Authentic Frontier Gibberish (gerry) Mon 18 Apr 05 20:01
(oops! There's been some classic WELL "slippage" and the following post was in response to <72>.) Heh! That's so rich, Deborah! Speaking of Miles, it reminds me of some of the reactions I had while reading your book. Miles is also one of my #1 idols - if not THE #1. He might not have been the greatest trumpeter in history, but he was arguably the greatest *musician* in history. But I digress... I was struck by the notion that Miles admired both your father and Carlos. (I recalled, not from your book, but from the autobiography, _Miles_, with Quincy Troupe, that Miles spoke well of Carlos.) Do you think there's some significance in that, Deborah? I mean, Miles was not easily given to *liking* people, from what I've gathered. I never met him, but I'd always heard that he was a bit edgy and much inclined to bluntly dismiss most people he encountered.
Authentic Frontier Gibberish (gerry) Mon 18 Apr 05 20:40
Deborah, I also have you to thank for providing me with a portrait of John McLaughlin (AKA Mahavishnu). For many years I'd listened to Miles' _Bitches Brew_, which included the track, "John McLaughlin" (second LP). And for some reason I'd had a deplorable lack of curiosity about the name of that track. I didn't know who he was, nor had I enquired or investigated.
Deborah Santana (dssantana) Tue 19 Apr 05 08:47
<Miles admired both your father and Carlos> That is an astute observation, gerry. My dad was the ultimate in cool, the handsome, private, elegant musician who did not try to make people like him. His musicianship was great - many musicians have said how impressed they are with the way he chose notes and played riffs. Miles was all about attitude and style. He probably thought Saunders King was the high class of jazz with dad's detachment from critics and fans and his beautiful wardrobe. Miles was a great listener. When he first heard (the original) Santana Band at the Fillmore East, he told them they had the best band in the world. Miles seemed to be drawn to Carlos - maybe because he was fearless in bringing new sounds and was always dedicated to the music, changing musicians to bring out the best.
Authentic Frontier Gibberish (gerry) Tue 19 Apr 05 09:07
That's great. Here's an excerpt I think sums it up: "_Bitches Brew_ sold faster than any other album I had ever done, and sold more copies than any other jazz album in history. Everyone was excited because a lot of young rock fans were buying the album and talking about it. So that was good. All that summer, I was touring and playing rock rock halls with Carlos Santana, the Chicano guitarist who plays Latin rock. Man, that m***rf***r can play his ass off. I loved the way he played, and he's a very nice person. We got to know each other real well over that summer and we have kept in touch. We were both recording for Columbia. I was opening up for Carlos, and I felt comfortable with that because I liked what he was doing. Even when we weren't playing together, if I was in the same city where he was playing I would go and catch his concerts. I think he was recording his album _Abraxas_ around this time, and I used to go in the studio to hear what they were doing. He told me he learned all about how to use silence in his music from me. We would hang out, me, him, and the music critic Ralph Gleason." -- Miles Davis with Quincy Troupe _Miles: The Autobiography_, pp. 317, 318 Touchstone (Simon & Schuster), 1989
Authentic Frontier Gibberish (gerry) Tue 19 Apr 05 09:40
Miles' mention of being comfortable opening for Santana stands in stark contrast with another part of the book, where he tells of clashing with Bill Graham about having to open for Steve Miller at the Fillmore East. Miles said that he deliberately came late, forcing Steve Miller to go on first, because he didn't respect what Steve Miller was doing musically.
Authentic Frontier Gibberish (gerry) Tue 19 Apr 05 09:48
Speaking of clashing with Bill Graham, Deborah, among the many things in your book that filled me with admiration was your account of being able to forgive him for his earlier mistreatment of you. That upon learning about his painful and tormented childhood you could see past his tough outer shell and forgive him and love him is, in my view, a demonstration of divine compassion.
Suttle (su) Tue 19 Apr 05 11:15
Deborah, I know that running Santana Management and Milagro, plus managing your household must keep you jumping every day. How do you find time in your schedule to write?
Deborah Santana (dssantana) Tue 19 Apr 05 19:40
<How do you find time in your schedule to write?> I have to MAKE time in my schedule to write. Normally (without a book in publication), I write mornings. It is my best time and my most creative time. I hear words in a new way and my muse is alive. I have developed a system of full-on Santana work days - Tuesdays and Thursdays - with Wednesday in the middle to write all day, if I can. My mom needs assistance and I still take care of our children, so my time is not all mine, which is just fine. When I was first writing Space Between the Stars, I had a desperation to write. Now writing has become a natural part of my life and I look forward to putting pen to paper everyday.
