Tag Archives: Nick Cave Red Hand Files

Wow!! Another Splendid Day!!

Yes, I’m just hanging out here in Crazeysburg with my cock  rooster today!! What could be better –right, gang??!! It’s going to be another really gorgeous day.

Okay, well. Yesterday, as gorgeous as it also was, was an adventure in gardening, so I never got back here to post again. I was too exhausted.

I went to town early, in order to get my groceries and then to get the flowers for the summer —  but apparently this pandemic has made it next to impossible to get impatiens, which is my preferred flower for the boxes & planters on the porches, because they bloom like crazy, all summer long, and they require no maintenance except for watering.

Well, there were no impatiens at all — none, zippo, zero. So I had to load up on my second preference, which they did have– petunias. They require a little bit more maintenance, but not much, and at least they bloom all summer long, too.

But by the time I got everything home, even though it was only 10am, it was already in the mid-80s Fahrenheit. Just super sunny and super hot.  And I had bought 42 plants that needed to be replanted into 9 flower boxes and planters. But because of the intense heat, I was exhausted by 10:03am…

However, I carried on. Plus!! I have a toad this year!! I discovered him last week, when I was raking that enormous pile of leaves outside my back door.  He came hopping out of the leaves, startled me, and then delighted me, and then went over and sat closer to the house and watched me rake for quite a while.

Well, yesterday, it looked like the very same toad, but I honestly have no clue if it was or wasn’t. However, there he suddenly was, on the kitchen porch, right in the middle of all my gardening stuff, hopping around in the shade of all the many new flowers that were waiting to be re-planted.

He stayed on the porch with me for really quite a while. I chattered at him and asked him all kinds of questions while I worked, but he was cagey and answered none of them.

Mr. Toad , Beatrix Potter | Beatrix potter, Beatrice potter ...

Eventually, he hopped off the other end of the porch and went his happy way, but it was really nice having him to talk to. (Or at least to look at. Although for much of the time, he was motionless and just staring at me while I talked to him — so, it actually made it seem like he was listening to me!! Which was so nice!!) (My cats pretend like they’re listening to me when I chatter at them all day long, but they know that if they just look at me patiently for at least a moment, I will eventually leave them alone and go away!!)

It seemed like it took forever for me to get the flowers planted. People were texting me and the phone was ringing and I had to keep getting things to drink because it was inching up toward the 90s and I was sweating like crazy. And then I was hungry. And then I was exhausted again. And on and on. And then, by around 1pm, I ran out of potting soil and I only had one planter left to do!! But I had to drop everything, get back into my car and drive back into town!!

Yes, another 25 mile trip (each way)!! Except that on this trip, I was all sweaty and dusted with potting soil from head to toe.

Luckily, halfway to town, I remembered that there is a really big gardening center along Highway 16. I don’t ever shop there because they’re privately owned and very expensive. But all I needed was one bag of organic potting soil, so I stopped there and went inside and got my potting soil and wished that I could afford to shop there more often because they have such great garden stuff!!

And you can tell they’re privately owned because they have uplifting Scripture from the Bible printed on large banners and hung on the wall by the check-out. Which means they’re Christian and hold Christian values and they want you to know that your patronage is practically sacred to them. Publicly-owned stores nowadays would never risk publicly displaying Christian values. Atheists will write many, many angry letters to try to shame you for it. (If you’re privately owned, you can just advise the Atheists to shop elsewhere and keep on keeping on…)

Anyway!!

So, by the time I got the final planter finished, and swept off the porch and had everything watered and all cleaned up, and then took a shower and got all the potting soil washed off of myself — it was 5 hours, total. And it was really hot, outside and inside, and I was just unbelievably exhausted.

But the flowers got done! And I was happy. Summer can now begin!!

And then, because of something someone had posted on Instagram yesterday afternoon, I felt like watching that movie, Billy Elliot– the original one; not the new musical version, which I haven’t seen yet.

So, after dinner, I streamed Billy Elliot at the kitchen table and all the flowers were on the porch there, and the kitchen door was open as were all the windows, and the world was beautiful and I  had the most wonderful evening. And I could not believe that Billy Elliot came out in 2001 and is 19 years old already. I could remember, plain as day, sitting in a movie theater in NYC — I was still married. With no thoughts whatsoever of ever leaving New York.

