Plenty of Chocolate Around Here, So Life is Good!

Yesterday wound up being pretty okay. Even though, by the time I actually was able to sit at my desk and really focus on the play for a few uninterrupted hours in the evening, it turned out that my extensive notes on the new dialogue were better than the actual new dialogue, so I closed the computer and just decided to wait until today.

Two things happened yesterday that were interesting.

My phone chat with my ex-husband in Seattle revealed that he was in some sort of depression — something having to do with the state of the whole world and its economy. A view I don’t share because I don’t stare at the stock market all day — or ever.

But it was weird — he’s not someone who has ever been prone to actual depression. He has certainly had his struggles in life and had things that have really challenged him. But depression was not something he ever succumbed to.

I just let him talk, you know. Express whatever he needed to express, without trying to change his point of view on anything. But I didn’t share any of his views and that felt so weird, because we usually have similar views on life, in general (which was why we got married, a million years ago). The stuff he was focused on yesterday — well, I couldn’t have felt more different about that stuff.

And then I had an email exchange with a friend in Europe who was talking to me about my new novel, Blessed By Light. He likes the concept a lot (in an extreme nutshell, the novel documents a love affair that takes place in the final year of life of a fictional American rock & roll legend — and it’s told in Second Person, throughout). But he didn’t like the title at all.

And I found that both interesting and sort of amusing, since “Blessed By Light” refers to God, and somewhat to Jesus, and to that light we go toward when we die (or so people in near death experiences attest to), and then the actual spotlight of fame — and all of it relating to the character in the novel, who strongly believes in God. And since it’s totally uncool to believe in God anymore, I thought to myself, that’s interesting that the title is bothering him so much and he doesn’t even know yet that it refers to God.

People seem to like that my characters have a lot of sex and take drugs and are challenged by moral dilemmas, but you know — God. Not sure we appreciate going there.

It’s definitely an American novel, though, that’s for sure.

But aside from those two strange things, yesterday was actually really nice. Nowhere near as annoying as I thought it would be.

As soon as I left to go vote, the sun came out big time; the sky cleared up and it was a gorgeous day to drive around in. I voted, and everyone at the voting place was in good spirits. I went to the Honda dealership and everyone there was in good spirits. I went to get my groceries and the check-out girl said, “wow, I love what’s in your cart– you buy all the things I like.” Then I came home and vacuumed the house, etc., etc. It was just a really nice, easy day. Not annoying at all.

I also changed the furnace filter — I knew it had to be getting bad because my breathing issues were getting more pronounced. I usually have to give myself a little pep talk before I go down into my basement, though. It’s not the creepiest basement I’ve ever had but it is second in line. Once I’m down there, though, I’m actually okay. Much like this entire house, even the creepy 119-year-old unfinished basement has good vibes to it. (Assuming you don’t mind spiders, which I don’t.)

In fact, while I was down there changing the filter, I took a couple of photos for you!! One is of what’s left of the 119-year-old coal bin under the stairs, and the other is the coal shoot, which has been sealed up, but it’s still technically there. I just love old stuff like this — you know, actual remnants from the man who built this house. His water well is still outside my back door and is only nominally covered over, and the barn of course is still there, with all its original insides, including the hand built cupboards, and the old hand-built pass-throughs for feeding the horse. People just layered the new stuff around the old stuff over the years. And I just really love that.

The remains of the 119-year-old coal bin under the basement stairs.
The sealed-up coal shoot at the top of the stairs. Don’t want to wear your fetish high-heels on these old stairs, that’s for certain!

Well, after I had that full day, and got no productive writing done on the play, I just did yoga and then listened to Ghosteen on my phone while I played solitaire on my iPad, and wondered how musicians feel about people listening to all their hard work on a phone. But still, it just seemed like a good day.

Oh, yesterday, Nick Cave sent out another Red Hand Files letter. You can read it here. It’s about the benefits of Transcendental Meditation, and how it transformed him from the horribly wonderful man he used to be into the wonderfully wonderful man he is today! (I’m paraphrasing, of course, because I am incapable of thinking so much as a disparaging thought about Nick Cave.) However, he was eloquent and interesting, as always.

And now I am going to get back to work on the ending of this play!!! See if I can come up with some actual dialogue that is as good as my notes are.

Still doing the Angel Clare thing at breakfast around here, so I leave you with a truly gorgeous piece of production work today, “Old Man”. A song written by Randy Newman, about a mean old man, a father, dying alone — almost. If you’ve never heard it before, you should listen to it (turn it up). It’s the kind of soaring, devastating singing that Art Garfunkel is famous for. Okay. Thanks for visiting, gang!! I love you guys. See ya.

“Old Man”

Everyone has gone away, can you hear me? Can you hear me?
No one cared enough to stay, can you hear me?

You must remember me, old man, I know that you can if you try.
So just open up your eyes, old man, look who’s come to say, “Goodbye.”

The sun has left the sky, old man, the birds have flown away
and no one came to cry old man, goodbye, old man, goodbye.

You want to stay, I know you do, but it ain’t no use to try,
because I’ll be here, and I’m just like you, goodbye, old man, goodbye.

Won’t be no God to comfort you, you taught me not to believe that lie.
You don’t need anybody, nobody needs you, don’t cry, old man, don’t cry.

Everybody dies.

c – 1973 Randy Newman

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