Tag Archives: Conversations with Nick Cave

Good Morning, Sunshine!

This morning was just one of those mornings.

I woke at around 6am (late for me), dawn was already filling my splendid bedroom. A nice breeze was blowing in, birds were chirping outside. However, I felt like I’d been run over by a Mack truck during the night.

I was unbelievably exhausted. It was almost too much of an effort to even open my eyes.

I felt like I was trying to rise to the surface of life from deep down under some unfathomable ocean. But I knew I was happy. That much I was sure of, although it took a moment to remember why.

Ah yes! The Algonquin Hotel as a single woman! Nick Cave at Town Hall!

That helped me sort of focus. But it still took me about 45 minutes to actually get out of that bed.

I hate when that happens, because I really wanted to just spring out of bed today, merrily feed the cats, have my breakfast, and take my coffee back up to the laptop and get to work on Blessed By Light

I’m still waiting for something remotely similar to energy to kick in, all these hours later. Although I did manage to make the drive into town and back to buy groceries and it is a really stunning spring day out there today, gang.  Just gorgeous. Unbelievably perfect. Spring is barreling toward summer today.

While I was on the main drag in the town, I glanced in my rear view mirror and saw the most perfect, dark-haired guy in the car behind me. About 20-something. The kind of guy that is nothing but trouble. The kind that I used to be a magnet for, about 45 years ago. And he was driving a vintage Dodge Challenger – the distant forerunner of the Hellcat, my dream car. Wow. It really perked up my tired little brain, if even for a moment.

But now I’m back at my desk, manuscript open in front of me, and the brain is struggling to connect again. What’s funny, though, is that I can feel the muses. They’re swirling all over today. I can practically touch them. You know – with my mind. So it isn’t a lack of that kind of energy,  and so I’m hopeful that the day will eventually yield something really good.

Plus it occurred to me this morning, as I was lying in bed, thinking about the Algonquin and Nick Cave (and myriad combinations thereof); it doesn’t really matter if we can’t pull the tech rehearsals together that particular week. I can make 17 hundred trips to New York, if I have to. And Sandra and I have the other play (the one we’ll be doing in Toronto) that we can work on, plus 2 other plays that we’re working on that are only in various stages of notes. No lack of constant things to be working on in New York.

I don’t want to make myself stressed. I just want to enjoy myself in a wide open world, you know? Come what may.

What I do need, though, is for this novel to be completed and off to the publisher before we begin the initial rehearsals for Tell My Bones here this summer, so I’m gonna get back to staring at Chapter 21 until the brain returns, gang!

Meanwhile, I hope that Tuesday has been really lovely, wherever you are (or Wednesday, if you’re reading this in that part of the world). I leave you, joyfully, with this, gang! (See yesterday’s post).  Listen and decide for yourself if it isn’t the most perfect music to shoot yourself in the head by! Or, I guess launch into some orgasmic frenzy. Your choice!

All righty. Thanks for visiting. I love you guys! See ya.

Heaven

I booked a suite at the Algonquin Hotel in New York for the night of September 23rd.  I love that hotel. For its literary history, mostly, but it’s also just a really pretty, historic hotel that I have always loved.

I’m very happy.  And I don’t care that I’ll be all by myself in way too many rooms.  Nick Cave is having a Conversation that night in New York City, around the corner at Town Hall. Yay!

So now all I have to do is persuade  everybody involved with my play (starting with Sandra, tomorrow morning) that the New York rehearsals for the staged reading (with all the musicians and tech people) have to take place right around that date because I really, really, REALLY don’t want to have to make three trips to NYC in the fall.

But I’m so excited. I love New York in late September. I love the Algonquin, and obviously I love Nick Cave. I even love Town Hall – I’ve seen some really amazing people there over the years.

I also decided this past fall, when I was last in New York, that I don’t do the ex-husband thing anymore.

I used to always, always, always, without fail, let my ex know when I would be in the city and we’d always get together and have dinner, walk around together, like old times, but you know what? I just suddenly came to a decision before that last trip that I couldn’t keep doing it. We still talk on the phone occasionally and email each other (I’m like that with both my ex’s). And they both buy me gifts for my birthday, for Christmas. Which is really nice and I’m grateful that they can each find it in themselves to think so kindly of me after marriages that were so incendiary.

