Oh, People! This Astounding Voyage Continues!

Around 2am, the wind kicked up something fierce, so not only had it begun to rain again, but the wind was blowing rain in on my bed. Short of sleeping in some sort of  adventurous, seafaring schooner, having rain blown in on me while I sleep is not my idea of a nice night.

So I got up and closed most of the windows again, and missed the morning bird songs and overslept again.  Awoke at 6:30am to a bright, shiny bedroom.

And to two very intense texts on my phone.

Both texts had apparently been hanging there unanswered by the soundly-sleeping me for hours.

One was from Peitor. We had been texting before I went to sleep last night at around midnight, and I thought we were done texting and so I set down my phone and turned out the light. But it seems I was wrong. Because he texted something intense, unhappy and emotional (he’s in Italy right now, checking in on his elderly mother), and I left him hanging for over 6 hours! I felt terrible.

You know – lurch yourself from sleep, start typing: Oh god, I’m so sorry. I fell asleep!

And the other text was from a girlfriend that I am very close to and we had gotten into an intense conversation late last night, because (like Peitor) she is also going through some intense family stuff. And she looked so tired and so angry and so fed up last night, and  I just wanted to fix that.

I try so hard not to tell people how to live or what to think or what to do.  And I went through all that training in Divinity School on counseling people, and all of that, and I’ve counseled a lot of people. And I can be a remarkably effective counselor if I don’t actually know you and don’t have to get emotionally involved. I’m perfectly at ease with allowing you to find your own way in life and the “f” word does not come flying out of my mouth…

However. When it’s someone I actually know and care about, suddenly I can find myself saying things like: “You need to do such & such!!”, trying to tell her how to live her own life, in an escalating tone… because I am emotionally involved and I want my friends to be happy and I think that “being happy” means thinking the way I do.

Even though we ended it in a good place, I still felt bad about not giving her enough of her own space last night.  And then her text was there from during the night, continuing some of her thoughts from the conversation and I had to force myself (not even out of bed yet) to not let my mind go to that place where I am trying to fix her life for her – even though I know full well she is not asking me to do that.

And even though I didn’t go as far as the “f” word last night, I still felt like I had. Because I truly prefer to allow people to be themselves, and to have their own thoughts and approaches to the world; and yet sometimes I don’t choose to actually do that. I jump in there and try to “re-script” them in a rather emphatic tone.  And then I don’t feel very good about myself. I don’t want to simply paste my own perceptions of the world onto people, it dismisses the importance of how they feel about living their own lives.

And that was all, you know, before I even got out of bed this morning.  I was still just lying there, under the cuddly blanket and my 1700-thread-count Italian cotton sheets, my head surrounded by all my soft expensive pillows – and I was staring at the phone, feeling like a terrible friend.

So I guess maybe it’s going to be an interesting day.

The Conversations with Nick Cave are on hiatus for a couple of weeks. Well, at least the Conversations that have an uppercase “C”. The conversations with a lowercase “c” that he will undoubtedly be having over the next couple of weeks are apparently private and his website is not revealing where he is planning to spend those evenings.  This likely also means that no one will be posting photos of their lowercase “c” conversations with him to Instagram, so I will not be able to tell you what he is wearing. Or if any of those people he converses with in private call him God.

Yes, this means I will have to fixate on other things.

Like, for instance, my own life.

On Tuesday, I’m having lunch with the director of my play (Tell My Bones) so that I can discuss with him what Sandra said on the phone the other night. And move forward. Most likely at a pace I was not anticipating even a few weeks ago. We’ll see.

I still have some writing to do on that play. Revisions, I mean.  But I’m waiting for rehearsals to start before I actually do that. And the pressure on me feels intense because the cart is officially before the horse now – meaning that a bunch of publicity about this play got “out there”  in the world and on the Internet without me knowing it was going out there.

And now people all over the place are using my “award-winning script” as a way to try to drive up the value of Helen’s paintings.

When I first wrote the story about Helen, it was a TV movie script (and it is an award-wining script now and it did well in a lot of the top contests and at the Austin Film Festival). I was working for Gus Van Sant’s production company back then, working for his amazing dad, who was his business manager and who also managed Helen LaFrance’s career and that’s how I got exposed to her truly amazing paintings.

And I wanted to write about her specifically to expose more people to her incredible paintings.  To her life.  In my opinion, her paintings need to be hanging in everyone’s homes.

And so now, to find myself in this position where, you know, the play hasn’t even been mounted yet; you can’t actually go see it anywhere yet.  And total strangers all  over the world are taking it as a given that the play will be great and that it justifies their wanting to make more money off of Helen’s paintings right now

It’s not a bad position to be in, but I am under a lot of pressure here.

Which is also why I want the novel finished and off my desk, because I need to focus on Tell My Bones, even though I love this novel and I’ve loved every moment I’ve spent writing it. I don’t really want to rush through it. But I also don’t want it being shoved to the back burner again.  I had wanted it completed by Christmas and it is practically summer already.

So that’s that. My brain on a lovely Sunday morning.  Still in my PJs and already way too stressed…

I hope that you’re having a super-duper Sunday, though, wherever you are in the world.

I leave you with this. I was actually listening to this song again yesterday, because I came across something I’d written several years ago – about how it had felt to be 12 and to love this song and to listen to it late in the night on a tinny transistor radio, after sneaking out of my house and just walking the dark suburban streets by myself, listening to the local AM hit radio station, thinking it really was going to be incredible – being a powerful woman in the world, living my dreams, making them happen… (I leave it to you to decide to what degree that has worked out for me.)

Anyway. Thanks for visiting. I love you guys. See ya!

“I Am Woman”

I am woman, hear me roar
In numbers too big to ignore
And I know too much to go back and pretend
‘Cause I’ve heard it all before
And I’ve been down there on the floor
No one’s ever going to keep me down again

Whoa, yes, I am wise
But it’s wisdom born of pain
Yes, I’ve paid the price
But look how much I gained

If I have to I can do anything
I am strong (strong)
I am invincible (invincible)
I am woman

You can bend but never break me
‘Cause it only serves to make me
More determined to achieve my final goal
And I’ll come back even stronger
Not a novice any longer
‘Cause you’ve deepened the conviction in my soul

Whoa, yes, I am wise
But it’s wisdom born of pain
Yes, I’ve paid the price
But look how much I gained

If I have to I can do anything
I am strong (strong)
I am invincible (invincible)
I am woman

I am woman, watch me grow
See me standing toe-to-toe
As I spread my loving arms across the land
But I’m still an embryo
With a long, long way to go
Until I make my brother understand

Whoa, yes, I am wise
But it’s wisdom born of pain
Yes, I’ve paid the price
But look how much I gained

If I have to I can face anything
I am strong (strong)
I am invincible (invincible)
I am woman

Oh, I am woman
I am invincible
I am strong
I am woman
I am invincible
I am strong
I am woman

c-1972 RAY BURTON, HELEN REDDY

4 thoughts on “Oh, People! This Astounding Voyage Continues!”

      1. Well, that’s his cover song/album band from about ten years back or more/less now but you’ve heard him before because i remember you saying you really enjoyed Beasts’ Drunk On A Train song a couple of months ago! That’s the same singer, he’s been in quite a few Aussie bands over the years! Maybe those tracks aren’t licensed or whatever in U.S.A. but i don’t know how that works really? That one was recorded for a whole album of male Aussie singers-frontmen doing well-known songs by females, here’s Wikipedia link to tell you more: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/No_Man%27s_Woman
        if you want to have a look? but not listen, sorry! i don’t know where you could find it, sorry again!

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