Tag Archives: Ghosteen Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds

My Phone Has Promised Me A Wee Little Icon of Sun!!

The sun has just now sprung from behind some clouds that have been hanging around, raining on us, for a couple of days now. According to my phone, with it’s long line of sun icons scrolling horizontally across the screen, we’re gonna have sun all day today.

I sure hope so. I could use some.

First, I want to mention that Bob Dylan dropped another new song during the night. This one titled, “I Contain Multitudes.” I have only listened to it once so far, and I was doing something else while listening to it, so I can’t really give an opinion yet, but it did have some startling lyrics, especially near the end. You can, of course, listen to it yourself wherever you stream your music, and decide for yourself. Why wait for me to be in my right mind? After all, that could be a long wait!

Yesterday was a very strange day. I was supposed to work with Peitor on Abstract Absurdity stuff, and right before I expected him to call, he texted me a really, really funny little cat video. And I mean, it was really funny. I texted him back. Then waited for his call. And he never, ever called.

I’m guessing he was not in the mood to work so I let it alone.  I have no idea if he’ll want to work today or not.

Today, I am ambivalent. I’m just gonna let the day come however it wants to. I might stream that benefit concert tonight, at least for a little bit to see what it’s like. But honestly, even though they’re comparing it to the Live Aid concert back in 1985, it doesn’t feel to me like it’s anything close to that. I could be intensely jaded now — lo, these decades later — but it feels more to me like a bunch of really famous people getting tired of sitting at home like everyone else.

And guess what? 35 days into my quarantine, and 15 days into the incomparable virus experience — I’m going to the dollar store today! To run an errand!! From everything I have been able to discern online from the Health Department — from no one who knows for sure — after waiting 8 days after the symptoms of the virus are over, it is safe to go outside, but still practice social distancing, etc.

(I actually love social distancing, gang. I am one of those introverted writers who actually prefers that 98.2% of all people everywhere maintain a noticeable distance from me. I can’t help it. But if you’re part of those 1.8% of all people everywhere that I actually adore, then I get extremely upset when you are not constantly in my field of vision.) (Oh, and I’m not kidding.)

Last evening, I watched some short subject films on Short of the Week. Doing my weekly research on that site, and I watched an animated short that I had meant to watch last week and forgot. Oh my god, was it good!! An animated, sci-fi, coming of age , quasi- space exploration story called, “Finding Uranus,” by Ivan Li. It is completely adult content, in the best fucking way. I totally loved it. (If you use a translator to read this site, “Finding Uranus” is a play on words: it’s partly about going into outer space to find the planet called Uranus, but it is actually about a young guy jerking off to a virtual reality thing that turns him into a tiny astronaut that goes off into space and then up exploring into some gigantic star constellation-gal’s anus.)

Well, it was too cool. It might be offensive to you, but it might not. You can watch the vimeo of it here. It’s animated and about 7 minutes long. (The guy who made it is still only in art school or something scary like that.)

I also voted yesterday! Yes, because of the State going into lockdown right before the Primary election last month, no one was allowed to vote, so my ballot to vote from home arrived yesterday. A Primary election means that you can only vote within your chosen Party.  And since I live in such a sparsely populated county, there was basically only one person running for each office within my chosen Political Party, so it felt a little superfluous — but hey, I voted! Plenty of Suffragettes suffered horrific atrocities and indignities to secure the Vote for Women, so I’m gonna vote. And I did. But it is really weird now — I’m so much older than a lot of the people running for political offices, so I was voting for people with names like Mollie and Cindy. I mean — that’s so weird. I felt like I was voting for 6-year-old girls.

Anyway. I’m sure that Mollie and Cindy will have everything all over Muskingum County under complete control.

I went to sleep kind of depressed last night, because of the combined issues of wanting to get back to my desk and really work, but not having enough energy or brain power to really do that yet, and also being someone who identifies way too personally with my work, so when I go this long without working/creating/writing, I start to lose my ability to understand who I am.

So I thought it best to just go to sleep and reset myself emotionally. But I awoke at 2:30am, feeling intensely sad. And I just couldn’t shake it, and at the same time, I couldn’t really understand it. Because, even though I am having to stay in bed a lot right now, still, my life is just so incredibly good. It didn’t make sense to feel so sad.

And I laid there like that for over an hour, and then suddenly got on Instagram and saw that someone I care about very much had just posted something and did in fact seem to be extremely sad — he seemed overcome with dealing with too much loss today, all across the board, really. And then I realized: Oh my god, that’s why I was so sad. And it broke my heart because there is absolutely nothing I can do, you know? I cried a little bit. That feeling of emotional impotence, when someone you love is suffering, far, far away. There’s nothing you can do to change anything. And anything you want to try to say just seems too obvious, you know?

I finally forced myself to get out of bed and feed the remarkably happy cats, and I tried to tell myself that at the core of us, each of us, is Spirit, and Spirit — that great Creative Source, whatever it actually is — is a foundation of energy that is pure, positive love. And so at least I have to believe in that, right? That love somehow makes sense of everything for all of us, at some point. Somehow.

And so then I felt like listening to Elvis — “I Can’t Help Falling In Love With You.” So I played that while feeding the cats (and myself), and it was so odd because one of the cats — Lucie — who is so emotional and so docile and so beautiful, was making these  intense expressions that seemed to be in response to Elvis’s singing. I know she really wasn’t doing that, but it was just sort of uncanny. And she made me smile.

Okay. I’m going to get my Saturday underway over here. I hope my journey to the store is uneventful and yet eventful at the same time — in all the best “I’m finally out of my house during a pandemic”kind of  way.  I hope the sun really does stay out all day today. I hope I don’t have to yet again spend most of this day in bed. I hope I lighten up on myself and stop worrying about never writing again.

Today would have been the start of the European leg of the Ghosteen tour for Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds — in Lisbon. In honor of that postponement, I leave you with my favorite Mark Kozelek song, “I Love Portugal.”

I, in fact, love so many songs that Mark Kozelek has written — including a killer and very, very accurate, heartbreaking song about Ohio, called “God Bless Ohio” — but I still keep coming back to this acoustic version of “I Love Portugal” as my favorite. And I think it’s actually quite appropriate, on several levels, for today. So I leave you with it, along with its 17 hundred million lyrics. Enjoy, gang. Thanks for visiting. I love you guys. See ya.