It is just scary, gang — where does the time go??!! Honestly!

Okay, well, today is going to be about making more progress with Letter #8 for Girl in the Night: Erotic Love Letters to the Muse. Then tomorrow, Peitor and I are supposed to get back on schedule with Abstract Absurdity Productions stuff. He has another producer on board now who can better advise us about budgets for short subject films. So that’s exciting!

And this morning, Nick Cave sent out another Red Hand Files letter where he talks about the personality, or mindset, of creative people (that’s sort of putting it in a nutshell).  I totally related to what he said. You can read it and decide for yourself at the link there.

And on that happy note!! I’m gonna close this and reply to the 5 texts I have gotten in the past 20 minutes… And then get down to work here!!

Have a great Wednesday, wherever you are in the world, gang!! Thanks for visiting. I had forgotten that T.Rex’s original version of “Cosmic Dancer” starts off the Billy Elliot movie (in such a glorious way, too). So, even though I streamed the re-mastered version of T. Rex’s Electric Warrior as I drifted off to sleep last night, I’m gonna close this with Nick Cave’s version of “Cosmic Dancer” again, which I just love — and which is available now for purchase, gang, wherever you buy your music!! All righty. Enjoy. I love you guys. See ya.

 

Have A Great Memorial Day Weekend!

If you live Stateside, that is!

If not, then, well, just have a great weekend.

Here, today should be even more beautiful than yesterday was — and yesterday was kind of unbelievable, gang. Hence, I never managed to get onto the blog and post anything.  I did get a good bunch of edits done on The Guitar Hero Goes Home yesterday, but other than that, I just didn’t want to be at my desk.

My breathing is FINALLY back to 100% and I just wanted to be out in the sunshine.

This is the weekend that I usually plant my flowers. But I’m not 100% sure I want to go get the flowers today, since this whole area has come out of lockdown and, even though we still need to wear masks and only a certain number of people are allowed in the stores at one time, there will likely still be a crowd at the store since the weather will be ideal for gardening and yard work, etc. And that means waiting in a long line to get inside.

So I might just wait until Tuesday, when the holiday weekend is over. But I’m feeling that having my flowers out and about will make it feel like life is finally back to (the new) normal around here.

Nick Cave sent out a very brief Red Hand Files reply-thingy yesterday — it was quite cute, and heavily implied that we should not kowtow to the cat… (You can read it at the link there, it should take you about 4.6 seconds.)

And speaking of cats — every one of them was just so happy around here, yesterday. It was just so sunny and warm, they were having the best time at all the open windows. (And so was I — I love the way this house feels when all the windows are open again.)

Well, for some reason, I’ve been in a real poetry-reading mood around here lately. Even though I still have two books I’m in the middle of reading (Whatever Comes My Way: Travels in the Netherlands by my friend & colleague, Roger Gaess; and The Judas Brief: A Critical Investigation into the Arrest and Trials of Jesus and the Role of the Jews by Gary Greenberg), I’ve just been wanting to read poetry.

Currently, I’m reading Anne Sexton’s Live or Die (1966 — winner of the Pulitzer Prize); Sharon Olds (The Father: Poems (1992) and Strike Sparks: Selected Poems 1980-2002); and The Poems of Octavio Paz (English translation -2018).

And, since I long ago ran out of Mr. Moto movies to stream, I switched over to the Charlie Chan movies. I have seen all of the Charlie Chan movies that star either Warner Oland or Sidney Toler a bazillion times. I love these movies. (Racial stereotypes galore, notwithstanding.)

Out of the couple of dozens of Charlie Chan movies made, my favorites are the ones from the mid-1930s, that starred Warner Oland, and often Keye Luke as his son.  Charlie Chan in Egypt (1935) is great — if you can come to terms with Stepin Fetchit (the actor, Lincoln Perry’s, stage name). It helps to not try to lay contemporary cultural standards over top of these movies from 90 years ago.  If you’re not able to do that, than just don’t even try to watch these films. Otherwise, Charlie Chan in Paris (also 1935) is also really good, followed closely by Charlie Chan on Broadway (1937).

All of these movies were only an hour long and low budget and relied heavily on stock footage, which is one of my favorite things about these films. Actual footage of Luxor and the Valley of the Kings; of Paris, and of Broadway from the mid-1930s. Pre-WWII and moving out of the Great Depression. I especially love the footage of Paris.

