The ocean is aimless, vast and beautiful. Since I was young, I can’t think of a single day that I wasn’t on this ship. I was made Captain at a very young age, and I alone comprise its entire crew. Below the deck of this ship are demons. The demons are very real, very malicious, know all of my fears, my worst memories, and understand my weaknesses. However, they stay below because of an agreement we made a long time ago. They told me that as long as I continued to drift aimlessly out at sea, they would stay below the surface; and indeed for years now they have kept their word. When this began, I was content with the agreement. I drifted languidly over calm waters, paying little attention to the swirling compass, or the rolled up maps I had set aside, and watched in the numbness as the tiller swayed mindlessly in every direction.
One day, I awoke to the sound of another large boat passing by heading for shore. I immediately remembered all the maps I had stowed away. I remembered of all the people I wanted to see, the places I wanted to go, and almost without thinking, I grabbed the tiller, and turned it 90 degrees towards the shore. The instant that the ship changed direction, I felt a rumbling beneath my feet, and within seconds the demons had surrounded me. They blocked out the sun, and began screaming and threatening to kill me, to rip out my insides, to make me suffer in ways I couldn’t imagine. I feel to my knees in terror and began to plead and apologize, promising to turn back. I grabbed the tiller and turned with all my might away from the shore, and the demons vanished. I felt relief and fell back into my agreement.
However, the boats began to come more frequently now, and I couldn’t escape a heavy feeling of desperation. I fought and fought against my thoughts, lamented my maps, destroyed my compass, and tried to accept my fate. But the feeling would not abate. Every now and then I would hit a breaking point and head for the shore. However, every time I would reach for the tiller, the demons would rush to the surface and threaten my flesh and my heart and my soul, and I would retreat. This went on for years.
I agonized, attempted to bargain, but nothing could change the agreement.
Time passed. Ships came less frequently.
I lost four inches in height, and had recurring thoughts of pink anthropomorphic clouds in the shape of three headed dogs continuously forming and dissolving across acidic skies. I slept constantly through days, and nights melded into each other in a starry cosmic vapor.
It had been months since I had seen a ship, and it was very late at night when I grabbed the tiller for the last time. Looking over the hull into to the blackness, I let my imagination take me. In the distance I saw a white figure floating inches above the water. It drifted gracefully as it passed my ship and headed in the direction of the shore. In a soft voice it called out to me. I could feel its warmth, and as I watched, I felt a sensation of calmness wrap around me. The desperation was gone. It passed by silently and in an exhausted surrender, I took both my hands and placed them on the tiller. The floorboards began to rumble. I hummed a nameless melody keeping my eyes on the figure. Up to this point the demons had never actually harmed me. They had shown me terrible things, threatened me, even blackened out the sun, but physically, I remained intact. I questioned what power they actually had over me now. The demons had me convinced that I would die if I broke our agreement. So be it. I turned the ship with all my might and I closed my eyes.
With the encouragement and support of my fellow Beggar brethren, I have stepped out of the comfort of my beat arena and into the shoes of a crooner. This newest tune, fresh off the giving tree, is my first attempt at recording vocals. Fairly intimidating, ill admit. being face to face with a microphone is kind of like staring down the barrel of a gun. I guess it just gets easier once youre no longer afraid of dying. I suppose that's the point of it all though, turning your fears into friends and insecurities into life jackets. Like the eloquent Neanderthal who can wait no longer for the language part of his brain to form, I've evolved into a singing drummer. Whaddup Phil Collins?!!
Anywho, "Blurry eyes" was originally concocted months ago while I was still imprisoned by the shackles of formal education. Sitting in the back of music theory class, naturally (we beggars are far from overachievers), and without the aid of my necessary contact lenses, I look at the board and think to myself " Man, I got these blurry eyes and I can't see shit!" That was the spark, and the rest flowed from there.
We beggars recently arranged and recorded blurry eyes as part of our bayview sessions and hope you enjoy this quasi samba, quasi rock, quasi love song.
Quasi modo, over and out
A Chang Gon' Come.
The Beggars woke up to the ethereal sunrays as the beginning of their journey…began. Allow myself to introduce myself. I am Tim Wilkins of The Beggars Who Give, and it is my ramblings that shall often blacken up the white bloggy pages of this website.
