On Despondency & Optimism

August 11, 2014

Testes, Testes one two… Three?

Is this thing on? This is a test to see if the application to update my blog still works…

I’ve had such a disconnect from my computer over the past few months that I almost lost the intelligence to craft an insightful blog. Please pardon my absence.

The best I’ve been able to muster are a few tweets of gratitude, mentions, or shares to great projects, like Harmonic Humanity, who are currently fundraising to expand their work empowering the homeless. (It’s not too late to donate btw!)

Maybe it’s the crazy times we’re in, but I feel the main reason I’ve had trouble writing is due to despondency, which is dangerous I suppose. After all, despondency makes procrastination look sexy.

Of course I can and will write about my adventures and successes the Janes and I had on our recent travels. Stay tuned for that. And I could easily share stories of the few times in my life where I sharted, but in addition to laughs, I’d also love to share my topical interests on regenerative farming, the importance of legalization of hemp, and how it would be less expensive to supply the entire US with solar panels than it is to declare war on another country for its resources. But despondency, or helplessness, makes one feel his conversation doesn’t have a chance.

I fear the environment will not be issue number 1 until we are out of food and water. And war will be the force used to obtain those resources until they’re gone. Besides, It isn’t the climate who’s having a crisis. It’s us. Supporting your local organic farmers supports regenerative farming, which is a practice recently proven to sequester carbon from the atmosphere while dramatically improving soil health, making both food and the environment healthier!

I am also disheartened with the government system’s inability to care properly for its citizens, especially with the strong resistance to universal healthcare along with insurance companies and banks taking advantage of their customers. I am saddened by the limitless lobbying in Washington. It makes me trust almost no one. And I loathe how divided our system is. I have finally become annoyed by the number of emails the DNC sends me to donate money. I’d rather eat bacon again and elect Louis CK as the president and let stand up comedy replace state of the union addresses. After all, politics is just talk, so let it be light while at the same time shockingly reflective of our national stupidity.

As much as I thought I cared to act, I find I prefer taking the day off to sit on my ass in a yoga class where instead of being frustrated by issues and politics I practice being calm and compassionate, accepting the twisted nature of the world as it is. A world so twisted we celebrate tobacco and alcohol but we prohibit hemp, a cash crop our nation was founded on; a crop that requires no pesticides; a crop that could be grown in the US instead of imported, giving farmers access to a billion dollar industry; a crop that can be used as food, medicine, fabric, and even bio-fuel! Yet, we keep it illegal and lamely prosecute more than 600,000 people a year, mostly men of color, ruining their lives forever. Thanks America. Way to empower your citizens.

It’s in this very state of despair that art, entertainment, and cultivating a compassionate spiritual practice are more important than ever. Therefore blogs ARE needed. Conversations ARE needed! Strong communities are needed! New networks are needed! AND NOW!

It is often from despair that I am called to write music that is optimistic; for optimism is the very thing that determines successful outcomes. Without optimism there is no energy in a task. Optimism is hope. Optimism is light. And it should be celebrated.

And so, to cut through the fog, as if I were writing a song, I am attempting to maintain this blog, however frank or random it may read. And I’ll do my best to continue updating the page throughout the tour.

Thanks again for your listenership, love and support. We are in this together.

I hope this posts.
Stay tuned!

  • Avatar of betterlam
    betterlam said ...

    Thank you for coming back and making such strong and honest commitment.
    Full of peace and passion at the same time, just as every song you wrote and are going to write.
    It is a great honor to live on this planet at the same time as you do.
    Please keep writing and singing.
    We are together and hoping more and more people will join.
    Merry Christmas with peace and love :)

  • Avatar of GloriousMe
    GloriousMe said ...

    Hey! Love your new album and enjoyed your performance on Late Night!

    I agree this country is spending way too much on military action in other countries. Western Europe relies far too heavily on the US to protect their interests. In my opinion, they are at greater risk from terror plots than us. We should spend our resources on securing our own safety rather than focusing on the Middle East. We would be much safer as a country if we did that. I suppose I’m becoming and isolationist in political views, that’s not something I ever thought I’d say. I want the needs in our own country addressed and our tax money spent on the poor and uninsured first, as you said. So there’s my rant.