But I finally realized, I left that second marriage because I was really, really, really unhappy. And even though I still interact with my second husband professionally (he was a professional theater actor for a really long time and he’s very good friends with Sandra), I would rather just be by myself in New York then pretend I wasn’t really unhappy in that marriage, which I tend to do when we go out to dinner together.

You know: Don’t say one fucking thing about how it really was; let’s just be nice and be friends. Pretend all that heartbreaking stuff didn’t happen. And then he’ll pick up the tab, which makes me feel like a child.

And I don’t want him to tell me anymore that he hopes my writing is going really well, as he’s helping me into a cab. And I don’t want to hear him say, ever again, anymore, ever: I hope you find yourself, Marilyn. I hope you’re happy.

Because the undertone is, well, you know.

(FYI: We spent our first anniversary at the Algonquin, so, for me, this will be, like, huge. To be there by myself. Just me. Happy little me.)

Another really interesting thing happened to me today. This guy I only know casually begged me to give him piano lessons.

He bought a piano. A really nice one. Really. And I said, “Wow, this is a nice piano.” And he said that he didn’t play and wanted to learn. And I said that it’s easy to learn and that there are those cool apps now that you can put on your phone and learn how to play.

Long story short, though, he wanted a human being to teach him how to play and begged me to teach him, when he found out that I knew how to play. As in, hire me to teach him how to play the piano.

So I finally agreed.

I’m sure it would not surprise any loyal readers of this lofty blog, to learn that playing the piano wound up being a really traumatizing thing for me. I mean, why wouldn’t it? Every single goddamned fucking thing in my life has traumatized me!

Okay, perhaps I exaggerate there, but I used to be an incredibly gifted pianist. And when I was 14, all the local piano teachers said that they’d taught me all they could and that I really needed to go to the Conservatory and study there.  So my parents sent me. Well, my mom did because my dad was gone by then.

So this is where I studied, and I hated it:

Image result for capital university conservatory of music

Why, you may ask? Because it was intensely joyless.  And it was frightening.  Right away, focusing on Bach, which is, like, 17 different tempos for each hand, at once. and my teacher was incredibly strict. The only time she ever smiled at me was when I gave my first recital and blew everybody away.

And mostly I blew everybody away because I thought that if I didn’t, that crazy lady with the metronome would fucking kill me. I went to every single lesson with rabid butterflies in my stomach — yes, rabid; meaning, butterflies frothing at the mouth! I was so afraid of that teacher.

It was just awful – the pressure.  And I couldn’t tell anybody how I felt because not only was I intensely shy, but my boyfriend had been killed by then, and the rapes had happened, and all of that. So my mind was just unraveling and it was hard for me to speak to people, about anything at all. And after the suicide attempt, when I was put in the mental hospital, there was a grand piano there and this really kind music therapist wanted me to play it as part of my therapy.

And I simply couldn’t do it. I just couldn’t. It was like I’d snapped. Part of me actually died, spiritually – the pianist part of me – after that suicide attempt.  My guitar I could still play, but not the piano. I couldn’t handle it. I had been so traumatized by that teacher and her metronome and BACH… And even though I bought a piano a few years ago, I wound up giving it away. So it’s going to be interesting, teaching someone how to play.

I think it’ll actually be a really, really beautiful thing. I loved playing so very much – before all the pressure.  I think it’ll be wonderful to go back to when everything was simple. You know: Here’s middle C.

Okay. Have a great night, gang! Wherever you are in the world. Thanks for visiting. I love you guys. See ya.

A Pocketful of Muses

Wow, gang. Yesterday was amazing. It was worth being incredibly exhausted for.

Peitor and I worked for 3 hours on the current micro-short film project and it metamorphosed into this incredible piece.  It went way beyond what we’d initially thought we were creating. And it’s still under 10 minutes long. And it’s still funny, abstract, absurd; and yet it has become something so much more. And it was just kinda jaw-dropping – how tuned in to each other we were yesterday and what resulted from that.

