Love in a bipolar world: Spiritual Music 101

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Tonight I watch the lunar eclipse and listen to the song “Nine Billion Names” by Mooncake. The merlot Luna turns her color and gives me a moment of admiration, a gift from the Grand Creator. I like to stare at pictures of galaxies like M-51 and M-31 while I play this song by Mooncake and think of all the possibilities. I am moved by music and art, but especially music.

(Photo by Danny Keaton)
(Photo by Danny Keaton)

Music sets a mood; it can bring a deep embedded memory of someone, it reminds me of those long weekends in Chicago or a family member who never got to hear my apology. Music relocates me to another space. Before I hit the stage or when I am working out at the gym, I pump myself up on rap music with my headphones on. Snoop Dogg is a shot of adrenaline!  I have devotion for all types of music. However, there are certain songs I enjoy every time I am in a particular place or on my way to see someone. I like to call this genre, “spiritual music.”

“She drives me to crazy.”

(Photo by Danny Keaton)
(Photo by Danny Keaton)

I listen to Pearl Jam, especially when I drive across the Cascades into Seattle. The “Seattle Sound” takes me back to my vigorous youth in the early 90’s, when friends and I drank coffee in Deep Ellum and at Denny’s in Irving, Texas. We especially loved the Smashing Pumpkins, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Nirvana, and PJ and thought we could change the world, but all we wound up doing was drink lots of coffee and I mean lots of coffee! Yeah I puked from beer more times than I want to remember, but have you ever up-chucked several lattes?

Whenever I come back into Texas traveling to Uptown Dallas, I think of that woman and the song “Texas” by Chris Rea is reeling in my head.

Texas“I wish she would get the hell outta my mind because I love her more than anything.”

Whenever I take off into the sky, I listen to “Where the Streets Have No Name” by U2, and think of my ancestors (of not so many years ago) who never got the experience of ever leaving the ground.

”I hope I can live up to my beliefs, because every day I fall short.”

Back when I first started comedy and open mics, I would play “Born on the Bayou” by Credence (CCR) driving from Baton Rouge into New Orleans, and counting change for gas money for my ugly but reliable Geo Metro. Back then I took the stage wherever I could, regardless of what it would cost me, besides; I got so much more in return. When you cross the bridge before you enter Kenner and metro New Orleans, you pass the swamp cypress trees that rise out of the massive Lake Pontchartrain like monumental ghosts. Roll down the windows and you can smell the inviting diabolical allure of New Orleans. Anne Rice once wrote: “New Orleans puts a spell on you, and then pulls you in.”  She was right!

(Photo by Danny Keaton)
(Photo by Danny Keaton)

“No matter what happens, I wish I could give her everything.”

I soulfully ingest country and blues when I am stoned and heartbroken.  I am in a dejected trance when I hear the song, “Hello Walls” by Faron Young (written by Willie Nelson, released in 1961.)  This tune reminds me that times will change but raw emotions are timeless. If I am really feeling the painkillers, I mix in some Sade, but Sade only brings deep hurt.

(Photo by Danny Keaton)
(Photo by Danny Keaton)

When I board the Greyhound Bus headed east, I play “Lonesome On’ry and Mean” by Waylon Jennings. I live this song when I go on the road and become the no-name star in comedy clubs, dive bars and casinos.

(Photo by Danny Keaton)
(Photo by Danny Keaton)

The American Southwest is one of my favorite places in the country; it is my sacred ground, from Fisher’s Peak in the Raton Pass, to the iconic saguaro cactus in the Sonoran Desert. “In God’s County” by U2, “Moses” (live) by Coldplay, “Silence” (DJ Tiesto mix) by Sarah McLachlan, Ah Nee Mah and Mary Youngblood is my canned music as I drive down Hwy 285 through Lincoln County, New Mexico. No houses or buildings pollute the terrain. Other than the road ahead of me, this “Land of Enchantment” is unchanged since William H. Bonney and his gang roamed the landscape.

“Sometimes I feel like I’m falling apart.”

My spiritual music is the soundtrack of me. It is one of the ingredients that compliments my every day.

I will take the road and the stories that remain ahead of me with boldness and experience. All I need is a notebook, pen and my spiritual music … well that, and internet access, wet wipes and anti-depressants.

Danny Keaton
Standup Comedian – Writer – Lover – Bastard

(Photo by Danny Keaton)
(Photo by Danny Keaton)

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Disclaimer:  I am NOT a doctor, nurse, therapist or a counselor, hell, I flunked out of junior college.  I am just a regular person who lives with bipolar 2. 

Thank you for reading my blog.

If you suffer from bipolar or any other mental disease, please get help.  There are people out there wanting to help you.  Change is the hardest thing to do and at the same time it possesses the greatest rewards.

For more information call NDMDA Depression Hotline Support Group at (800) 826-3632, U.S. Suicide Hotline at (800) 784-2433, or contact your nearest county hospital’s mental health unit for further direction on how to improve your life.

”Shallow men believe in luck.  Strong men believe in cause and effect.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson