27 January 2009
Here's a short story I wrote for creative writing (sorry, it's in early stages and doesn't really have to do with anything, but thought I'd share it since I don't really have time to post something with more substance, or else I'll miss the train and be late for class -- which I already feel I'm starting to fall behind on).
"I would remember that morning as though it was the backdrop for a movie scene – fuzzy, and kind of beautiful, but without specifics. The focus was on the actors, the plot, the dialogue. Only the one obsessive compulsive kid with a fetish for detail (whose mother had named him Simon, after the character in and the Chipmunks) would notice the activity in the background, like the sunlight shimmering in rainbows on the oil that had leaked out onto the street in the spot where the car just pulled away. And Simon would push his glasses up on his nose - as if his eyeballs had to be touching the lenses in order for him to really see – and he would squint one eye shut and peer intently at the scene.
So there we were, John and I, two main characters stuck in our roles: he wore an orange bandana around his head and dressed like he’d time-traveled from the ‘80s; I stood barefoot in a bathrobe, with water dripping from my long hair onto the heart-shaped leaves that littered the sidewalk.
“I’m standing out here for you because I love you. My toes are numb and I’m going to get a head cold from the wind. Imagine what the neighbors are going to say. But I love you!” My voice hit a note of desperation. Pause for dramatic effect. Breathe deep.
“Don’t go; I am afraid of forgetting.”
There, I said it out loud. But John had already squealed off in our Dodge Viper, which was purple with black racing stripes, and had been our first purchase together. There was some truth to my scripted soliloquy – I was afraid of forgetting the simple things, like the sound of my father’s voice or the way my brother used to pull the blanket over my head in the mornings. Or the good luck charm I’d hung from the Viper’s rear view mirror that I’d gotten from my best friend, who moved to Alvin and never called again.
I was afraid of forgetting the simple things, like who I really was.
The tears came, then. Later, I would recount the story with heartache. I would remember the way my eyes burned in the chill autumn wind, the shivers that crawled up my spinal cord and straight into my wisdom teeth. Only the onlooker, Simon, would observe the squirrel, standing in a bare branch directly above my weeping, wallowing, wasting self. The squirrel flattened its tail against its back, spiking up into the air. Its tiny eyes looked up at the sky and it made a sound - halfway between a choke and a cry - that was supposed to be a bird-call. It looked up expectantly, and then clicked its teeth together twice in impatience. It tried again, and again; its birdsong shrieked in symphony with my sniffles.
“Oh little squirrel,” Simon said in his squeaky voice, almost chanting, almost praying, “You are not a bird. The birds do not try half as hard as you do.”
With the sun falling in stripes across his pug-nosed face as he peeped out of his bedroom window, Simon, too, pretended to be a squirrel. He pretended to be a squirrel pretending to be a bird, in the same way that I pretended to be a wife pretending to be in love. I cried, not for loss of John, but for loss of my own freedom. I cried, a little, out of relief that for the two weeks John would be away, I could retire to my dressing room to finally rest and memorize the lines to the rest of my life, because I was afraid of slipping out of the role just as much as I was afraid of losing myself in it.
And only Simon, my son, hiding behind that bedroom window, would count the mistakes in the movie of our lives: my hands did not shake, my tears reflected rainbows like spilled oil on the street, and my sobs sounded more like squirrel shrieks."
20 January 2009
Today is the first day of a new semester. Goals? 4.0 GPA, not to fall behind on reading, try to apply for a summer internship, figure out what the hell I want to do with my life, finish writing movie script with Adam, write another novel (but a better one this time), make time to see friends but not get wrapped up in social obligations. Wish me luck, and good luck to anyone else beginning classes today or sometime soon!! If you believe you can do something, then it is in your power to do it. "...And I also know how important it is in life not necessarily to be strong, but to feel strong..." -Into the Wild Edit: And, not five minutes after my optimistic entry, do I hear that the 5 trains are experiencing signal problems and there will be delays. There goes my optimism, as I now rush to get all my books together and catch an earlier train, and hopefully still make it to class on time.