Which reminds me — I decided to continue studying French, now that I have the Mondly app for another year. It seemed to me that it would actually be useful to me, instead of undertaking an entirely new language just to do it, without any reason to think I would actually ever use the language anywhere. At least my new friends in Switzerland speak French, so I will have reason to use it all the time.

The Mondly app also lets you have conversations with it and can correct your accent. So far, my accent has been reasonably good! You can hear yourself have the conversation with the app, which is a native-speaker of the language you’re studying. So you can actually hear your own accent immediately. It is a really fun app. However, if you’re trying to seriously learn a language from scratch and are only using the app, I’m not sure how effective it actually is.

Well, anyway! I’m yet again “studying” French — which means 52 years now of “studying” it. Perhaps I should have the epitaph on my tombstone be en francais!! That way, when I stand in front of my own tombstone, in Spirit, I can look at it and cry out: “What does it say??!! I don’t speak French! I’m still studying it!!”

Perhaps I should have the epitaph read:

Qu’est-ce que ça dit? Je ne parle pas français. (“What does that say? I don’t speak French.”)

And then when some non-French-speaking person happens upon my grave here in Crazeysburg, looks at my tombstone and says: “What does that say? I don’t speak French.” I can stand next to them (in Spirit), chuckle softly and say to them: “Au contraire — apparently you do!”

All righty!! Let’s get this day happening here, okay? Thanks for visiting, gang. Have a terrific Saturday, wherever you are in the world!! I love you guys. See ya!

Just Oodles & Oodles of Puddles Today!!

A steady beautiful Spring rain out there today — and supposedly it’s going to last all day. Which no doubt means that the Wakatamika Creek is going to flood the bottom land like crazy.

I’ve posted this a few times before, but this is my favorite photo of the Wakatamika Creek in summer — this spot is not too far from me, but it’s in the opposite direction from where it floods like crazy:

 

 

 

Oddly enough, the creek is part of the watershed of the Mississippi River.  (It has something to do with where the Muskingum River and the Ohio River meet, because here in Crazeysburg, we are quite far from the Mississippi.)

Wakatamika was a Shawnee Indian name — the Shawnee tribal nation had a settlement along this creek before the Revolutionary War. But literally thousands of years before that, this area was home to the ancient Mound Builders (sun worshipers.)

Here is a beautiful aerial view of some of the many ancient mounds preserved near me — this is over in the town where I do my marketing (the moon, of course, is not always there!!):

We Asked a Historian Where to Go in Ohio - HISTORY This stuff is all part of why I love living out here in the middle of nowhere, where rush hour traffic on Highway 16 constitutes about 10 cars — I’m not exaggerating, either! And we have all this incredible history that’s just lying around.

All righty!

Well, Nick Cave sent out a really beautiful Red Hand Files letter yesterday.  He talks once more about how different his life is now, emotionally, after the death of one of his sons. And he also talks about the Red Hand Files itself, and all the many letters people write to him every day. (He gets about 50 letters a day — and, no, 49 of those are not from me!!)

Sadly, yesterday was yet again mostly about streaming Mr. Moto movies on YouTube. I got some writing done in the morning yesterday, but it wasn’t work-related — it was a letter; but after that, I had no energy left. In fact, last night, I slept for 10 hours. I was so tired. I think I was psychologically worn out, or something like that.

I have to run another quick errand over at the dollar store — why is it that whenever I go into the dollar store, I can never manage to remember to get everything I need in one trip? And on top of that, I come out of there with things I don’t need at all, but which delight me no end!!

For instance, I got this cool light there the other day — it’s one of those Himalayan salt lamps. It’s really small but it was only $5 and I just love it!! It’s supposed to have all kinds of health benefits, but that’s not why I bought it. I bought it because I think they’re cool looking.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And then, of course, I had to make a return trip in order to buy stuff I actually needed. Today, I’m guessing, will be similar. We shall see. I just become spellbound by the weirdest things in that store.