I am pleased to announce that The Beggars will be releasing new material over the next few weeks in the form of various “Sessions”. Like the mystic caterpillar that is destined to become to star in A Bugs Life we too find ourselves in a state of metamorphosis, and we did our best to capture this live and on tape for whom it may concern. Today we release the first of many to come. The song is titled “Beautiful Rose”. It is about the duality of love and all its dimensional chaos. We fight, we make up, we fight again, and the cycle of tension and release that exists in music, is paralleled in the peaks and valleys of human relationship; and alas a song is born. This is a song written by yours truly, but indeed like all songs you will hear us play or post, is the result of everyone rubbing their stank all over it. I can take credit for the seed, but it is we as a unit that creates the garden.
ANYWHO, this song was recorded a week ago today. One take to ensure the vibe was properly captured. This style of recording does not appeal to perfection so yes, you shall hear the occasional flat note or ding of an instrument but its 100% organic, which is good for your health and the environment...and your ears.
More so, this marks the beginning of our newest conquistador Luis Mayorga. This handsome Nicaraguan devil has joined the gang, and this time it feels a lot like TRUE LOVE. We are grateful and stoked by his many talents, great musical ear, and slightly overtly smooth Nicaraguan accent.
We will also be releasing some videos that show our personality and will get you to like us as much as our moms do. Speaking of “like us” if you haven’t “LIKED us” then we don’t LIKE you! Cause you smell. No but seriously you should like us. “Like” us cause there’s no one like us. Facebook.
And so it begins. Take a listen to our newest song “Beautiful Rose” below:
Stay tuned for our next track which will be called “Blurry Eyes” with a little something new in store. Much Love.
In Gratitude with Attitude.
Forever in perpetual motion.
Just like the little red ball, that for 25 cents made a childhood ordinary day into a collection flow exeriences, art can take the most mundane day, and turn it into Dali-esque painting as rich in meaning as it is in nonsense.
My life is nonsense. My fears are nonsense. My toes are nonsense. Its all nonsense. 24 years old, still stuck between a perpetually horny middle schooler, and a wise sage, with both overlapping like soggy pancakes.
I read self help books. Mostly. I have a few books that I have read that aren’t new-agey and I try and bust them out in conversation to appear at the very least a pseudointellectual. But in truth, I am constantly thinking about myself and my experience, and a common title for a book I read is “How to be an Adult”. No bullshit. I am the main character in my story…as well as the director, the critic and the audience. So despite my lack of stable employment, I consider being me a full time job.
Lately is has been difficult to be me. Struggling for meaning, happiness, transparency. I find myself unable to capture the voice I want, to write the song I want, to speak or walk the way I want, be as present as I want. At times I feel so self obsessed that I could vomit.
However, its not all carrots and oatmeal. There is indeed a progress I feel. A subtle change and elevated consciousness, an ability to avoid over told and impeding stories that have so often sabotaged my happiness. I find myself talking more about gratitude. Reaching more toward uniqueness and self realization. Taking my thoughts less personally good and bad. Gaining momentum in the direction of the (hu)man I always imagined I would be. I read a quote from a hero quoting their hero and it centers me:
"To laugh often and much; to win the respect of intelligent people and affection of children; to earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure betrayal of false friends; to leave the world a bit better, whether by a happy child, a garden patch or a redeemed social condition; to know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have succeeded."
-Ralph Waldo Emerson
This Wednesday I am ecstatic to say the The Beggars shall release a 4 song session of all new tunes. Hours were spent creating this. But the work was relatively menial as it was primarily just a day slumber party amongst 4 storyteller bromskies all working toward the same end. Perhaps I could have worded that better. I wont worry about it.
To what was: Say Thanks.
To whats to come: Say Yes.
