CAPPUCCINO + MUSIC

sl_capblog

A proper cappuccino from Sweetleaf in LIC NY…

Indeed my coffee is an important ritual in this life. Problem solving both in business and creativity shall often be accompanied by one said tasty cup of brain juice. As I dive back into that world of music expression & art, extremely long days lie ahead. There aren’t many signposts in that world so navigating relies heavily on intuition, self-discipline, and logic.

For me, the only way to really enjoy coffee is with an espresso drink of some type. The macchiato is on top of the list, but only if I’m remaining in-house. For the traveler (that I am most days) it’s the cappuccino. Of course, there is the Turkish coffee (The ancient beauty from the Middle East) but that’s for another post.

No place delivers like Sweetleaf. The brainchild of two good friends from the neighborhood, it has been a staple and comfort zone through thick and thin. The staff continues to make me feel welcome, even when walking alone in thought…the detached stranger that I can be.  There is nothing quite like taking that first sip with a lit blast to get down to the business of soul-searching.

I don’t need to get into how carefully they select their coffees, pull perfect shots, and pour blissful cup after blissful cup. It is all top-notch. One thing however, that is a bullseye for me is their choice of dairy. Only Battenkill milk is used, which is free from GMO feed, all the other garbage so omnipresent in America’s conventional dairy, and downright tastier than the aforementioned. I mean WAY tastier. In fact, it’s virtually impossible for me to enjoy a cap with “regular” milk. It is mediocre at best.  I’ve spoken with the upstate NY creamery, inquiring about some of their practices and it is nothing short of refreshing. They seem to be quite transparent and proud of it. Gives me some hope.

Why other espresso bars don’t at least offer some kind of organic option is beyond me. Perhaps I can understand the small businesses, but some of those corporate giants? What gives? What’s the real reason? Surely it can’t be just profit margin. Please. We’re not that stupid to accept this.

Anyway, it’s time to get back to work on material for another album with the trio. Slowly chip away at daunting tasks and they’ll become less daunting. I must continue to take action or else all will be lost…

~Steve

 

SOLARIS

SOLARIS | ANDREI TARKOVSKY

I recently had a break from a tumultuous year of very hard work on my business and life in general. When I saw that the Film Forum in NYC had an amazing Summer schedule, I decided to pick a few movies to get to. Being one of the last outposts on the cultural disintegration front, as we head full speed into that wonderfully optimistic future of singularity and technocratic sterility, I found it rather fitting that they were showing the 1972 masterpiece Solaris.

As with all of Tarkovsky’s work the film is visually stunning. Every frame reeks of soul-searching truth and magic. The print was heavily scratched up, which actually added to the experience of viewing it in all its cinematic glory on the big screen.

All those who have connected with Solaris know that the poetry speaks volumes without any words. For me the experience goes beyond. It is a spiritual journey that drags you through the mud of this existence so that you may meet with your potentially consciousness-expanded self during the last 45 minutes or so.  Each time I see it, I am mesmerized by its emotional depth and utter beauty.

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The very last frames are dangerously close to how I feel about the whole of life. That longing to look back, reconcile, and comprehend the journey until now. Childhood! Hindsight of life experience that provides the knowledge (and many more questions), which allows us each a unique pathway towards the electricity that has fueled our own engines to keep going. All the while upholding those truths that are indeed universal, or at least seem to be.

Somehow Tarkovsky is able to channel an energy from the universe that feels so rich in guttural response, yet steeped in that meticulously crafted ritual known as art. The end sequence is so well constructed that I’m always left speechless. Layer upon layer of dreamlike images can only be seen as a magnificent attempt at capturing the complexities we feel as we’ve become more disconnected from the natural world and our pasts…Whatever that may be.

Like all great art, Solaris asks the most important questions. Those questions combined with the challenging road of subsistence are what pave the way towards enlightenment.

Does it come from the East (as they believe)? I don’t know. Does it come from the sky or space? I have no idea. Is the world seemingly run by dark forces? I believe so. How dark? Extremely. Is there light within? Most certainly, as is illustrated in this positively poetic film.

Is enlightenment possible? I sure as hell hope so.

Thank you sir, for sharing your individual perspective on this life, the spirit, and beyond…And doing it with so much grace, elegance, and humanity.

-Steve