Another thing about this quarantine that I hate, that I know a lot of people are also suffering from (besides getting the stupid virus), I’ve put on quite a few pounds (8!!). Mostly because I do absolutely nothing except a little yoga. A little tai-chi. And I’ve spent, literally, most of the past 2 months in bed. My metabolism is basically non-existent right now. I still eat the usual intensely boring but healthy organic, non-GMO, vegetarian foods, so it makes me angry that I’m putting on weight without even having the thrill of snacking!!

So I bought more ice cream at the dollar store the other day, too. I was just so over it, you know? If I’m gonna put on weight, I want to at least have fun with something that I’m eating around here.

So that’s my big excitement: all-natural vanilla ice cream with Hershey’s chocolate syrup. I guess I’ll do that (again) until it gets boring.

Meanwhile, the morning is more than half over so I suppose I should get started around here, enjoying my little rainy day. I hope you have a terrific Tuesday, wherever you are in the world.

I leave you with what’s leftover from my letter-writing yesterday. I’m going to try to proceed in life without, you know, having a broken heart. Something like that. (And try to remind myself that “it is better to have loved and lost (and made yourself completely nuts) than never to have loved at all…”) This song is one of Dolly Parton’s legendary hits, from back in the days when I really, really loved her.  (Before she went “Hollywood.”) (I saw her once at the Ohio State Fair and you would not believe how she could play a banjo with those ridiculously long fingernails she has, but she did it.)

Okay, her song from 1974, “I Will Always Love You,” — a song that Whitney Houston had a huge hit with, as well, but I always preferred Dolly’s own version — it just seemed more genuine and heartfelt to me.  So, enjoy. And thanks for visiting, gang! I love you guys. See ya.

“I Will Always Love You”

If I should stay
I would only be in your way
So I’ll go, but I know
I’ll think of you each step of the way
And I will always love you
I will always love you
Bitter-sweet memories
That’s all I am taking with me
Good-bye, please don’t cry
We both know that I’m not
What you need
I will always love you
I will always love you

I hope life, treats you kind
And I hope that you have all
That you ever dreamed of
And I wish you joy
And happiness
But above all of this
I wish you love
And I will always love you
I will always love you
I will always love you

© – 1974 Dolly Parton

Let’s Just Knock It Out of the Park Today!!

Okay?? Okay!!

We’re gonna make it a great day (because it’s kind of, like, sucking right now and I refuse to allow the whole darn day to be ruined) !!

It’s gorgeous here today. So sunny, it is amazing. Still too chilly & damp to rake leaves (darn it), but we’re getting there.

Okay, yesterday was weird. I waited all day for Peitor to call because we were supposed to work on Abstract Absurdity Productions stuff. And I also waited all day for Valerie to call, because we were going to work on the book cover design for The Guitar Hero Goes Home.

While waiting on everybody, hour upon hour, I did manage to get a bunch of housecleaning done.  Had my lunch. Had my dinner. Finally gave up on everyone at around 5:30pm, closed the laptop and decided to stream a movie down in the kitchen.

At that point, Peitor texted to say he could call me in about 2 hours… Meaning around 7:30pm my time (Eastern Time).

Even people who know me really well never seem to remember that I’m up and out of bed and starting my days at 5am.  By 7:30 at night, I’m not usually feeling like: All righty!! Let’s get started here!! You know? I’m starting to get contemplative and thinking about the Universe and the nature of reality and getting into a general “I wonder what it’s gonna feel like after I die” frame of mind. I’m way into my own zone.

And then Valerie texted at 8pm (and she’s even in my same time zone) to say that she’d lost track of the time…

So that was how work went yesterday. I’m feeling like something similar will happen today, but we’ll just see. I’m going to try to just focus on my own writing and not get into that mental space of waiting around on phone calls.

I also decided to release the experience of Booty Core from my life!! At least, for now. I just don’t like it. I decided that I want to maybe do tai-chi in the morning, and still do yoga in the evenings, and see if my hip joints do okay with that. And if they do, goodbye to Booty Core forever.

Mostly, I just can’t stand that curvy Booty Core look. I really can’t. And I have tried to be open-minded about it, embrace the possibility of a new physical shape, but I simply come from a whole other era. And I’d still rather look like I’ve been smoking and doing amphetamines all day than look like I’ve spent the whole day in the gym….

I’m just a 1970s kind of gal.

So.