14 January 2009
I just wanted to share a really short poem I wrote recently: Still Life I wanted to live in a neighborhood of creativity an artistic commune of chaotic activity. But by the time I cold finally afford exorbitant rent prices, they'd already moved somewhere else.
I know, I know, I said I'd do more posts about colors and I haven't gotten around to it, yet. That's because I've been sidetracked by reading all 704 pages of Hippie Dictionary by John Bassett McCleary. Also, there's so much to say about color that I wasn't really sure where to start. But I think I'll start with an example. Last May, 9 months ago, I got a spur-of-the-moment industrial piercing in my left ear. And all of the horror stories I'd heard about healing all came true. Daily, it leaked pus and blood, and at the slightest touch I felt like punching someone in the face. And I'm normally a really peaceful person, so you can imagine the pain. About 8 months later, it was still really inflamed, and I'd developed this swelled-out bumps at the back and front of the bottom hole. So I decided to apply some color-healing. Every day, I focused on my inflamed ear and closed my eyes and imagined my ear being surrounded by a pulsing flood of blue-purple energy. Purple and violet colors have the most healing properties, especially since it is a purifying color. Blue-purple (or Ice Blue, but I always feel better when some purple is involved) is the preferred color for getting rid of inflammation and swelling, as well as other skin and skeletal problems. And now, the bumps on my ear has disappeared, and it looks better than it has yet. Of course, it could have just been the natural course of healing, but I believe that colored energy was beneficial, because it healed relatively quickly once I started color therapy. Yesterday I got a cut on my foot, and I immediately went to my medicine cabinet, grabbed the box of band-aids, and put a purple band-aid over the cut. How To Heal With Color by Ted Andrews (which I've recommended before) has a really useful list of ailments and colors that work best when trying to heal them. When in doubt, I'd suggest a purple or white light. Green is also a good healing color, but I'm always a little paranoid about it because green is also the color of growth, and so shouldn't be used on any infection or ailment that could spread. So be careful if you're going to use green! In fact, I'd recommend buying the book for a more in-depth look. Here's a few key items from Andrews' list: Abdominal Cramps - Yellow (corresponding with the yellow color of Manipura, the Solar Plexus chakra) Growths - Violet, Blue-Purple (NOT GREEN!) Infection - Violet Inflammation - Blue, Blue-Purple Skin Problems - Lemon, Blue-Violet
I admit it. It's probably a clinical obsession at this point. But if you've seen it, then you're probably at least a little bit obsessed too -- so I'm not too worried about myself!! It is HAIR: An American Tribal Love Rock Musical, begun in 1964 by partners James Rado and Gerome Ragni and later appearing off-Broadway, on Broadway, and in various other threatres all around the world. And now, with previews beginning on March 6 and an opening day set for March 31, directed by Dianne Paulus (who also directed the musical when it premiered in Central Park last summer), HAIR is coming back to Broadway. And, although I was disappointed when I heard that Jonathan Groff wold not be reprising his role as Claude, I am excited at the prospective cast thus far, including Gavin Creel as Claude, Bryce Ryness resuming his role as Woof, Darius Nichols resuming his role as Hud, and Kacie Shiek resuming her role as Jeanie. Let me tell you, I've listened to at least 4 different cast recordings of HAIR, and these four people are still some of the best I've heard yet! (And on a slightly differnt note, Bryce Ryness has a great band called RYNESS, which I recently saw in concert at Sullivan Hall. Check out the band's myspace here.) The musical presents a strong anti-war statement, at a time when I think we need one almost more than ever. And, based on the success over the summer, I dare say that HAIR on Broadway will be a huge success, more so than ever before. Although HAIR always garnered positive reviews, it was also violently targeted and oftentimes attacked for its (at the time) taboo subject matter. For a good insider's look at some of these stories,check out Good HAIR Days by Jonathan Johnson, who performed in numerous productions of HAIR, primarily as the in-love-with-Mick-Jagger-but-not-homosexual Woof. Although the play lacks a linear storyline, all of the chaotic bits seem tied together by Galt MacDermot's beautiful feel-good soundtrack.
04 January 2009
I was asked to go to Times Square on New Year's Eve. I can picture it now -- a little cartoon version of myself with spiking blonde hair shoved under a hat that looks like Hello Kitty's face, unable to move because I've stuffed myself in ten sweaters, bouncing up and down because I'm freezing and I need to pee but if I move I won't ever get back to the spot I'm at now, and really, utterly miserable. Of course, there is the romantic flip-side of celebrating New Year's with the person I care about, who would have also been there with me. I could have gotten a New Year's Eve kiss under an exploding, ball-dropping, wind-surging, star-spangled sky. But I didn't. I just stayed home with my family, watched a movie, and played some Rockband. And maybe it wasn't mind-blowing and exciting, but I was content. And tomorrow, on January 5th, I'm throwing a New Year party at my house with my friend, and we've invited a decent number of guests. It's time to celebrate the New Year in the New Year! After all, shouldn't we spend every day of the year celebrating new beginnings and possibilities? I think so. And anyway, I've had bad luck with New Year's Eve kisses in the past. Time to start a new trend for a new year -- no kiss on New Year's Eve, but plenty of kisses throughout the rest of the year. And not only kisses, but also plenty of celebrations, new revelations, and chance-taking. Time to start really living again, instead of just managing to survive.
03 January 2009
After a period of absence (I know, I know, you could barely stand it while I was away), I have returned to my customary white screen, white box, verdana small font typeface mouth. And I have returned as somewhat changed, somewhat the same. 2008, like everything in life, was a process - no start, no finish, just an endless muddle through the middle, from the shallows to the deep. A process begun at birth, to continue until after even death. The process is external - the situations we face each day, the circumstances we live through, the friends we make and the ones we lose. The choices we make. The morals we follow. The lies we tell. But the process is internal, also. It is a path stemming out from the tiniest of cells, slip-sliding through the bloodstream, manifesting in the squishy folds of the brain pan. The internal process is your consciousness, and its constant expansion. Today I finished reading Turn On, Tune In, Drop Out by Timothy Leary. Surprisingly, as anti-chemical as I am, I agreed with a lot of the things he said in there. I expanded my consciousness enough to understand his point of view, and even acknowledge some truth to his words. Although Leary preached a mass movement towards LSD, it wasn't about a pleasure-trip, so much as a religious, sensory, exploratory experience. Through LSD, Leary believed people could touch God, the God within themselves, the God that we all are. Each person is God, a manifestation of God, an infinitesimally small piece of the perfection pie. LSD was about breaking reality. LSD was a sacrament. But the key point, the reason I could agree with all of that despite my disapproval of drugs, was that the sacrament did not have to be LSD. The sacrament could be the Catholic host, the dervish dance, your own "breathing, fasting, flagellation, dancing, solitude, diet," according to Leary. "There are hundreds of ways of turning on. But at the present time, man is so sick that there are very few people who can use these ancient methods, so that today is it safe to say that drugs are the specific, and almost the only, way that the American is ever going to have a religious experience." We've past the Hippies. Past the counterculture. Sure, pockets of it still exist. There are still people like me who just want peace and freedom and happiness and love. But I think we're past the point where drug = sacrament, because I think that drugs, like laughing and dancing, became too trendy, too commercialized, in a sense. Religious power diluted. But we have to do something. So let's go out, and find our own sacraments. Anything that can change your conscious, expand your mind's capacity. Meditation, mental, mathematic, marvelous processes. Pay attention to the molecules. Pay attention to the motions of everything. Pay attention to the movements you can feel, the tones that resonate within your organs even if you can't see them. Pay attention to the colors. Become aware. Here's the New Year's resolution for the whole world: Find your sacrament. Turn yourself on. And through this process, we continually grow, and we continually help others to grow. Through this process, we strengthen the shimmering strands of connection between us. Through this process, we unite our tiny fragments of God into a greater whole. Dig it.