A KIA Black Belt’s Ghost
Steve “Coyote” Vertun, KIA Black Belt #39, has experienced the most horrific event in a parent’s life—the passing of his son, Alexander. In his son’s memory, Steve has written, sung, performed and produced a music CD whose anchor song is GHOST—a must-see beautiful tribute in word, song and production. It should also be noted that Coyote’s music engineer is the KIA’s own Jerry “Shuto” Alston, the 28th Black Belt of the Kiado-Ryu.
Below the various links to Steve’s CD is a full explanation in his own words regarding GHOST, its purpose and backstory. Awesome work, Coyote! Enjoy everyone!
In Steve’s own words . . .
Dear fellow KIA Family,
Whitefire recently became aware of a project that I was working on. He suggested that he wanted to participate by placing it in the next addition of his awesome KIA newsletter. And so, here we are.
Many years ago I lost my son Alexander. It was a very trying time and it took several years for me find a pathway to acceptance. He was 4 ½ years old. It was as indescribable time as you can imagine it would be. He was a wonderful, kind little human being on every imaginable level and I loved him more than I could ever fathom to articulate. As time progressed I developed a different perspective on the matter. For a long while I could only see my own pain and discomfort. As a life long musician, it followed that moving through this would involve music as a natural outlet.
One of the songs, Ghost, (along with the rest of the CD Ghost, Shadow and Sun) was written at a time of transition, when I was starting to see things on a wider plane as while I was starting to transition towards some daylight on the matter and my gaining of a calmer perspective. The Ghost Video concept came few of years later as the CD was finally being mastered. (Jerry “Shuto” Alston engineered the CD. He has been working with me for 20+ years on my Eye Savant musical endeavors and as I transitioned into a solo artist. His work and ear are excellent, he is very kind and patient when it comes to my OCD perfectionist streak and he has been an incredible partner throughout all of this, personally and professionally. Love this guy!
The inspiration and resulting purpose purpose of the video was to provide other people a level of support while considering their own personal tragedy and to let them know that for whatever darkness or pain they are experiencing, at some point there will be light and a more gentle perspective ahead. Only time and distance will be their salvation and hopefully a spiritual path that they consider. Part Of the challenge I have had with this video release is that a percentage of people that see it take it that I am still in this deep grieving mode and that this is simply a tribute Alexander and a cathartic endeavor. It goes well beyond that in that it is primarily intended as message to help others. And additionally a couple of worthy charities (St. Jude Children’s Hospital and Wounded Warriors Project) from any CD sales. What I am hoping to avoid is this misunderstanding. While I very much appreciate these responses and condolences intended to be of comfort, it is really about the message intended for others. I have made my peace to the best extent possible over these many years Indeed this is a pathway for me to Alexander, however the way of honoring him, at this point in time, is through extending a message of hope to other grieving people and supporting organizations that are helping people whom might be grieving. I hope this makes sense to you. That is the message I want to bring forth.
As far as any messaging to our KIA Black Belt and all under-belt Brothers and Sisters… I want you to know that the training, comradery, strengthening of spirit, balance, fortitude and warrior spirit that I had the great opportunity and blessing to develop at the KIA was a significantly large part of what provided me the ability to weather this massive storm in the years when I most needed it… and to this very day, every day in all of the many challenges that life brings. I want you to know that the time and attention that you have devoted to “The Wall”, and the sacrifices you have made or are making to get there were worth every bit of it and if it hasn’t already been required, if you should ever need it because your spirit is being fully tested, call upon it, and it will be there for you.
In closing I want to express my deepest and sincerest thanks to Whitefire who, during the turbulent years and in the aftermath, was always there and had this exquisitely fine tuned prescient sense of when I needed support or an alternative view that would help stabilize my walk at any and many given moments, even if we hadn’t spoken in months. I would find myself in a deep shadow, the phone would ring and I would answer to his voice saying, “I’ve been thinking about you” and we would meet. That is part of the irreplaceable leadership and brotherhood that is the KIA legacy; ever present, ever strong, part of our shared wall DNA.
For additional information, backstory, see the video or participate with the music/charity please visit stevenjvertun.com. You can pre-order the CD (or wait until 3 February 2017 for the actual release). 30% of the proceeds are going to the charities mentioned above and the balance will be spent on producing more ways to bring these organizations more money.
Thank you for taking the time to read this!