The main thing that’s kind of playing with my head here this morning is that my dad announced (to me – although I think my stepsister already knew this) that he wants to move to Florida. Not only that, but he’s already looking at potential properties. and not only that, but I get the feeling that the thing he sent me in the mail last week — to choose which of his art pieces I was interested in having in the event of his death or in case he had to downsize and go into a nursing home — was actually part of his wanting to move to Florida but he hadn’t said it yet.

Plus, he wants to move to northern Florida which is sort of a weird part of Florida to want to move to when you’re 90, so it makes me think he wants to live closer to my stepsister and her husband and their kids. He has always had a really good relationship with them, and also I think it would help him feel like my stepmom was still in his life in some way.  To have that part of “his family” closer to him again now that she’s gone.

I honestly don’t believe that anybody owes anyone anything in life. I mean, ideally, I have a way I would love life to be. But still, I believe it all comes down to choices. Making choices that have value to us, individually, and not based on what we might think we “owe” people, because we just have our lives to live, you know? And if they aren’t meaningful lives, then being here, living something meaningless, helps no one.

So I don’t really feel I have anything I can really say about this.  He’ll be 90 in a handful of weeks. He should live a life that makes him happy. I honestly believe that, and I’ve always tried my best to accept that his being happy didn’t usually involve me. You just can’t force things, right? What is the point in that?

Even though it makes me really sad — it makes me feel defeated more than anything else — I just don’t want that to set the tone for my entire day today.  I am trying to get into a better place about it.  So we’ll see how that goes.

Nick Cave sent out a Red Hand Files letter- thingy this morning that was very interesting. About one of his songs that I love (“Night raid”), and a specific song lyric that has put in a number of appearances in other things he’s written over the years and I guess — if he dies, like, today — it will be on his tombstone, too. And he also talked about the overall plans for Bad Seed TeeVee, which continues to expand and blossom into all kinds of videos clips — not just songs but interviews and all kinds of stuff.

Okay, I’m gonna do some tai-chi here and see if that transcends my morning into something way more productive than, I don’t know, thoughts of suicide, I guess.

I leave you with my breakfast-listening music from today — which is usually a song I play when I am thinking about committing suicide. But I do not believe he intended this song to be used for that!

I’ve posted this song here a bunch of times — Tom Petty’s song “Only A Broken Heart” from his wildly multi-platinum album, Wildflowers, from 1994. Even though he wrote this song because he was wanting to divorce his first wife and couldn’t figure out how to do that — and even though when he finally did figure out how to do that, it destroyed him for awhile, turning him into a reclusive heroin addict, etc. (and the creator of the album Echo (1999) — an intensely beautiful but very difficult album to listen to). His decision did eventually open up his whole life, and made it possible for him and his second wife, Dana, to fall in love and get married and enabled him to write probably his most accomplished songs/albums in his 40-year career.

So. The point is not to focus on how terrible things feel today, but focus more on how change can open up all sorts of amazing possibilities down the road. It’s just that maybe you can’t see it just yet. (Meaning “me”, of course — not necessarily “you”.)

With that in mind, have a good Tuesday, wherever it finds you, wherever you are in the world. Thanks for visiting, gang! I love you. So much. See ya.

“Only A Broken Heart”

Here comes that feeling I’ve seen in your eyes
Back in the old days, before the hard times
But I’m not afraid anymore
It’s only a broken heart

I know the place where you keep your secrets
Out of the sunshine, down in a valley
But I’m not afraid anymore
It’s only a broken heart

What would I give, to start all over again
To clean up my mistakes

Stand in the moonlight, stand under heaven
Wait for an answer, hold out forever
But don’t be afraid anymore
It’s only a broken heart

What would I give, to start all over again
To clean up my mistakes

I know your weakness, you’ve seen my dark side
The end of the rainbow is always a long ride
But I’m not afraid anymore
It’s only a broken heart

© 1994 Tom Petty

I knew this chick was a liar, but come on….

Yes, I’m sorry!!

I said I would be back here to post again yesterday but I lied.

But I’m here now, so let’s just move on! All righty??!!

Well, the sad news first: Today is that dreaded day that comes once every 3 months, when I have to go down into my super scary, 119-year-old unfinished basement and change the filter in my furnace.

I can’t tell you how much I don’t look forward to doing that. Even though, once I’m down there, it’s never as bad in reality as it is in my imagination. It’s just that forcing myself to go down those stairs at all is the really hard part.