Most of what I do is so solitary and isolating, so I am really enjoying this collaborative effort with Peitor, so much. That feeling that my mind is wide open and completely connecting to someone else’s mind, and the pictures are coming to both of us at the very same time. It feels incredible.

Back in early 1984, I was studying with a Lakota Sioux Medicine Man out in Texas. (This is a long story that I’m going to make very short.) Part of my blood heritage from way back is from the BlackFoot Confederacy (Piegan Blackfeet Tribal Nation), and, in addition, I’ve always had this specific spiritual thread of healing that ran through my life.  I made the conscious choice to connect that energy to the radical Jesus Christ and so went to Divinity School and became a minister. And by radical, part of what I mean is that I believe 100% in the power of Jesus Christ to heal you. But I also believe 100% in your own power to heal yourself. You don’t need Jesus Christ or anyone else. I just personally made the choice to connect to him.

However, in my early 20s, when I was still trying to make sense of this healing thing I had, I came into contact with that Medicine Man and he saw this side of me and wanted to train me to take over his practice out in Texas.  In those days, my music was everything to me. I was always playing in clubs, writing songs, in the recording studio, what have you – but all of it was in NYC. It was my life. But I decided to give this Medicine Woman thing a chance. And so I went to Texas and stayed with him in his cabin in the middle of nowhere and I studied with him.

When I say cabin in the middle of nowhere, I mean that. We were miles away from everything, up in the hills, in the forest, no less. There were things like mountain lions, and stuff. There was a generator so we had electricity, but no running water. And as  fate would have it, I immediately got my period out there and had the most intense menstrual flow of my entire life.  And no running water, no shower, not even a  bathroom – all that stuff was done outside. Not even in an outhouse, or anything, just simply outside. In the forest, where there were mountain lions and stuff roaming around.

I have never been the kind of gal who was ever, at all, interested in my “womanhood.” So getting my period the minute I got there, and in such an indescribably “flowing” way,  was the most unwelcome thing imaginable for me. But he, being a Medicine Man, was, like, “You’re really in your power now. It’s a good thing.” Whereas I was, like, “No, what I am now, is pissed off.”

But anyway.

It turned out that he was right about my potential for being a Medicine Woman and I actually was  really good at it. And it scared the fuck out of me. I was only 23 years old. And I really did not know how to handle it.  He taught me, quickly, how to completely open up this sort of psychic channel in my mind and this whole other level just sort of swooped in. It was so frightening to me because “past/present/future” sort of bled into each other all of the sudden and I didn’t know how to handle it. How to differentiate between the things I was picking up on and sometimes actually seeing. And there weren’t any drugs involved or anything; this was literally my actual everyday mind.

I was so used to compartmentalizing everything that I perceived; to create psychic gatekeepers that didn’t really need to be there but I didn’t know yet how to let them go. So it scared the hell out of me and eventually I decided to leave and go straight back to New York. He was extremely disappointed in me for leaving, because he didn’t want his practice to simply die out with him and he was old already,  but I couldn’t handle it at age 23.

Well, one thing I really loved about that whole experience, though, was how it felt to connect psychically to that Medicine Man. He was nearly 60 years older than me, but our minds completely connected. And even through my fear, I could feel how exhilarating that was and have always wished to connect with someone in that way again. Part of why I live alone is because that type of connection doesn’t happen and I refuse to live with a “reasonable facsimile” of it.

I know this is why I find this project with Peitor so enjoyable. Because we have a complete and total psychic connection when we’re working on one of our films together. It just feels so good. Mentally, I mean.

Okay, well, I suppose I should get busy here, tapping into the muse. You know, in about a week, those Conversations with Nick Cave are starting up again, this time all over Europe and most of them are sold out.

You know, I wish I had a ticket that was good for every conversation he’s gonna have for the rest of his life. I don’t think that’s too invasive, do you? Don’t mind me, I’m just here listening to everything you’re saying, for the rest of your life… They could put “Rapt Listener” on my tombstone and just forget about all the other stuff I’ve ever been.

All righty!! Have a terrific Sunday, wherever you are in the world, gang! Thanks for visiting. I have always loved this Native American chant, Yeha Noha (wishes of happiness and prosperity), so I leave it with you today! Enjoy. I love you, guys. See ya.