    Glad to have you back. Looking forward to more insightful blogs and music.

  • Avatar of hazknowbrain
    hazknowbrain said ...

    I can’t believe it took me this long to visit your site and register…I guess you have always been bigger than life and therefore seemingly out of reach….lol…we do the same thing to our Creator ;) I can’t say how glad I am that I have done so and taken the time to read your blog…I can’t tell you the service you have been to humanity through your gift of music…connection is what we need to feel and you bring it 100 fold…infinite heartbeats of gratitude and it is wonderful to sing along with you…you above any other musician (except John Denver;) have kept the ‘lonelies’ at bay…I watched your interview in Q studio and the statement you made of the ‘feeling you should be somewhere else’ and how this rub affects your outlook – well, first, I love you for this honesty and second, I too struggle(d) with the same feeling…go figure ;) but then someone told me that I am all ways second to Creator’s will and need not be concerned for I was exactly where I needed to be…along with the teaching from a Native Elder about being a hollow bone…your service to humanity is huge and thereby you are the hollow bone moving in accordance to how and where Creator needs/wants you to be…. AND…lol…I composed a little rhyme to help me with/in these moments of uncertainty which I will impart to you :)

    But for the Grace of Love, there go I
    For without Grace to carry me – I couldn’t
    For without Grace to call me – I wouldn’t
    I am big enough to admit I’m this small
    For without Love’s Grace, I’m nothing at all.

    So many times in my life – I found myself in a situation I never would have been in had it not been for my agreements with angels…the agreement I would make – would never afford me the insight to what lay ahead, nor how difficult or tragic it might be…and when over my head this rhyme reminded me how to make it through the trial….same way I got into it – by Grace….may this rhyme help you when you’d rather be home or feel that you should be doing something else <3

    We seem to have rather parallel journeys of self discovery and seem to have arrived at this place of knowing ourselves as drops of water while we are still in the ocean….I'm most happy to be the ocean with ya and it is indeed great to be everywhere as limitations REALLY stink ;)

    Peace, blessings, love and colors to you Jason
    Ms. H

  • Avatar of jorge.tt
    jorge.tt said ...

    HI JASON, as i was reading felt the need to get a hug and i started listening to YES! Hope to see you onstage very soon its been 5 years since i Saw you in Mexico City.

  • Avatar of rmcarver26
    rmcarver26 said ...

    So, here we are. National Voter Registration Day and I find myself drawn back to this blog. Despondency is a real bitch. That is the state I am in now. I do much research on my food and try to provide education for my friends and co-workers to better help them understand why they should buy organic foods, befriend a local farmer (mine is Nan and she is the bomb!), or simply grow their own. However, recent reports are showing that the USDA has actually approved the use of Agent Orange despite warnings from their own scientists. This on top of companies like Annie’s, Kashi and Newman’s Own selling out to “big food” and I’m just like fuck it! What is really going on? Can I even trust my own government? I have looked through the USDA website until my eyes crossed just trying to find something on this subject but with no luck. So, when I think about voting I wonder does it even matter? No matter who is elected, will they actually do what is right for this country or is it really just a monarchy with Monsanto as our King? I honestly think of Monsanto when I listen to your song “Everywhere”. How easy it is to relate those lyrics to what is going on in our food with the bottom line being that GMO’s are simply, omnipresent. So, while in this state, it’s obvious that I have little hope that I would ever actually hear back from you on this subject but since I am also the eternal optimist (nickname chosen by my friends, btw–along with hippy, gypsy, boho girl, etc)I know you are now USDA certified organic. My question(s) is–what did you have to go through to become certified? Was this a simple or tortuous process? Do you feel, honestly, that the USDA can be trusted and that they are actually thinking about the American consumer when creating these labeling requirements? When I buy a product that is certified USDA organic–can I feel good about my purchase or is it tainted with something that is being kept secret just like the ingredients in the rest of the food? How sad is it that I even have to ask these questions?!? Hope you are enjoying the tour! You guys were awesome in ATL!

