My name is Frank, a uniquely burdened and blessed male primate who otherwise refuses to be labelled…

I jumped off the treadmill of “success” years ago. I belong to no clubs. I have no religious or political affiliations. I hold no positions of coercive authority.

And although I was born in the United States of America, I consider myself, first and foremost, to be a citizen of the world.

My status as a freelance human being was partly earned (a source of deep satisfaction and pride) but was enabled mostly by opportunity (a source of deep humility and gratitude). I do my best to honor this privileged existence by embracing life with compassion, courage, and generosity.

My offerings here are the earnest expressions of a serious student of life–someone who’s been brought to tears by Beethoven’s “Ode to Joy” and Pol Pot’s killing fields–and whose first-hand experiences have earned him the right and demand of him the responsibility to speak.

I share them as a proclamation of gratitude, an aspiration to become a better person, a celebration of human dignity and potential, an embrace of the joys and perils of freedom and responsibility, an appeal for global solidarity and peace, and an invitation to live a deeply examined and meaningful life.

But before we begin, a confession is in order. Although I declare many things here with unapologetic enthusiasm and conviction, I am no saint. While I do my best to align my behavior with my core values and to transform my rants into meaningful action, I fail in many ways, big and small, almost every day. Please forgive my imperfections and walk with me for a while.

Note: I’m a rather famous cancer patient–three types of advanced cancer–and more. Just how “terminal” I am still to be determined. But please don’t feel sorry for me. I am doing remarkably well, considering. I have much to be grateful for and still have lots to live for.

With the unknown endowment of time and energy I have left, I’m on an urgent mission to share what I know about life–in the hope of inspiring others to live with amplitude, compassion, generosity, creativity, and courage–and with the hope of tearing down every religious, political, social, and economic wall that divides us. This site and the companion sites below are just one man’s humble and imperfect contribution to those ends. Thanks for being here.

69 thoughts on “About

  1. I downloaded your generously offered book from your website and read it. I found some valuable insights in it, some nuggets of wisdom that can only come from a thoroughly well lived life. Thank you!
    I sincerely wish you the very best for everything in your life!

    1. Wow! Your most kind words of appreciation made my day. It’s heartening to know that thoughtful and generous people like you are out there. All the best to you, my anonymous friend.

  2. So very pleased that you found my blog, Frank. I was very moved by your intro and am eager to read more.

    After reading —and listening to—the above, I’ll be glad “to walk with [you] for a while.” May it be a looooong while.

    1. So very nice to meet you and so glad we found each other, Annie. Looking forward to walking with you for a loooong while as well.

      It heartens me to know that generous and decent people like you are out there. I resonate deeply with the sentiments on your about page, in particular “seeking efforts to find common ground among people to lower the temperature of our national angst and strive for a more peaceful country and world.”

      Here’s hoping! Cheers!

  3. Thanks for visiting my blog and leaving a comment. I’ve found your perspectives enlightening and look forward to reading about your life journeys.

  4. You and I have a few things in common, starting with the fact that for a couple of decades now, I have declared myself to be a “citizen of the world.” All this “America First” crap is … just that … crap. Another thing we have in common is our humanitarian values. And a few other things I shan’t mention in the interest of brevity and privacy. Thank you for following my blog, Filosofa’s Word, and I look forward to reading more of yours.

    1. Glad to meet you, Jill. Thank you for being a courageous voice of reason and decency. And a hearty toast to being citizens of the world! (Here’s hoping that our ranks are growing)

  5. Reading your cancer journey is deeply moving and thought-provoking. What a brutally honest account.

  6. Thanks for sharing what you learn as you walk towards a certain finality. Not many people are up to looking at that, and all that comes with it. We can all learn much from your perspectives.

    1. Thanks so much for your most kind words of appreciation and encouragement, Linda… and for having the courage to walk with me for awhile.

      1. In a way we’re all terminal, aren’t we; no one ever makes it out alive, although the trip is different for everyone. I guess it’s how we choose to travel that makes the difference for us, and the people left behind.

  7. One of the outings we took with my father while his consciousness was slowly slipping away from us was to take him to hear “Ode to Joy” performed live. We were still in time for him to recognize his favorite, and even raise an appreciative arm to happily conduct a little from his seat.

