She’s Sort of A Great Big Blank Today!

I’ve been up for hours already, and I actually got a lot done.  Even shaved my legs, which was sort of a monumental undertaking this time. (I’d been putting it off for days.) (And days.) (Maybe even as much as a week.) (Or two.)

Anyway. Got it done.

It’s a strange , intensely foggy morning here in Crazeysburg, but the birds were singing so rambunctiously while I was meditating this morning, that I finally had to stop and simply lie on my bed and listen to them. So beautiful. So joyous. And this was with all the windows closed, on a sort of chilly, foggy morning.

It brought to mind just how loud it gets when the warmer spring weather finally comes and the windows are open. It’s like you can hear every single bird in Muskingum County, by 4:45am.

And then I thought, So. What am I gonna write today? And I realized I was sort of a great big blank.

Work with Peitor went great yesterday. Even though I have a lot of work to do on the Abstract Absurdity Productions website and the whole production company thing has turned into a  massive undertaking, I am feeling really good about all of it.

And yesterday, I toyed some more with the idea of somehow taking my TV pilot project for Cleveland’s Burning and turning it into more of a theatrical adaptation for the stage. (Loyal readers of this lofty blog perhaps recall that the one veteran African-American actor who was interested in attaching to the pilot, died suddenly this past summer, so I am sort of still at square one with that.) (And even while the executive in charge of programming at a mega-TV-streaming company out in LA wants to hear my pitch, she has already assured me that she doesn’t care what kind of a great writer I am, she won’t hear the pitch if no one significant is attached yet.)

So anyway, I’ve been sort of turning that project over in my mind (in all my free time) — wondering if maybe it might be better served, for now, on the stage. And I know for sure that there’s a theatrical producer in LA right now looking for this exact kind of project. And even though I have absolutely no clue at this point how I would adapt it, it did seem like a really great idea to take on a new project!! I’m only juggling about seventeen hundred right now.

Then, of course, I thought, Perhaps I should back off of that idea and look at all this other stuff that’s on my plate.

So I’ve been doing that here this morning. Looking at all the projects that are on my plate, I mean. Trying to figure out which direction I want to go in here.

Oh, on another topic altogether — Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds announced yesterday that a show in Milwaukee has been added to the North American tour this fall. Tickets go on sale today, I think. You can see the details here.

Meanwhile, I guess it’s just one of those weird days. I slept great. I feel great.  All is right with my world. I have no chores that need doing. I have the entire day & evening ahead of me, within which to create some sort of masterpiece, and now I just have to figure out what that will be. I have no clue. Nothing is calling out to me — except a theatrical adaptation of Cleveland’s Burning. How wonderful.

Ken Burns’ Jazz documentary is at last winding down. Last evening, I watched the episode that sort of focused on the devastation that heroin wreaked on jazz musicians in the late 1940s into the 1950s. That was really gut-wrenching. The show maintains that a lot of jazz musicians (both black and white) wanted to be like Charlie Parker so they started taking heroin in hopes that they would become more like him. I’m not sure how accurate that is, but that’s what the documentary puts forth.

(Charlie Parker became an addict back in the 1930s, when he was in a terrible car accident in Kansas City at age 17. In the hospital, they kept him on a massive dose of morphine and, apparently, he had some sort of epiphany there about music and his saxophone. He came out of the hospital a completely & utterly changed musician with a changed personality, and also with a drug habit that lasted a lifetime.)

Anyway. It was not a cheery episode. Plus it also began looking at the extreme racial problems in America after WWII and how the militant attitudes of the young black Americans made them turn on the older black jazz musicians, seeing them as Uncle Toms since white people liked their music.

Just a big sad mess.

Not too different from today, of course. America can be just so damn rigid. So racist on all sides, against all races, while there are always people trying, often with equal inflexibility, to fight it. It feels like that’s just a part of America that never goes away.

Still, it’s been a really great documentary. Each episode always gives me so much to think about. As if I need more to think about… For me, just the past decade has been an interesting journey, being a white woman, a writer, undertaking a number of African- American projects. I’ve got three projects right now that are essentially comprised of entirely African-American casts; 2 of them I wrote myself and one of them, I’m a co-writer on. So far, I haven’t had to deal with too many objections about my race — sometimes a raised eyebrow, but that’s it. Still, it’s there — an undercurrent of “but you’re white.”

Anyway. On that note, I need to think about what I’m going to work on today. I hope Wednesday is full of all sorts of interesting ideas for you, gang, wherever you are in the world. Thanks for visiting. I’m leaving you with this stunning, timeless song. I used to sing this song to Mikey Rivera, back in the days when we were in love, lying together in bed, he in my arms, both of us worn out from life, wondering how the hell we were going to survive in New York City after 9/11.

And talk about racist — man, NYC was brutal to us; me being so white and him being so Puerto Rican. And that was already in the 21st Century. Eventually, of course, we left the city behind.

Anyway, here you go.  A truly lovely version of “Somewhere,” from West Side Story (yeah, written by a white guy) (heavy sigh). All righty. I love you guys. See ya.

“Somewhere”

There’s a place for us
Somewhere a place for us
Peace and quiet and open air
Wait for us
Somewhere

There’s a time for us
Someday a time for us
Time together with time to spare
Time to look, time to care
Someday!

Somewhere
We’ll find a new way of living

We’ll find a way of forgiving
Somewhere

There’s a place for us
A time, a place for us
Hold my hand and we’re halfway there
Hold my hand and I’ll take you there
Somehow
Someday
Somewhere!

c – 1957 Leonard Bernstein

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