  • Avatar of iriannyguzman
    iriannyguzman said ...

    Thank you for your words! It is such a wonderful feeling being a fan of yours! I love what you fight for and believe in! It’s also a tragedy to be such a big fan and not having access to your concerts. Especially this tour! I heard it’s going to be your last? If it is, I will be so heart broken because every time I want to travel to see you, it never works out! But I guess that comes with being a broke college student! I just wish I could have attended this tour since it is acoustic. It would be the best thing in the world to see you in an intimate setting! All your concerts in Europe are booked though, but I guess the best thing left to do is follow your advice and stay optimistic! Maybe I’ll see you in Spain or somewhere in the streets of Europe these months! Oh and welcome back!

  • Avatar of Boo_Phan
    Boo_Phan said ...

    Sorry I’m late and just now reading this. Jason I’ve been a fan of yours for over 10 years. This blog is amazing. Thank you so much- for your music, being an inspirating and a hero. Thank you for just being you. I cannot wait for your show this Sunday. See you then!

  • Avatar of rmcarver26
    rmcarver26 said ...

    LOL…I swear..if you weren’t famous and I actually knew you in real life- we would be best friends!! Great minds! :-) And this assumption is based off your many blogs..not just this one!

  • Avatar of divinitymtg
    divinitymtg said ...

    Oh my lord I really hope you did not upset anyone with those words to our government. I agree so much with everything you said and I was speaking on my facebook about the Mortgage crisis and how it really happened but no one cares people have selective hearing and it is usually lies from news that they follow instead of people that actually were part of watching the down fall because our banks were allowing foreign money to come in for special rate programs those big banks are the ones the became extremely wealthy when the bubble happened.

    However the next thing to happen is that the foreign investors have purchased all the properties and are renting for extreme amounts causing rent to go way up and this my friend is going to cause another bubble if you know anything about market rate and inflated values rentals play a big part in these factors sad that we have this while so many people are out of work and are not counted if they are not collecting unemployment that is something to think about.

    Glad to see your back to writing again I so missed reading you many thoughts.

  • Avatar of didikini
    didikini said ...

    Hello, my little Prince!

    Good to have you back. I should say i came back when you came back. For some reason i also didn’t want to check your blog for some time. And tonight, miracle, i found out you’re on again!

    You know, i don’t think musicians are in power to deal with politics – it often sounds lame and people start spitting more than listening. That’s why you’re right to sit for yoga class and work on your mind, instead of on the politics. Cause music is about emotion and message. And you have it already in your voice. So never worry – you cannot even go wrong there, cause it is so light already and you are so aware already, that the best will come out of it anyway.

    Good luck on your tour, have fun with the ladies and maybe, next time – we have you all to ourselves again ;)

    All love and stay tuned


  • Avatar of jim.cain.10
    jim.cain.10 said ...

    I completely understand as well. i feel complacent often! but never despondent. heres why. blogging of course helps spread word of the type of world we all (here) want to live in! but i believe we are most affective in change when we deal on a one on one basis. sharing kindness with a friend or a stranger in everyday life is the most concentrated form of change. Its the lifeblood of presents and wholeness. when you broadcast to a large number of people theres something lost in translation thats best described as genuineness. its not that we are not genuine here, but that our tone, look, and overall compassion and love do not translate through media the way our souls intend. so i look to everyday life for my hope. i look to the small (in numbers) but focused differences i make in peoples lives day to day. I notice the bountiful love thats given to me that makes a difference in my life and appreciate the beauty of its source. A “well”, many of us share from. If we can share from, and be shared with, every day, the changes we make can grow exponentially. I guess what im saying is your presence, love, kindness and compassion in every situation IS the best and most beautiful kind of change!! not to be underestimated!! I am so proud to share love here with such beautiful ppl! :)

  • Avatar of wnpigzfly
    wnpigzfly said ...

    Do not despair, we are here, quietly tending organic kitchen gardens, rejecting factory foods, performing small kindnesses, and using your voice to bouy us up when we feel a wave of melancholy trying to wash over our heads. Your voice is as familiar to me as that of my own son, and nearly as cherished. This modern world allows that to be true when my face is unknown to you. You have filled my ear with secrets and foolishness, as only friends would have done on long summer nights in times past. Do not dwell upon the darkness, but continue to spread illumination where you can. We are here, each with our own small candle.

  • well said, brother

  • Avatar of mrazwordplay
    mrazwordplay said ...

    HI Jason,

    Glad you took up the pen again! It’s easy to get despondent with the way our world is evolving, but there are a lot of good things happening too!

    “Every individual matters, every individual has a role to play. Every individual makes a difference.” Jane Goodall.

    “I am only one, but still I am one. I cannot do everything, but still I can do something; and because I cannot do everything, I will not refuse to do something that I can do.” Helen Keller

    WE CAN BE THE CHANGE! Every little action can result in big action!

    Can’t wait to see you in Vancouver Oct. 23rd Row 9 center!

    FYI We Day Vancouver is Oct. 22nd.

  • Avatar of michellebelle
    michellebelle said ...

    Hi Life, Jason  I love your prose. It kind of sings )) a lot  Did you know that even your prose rhymes? It just does. I teach English. I hear the song in your prose. It’s everywhere. Kind of like that song in all life that you wrote  Wow Wee What a song. I love your ideas, too. ..it’s just the song is so easy like life ought to be. Life shouldn’t be a struggle to meet a river of love. Life is love. We are that. We just are that who is love for something higher and higher and hi ho he hu wow let it be life, love, easy flowing river we hear. It’s kind of like the line you say here. “I would rather sit on my ass in yoga class”  and accept the world as it is than to be frustrated by issues and politics. It is so. Politics are kind of corporate mindedness, and . . .well, that never does speak an easy life. God is easy. I am that who only likes to swim hi life downstream life God life No need to work at love sweet love. No use fighting a river of love so to speak. Hi  Life is Song Life  Thanks for bringing Song to Prose  XOXO

  • Avatar of mrazfan1031
    mrazfan1031 said ...

    Yes, welcome back, Jason.

  • Avatar of MarLuna
    MarLuna said ...

    Are the interviews getting to you? I imagine if I was asked time and time again about myself I would feel like I was talking to a mirror and oh it takes great strength to love yourself where you are; not where you want to be, or what you feel you should be. In truth, you are not simply complaining but stating creative substantial solutions, good for us all it’s a start and you’ve started the conversations. There are powerful people unaware they are powerful or created just for these tasks reading your despondence and hopefully they will take that word and become respondent.

    Everyone looks to the other to get things done but great men/women look upon themselves first. What can you offer the change you’d like to see? It’s in this question that we pose to ourselves do we soon buckle in the weight of not knowing how or if we’re even capable of making it right, and we assume we must risk a great deal to make a difference. I’m a strong believer that we all come with different hero capes but all with capes nevertheless and deep inside we know our power and get frustrated when it seems to be far from reach. Sometimes it may not your “fight” to be fought but your attitude, voting, researching, prayers, communication all sends out progress. A doctor is best served as he is but let him speak passionately to his peers and clients and get the chains to link.

    We are in this together and I imagine you are being sought to hold the torch on many plights as you travel and as people see the compassion in your songs and heart; this is your cape flapping grabbing attention, but the torch must be shared and sometimes passed. . . especially when sharting is involved! Don’t fuel yourself into combustion. With love 

  • Avatar of Nikkiw83
    Nikkiw83 said ...

    I can’t explain in words how much I love this. High Five Jason!!

  • Glad to have you back brotha. Your blogs make my life more awesome.

  • Avatar of jazzy
    jazzy said ...

    such wonderful insight, optimism certainly is light.

  • Avatar of 4meclara
    4meclara said ...

    I truly believe that your fans who have enjoyed reading this blog until now, who have laughed or sometimes have sighed together with you, will keep reading it from time to time and, of course, they will continue to feel your heart the way you seem to feel their heart in your amazing songs.

  • Avatar of CourtneyNicole

    I’m glad to see that you’re writing again. Welcome back :)