Today I woke up and I could breathe. This is a good thing. Not everyone can wake up and enjoy the something as basic as a good, long, and overly indulgent deep breath. I breathed in, held, and released. I did my best to focus only on my breath for 5 minutes as I awoke this morning. I failed. My mind drifted everywhere, and it felt more like chasing a horny monkey than finding the stillness of the now. But alas, it is a process. Lately, I have been waking up upset. When you lose something, you are temporarily immobilized by the natural grief that takes over. Lots of people try to avoid this process, however grief is not an emotional telemarketer that will stop calling if you ignore it for long enough, it is more like a rubber ball in a swimming pool that you can successfully push down for a time, but eventually your arms will tire and it will come rushing to the surface. Therefore, I have resolved to do my best to confront it head on, and allow myself to suck for a while. During this process I find myself being slightly anti-social, overly dependent on closest friends, and more grateful than ever that I have music to direct all my thoughts and emotions into whatever expression they demand in the moment. I wrote a tune last night that I think is very special and perhaps I will share it with you sometime soon.
Tomorrow I am supposed to give a talk about Gratitude at the church that I play at every Sunday (Mount Gilead Baptist). I am doing my best to keep the talk as facts oriented as possible, indeed studies have shown time and time again that simply setting aside a few minutes a day to be stoked on what you have can improve relationships, brain function, and overall well-being. However, I don’t want to just talk about things I read in some book somewhere, sometime that I cant remember. I feel like the best thing I can do is talk about how practicing gratitude affects my day to day since I have made it a priority.
Instead of pretending that I know exactly when gratitude became important to me and then claiming how much better of a person I am since then (which would be total bullshit insofar as how “good” I am is a spectrum that oscillates from day to day) I think I am just going to try and use this moment as an example.
I am at a Starbucks in Daly City, and I was fortunate enough to drive here in a little old blue car that gets great gas mileage, breaks down every now and then, but gets me from point a to point b consistently. When I walked in the cashier greeted me with a smile an asked me how I was. I told him I was good, and smiled back. He asked my name for the drink, I told him my name was “Harper King” and he looked at me questioningly for a second, and then said “rad name breh”. I then proceeded to sit down with my iced green tea as they played Iron and Wine “Such Great Heights” in the background. This brought back awkward but welcomed high school memories. Then I began to write this post to the 2 or 3 people who may actually read the whole thing in hopes that 1 might actually enjoy it. I did this with a laptop, a working brain, fine motor skills, and caffeine. In just a few moments I will take a picture of myself in a Namaste-like position, close the computer and go celebrate our bass players birthday. I will probably have a beer, play music, and relax in friendship and shared dreams. Then I will go home kiss a picture of a loved one, and crawl into comfortable bed that will fairy me into the dream world. Tomorrow I will wake up and try to focus on my breath and instead chase a horny monkey. Not a bad life.
Life is full of shitty shit. There’s an overwhelming supply for you if your looking for that kinda of thing. There will be plenty of people that will jump on the opportunity to bring you down. However, where you put your attention is a choice regardless of how distracting horny the monkey your mind is. I encourage today to think of the things and the people that make your life what it is, the add you laughter, love, and meaning to you life, and live in that for a while.
I wish you the best in your quest to get the best of great-full-ness. Much love.
Since graduating college , i have had two thoughts on my mind:
"What the hell am I gonna do now?" and "How the hell did I get such and Radonkulous van?" The latter taking precedence when the former gets too loud. As of this exact moment in time and space, I, Tim Jack Wilkins, am living in a van. Yes it is true, after 4 1/2 years of higher learning i have taken the big step into Vanhood. I admit this with esteem and honor and a tiny fart of shame. I think if somebody would have told me ten years ago that i would be graduated, living out of a van, Yoels house, and my moms place, with a steady income being made off of street performing and playing in a Gospel Church in the Ghettoest part of San Francisco, I would probably tell them to pass the doobie to the left hand side. Alas, this is my reality. So what now? Is the future looking bright for Tim WIlkins? Will a life of Ad-VAN-tures, music, brotherhood, inconsistent income, and the occasional peak experience suffice? So far, so good.
Right now The Beggars are in for some changes, and have some big things planned, and I am proud that we have in the works our first full length album with a thank you list, cover art, the WHOLE SCHABANG MAN! We are shooting for its release early to late August. So look out for that. And to close, I shall remind you, that right now, in this moment, you are perfect and beautiful. Your life, however it may be forming, is your art, and you are the artist. I encourage you to make art that makes you happy, and inspires others through its existence. Much Love.