Deborah Santana (dssantana) Wed 20 Apr 05 07:37
One of the most satisfying parts of my book tour has been connecting with people I have not seen for many years. In Harlem, I saw and spoke with the man who had driven Carlos and Miles to the nightclub in NY when Miles was picking the fight with the bouncer/security guard. He now studies Sufism and has continued a peaceful, loving life. In Connecticut I saw a woman who cried telling me that Sri Chinmoy had kicked her off his meditation path. "What a blessing," I said. "Now you know with certainty he was not of God because we are all equally loved and valued by God - there's no exit door on a true path." In Mountain View, I saw a young woman who had worked with Carlos and me in our home 20 years ago. It was as if I was seeing my daughter, yet with no time having passed. Immediate connection and love. So, thank you one and all for showing up and confirming the truth I live - we are all one and much greater than the worries and wars of the world.
Authentic Frontier Gibberish (gerry) Wed 20 Apr 05 08:23
Deborah, I found I could relate to your story in a number of ways. First, I'm of the same generation, so my timeline growing up closely overlaps with yours. Also, I've spent most of my life living in either in San Francisco or the Los Angeles area, with a lot of back and forth between the two. I especially liked the degree of detail that you provided in the book with regard to places. Practically every place you mentioned is a place that I was at or near or passing through, etc., at roughly the same time as you. For example, when you were on Holloway, I was also in West Hollywood on Hammond, below the landmark "9000" building on Sunset. That kind of detail, including street names, enabled me to "see" much of your story in my mind, and made it seem more real. But this also made me wonder, suppose I were someone who'd never been to California and didn't know any of these places? Would the story have been any less interesting? I don't think so, but it's hard to say for sure. I remember when I read some of Thomas Hardy's works, such as _The Mayor of Casterbridge_, I appreciated how Hardy described the places he wrote about in great detail. The places he described were real, but he gave them fictional names in his books. At one point, he even provided a map of County "Wessex," which was actually Co. Dorset, with the names of the various places. He was probably given to that level of detail because he was an architect. When I actually went to Co. Dorset, years after reading the books, I was thrilled to see that everything was just like I'd imagined it. Anyway, I wonder if that's an issue that you pondered while writing the book. I mean, did you ask yourself, 'Do I include the name of the street or not?' Or did it just come naturally to you to include such details. Any have you received any criticism for doing so?
Gerald Feeney (gerry) Wed 20 Apr 05 08:47
<scribbled by gerry Sat 11 Dec 10 09:24>
Gerald Feeney (gerry) Wed 20 Apr 05 09:00
<scribbled by gerry Sat 11 Dec 10 09:24>
Deborah Santana (dssantana) Wed 20 Apr 05 15:42
<'Do I include the name of the street or not?' Or did it just come naturally to you to include such details. > I lived so many places in LA that it was a type of emotional reference to name streets and locations. Also, providing details in writing is extremely important to differentiate between scenes and to make an area come alive, as you mention Thomas Hardy did in his work.
Deborah Santana (dssantana) Wed 20 Apr 05 15:50
<Also, I got the impression that, when you and Carlos decided to cease being "disciples," it wasn't that difficult for you. Was it that easy? Or did you have issues to struggle with for a time?> It was extremely difficult for me to leave the meditation centre. I had to leave my sister, our restaurant that I had built from an empty store front into a flourishing business, and the people who I had been isolated with, who were friends, even though we had to keep a certain distance from each other. I felt more alone than I ever had before, but Carlos and I had each other again and that was important. Because the publishers were not particularly interested in that part of my life/memoir, I cut 200 pages and did not provide scenes of the anguish of leaving the disciple life. I was very angry with myself for believing in Sri Chinmoy and with him for offering deception. You are exactly correct when you say that leaving a cult is a long process filled with pain and questioning.