Well, okay. Just had to stop and have a phone chat with the director of Tell My Bones. I was going to post here today about how happy I am with how the plans for the Zoom staged reading of the play are progressing!! So I will just go ahead and say that right now:

I’m really happy with how the plans for the Zoom staged reading of the play are progressing!!

I really am, gang. I am getting so excited. Even though it’s not the whole play, and all the music is being taken out to simplify the reading, you will still be able to get a good feel for the overall play.  Plus, I personally can’t wait to start hearing actual people reciting the dialogue, you know??

Between the four years it’s taken me to adapt this play from the film script version, and then the few years that I was focused just on the film script version — that’s a long time to have this story in my head and never hear a single other soul speaking a single one of these lines of dialogue. So I am getting really excited.

The other good news, of course, is that they finished putting the new roof on my barn yesterday. And I am so happy, gang!! Unfortunately, the back alley and one segment of Basin Street are now littered with the bodies of neighbors who died from heart attacks yesterday afternoon  because they didn’t think I was ever gonna fix that roof, but oh well. That’s the trade-off, I guess.

Of course, I jest! No one died. But I did indeed notice people noticing it, that’s for sure.  So it is a huge relief for me to finally have that barn looking more presentable. It still needs re-painting, but the worst part of it is now over.

And not only am I starting to make some interesting progress on the new novel, Thug Luckless: Welcome to P-Town, that is making me feel really happy, but I am also coming into a new relationship with Blessed By Light, which is now indeed going to be officially titled The Guitar Hero Goes Home. (So, as of today, I will no longer be calling that novel by its old title, okay? Hopefully, it will not be too confusing.)

It’s really interesting how, having the virus completely gone now, is making my brain work again.

Valerie in Brooklyn sent me a link during the night to an article in a NYC newspaper, where they interviewed people who had recovered from the virus to find out what the virus had felt like. It is the darnedest thing — how differently it affected different people. But there were two people interviewed who had the exact same experiences that I had: mainly, the weight of an anvil on the lungs, inability to breathe, overwhelming fatigue, and inability to think straight. (I also had the loss of the senses of taste & smell.)

Anyway. It just feels so great to be back to normal. And also to be able to work out again. Yoga especially feels so good now.

All right, well, the day before yesterday, Nick Cave sent out another Red Hand Files letter. It was one of the sadder ones, where he replies to people who are struggling with the deaths of their own children and he talks about how he and his wife continue to manage their grief over the death of one of their sons. You can read what he says at the link there. It’s enlightening.

Well, it’s another beautiful day here, but a little chilly. I did make a quick trip into town yesterday to buy more groceries and — YES — to buy yard waste bags in order to start raking up all those dead leaves outside my backdoor.  Honestly, I don’t know if I’ll do it today or not, only because it’s cold out. Not because I’m (still !!!) being incredibly lazy.

I did notice, on the trip to town and back, that traffic is back to normal now around here. A lot of Ohio is coming out of lockdown, though not all of it. (And you still have to wear a mask pretty much anywhere you go.) But there was plenty of traffic. It’s no longer a ghost town anymore. And the gas prices are inching upwards. It felt good to see that. Although in the county where my dad lives, they are getting new confirmed cases of the virus every day. So the more populated urban areas of the State are still having issues. But it was good to see that for a lot of us, we are now entering that light at the end of the tunnel. For now.

Okay, I’m gonna close this because I want to get started on some writing and editing here today.  I leave you with three options. My music-listening from last evening — an old song by Shaggy from 20 years ago (!!) that they play on TikTok constantly and the chorus always just cracks me up. Talk about infidelity, right? “It Wasn’t Me” (2000, from his album Hot Shot): “But she caught me on the counter (It wasn’t me)/ Saw me bangin’ on the sofa (It wasn’t me)/ I even had her in the shower (It wasn’t me)/ She even caught me on camera (It wasn’t me)…” 😂

And then this morning, my breakfast-listening music was from an upcoming new album by Joshua Redman, Brad Mehldau, Christian McBride, and Brian Blade: Round Again. The song is “Right Back Round Again.”

And then this one will give you sort of an idea of what some of the music to Tell My Bones will eventually sound like!! This is a vintage recording from Smithsonian Folkways Records of Ella Jenkins and the Goodwill Spiritual Choir of the Monumental Baptist Church!