  8. Thanks for your comments on my Camino blog, Frank. It has been 7 years since that trip, but I was recently back in Spain and touched down briefly in Ponferrada and in Santiago. So many memories!

    I didn’t realize you have a piano presence online; I will take a look. I began piano lessons (or resumed, after a half-century gap) five or six years ago, and I love it. Best wishes — Teresa

    1. Thanks so much for checking in, Teresa. Just this afternoon, in preparation for celebrating my upcoming ten-year anniversary of doing the Camino, I decided to revisit and edit my own Camino post. Lo and behold, YOU just happened to be the ONLY commenter (see your comment here: https://frankiesfootprints.com/spain/camino-de-santiago/). And so, I followed your avatar, which reminded me of and allowed me to rediscover YOUR lovingly and beautifully done Camino Chronicle which I’d visited years ago. Alas, neither of our postings scores at all on google. It seems that those who are selling the Camino get priority over those of us who’d rather share the Camino. All the best to you in travels, music, and life!

  9. Hi Frank! Tonight I stumbled upon your TikTok account. What a thoughtful collection of aspirations, reminders, and questions you’ve assembled in the life lesson series–more than enough to leave me inspired and excited for a lifetime. Thank you for sharing.

    1. Hey there, Carter. Thanks a million for the most kind words of appreciation and for the heads up on missing posts. #1 is pinned and so appears to be missing, but #52 is indeed not visible… I suspect never approved by tiktok. I need to contact them. Thanks again for the positivity and feedback. It really means a lot. Peace

  10. Frank: I am a speech language therapist and piano instructor. I recently got my B.A. in music. I LOVE YOUR Teaching videos at piano-ology! You are a fantastic instructor. I recommend your videos to my students. Thanks for your contributions to music instruction!!
    Hugs from,
    Beth Schulz

    1. Thanks a million for the most kind words of appreciation, Beth, and especially for sharing my work with your students! I heartens me deeply when artists and teachers like you resonate with the messages I am trying to socialize. All the best to you in music and life!

  11. I’m in southern California on the edge of the Mojave Desert at about 850 m. I’m a Federal retiree. I was with private firms for a few years, but ended up as a DoD architect, and lucky enough to spend most of my time in Japan. I am still amazed that I know someone that has visited Xinjiang. What a world! GROG

    1. That thought would have never crossed my mind, Frank. It’s your blog, and I appreciate the opportunity to take part in the convo here. The best part about WP is getting to know people. 🙂

      1. Indeed. I love the internet as it enables all us crazy freelance human beings to find each other. By the way, I am glad you chose to post a pic of yourself on your avatar…. and I think I will call you Victoria from now on, not the impersonal NN. Glad you are here, Victoria! Cheers!

    2. Hello Frank,
      Sorry to write you here about your wonderful YouTube explanation on how to play octaves on the piano. You are a fabulous and dedicated pedagogue and it is heartening to see how you open eyes and hearts. I loved every second of your video and widely smiled when you expected the students to go for “world class octaves”. It’s so important that the students feel important! May I just suggest two ideas. First (sorry if this sounds self evident) but I think that the 6th component in playing octaves is to know thoroughly the notes to play, to be able to anticipate and project all the notes/intervals/keys involved in a octave passage. Of course, it’s true for every passage, but I find that it bears a special importance for octaves, as hesitation in this case does not only translate into possible mistakes but also probable momentary stiffness. The second idea is just the order of events in your video, so that your discourse can be assimilated with ease. I would go with A. thumb, B. projecting the passage (visually, aurally and kinesthetically), C. Gravity, D. Extra (added, almost invisible) movements: D1. breathing of the hand, D2. wrist mobility, D3 (which may be one of the keys to the problem) the slight arm rotation.
      Again, I would like to stress how much I was feeling engaged looking at your video. You are a terrific teacher, Frank. Thank you so much!!!

      1. Hello, David. I cannot thank you enough for your generosity of spirit and most kind words of appreciation. Such carry extra special weight coming from an artist of your caliber. And thank you so much for the added commentary regarding octaves. I resonate with all that you suggested. I wish I had a magic button that could automatically incorporate your thoughts. Again, your words fill me with joy and hope… and I wish you the very best in music and life!