“I Love Portugal”

In my hotel where the band is staying
I’m on dessert but what I’d give to not get on that plane
Woke to the sound of birds calling and I wanna water the flowers in the garden
And the maid scooting her tray around the echoey hall
I just want to stay in Porto today, that’s all
‘Cause when I’m here there’s a sense of calm
People living day to day and enjoying the moment
Last night we found a cozy place and we listened to fado music and we ate steak
And bacalhau and caldo verde
Then we went and got gelato and we drank iced lattes

And the fans have always shown me love (shown me love)
And so have my friends Vasco, Miguel, and Nadia, and Monica (Nadia and Monica)
I can’t complain, I get to visit every year
Last night my driver said my music brought him to tears

I love Portugal, I love Portugal, oh, oh
I love Portugal
I love Portugal, I love Portugal, oh, oh
I love Portugal
I love Portugal, I love Portugal, oh, oh
I love Portugal
I love Portugal, I love Portugal, oh, oh
I love Portugal

Was listening to Mahavishnu Orchestra’s “Liala’s Dance”
As I drifted off into rare afternoon nap
Yesterday, one shot in Minnesota, one in Baton Rouge, and then retaliation in Dallas
Someone shot and killed five cops
And the cops came back and killed that sniper with a robot
But all was peaceful here at the Seculo Hotel in the Bonfim neighborhood of Porto
Now I’m on my way to Zürich at Gate 35
TAP operated by Swiss Airlines
I miss my quiet day in Porto, sleeping and listening to the many birds sing
And the shoe store that I wanted to shop in
Was closed and, man, it pissed me off
As we drove by twice on the way to soundcheck and on the way to the hotel that night

I’m gonna return some day, I know it (some day)
I’m gonna buy me a home looking over the river in Porto (river in Porto)
Gonna get me a plate of melon and prosciutto and grilled sardines, a cup of coffee, and a bowl of gazpacho (bowl of gazpacho)
The USA can’t pull the guns from the trolls of the country I live in
Can’t get a grip on gun control
If we’re gonna live with a president who’s a huge fucking asshole
Then believe me, baby, I’m gonna buy me a home in Portugal

I love Portugal, I love Portugal, oh, oh
Where the people don’t walk
I love Portugal
They just stroll
I love Portugal, I love Portugal, oh, oh
Where the people go to bars, relax
I love Portugal
And listen to fado
I love Portugal, I love Portugal, oh, oh
Where I feel at peace from my
I love Portugal
Head to my toe
I love Portugal, I love Portugal, oh, oh
Particularly I love the city of Porto
I love Portugal

At the Rothaus, Room 301, in Zurich
The Bern show is cancelled tomorrow night due to violence and a bunch of crazy shit
It’s found its way into the venue
I’m not going to sing about it
I’m just gonna read the statement from the promoter to you

“Dear Mark, Dear all at Sun Kil Moon
I have really, really, really bad news. We’re deeply afraid but see ourselves in circumstances that unfortunately urge us to have to cancel. The Sun Kil Moon show at Dachstock Reitschule, Bern, the open space in front of our house Reitschule, Bern is causing increasing troubles with violence and sexes. An organized drug dealer and the [?] we decided to shut the place down and its ongoing activities. For a while, at least ten days, or maybe longer and find a way of how to deal with our society’s problems erupted in front of our house, creating a rather explosive atmosphere at times in front of our house. We’re very sorry that due to this reaction the show with Sun Kil Moon will have to be cancelled. As we’re in general enforcing this temporary shutdown, apologies for any inconveniences to you, I know your band just got into town. Of course we’re gonna pay full agreed guaranteed fee as well as covering your hotel for 12/7/16. Also tickets will be reimbursed, it can be used to see your show tonight in Zürich. We strongly hope you reschedule your concert in Bern next time your band is touring in Europe. Reitschule remains closed until further notice. Again, my deepest apologies, but it’s totally out of my control. Let me know if you need any more info
Sincerely, your promoter at Breathing Hope.”

I love Portugal, I love Portugal, oh, oh
And the sparkling Douro River estuary
I love Portugal
I love Portugal, I love Portugal, oh, oh
And when I die I want some of my ashes spread there
I love Portugal
And skip the Hail Mary
I love Portugal, I love Portugal, oh, oh
I’m gonna back next year and I’m gonna find that same shoe store
I love Portugal
I love Portugal, I love Portugal, oh, oh
It’s gotta be somewhere between the venue and the Fnac bookstore
I love Portugal
I love Portugal, I love Portugal, oh, oh
And it doesn’t have a goddamned thing to do with football
I love Portugal

I love Portugal, I love Portugal, oh, oh
I love Portugal
I love Portugal

© 2017 Sun Kil Moon

The little baby elephant has left the building

I slept 11 straight hours last night, and somewhere during the worst thunderstorm I can remember hearing in a long time, my fever broke and I awoke this morning to find that the cute little baby elephant who’s been sitting on my chest since Sunday night had departed.

Amazon.com : Funnytree 7x5ft Rustic Wood Floral Elephant Party ...

I’m still having trouble breathing but that horrible weight in my lungs is gone.

However, before I collapse right back into bed again, I want to give you a few happy updates!

Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds have posted the new dates for their UK & European Ghosteen tour!  (And now that I know I will be in Zurich on June 3rd, 2021, this pretty much means that I can count on everything important in my professional life, in the US and Canada,  being scheduled for June 3rd, 2021, as well!!)

Okay. I sure hope I’m kidding about that!

Also, Nick Cave sent out another Red Hand Files letter today, this one talks about the new, utterly amazing Dylan song, “Murder Most Foul.” (I’m still listening to it, gang. And when you consider that the song is 17 minutes long, it’s quite an investment of focus.)

An interesting thing about the song — I texted YouTube links for the song to all of my friends right when the song came out. Well, to the ones that I knew liked Bob Dylan. And Kara was the first one who texted me back about it, and she had the same first-response that I did. And she nailed it: “That violin…” she said.

I know. That violin. It sears right into you; it manages to both chill and awaken your heart. It’s incredible.

All right. I need to get back to bed, so I will post the sad news. John Prine had been struggling with COVID 19 since the end of March and he finally succumbed last night. He was definitely one of those people who had seriously complex underlying health issues, so I’m sad to say that I was not surprised he succumbed. Still, I wish he could have gone in a less horrible way.

John Prine’s songs were a huge part of the 70s and 80s for me, being that, at that point in my life, I was a country/folksinger-songwriter myself. And  into the 90s, when I met Wayne and we got married, etc.,  Wayne was also a big John Prine fan. And Prine’s album, The Missing Years, was one of the cassettes (!!) we played relentlessly in the car when we drove cross-country on our honeymoon.

So I’ll leave you with 2 distinct types of John Prine songs. The bluegrass type that I feel he was best known for, and then a song from The Missing Years, that features Tom Petty, and is about James Dean, a movie star I totally love (and it also mentions my beloved Grandma’s first cousin, John Garfield!! ).

I’m gonna close now because I’m super tired, gang. Sorry for any typos. But thanks for visiting. I love you guys. See ya!

“That’s The Way That The World Goes ‘Round”

I know a guy that’s got a lot to lose.
He’s a pretty nice fellow but he’s kind of confused.
He’s got muscles in his head that ain’t never been used.
Thinks he owns half of this town.

Starts drinking heavy, gets a big red nose.
Beats his old lady with a rubber hose,
Then he takes her out to dinner and buys her new clothes.
That’s the way that the world goes ’round.

That’s the way that the world goes ’round.
You’re up one day and the next you’re down.
It’s half an inch of water and you think you’re gonna drown.
That’s the way that the world goes ’round.

I was sitting in the bathtub counting my toes,
When the radiator broke, water all froze.
I got stuck in the ice without my clothes,
Naked as the eyes of a clown.
I was crying ice cubes hoping I’d croak,
When the sun come through the window, the ice all broke.
I stood up and laughed thought it was a joke
That’s the way that the world goes ’round.

© 1978 John Prine

“Picture Show”

A young man from a small town
With a very large imagination
Lay alone in his room with his radio on
Looking for another station
When the static from the mouthpiece
Gave way to the sound below
James Dean went out to Hollywood
And put his picture in a Picture Show.
James Dean went out to Hollywood
And put his picture in a Picture Show.

