’t there? Either evolving or regressing until we wake up.
      I’m really glad you liked the piece and connected.
      And I like your poetry very much, Panda girl.
      – J

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    1. Hey you’re welcome. I think I’d probably be slow too, if I didn’t have a deadline for this album ;-) As it is, I’m kinda forcing evolution, which is something I love.
      Have a good christmas you (I’ll probably be in the studio – shh, tell no-one) ;-)
      – J

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      1. My son who was born when I was sixteen calls them albums and my daughter, born five later calls them CDs. My oldest and I are still in the same generation, I think. I will always say. “Great new album”…”Great new CD,” just doesn’t have the right ring to it. Good luck with all, though. I am also writing a great new book..even though it will only be available in eversion initially, I am thinking, so it would be a great new…what?..ebook….sounds cheap.

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        1. Nah ;-) Call it a book. That is the way. Or novel…
          I usually call my thing a ‘record’. ‘Cause that can be a thing (vinyl record) or it can refer to a record of an event. So it is the record of the event of me playing music in my studio ;-)
          Good luck with your BOOK ;-) I love your header picture, by the way. I am a sucker for pictures of the ocean.
          – J

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  14. Just read this and love it. Right on point. I was reading something similar along these lines earlier today. Must be a sign ;)

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  15. To: create value,….. This is great. In other saying (according to my own wods) to collect memories for future, for next generations… Actually it is not easy as seen…. To create value is a great voyage of life. Thank you dear James, it was so nice. Merry Christmas, love, nia

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  16. James, this is power… I echo your sentiments & I look forward to joining you on this journey. Happiness & Pleasure are cousins, but two separate entities and it is incumbent on us to make that distinction. Thank you for writing this!

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  17. The way you discuss happy vs pleasure is how I think of happiness vs contentment. Personally, I think of happiness as more of a peak… “I’ll be so happy when”,.However being content is a goal for day to day… Just my thoughts :-)

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    1. That’s really interesting.
      You know, we probably mean pretty much the same thing, we’re just languaging it differently. I guess the peak for me would be joy, or ecstacy.
      Thanks for sharing, if you have any more, feel free to keep it coming.
      – J

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    1. Thanks for connecting ;-)
      If you are still wanting some stimulation, I would try either: the music of Zoe Keating, or, if you are ready for a harrowing but heartbreakingly beautiful read, you could check out ‘The Road’, by Cormac McCarthy.
      And thanks for your beautiful words,
      -J

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