    1. Nice to meet you, GROG! Thanks for checking in. It fills me with hope to know that freethinkers like you exist. I just “followed” you and look forward to exploring your blog.

      1. Hello, again. I just read your coming out… How is retirement? I’ve been retired for a few years myself. It’s wonderful. A citizen of the world is good. I’ve spent a few years overseas and it does add perspective. GROG

        1. Hey there, Grog, A pleasure to connect with you in a more substantive way, Thanks for checking out my more general philosophy of life… dare I call it my “religion”? I will have been retired eight years on Feb 1! Retirement is under-rated. And yes, world-wide travel has been and continues to be an essential part of my education… https://frankiesfootprints.com/ Cheers!

          1. I retired in 2000. I admire your being out and about. I did a bit of traveling and dabbled in photography. More sedate these days. It’s nice.

  12. Hi Frank,
    I guess I should start this off by just saying I appreciate your being through and through. I ran across your music lessons on YouTube and I was blown away by your quirkiness and authenticity. I feel we are kindred souls and I, more or less, just wanted to thank you wholeheartedly for bringing me out of a musical slump I was in. I play guitar, but your musical and life lessons are far reaching. I also picked up a keyboard and sounded out all of the major scales. I will be branching out to the keys now most definitely. 🙂 I feel like my musical life is about to explode with mastery and I honestly have you to thank for it. Thank you.

    Stay golden friend and I hope I can meet you one day.

    With love,
    Anthony Green

    1. I live in Fines Creek, North Carolina. I live in the middle of a valley of the Appalachian mountains. The trails spark creativity and the people are always willing to wave 🙂 It is most definitely worth a trip if you’ve never been out towards Asheville area before. I have family in southern Florida I go visit from time to time and I want to visit friends out west towards Colorado. I want to see the entire west coast eventually. Are you close to the Appalachian mountains?
      Peace and love brother

      1. Thanks for the positive energy, Anthony. Alas I live two thousand miles away in Albuquerque… but, who knows… maybe I will get Asheville way or you will get ABQ way and we can play some music sometime. All the best to you, my friend. Peace.

        1. It will happen eventually, brother! I’ve only been out in the desert once before, but I’m sure we will make it out there again before too awfully long. I always have a bit of wanderlust 🙂
          Peace,love, and adventure be to you friend!

    2. I cannot thank you enough for your most kind words of appreciation, Anthony. Knowing that I have been of service is music to my ears! All the best to you, my friend, in music and life. Where is home for you? Or where do your travels take you? Perhaps meeting is not so hard! Peace.

  13. I have jumped off and jumped back on (the treadmill) many times over the course of a pretty enjoyable & fortunate life. I am finally pretty much off now ,but who knows what life will bring ? Whatever occurs should be just the way it will be.
    I got here through your Piano-logy site. Let me say thank you for that. After 40 years of guitar I am taking up Piano again after dropping it many years ago. There is something very different about your site. I look forward to working through many of your exercises.

  14. I just discovered your lectures on learning piano and was so surprised by the almost complete agreement of ideas in my book with your teachings, see my web site below. I plan to add a link to your piano lessons, as the one thing lacking in my book is videos, unless you have objections. My objective and life philosophy seem to parallel yours also; see my other web page at http://www.pianopractice.org/

    1. Thanks so much for making the connections, Chuan. It is nice to meet you. Please do feel free to link to my work. All the best to you in music and life.

      1. Thanks so much for sharing Mister Chang’s book. Yes, indeed I have read it and applaud him for so generously sharing his first-hand experiences. It is so heartwarming to see how authenticity tends to attract other authenticity… I am speaking of you and Mister Chang and your presence here, of course. All the best to you in music and life, Deb!

  15. I found really are awesome guy. I like that you have more questions than answer, which I do have as well. Thank you.

  16. The last person I found inspirational was Slomo, the skater on the San Diego boardwalk. I’m happy to find the same spirit in you, ranging broader afield, melded with a Rick Steves approach to getting out there in the world because it’s the best way to be. Thanks.

    1. Thanks for checking in, TSG, and for resonating with my worldview. Don’t worry too much about being stuck… for now. It is all just part of the process. Based on the energy and attitude that you exude on your website, you WILL find a way to get off the treadmill when the time is right. Peace!

Leave a Reply