[Chorus:]
And It’s Oh Daddy get off of your knees
Mamma why’d you have to go
Your darling Jim is out a limb
I put my picture in a Picture Show
Whoa Ho! Put my picture in a Picture Show

Hamburgers Cheeseburgers
Wilbur and Orville Wright
John Garfield in the afternoon
Montgomery Clift at night
When the static hit the mouthpiece
Gave way to the sound below
James Dean went out to Hollywood
And put his picture in a Picture Show.

[Chorus]

A Mocca man in a wigwam sitting on a Reservation.
With a big black hole in the belly of his soul
Waiting on an explanation
While the white man sits on his fat can
And takes pictures of the Navajo
Every time he clicks his Kodak pics
He steals a little bit of soul.
Every time he clicks his Kodak pics
He steals a little bit of soul.

[Chorus]

Yie Hi! Put my picture in a Picture Show
Here we go!
A young man from a small town
With a very large imagination…

© 1991 John Prine

Well, so much for THAT story…

My day here sort of derailed. And if you saw my earlier post, I decided it was more uplifting to just delete it. And, actually, I’m more than happy to be your little dog — if you saw the post; if not, well, then that makes no sense!

My Abstract Absurdity Productions meeting bit the dust today.  My partner there in LA is exceedingly stressed about the toll the virus is taking on the world. So we didn’t work today, which, you know., upset me because even though I’m healthy and happy here in Crazeysburg, I have absolutely no one to talk to.

But, you know, we all have to make adjustments right now. And try our best to allow the people we care about to adjust to things in their own way. And in their own time.

So,  I decided to stop being a crybaby and just get back up on my little pony and ride.

I hope you guys have a good evening, wherever you are in the world. Stay inside, if possible. Wash, wash, wash (and water can be fun, if used discreetly — I’m just saying!!). And try to focus on things that make you feel hopeful and even happy, okay? You gotta do that, otherwise you’re going to tear your hair out. (And it’s gonna take a long time for it to grow back in.)

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

Some Things to Ponder!

Well, Spring starts tomorrow! That’s really good news, right?

What I love about the seasons, gang, is how reliable they are. They always come back around. I love that the sun comes up each day, too, and that the moon goes through its phases each month “like clockwork,” and the ocean waves keep coming back to the shore.

These are all things to think about right now. And also that everything passes through, moves on, transforms.

As we’d feared, though, Nick Cave finally came to the decision to postpone the start of the European Ghosteen tour. He announced it today on the Nick Cave web site, and also in his Red Hand Files letter this morning. (I’m guessing his server crashed from all the responses he got to that announcement, though! I sent a response and his server told me “too many comments, slow down” or something like that.)

Also, things to keep in the mix as you hang out, like me, in your isolation and/or quarantine, the world over right now (meaning March 19, 2020), there are over 137,000 known cases of the virus but over 123, 000 of those are mild. Close to 86,000 people have now recovered. China now has more recoveries than people who are sick with the virus, and the professional show business news outlets, expect movie theaters in China to be open again by the end of March (about 2 weeks away).

So, like all other viruses and epidemics, it comes and passes through. And we adjust to all of it. The UK news outlets yesterday carried the story of Dr. Dongchen Wu of the Wuhan area of China who has cured 9 elderly patients now of Covid 19 by use of stem cell injections.

Assuming this is accurate news, it gives us reason to hope that by the next “flu season” there could be a cure or vaccine for this. There are good reasons to balance the stress and difficulties of “right now” with these other ideas.

As illustrated by China right now, the virus comes in, balloons, subsides. It doesn’t just come and stay eternally.

Also, at least here in America, people get really angry when you compare the Covid 19 virus with the regular “flu,” because we allegedly “know” what the flu is and what it’s doing, but it seems evident that just this season alone, between 22,000 – 55,000 Americans have died from the flu. And between 370,000 – 670,000 were actually hospitalized because of it. So we still don’t have a grip on the flu  by any stretch, but we have managed to find a way to still live our lives in the wake of it, every single year. (The stats come from the Center of Disease Control.)

These are just things to think about in the midst of everything bombarding us on the national news. There is always the reality of
“right now” alongside the reality of change.

Meanwhile, here in Muskingum County, no outbreaks yet. We still have toilet paper, Kleenex, paper towels. We still have food. We still have gasoline at $1.83 per gallon.(Which could be an indication that I’m actually dead now and living in the afterlife, which, in that case, means you should disregard everything I’ve just written above!!)

If you follow me on Instagram (whether from the afterlife or from Earth), you saw that I actually ventured out and got a pizza last evening! I have never done that in the 2 years I’ve lived in Crazeysburg. I love pizza but I don’t eat it too often because in this part of the country, it simply doesn’t compare to the pizza you can get in NYC. Sorry to have to say that, but, alas, it is true.

But I was really hungry and I’d been stuck inside alone for about 96 hours straight already (not exaggerating on that, gang) and I thought, not only would pizza be great, but it would also support the one & only restaurant here in Crazeysburg. (You can only get take-out in Ohio now; there’s a Governor’s mandate right now that no one can congregate in bars or restaurants, so all those establishments are really hurting financially.)

So I went out and got a pizza!! Yay. (Cheese, onions and green olives. Is that weird? I really like green olives on my pizzas. I’m not sure why.) It was indeed  weird, though, inside the place because of course the women who work at the pizzeria aren’t allowed to get anywhere near you. (Oh, we also have plenty of hand sanitizer here, too.) So, you know, you walk in the door of the pizzeria, which is entirely empty of other customers, and all the staff members immediately move very far away from you. You feel like Covid 19 walking.

But at least I got out of the house. For about 9 minutes.  And I ate something besides organic oranges, tomatoes, baby spinach, arugula, Greek yogurt, berries, granola, non-organic dark chocolate, and Neapolitan ice cream… (If you study that list, you’ll see that it’s reasonably healthy but fucking boring for 96 hours straight!)

Okay, well. Today is Booty Core and hair-washing, and sitting at the desk and writing something!! (And eating the stuff on that list that I’ve just regaled you with, but now add cold, leftover pizza…) It could be so much worse. I count my many blessings every day, gang. I’m guessing that you do, too.

Thanks for visiting, gang. Have a good Thursday, wherever it finds you in this big, beautiful world! We’ll say goodbye to Nick Cave and his fellow Bad Seeds for now but not forever! I love you guys. See ya.

“We’ll Meet Again”

We’ll meet again,
Don’t know where,
Don’t know when
But I know we’ll meet again some sunny day
Keep smiling through,
Just like you always do
Till the blue skies drive the dark clouds far away

So will you please say “Hello”
To the folks that I know
Tell them I won’t be long
They’ll be happy to know
That as you saw me go
I was singing this song

We’ll meet again,
Don’t know where,
Don’t know when
But I know we’ll meet again some sunny day

We’ll meet again,
Don’t know where
Don’t know when.
But I know we’ll meet again some sunny day.

Keep smiling through
Just like you always do,
‘Til the blue skies
Drive the dark clouds far away
So will you please say “Hello”
To the folks that I know.
Tell them I won’t be long.
They’ll be happy to know
That as you saw me go,
I was singin’ this song.

We’ll meet again,
Don’t know where,
Don’t know when
But I know we’ll meet again some sunny day

© – 1939 Charles Hugh, Ross Parker Clarke

You’re Not the Boss of Me!!

Just no way do you get to tell me what to fucking do! Yay!

That’s pretty much the attitude of most of the people who live in Ohio, which is of course why so many people (moi aussi) continued to congregate in groups way larger than 50 until the Governor had to step in and issue actual mandates that forced people (like me) to not only stay home but to not even be allowed to vote. Wow. Talk about getting your privileges suspended…

So when the number of confirmed cases of the virus basically doubled overnight in the State, it was not a surprise to me at all, not in any way whatsoever, so I have to wonder how come “officials” found this leap “startling”?

I love when the “people in charge” have no real clue what the “people they are in charge of” are doing.

(A good example of that, you know, was when Trump won the Presidency. A lot of people in Ohio voted for him. I know it won’t shake you to your very core to learn that I did not vote for Trump. But, still, he won. And in my opinion, he’s the President of the United States. Because people voted for him. I know for a fact that they did. And it’s why I’m so sick of the Democrats because they spent the past 4 years submerged in this infantile outcry, stamping their little feet, wasting everybody’s time & money, trying to remove him from his elected position, rather than spending all that time & money making America great again in ways that were more in keeping with their own beliefs about America.) (Which is why, in my opinion, America is a great country– you’re legally allowed to have whatever opinion you want and you’re allowed to publicly say whatever you want to about the President without fearing for your very life and liberty. And it’s odd how so many people who are not Democrats tend to see that fact really clearly and so they continue to vote in that direction.)

Anyway. No one has died from Covid 19 yet in the State of Ohio. But we are up to 67 confirmed cases. Way more than Kentucky and Indiana have, combined. So, on we go.

It will, alas, perhaps come as no surprise to you to learn that my table-read in NYC for Tell My Bones has ground to a thorough and complete halt. So much so, that the director of my play texted me last night to say he was flying back to Ohio first thing this morning to spend the Spring and Summer here in his mansion on the hill.  He will be here until late August, just to get clear of NYC and the virus there. (Here in Muskingum County and also in the county where the director has his other home, there are so far no known cases of the virus.)

So the table-read in April is one less thing I have to do. And then that Literary Arts Fair in June that I backed out of because of planning to go to Zurich to make new friends and see Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds, means two less things that I have to do.

And of course I scan the Nick Cave web site daily for any indication whatsoever that he might be postponing the European start of the Ghosteen Tour, and so far he his hanging tough — the only one in the world who is, actually. But that might be a third thing I won’t be doing this Spring/Summer if he does end up postponing the tour.

And of course the meeting with the TV streaming platform for Abstract Absurdity Productions in LA has been postponed until after the international quarantine is lifted. So that’s another thing that I won’t be doing this Spring. Although, for now, the film shoots will still be happening in Los Angeles this summer.

Sandra called last night and we chatted for quite awhile. Yesterday, the production of “Chicago” that she’s been rehearsing up in Stratford, Canada got closed down and so she will be back in Rhinebeck by Monday. (So, now that her schedule will be indescribably free for the table-read of Tell My Bones, there isn’t going to be one until the Fall.)

The only thing that remains in place for me, career-wise, is that our other play is still slated for production in Canada at the end of this year. And this sudden freed-up schedule for both Sandra and me, means that we can tackle some of those massive re-writes for that other play. And we’re both feeling really excited about that. We’ll probably just do it on Skype; I’m not planning to go back to NYC now before the Fall. But I’m still feeling really excited about getting back to work with her on that play.

So, all those things that I was worrying about having to do all at once, have now basically entirely disappeared.

And now all I have in front of me yet again is time to sit at my desk and write.

I made some progress with my broken heart during the night. Turned a little corner. Release people to what they need in their own lives and just open up my strange little path and embrace whatever comes along on it.

I’m not able to stop loving someone once I love them, but I am able to find a different place for it inside and then keep going.

Listening to the Bee Gees of course while you have a broken heart is never a good idea. We all know this. It is a documented fact that it only makes your heart break more. And yet, I guess I’m an Ohio girl after all, because I’ve been listening to the Bee Gees “How Can You Mend A  Broken Heart” pretty much non-stop for a few days. (That’s correct: No one in the universe is the boss of me. I will listen to the Bee Gees if I so choose!!!)

You know, I don’t ever want to be Albatross-y to anyone, least of all, to someone I love. So I have been trying really hard to keep myself contained (in a non-Covid 19 type of way, of course, because when it comes to the virus, I want to be sure to interact closely with everyone imaginable, until the Governor himself steps in and says, “No, no, no! Bad dog!! Bad, bad dog!! Now you have to stay in your little pen and you don’t get to vote!!”).

Anyway. I’m trying to sublimate whatever I’m feeling and turn it into something that can have it’s own beauty and go out into the world in other, more acceptable ways. It’s why I’m a writer, I guess.

And last night, lights out. Dark bedroom. Shattered little heart that I was trying once more to get a grip on. Suddenly, loud and plain as day, I hear singing — music. It was so familiar to me. But it was coming from somewhere inside me.

And I thought: What is that? I know that song.

And I suddenly realized it was the chorus from Tom Petty’s song, “You & Me.” Which happens to be the last song that Tom Petty actually listened to before he died. (According to his wife, Dana, who was there with him on the bed, watching the video on YouTube, and then later he had the heart attack and did not recover.)

But it’s also a song that I really love and that man who died a couple of summers ago used to indulge me and even while he also liked Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers a lot (he was older than me, but we were in the same generation, music-wise). Anyway, we played Tom Petty songs almost exclusively while he was here in this very room with me, making a whole lot of love (before he, too, died).

So “You & Me” is a powerhouse of potential heartbreak for me, but when I suddenly realized that it was the song coming through the ether to me last night, I grabbed my phone from the night table and streamed  “You & Me” on repeat. And almost instantaneously, the energy, spirit, whatever you call it, of the now-dead guy that I loved was all over me. There was so much joy. It was like a tidal wave of it, all over me in that bed.

I knew he was with me. I could almost see him, you know? Almost. And he was just filled with joy and I couldn’t help but be swept up into it, too. And even though I don’t actually “hear” voices, I feel his voice pretty loudly inside me. I can hear/feel the words. They were undeniably him and he told me stuff that was just filled with love. So much love. And he also said, “You gotta leave that guy alone now, Marilyn. Remember the boundaries.”

He actually said that. And then I fell dead asleep — if you’ll excuse the weird pun. At one point, I remember that I turned off the music on my phone. But I slept 8 whole hours. I haven’t done that in a couple of weeks, really.

So I’m feeling better, you know? Love in the Time of Cholera and all that aside — I am feeling better. And so on we go, right, gang?

You know of course what I am leaving you with today! Enjoy it. Celebrate it. Rejoice, even. Thanks for visiting. I love you guys. See ya!

“You And Me”

Take a look
At what I got
I can’t promise
You a lot

But you and me
And the road ahead

I can’t save
You from yourself
You gotta want it
All that’s left

Is you and me
And the road ahead

Wherever that wind might blow
Wherever that river rolls
You know I will go with you

Lookin’ over
The mountain’s crown
The water roars
And tumbles down

Like you and me
And the road ahead

Wherever that wind might blow
Wherever that river rolls
You know I will go with you

Just you and me
And the road ahead

Just you and me
And the road ahead

© 2002 Tom Petty

And Then Good Fortune Struck!!

Yes! I glanced out back this morning, as the sun came up, and saw that the cats were out there finally taking care of my yard!!

Gosh, I wish. (Loyal readers of this lofty blog are no doubt aware that there are a lot of homeowner chores that I am always trying to foist onto my cats.) (To no avail.)

What my cats do instead behind my back:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Okay, anyway!!

I had the most interesting day yesterday — for reasons I won’t blog about. I can only say that it was Instagram-related and I about wore out the pondering mechanism in my wee bonny brain.

However, what I will blog about is that I had a very productive time with Thug Luckless yesterday, too.  And at one point, I was trying to find out how AI sexbots get delivered to their purchasers. Do they come fully assembled, standing up in a tall cardboard box? Do they come in responsibly-sourced wooden crates, filled with environmentally safe packing peanuts? I’m guessing they arrive fully assembled, though, right? You wouldn’t want to leave something important like that to hapless (and undoubtedly fully aroused) purchasers who will likely be extremely impatient at the very moment of the bot’s arrival.

Well, I could not find out any of that shipping information, but I did learn a bit more about the male AI sexbots — primarily, that they only manufacture about two males. The rest of them are females.

These AI sexbots are really quite interesting, but still kind of spooky. The eyes, mainly. I was talking on the phone very late last night with Val in Brooklyn (who is not actually in Brooklyn right now, she’s at her mom’s, up the Hudson, so we’ve been chatting more than usual) and one of the things we concluded is that the price of those sexbots will eventually come way down, so that everyone can afford one, but that it probably won’t happen in our lifetime.

But who knows, right?

I personally think AI sexbots are pretty cool. And like anything, I’m guessing that some people will go overboard with them and some people won’t.  And then I told Val that, according to stuff all over Google, the feminists are all up in arms about the AI (female) sexbots because they objectify women. And we both laughed so hard about that. And she, in her Brooklyn accent, said, “Oh — ya think?”

Jesus. Just too funny. Why does it even have to be mentioned at this point?  I don’t think any of us are stupid — not any of us; the world over. Those female bots are lurid as hell. And they are more provocative than any Playboy Bunny that God ever created — Bunnies being one of the most memorable creations in my lifetime that objectified women. And bots can be programmed to never say “no.” Plus, you don’t have to tip them. Obviously they objectify both women and men. Are we really going to write academic papers about this?

[No, we’re going to write experimental novels!! — Ed.]

Anyway.  That whole phone conversation with Val aside.

I eventually realized that nothing whatsoever dealt with realism when it came to Thug Luckless so why be so worried that the way he arrived from the factory had to somehow be based on fact? So I just figured it out for myself and had him arrive fully assembled in a crate stuffed full of environmentally safe packing peanuts — primarily because I wanted him to have psychological vestiges of how it felt to have those peanut-things all over him, even though he was dressed. And the irony of the environmentally safe stuff arriving in a post-Apocalyptic town. And then how it felt to see his owner’s face — that relief as she finally pried open the crate and took him out. The feeling of sanctuary, you know?

One thing I will mention here: Apocalypse is a stupidly hard word to type. And I wrote a 600-page novel called Twilight of the Immortal, about Rudolph Valentino, and his breakthrough movie role was “The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse.” So I was having to type that darn word all the time. It made me insane. For some reason, typing that word just forces me to become sort of dyslexic.

Anyway! I am really happy with my progress with Thug primarily because of that feeling that a new novel is underway; it’s a feeling of adventure and excitement and joy. So I am happy.

I’m happy about a lot of stuff right now, gang. I really am.

And today is going to be about washing my hair and doing yoga, and working on Thug. And, more than likely, thinking about Nick Cave, because I wouldn’t be me if I didn’t. (I’m of course wondering about that darn coronavirus  and the start of the Ghosteen tour.) (And also this thing in NYC right now where things are getting dangerously close to blaming the Jews for spreading the virus.)

(And speaking of Jews — yesterday was John Garfield’s birthday. He was a famous NY stage actor and movie star and political activist. And he was my adoptive grandma’s first cousin. His dad and her mom were brother & sister. Poor Jewish refugees from Poland. If you keep up with my childhood memoir, In the Shadow of Narcissa, you will no doubt know that my adoptive grandma (paternal) was my favorite person in the whole world. And she loved her cousin, John. Happy belated birthday, John Garfield.)

Image result for john garfield actor
John Garfield (Jacob Julius Garfinkle), 1913 -1952.

Oh, and I also want to mention that the combination of yoga, booty core, and glucosamine seems to be doing some really, really good things to my legs, gang. So we shall see!

All righty, I’m gonna scoot!! Have a really nice Thursday, wherever you are in the world. Thanks for visiting, gang. I leave you with my very-late-last-night listening music as well as breakfast-listening music from this morning!! “Late in the Evening,” by Paul Simon, from his album One-Trick Pony, 1980.

This song was a hit when I first moved to NYC and I can remember hearing it while on a city bus, heading to see a movie, wondering how on Earth people afforded the price of movie tickets in NYC on a regular basis. NYC was some serious culture shock for me when I first got there. Like being on a whole different planet back then.

I don’t know — this song gave me something to cling to for a little while. And it’s nice to listen to it now because the song is actually really joyful, and all those difficult early days are so far behind me!

Okay. I love you guys. Take care. See ya!

“Late In The Evening”

The first thing I remember
I was lying in my bed
I couldn’t of been no more
Than one or two
I remember there’s a radio
Comin’ from the room next door
And my mother laughed
The way some ladies do
When it’s late in the evening
And the music’s seeping through

The next thing I remember
I am walking down the street
I’m feeling all right
I’m with my boys
I’m with my troops, yeah
And down along the avenue
Some guys were shootin pool
And I heard the sound
Of a cappella groups, yeah
Singing late in the evening
And all the girls out on the stoops, yeah

Then I learned to play some lead guitar
I was underage In this funky bar
And I stepped outside to smoke
myself a “J”
And when I came back to the room
Everybody just seemed to move
And I turned my amp up loud and I began
to play

And it was late in the evening
And I blew that room away

The first thing I remember
When you came into my life
I said I’m gonna get that girl
No matter what I do
Well I guess I’d been in love before
And once or twice I been on the floor
But I never loved no one
The way that I loved you
And it was late in the evening
And all the music seeping through

c – 1980 Paul Simon

Let’s Try That Again!

So, today, I’ve been awake since 3am. No fears of oversleeping today, I guess.

Late last evening (my time zone, anyway), I got a text from Peitor, saying that he was on his way out to have a meeting.  I know the person he was meeting with and it was sort of a big deal, so that sort of stressed me a little. (See last evening’s post.)

He and I are very different in that way. When something in my life blindsides me, I sort of retreat to my little cave, re-group mentally, try to see where I’m coming from spiritually — you know, get a feel for what’s motivating me — before I do anything like take any meetings. I’ve known Peitor forever now, and he is the exact opposite from me in that regard. So I didn’t say anything. I trust him. But it still stressed me out. So I went to sleep kind of early. Hence, wide awake at 3am.

But I did see — upon scrolling through Instagram in the dark at that ridiculous hour — that for the first time in over a year (and I mean that literally), Susie Cave posted a sort of happy song in her Instagram feed. It’s literally been over a year. And not only have the songs she’s posted over the past year tended to be unhappy ones, but often they seemed so unhappy that they’ve made me actually gasp. So I think maybe this is a good sign? Something hopeful?

(Well, that, or she’s using Ghosteen just to sell dresses and I seriously don’t want to believe something like that.)

Well.

We are inching toward the Lenten season. I don’t always observe the Lenten season, but when I do, I follow the Franciscan prayers. I’m a big believer in St. Francis — I pray to him every day because he is the Patron Saint of animals. And even though I know he can’t protect all the animals, I pray to him to also help sustain my heart, to help it find strength and a way to heal, in the event that animals are suffering anywhere around me.

I haven’t wanted to post this to the blog, because it was such an open sore for me, but several months back, that favorite pasture of mine with the dozens of happy cows that I had to drive past to get into town? The guy there sold all of his cows to slaughter on the very same day. All of them. Cows, bulls, frolicking little calves. Gone to slaughter. A few dozen. Those cows always made me so happy.

I was of course driving when I saw this and I really just didn’t know what to do. I was just devastated, but I was behind the wheel of a moving car and fellow drivers all around me are counting on me not to lose my fucking mind.

Well, it’s at times like those when I really need St. Francis to figure out how to pull me through. Because I just don’t understand why people don’t think that animals’ lives are just as sacred as our own. I just don’t get it.

Anyway. A whole heck of a lot of people don’t agree with me on that, or that any lives are sacred, really, so on we go.

Lent. With or without St. Francis, I don’t always practice Lent. Mostly because, during some years, I don’t have it in me to have the Holy Week under a microscope. One of the very, very few things about Jesus of Nazareth that ancient sources agree on is that Jesus was crucified by the Romans. And that still makes me physically ill.

Why he was crucified is certainly debated. What happened to him immediately after that is the stuff that entire religions are crafted from! But the seeming fact remains: Jesus was crucified. (As was one of his brothers, and one of his great-great-great grandsons (or great nephew); and his other brother, James, had his legs broken by the High Priests and was then stoned to death. Basically, any men they could find who were still walking around that had even a shred of Jesus’s bloodline in them were systematically done away with. And while this isn’t proof that Jesus was considered the bloodline contender for King of the Jews, it does lend credibility to that theory. Because having a “fake” appointed king (Herod) opposed by a traditional (bloodline) king (Jesus) was going to be a real problem in Jerusalem for the Romans. And by “King of the Jews,” I’m referring to the traditional Hebrew belief that the next King (or Messiah) would be, in fact, two men — one who could trace his lineage to Aaron and the priesthood; and the other who could trace his bloodline to David, the king. And both men had to appear at the same time and within the same family, basically. And James was certainly a priest. That is well understood — even Paul could not completely wipe James out of the history books. But, to be fair, Paul was more focused on deifying Jesus and on making Jesus palatable to the Pagans, and on that score he was wildly successful. But I’m saying that from two thousand years of hindsight; I’m guessing that when Paul was (allegedly) beheaded by the Romans, he wasn’t feeling wildly successful. However, James was not of the recognized “High Priesthood” in Jerusalem, because those men were strictly appointed by the Romans, once Herod was declared King of the Jews by the same Romans. So, it’s Roman regulations versus traditional Hebrew beliefs and the Romans, of course, won through oppressive violence and bloodshed and all of that and, hence, the crucifixion — whether or not Jesus got back up three days later.) Anyway.

That all breaks my heart. Even these couple thousands of years later. I don’t always have it in me to have that be something I’m focusing on, daily, for several weeks (up until, you know, the Glory of the Resurrection, which, obviously, I don’t necessarily believe. In that specific way.). So, some years, I just can’t focus on it. But I haven’t made up my mind yet about this year.

I do love Easter, though. God knows.

Okay.

I am going to try to get back to work here on Girl in the Night: Erotic Love Letters to the Muse. That’s front & center on my plate. Nothing else is on the horizon today except booty core. And I hope it stays that way. (Although methinks I will likely hear from Peitor about how the meeting went…) (Heavy sigh)

So I’m gonna get to it here. Well, I’m going to leave you with 3 things today. Oddly enough, this morning, I reached for the breakfast set that’s made of glass: bowl, coffee mug, juice glass. All sparkling glass. Normally, I don’t choose glass. I either use porcelain or ceramics. Today, I chose glass. I don’t know why.

And I thought about the Blondie song, “Heart of Glass,” and wondered, was this telling me that I had a heart of glass? I really didn’t think so. Normally, I’m more of a “Tide is High” kind of gal if I’m going to define myself strictly through Blondie songs. (Not something I, you know, ever do. But there is always a first time to start doing something really weird.)

Did I have a heart of glass? Was I no longer a “Tide is High” kind of gal?? (Meaning, a gal who was gonna hang on to love, come hell or high water.) Well, I’ll let you decide that here this morning: what I ultimately am. You can listen to both songs if you so choose. (And/or you can choose to listen to only the final song posted here, which is the song I actually listened to at breakfast and which, I believe, once again illustrates that I am a simply huge believer in love. Come what may.)

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

Oops! Another One That I Forgot to Title!!

You know, I started working out religiously when I was 12 because, culturally, it’s just what you did. You were supposed to stay fit. Not because you needed to be “fit” at age 12, but because you were setting up good habits for the rest of your life. (Seriously.) (And this was before junk food and fast food took over the whole nation. I actually did not know anyone, yet, who was overweight.)

It’s sort of weird, right? How my entire life seems to have been about making sure I look really good when I finally die.

But, anyway. By “culturally” I’m talking about upper-middle-class white Midwestern America, because that’s what we were when I was 12. In 1972.

And I wouldn’t have dreamed of not working out. I was told to work out, so I did. Back then, it was calisthenics.  In fact, when I was 11, I won one of those  President’s Physical Fitness awards in gym class, which was all about calisthenics. The award was a congratulatory letter from the President of the United Sates and a patch that looked like this (mine was a “1” not a “3”). And when I won mine, guess who was President??!! Nixon. (Man, I wish I’d kept that letter!) Anyway, it looked like this:

Image result for the president's award for physical fitness"

So, from a wee bonny age, even the President of the United States, marred as he was by scandals that seem so harmless nowadays, urged me to get off my tiny butt and stay in shape!

And so I’ve just always done that. For a long time, it was calisthenics. And I mean, a really long time. And then, in the 1980s, it was aerobics. That was the craze. I did that for years, and that was actually really fun. In fact, Cher made a couple of aerobics videos that were really great. I loved those.

I also got into “the gym” stuff–free weights, rowing machines, stationary bikes, treadmills. I loved all that stuff. (Except when it came time to get rid of them. That part is never fun.) (And I recall one afternoon, when I was still living in the hellhole tenement apartment on E.12th Street in the East Village, one of my 5 lb. free weights accidentally rolled out the open 5th-story window, and as I was racing down 5 flights of stairs to get to the street, I’m envisioning someone dead on the sidewalk with a fractured skull, and me facing Manslaughter charges and a trip to Rikers Island, all expenses paid by the City of New York… but what I found, thank god, was a little Puerto Rican boy, walking off with it and I had to beg him to give it back, as he loudly proclaimed the “finder’s keepers” rule.)

Anyway!!! Yes. So, I have been doing yoga now for about 13 years. It has kept me sane and it also helped me stop drinking myself to death, back when I first moved back to Ohio to look after my ailing adoptive mother, and then found out that I had made just a horrible error in judgment. Moving back here was just a terrible, terrible mistake.

And since the ill-advised move back to Ohio coincided with the man I loved turning out to have a horrible gambling habit that wiped me out of my entire life savings — including a $9000 check from the insurance company to get a new roof put on my house (as much as you might truly love somebody, you know, think really, really hard about giving them one of your ATM cards. Seriously. Or, if you do, then check your bank balance, like, every 5 minutes.). And that horrible thing happened right when the world economy tanked and ravaged the publishing industry, putting 4 of my primary publishers out of business on the very same day…

Yes, when all of that happened at once, and I woke up every single morning wanting to commit suicide (and I continue to give thanks to the beautiful and gifted writer/publisher/editor Sean Meriwether in NYC — of Velvet Mafia fame — for taking so many of my distraught phone calls back then and helping me not kill myself) — well, I ultimately chose heavy drinking instead. And, you know, that’s gonna kill you, too. So truly, yoga saved me. It did. A couple of my girlfriends back in NYC who were really worried about me persuaded me to at least try yoga, and I wound up loving it on so many levels and it did really save my life.

So I’ve been a yoga-type gal for 13 years now. But yesterday, for whatever inexplicable reason, I decided to buy a 21-day video Pilates-type workout program, called Booty Core. I’m not sure what possessed me to suddenly switch it up — I’m not, like, obsessed with my butt or anything. I’m not even obsessed with working out; it’s just something I’ve always done. But you know what? I’m pushing 60 now, and back around the holidays, I was hanging out with a female friend who is 32. And a pen rolled off the table and down to the floor and then under the bar a little bit. So I got down on the floor — actually knelt all the way down and reached under the bar and got the pen. And she was literally aghast. She said, “How did you do that? At your age?”

I was, like, mystified. “How did I do what?”

“Get all the way down on the floor like that and then get right back up?”

Jesus, you know? I just found that so weird.  And then she said, “I can’t even do that!” And she’s only 32-fucking-years old! It was just so weird. And I guess I thank god for President Richard Milhous Nixon and all the good habits he instilled in me — and trust me, that’s not  a thing I ever thought I would find it in me to say.

So. I’m gonna try Booty Core for 21 days and see if maybe I can pick up a lot more pens from the floor!

On another topic.

Only a couple of photos posted to Instagram last night from the first Conversation in Brussels with Nick Cave. Although there were quite a few posts, but only, like, 2 people actually took photos during the show. But everybody who posted, of course, loved it. And it sounds like maybe he’s doing a few songs from Ghosteen now. (?) Tonight is the last night of the Conversations tour. I’m guessing he will continue to have conversations,  but none that we are invited to attend (even if we pay him!!) and that just sucks!

I’m sorry, I don’t have a photo credit for this. I grabbed it from the ticket sales site in the Netherlands.

I am going to go out on a limb here and encourage you to never attend a Conversation with Nick Cave. Because then you will never, ever want it to end. (And if you slavishly follow the posts on Instagram, as I do, you will see that I am not the only one who says this!!) I imagine that, if for some inexplicable yet heavenly reason, I ever ran into him on the street, I would dig out whatever loose change I could find in my pockets, hand it to him and try to get him to answer a question for me. Any question. (ME: “Here!! I have 14 cents. Will you please tell me what it was like the first time you had –“)

Because his answers are awesome.

Which reminds me, that the very moment I posted to the blog here yesterday, Nick Cave sent out another one of his Red Hand Files letter things. And it was uncanny. Whoa, like, it made me want to go right back to the blog and remove my post. If you recall yesterday’s post, it was all about my trying to come to terms with how fucking strange my writing always is.  And yesterday’s Red Hand Files was all about whether or not you had to be mentally ill to be a great artist…

Anyway… my own fucking insanity aside, it was another really great Red Hand Files, because he is just so eloquent.  And I’m just so frustrated that his In Conversations are going to end. Again.

Okay. I really gotta get moving here. Peitor will be calling from West Hollywood momentarily because we have to work on our micro-script and, of course, now the pressure feels sort of intense. Like, you know, we actually have to finish this darn thing, make the video, then make about 8 more…(!!)

For whatever weird reason, this song was in my head the moment I woke up this morning, and so I played it throughout breakfast and I’m leaving you with it today!! From the 1960 Broadway musical Camelot. (Yes, the very year I was born.) “How to Handle A Woman.” As sung here by Richard Burton. Okay, thanks for visiting, gang. I hope today is good to you, wherever you are in the world!! I love you guys. See ya.

“How To Handle A Woman”

“How to handle a woman?
There’s a way, ” said the wise old man,
“A way known by every woman
Since the whole rigmarole began.”
“Do I flatter her?” I begged him answer.
“Do I threaten or cajole or plead?
Do I brood or play the gay romancer?”
Said he, smiling: “No indeed.
How to handle a woman?
Mark me well, I will tell you, sir:
The way to handle a woman
Is to love her… simply love her…
Merely love her… love her… love her.”

c – 1960 Lerner & Loewe

Those Lucky Fuckers!! Jesus!

Man. That show in Eindhoven, Netherlands, last night seems to have been just incredibly great. The photos on Instagram were amazing (Nick Cave’s Conversation). One person had also been to the show in Essen, Germany (which had also looked really great), and said that the show in Eindhoven was even better.

Well, those photos — I couldn’t believe them.

And someone posted a full minute of him singing “Waiting for You,” from Ghosteen, and I really just couldn’t believe how fucking good it was. And it just means that the Ghosteen tour is going to be off the charts.

Crap — you know?! (I say it like that because I will not be attending any of these events.)

Okay, well, tonight he will be back in the Netherlands, in Nijmegen… And I will be so pissed off if it’s really, really good!

Which reminds me, that the other day, when I posted about pre-orders for the Nick Cave art exhibition book — Stranger Than Kindness — I forgot to post the link, which is here.

I’ve also been meaning to post that, at least in the United States, the MP3 edition of Rowland S. Howard’s incredible solo album from 1999, Teenage Snuff Film, will be available for download in early March. You can pre-order it here. (It’s Amazon US, but I don’t know if that means you have to live in the US to download it or not. I’m guessing it will be available for download from everywhere, though.)

Well, gang. The work on Tell My Bones yesterday was really productive — I’m still not finished, but I am really, really close.

The problem is that this one segment deals with racism, Jim Crow and, specifically, lynchings. It is not easy for me to be creative and artistic about all this. I mean, in a sense, it is easy because I feel strongly about it, but it makes me sick to my stomach while I’m doing it. And it wears me out.

And I’m trying to find that balance between making the point and not bombarding the audience with it. Helen, herself, talked to me in only a very minimal way about the racial problems she experienced in her life; her primary focus was her art and her family. Those were the topics that were of utmost importance to her. Plus, her family — even back in 1919, when she was born — were not sharecroppers. They owned their own farm, did reasonably well, and were definitely much better off than the white farmers around them.

She attributed her family’s well-being to their being devout Christians. Still, they were descended from slaves, and they were living in a Jim Crow State. And I felt that something needed to be said about that.

And in wanting to get a better understanding of what Kentucky was like when Helen was born, and specifically in Graves County, I had to research the statistics of lynchings in the State of Kentucky (which, of course, reveals horrible photos, too). It was all just stomach-turning, you know? Even though they did lynch a number of white men, the statistics document that it was overwhelmingly black.