from JAN MILLARD (tnf) Wed 20 Apr 05 16:02
Jan Millard writes: I spent last Friday listening to the audio book, and all day Saturday reading the hardback copy, because I could not put it down. I am sorry that I was unable to come to your book signing in Pasadena, but my work day made it impossible. Hopefully, you will plan another southern journey, and include a store closer to Riverside. Your honesty and revelations were brilliant, and it was almost eerie how much your writing resembled my own journals. I have been married to my husband for 27 years, and your worst secrets are my worst secrets. I am amazed that you were able to discuss them so openly, and wonder if I will ever be able to do likewise. When I write in my journal I am so brutally honest, often in a fantastical manner, but I keep those words to myself. The times that I have premitted others to share, or (worse yet) when I have been violated by someone sneak-reading my journals, left me feeling mentally raped. There are whole periods of my life where I simply refused to put my thoughts down because my husband would read my journals behind my back, and I didn't want to censor MYSELF. (Irony!) I marvel at your ability to continue to write, even when you had to be so brutally truthful, and fully understand why you couldn't let Carlos read rough drafts. Disapproval would have made you leave out your true essence, which would have been dishonest to everyone, but most especially yourself. At any rate, you have inspired me to not give a damn what others say! "Beauty is Truth, Truth Beauty" afterall. On the thought of a book by your husband, if he had to tell the stories of his infidelities, would that reopen old wounds for both of you, or would it serve as the final healing catharsis to mend the hurt and put it irrefutably behind you forever? Did your Mother respect your wishes and leave the staples in her copy of the book? And were you concerned about your son and daughter's reactions to the two abortions? I think, as a parent, I have been straight forward with my daughter about the wildness of the 1970's, etc., but I am not sure I'll ever be ready to tell my Mother everything! What kind of feedback have you received from your family? Sincerely, Jan Millard
Suttle (su) Thu 21 Apr 05 14:29
Your publisher may not have been interested in the excised pages, Deborah but I certainly am. Really would have liked to read more about the whole How and Why of your experience with Sri Chinmoy. Any chance you might include the 200 pages in another work? or post it on your website for us to read?
Authentic Frontier Gibberish (gerry) Thu 21 Apr 05 14:39
Good question, <su>. I'm also interested.
Cynthia Dyer-Bennet (cdb) Fri 22 Apr 05 12:45
Amazing as it might seem, two whole weeks have flown by since this conversation began. I want to thank you, Deborah for sharing so much of your time, of your energy, of yourself here. I also want to thank you, Su, for your grace in guiding this discussion. Our virtual spotlight has turned to a new author, but this topic doesn't have to end; it will remain open for further comment indefinitely. Please feel free to continue if you're able, Deborah and Su, and if you need to wrap it up, thank you both for joining us.
Deborah Santana (dssantana) Fri 22 Apr 05 15:11
<On the thought of a book by your husband, if he had to tell the stories of his infidelities, would that reopen old wounds for both of you, or would it serve as the final healing catharsis to mend the hurt and put it irrefutably behind you forever? Did your Mother respect your wishes and leave the staples in her copy of the book? And were you concerned about your son and daughter's reactions to the two abortions? > I don't think I could read Carlos's stories of infidelities. And, I don't think he would tell them. Carlos is one who lives in the present with tremendous positive energy. My sharing of his faltering/humanness gave him great pain, not because he was exposed, but because he felt my anguish and sorrow. He is not the same person, so he would never recount that time. Yes, my mother has honored my request to not read the painful pages. I know she is tempted, but she is sensitive and trusts my judgment/warning. Only Salvador (21) and Stella (20) read SBTS. They did not comment on specific parts of my story that caused them tears, but both said they cried and laughed at my life. I believe it extremely important not to malign myself or anyone for the choices we've made in life. There is so much hurt on the journey... Salvador and Stella believe in freedom of choice and in healing and forgiveness. Maybe one day we'll speak about specifics of the book. Maybe not.
Deborah Santana (dssantana) Fri 22 Apr 05 15:12
<What kind of feedback have you received from your family?> All loving support. Carlos's sisters who read my book say they feel a new tenderness and love for me. Isn't that lovely?
Deborah Santana (dssantana) Fri 22 Apr 05 15:16
Thank you, one and all, for participating in this conversation about "Space Between the Stars." I have enjoyed being a visitor to The Well and it was all Su's idea - thank you, Su. Please check my website for news of upcoming book events if you want to hear me read - www.deborahsantana.com All of you who want to write your stories, begin or continue. I am truly transformed by the experience of speaking my life out into the universe. Who knows why it took me so long? I believe it is perfect timing. So, follow your own rhythm, your own light, your own truth and dance on down the road... Peace out - Deborah Santana
Suttle (su) Fri 22 Apr 05 17:08
Thank you, Deborah. I hope we'll see more books from you in the future.
ka6atn (paul) Sun 30 Oct 05 07:10
Debra is given great coverage on today's CBS Sunday Morning in a piece about Carlos Santana. They do one cut of a book event in San Francisco.
ka6atn (paul) Sun 30 Oct 05 07:12
Debra sb Deborah.
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