April 23, 2013
As she scanned my passport, the teenage Israeli soldier stared through the bulletproof glass that separated us. Looking down at my photo and then up again, she finally waved me through.
On the other side of “The Wall,” taxis waited. I picked one out of a clump and haggled over the fare. (“It’s fucking hard here man” my driver said, as he demanded an exorbitant price. I bargained it down, all the while assuring him that I could see it was “fucking hard” here). He drove me to my hotel, the Paradise. Read the rest of this entry »
February 18, 2013
I recently returned from attending my second NAMM (National Association of Music Merchants) show. This year, as in the past, I was working with MusiCares, the charitable health and human services arm of the Recording Academy (GRAMMYs).
MusiCares offers support for musicians in need. Among other benefits, it helps them pay their rent, subsidizes the cost of medical services, and provides free support groups for musicians who are dealing with staying clean and sober. Read the rest of this entry »
April 29, 2012
I worked at the Haight-Ashbury Free Medical Clinic from 1986 until 2001. With the exception of the medical director and a few nurse practitioners and physician assistants, the providers–psychologists, chiropractors, acupuncturists, podiatrists, physical and massage therapists, and a variety of medical specialists—were all volunteers. Read the rest of this entry »
April 13, 2011
I first traveled to Burma in 1996, Co-Leading an educational tour with a group of eighteen students from New College of California. Burma had just opened to the West after thirty years and Aung San Suu Kyi, the democratically elected President, who had been under house arrest by the Military Regime since her election in 1988, had just been released. Read the rest of this entry »
January 7, 2011
I relaxed at Philz, my local cafe, sinking into a soft leather couch, taking in a fine selection of indie rock, and enjoying some very strong coffee. As I sipped on a tall Tesora, I daydreamed about the trip I’d soon be taking to Peru. I was excited, but at the same time troubled by a pain I was feeling. I knew its source. A deep wound inflicted by someone whom I thought was a friend. He had stolen something from me, something real and material, but also something more…vital. It felt as if this “friend” had made off with a piece of my heart. But knowing this did nothing to relieve the ache. I wrote furiously in my journal about the injury of betrayal and about my need for some kind of healing and that maybe I’d find it in Peru. I didn’t really understand why I thought this might be so. Read the rest of this entry »