And the statistics are so precise, too — which is also sickening in and of itself. The names, the race, the sex, what they were accused of (usually rape, attempted rape, or murder), the date they were lynched, and which county it took place in. If you’ve documented all of this, then why couldn’t it have been stopped? But it was mob justice. There were 135 lynchings listed in a 39-year sampling. I printed out a table and it took up four pages. And that was just for the State of Kentucky.

You know, when I was 14, I was raped by a black guy and a white guy. And the very last thing I would have ever wanted was for either of them to be hanged. It is just so sickening to me.

It was a relief, though, to see that in the county that my own ancestors herald from, there were no reported lynchings — black or white. My great-great grandfather was a Kentucky State senator, notoriously on the side of the Confederacy– to the extent that he was booted out of the Senate. (Kentucky was a split State; part Union, part Confederate.) And he owned house slaves. But the county he lived in bordered Ohio, as opposed to Tennessee, where the lynchings seemed to get seriously out of control. Logan County, specifically.

I hate to use the word “ironic” here, because of its sarcastic connotations, but it is ironic that I’m a white woman descended from Kentucky slave owners, writing about the life of a black woman descended from Kentucky slaves. I mean, it is what it is, but it’s still indicative of something that’s out of balance.  Meaning, I can’t imagine any black writers, descended from slaves, ever writing about me. I could be wrong, of course, but why would they?

Anyway, I undertook the project of writing about Helen’s life primarily because she was a woman and, as a woman myself, I understood her life-long drive to find peace, privacy, and enough money to support herself while she did her art. But there are these other racial elements that, sadly, have to be factored in, as well, even though they were not Helen’s primary concern — in her conversations with me or in her journals.

So, all that considered, I am making good progress with the play. I might even finally finish this new segment today. I am just so close. And then we will be ready for the table-reads in NYC.

Okay, gang. I’m gonna scoot. Got laundry to attend to, then gotta get back to the play.  Thanks for visiting. I hope Tuesday is terrific for you, wherever you are in the world!! I leave you with that truly lovely song from Ghosteen, mentioned above. All righty. I love you guys. See ya.

Off We Go, Back To Work!

It isn’t actually snowing here today — as the little picture above would imply. It’s raining. And is going to rain nonstop until tomorrow, when it will turn to snow. So it’s kind of an appropriate picture.

I cannot tarry here today because Peitor got back to Los Angeles on Monday and is expecting to get back to work this morning on our micro-script — often titled “Lita’s Got To Go” but sometimes it’s called other things! (I prefer it’s Swedish subtitle: Lita måste gå.)

Anyway. I have to get back in the mindspace for that intensely well-crafted absurdity, so I can’t spend too long on the blog today.

Oh, before I forget, there’s a new Nick Cave Red Hand Files letter out today. It’s very, very interesting, about the song “Hollywood” from the album Ghosteen. I love that song.  (I know, I know, I know — someday I’ll try to dig up a Nick Cave song that I hate, just to prove to you how fair and impartial I can be!! Meanwhile, as pigs fly…)

Anyway. You can read it at the Red Hand Files link up there if you so choose!!

I spent yesterday streaming more of those old Black Books TV episodes on Amazon. That show just really makes me laugh. I know it’s politically incorrect to laugh at drunks anymore but I just find it so stupidly funny. I really just do. I laugh out loud.

And I also did this:

Yes, I did indeed start yet a third journal and clipped a pen to it and carried it around. Meaning, down to the kitchen, back up to my desk, over to the night table.

It does sort of seem, on the face of it, to be kind of ridiculous to have all these separate journals for all the many things that go on in mind that need constant processing. Why not put it all in just one book and not isolate everything like this?

Frankly, I’m not sure. But for now, this is how it is. And I’m hoping it will just stop here, you know? (Oh, and I do want to mention that I am well aware that my little bedside lamp there is intensely un-chic and is well over 60 years old… I, personally, have only owned it since 2004, when Mikey Rivera found it at a garage sale somewhere in Bucks County, Pennsylvania and brought it home to me. I fell instantly in love with it. That’s some kid’s childhood embodied there in that lamp! How can I part with it?? Plus that little green glass part of it is its own separate night light!! It’s just too cool, even though I’m not exactly into the sailboat motif anywhere else in the house, or in my life…) (As if I have a motif in my house other than “old.”)

(And that coaster there on my night table is of a pub in London. I bought the set of coasters at the Heathrow airport about 20 years ago, and it has different illustrations of famous old pubs in London. I also have a set of coasters illustrating popular tourist spots in Paris — the Moulin Rouge one sits on my desk. For some reason, I love coasters bought in airports. And a friend of mine who lives here in the US but who is British,  took a vacation several years ago in Switzerland and, without knowing my slavish devotion to coasters bought in foreign airports, brought me back a set of coasters of pastoral spots in Switzerland. She said, as she sheepishly gave them to me, “I’m not sure why I bought you these weird things, I just saw them and suddenly felt compelled to get them for you…” I was thrilled!!)

So I still have all the Christmas stuff hanging out in the dining room. I just haven’t felt like dragging all those boxes out of storage yet. It felt really nice to just kind of lounge around and read magazines and talk on the phone and stream old TV shows that I’d never seen before… Kind of a little paradise around here for a couple of days.

But I am indeed back to work today because Peitor insisted on it. (I know: first, he insists on dashing off to London for 2 weeks; now he insists on dashing back to work. And my job, I guess, is to just be flexible and let people be whoever they need to be in this life…)

And even though I’ve already seen him a couple times during the holidays, I have an official meeting with the director of Tell My Bones on Tuesday. I actually can’t wait. It’s going to be a good meeting, I know. Even though I still have to do some revisions on the play. (He’s actually asked me to wait until the first table read in NYC because he thinks it will be more instructive for me that way, so I haven’t felt too pressured to do any more rewrites on it just yet.)

Plus, I just love having meetings with people who have vision, who have great ideas. And he does. Plus I love knowing that I am only responsible for writing the play. I don’t have to execute any of his ideas — just write the play. He is always saying to me: “Marilyn, that’s not your job; that’s my job. Just write and let me do my job, okay?”

Okay!

It’s so cool to have a project and not have to be overseeing absolutely everything. I guess this is part of my 2020 horoscope, where it said that this year I was going to learn how to be interdependent.

So, on that note, I need to scoot because I have to get myself sorted here at the desk before Peitor calls. And, of course, get more coffee. (BTW, I drink really, really weak old-fashioned coffee, because I can’t handle very much caffeine at all. I just love the process of constantly drinking coffee but I do like at least a little caffeine. So when I’m saying that I’m always drinking all this coffee, I’m not actually wired to the rafters or anything. I can barely feel it. )

But that said, I’m gonna get more coffee and get going around here. Thanks for visiting, gang! I haven’t actually been playing much music around here, except Sting and old Nick Cave songs that I’ve already posted here recently. Although, I do really love this other song, that I played yesterday while making my lunch, so I’ll leave you with that. You probably already know it because it’s a monster hit that’s already a year old, so I won’t post the lyrics, which are exceptionally lengthy. It’s a really cool song, though — “a lot” by 21 Savage featuring J. Cole.

All righty! Have a terrific first Friday of 2020!!I love you guys. See ya.