All righty. Thanks for visiting, gang. Have a great Thursday, wherever you are in the world. Enjoy that Super Flower Moon in Scorpio tonight!! Assuming you live with someone you don’t have to stay 6 feet away from, this is supposed to be a very, very sexy full moon, so enjoy those vibes! (Since I live alone and dearly love myself, perhaps tonight I will, I don’t know, take up smoking cigarettes again!! Yay!) (Remember that old joke about cigarettes and sex? HE: “Do you smoke after you do it? “ SHE: “I don’t know, I never looked.”)

Okay, on that happy note. I’m outta here. I love you guys. See ya!

Cherish the Morning and Release the Day

What a beautiful morning I’ve had here so far.

And it didn’t start out too great. I woke at my usual 4:44am, sort of dreading the fact that I have to drive into town later and buy more groceries. Even though I likely have antibodies for the virus now, it still just freaks me out because going into town (in the next county) was how I caught the virus in the first place. (And just FYI, the virus has flattened here in Ohio and Muskingum County still only has 10 confirmed cases. So I probably should have gone to the markets here in this county instead of the next county, where they have 114 cases, but oh well. Too late.)

Plus, I was just feeling really at odds with myself this morning — not understanding who I really am, or what my purpose is in the world. (I love when my mornings start out like that and the sun isn’t even up yet.)

Yesterday, Nick Cave sent out a Red Hand Files letter regarding plagiarism versus the tendencies of indigenous types of music (like rock & roll, jazz, blues, etc.) to progress upon the shoulders of songs that came before it. (I’m using my own words there — not quoting him.) (You can read what he actually said at that link there.)

In it, he briefly mentioned Arvo Pärt, and it made me think of Arvo Pärt’s piece “Spiegel Im Spiegel,” which I used to play a lot but hadn’t listened to in a really long time.

So after my breakfast, and after making entries in all my many little journals that I write in at the breakfast table each morning to keep me from drifting too far from Sanity’s shore, I went back up to bed with my coffee cup in hand and put “Spiegel Im Spiegel” on repeat on my phone and listened to it as the sun came up.

And, as always happens in my contemplative life, a ton of beautiful memories came streaming back.

The reason I used to listen to “Spiegel Im Spiegel” all the time was because of a poet I used to know. We met when we were in our late 40s. She was incredibly gifted. She’d had several poetry collections published by then, and was bilingual in Russian — wrote poems in Russian, also — and her work had won some prestigious poetry prizes.

I liked her a lot, just as a person. But as a writer, I absolutely loved her. Her way with words.

She spent most of each year living in St. Petersburg, Russia, which is one of the few places in the world I have always wanted to visit. Like, passionately. (Helsinki and St. Petersburg are probably the two places on Earth that I haven’t been to yet that I have always wanted to visit.) During the months she would live in St. Petersburg, she would write the bulk of her poems each year. And, honestly, I cannot tell you how much I loved her poems.

One day, I asked her about her inspiration — where it came from; that kind of thing. And she said that she listened to a lot of Arvo Pärt and, at that particular time in her life, “Spiegel Im Spiegel”  was what she listened to the most.

“You’ve got to buy it, Marilyn, and listen to it. It’s so inspiring!”

So I bought it and I did indeed listen to it. And this morning, as I was listening to it again, I got a few of her poetry books down from my bookshelf. And I drank my coffee, and listened to “Spiegel Im Spiegel” and read her amazing poems in bed. And renewed my decision that she is a truly gifted writer.

I broke off contact with her several years ago. She knew how much I had always wanted to go to St. Petersburg, so she invited me to come there and live with her for a few months. Just hang out with her and write all day. Cook meals. Drink wine late into the night.

I remember that she said, “You’re going to have to surrender your passport once you get here, but there’s nothing to be afraid of. I speak fluent Russian. They know me here. They will give you back your passport when you leave. I promise you.”

As much as I wanted to go (and I came very close to making that trip) I knew I was falling in love with her and that if I wasn’t in love with her yet, living with her for a few months in St. Petersbrug, writing all day, cooking meals together, drinking wine long into the night… Well, I would be in love with her for sure and she was absolutely 100% heterosexual.

By the time I was in my late 40s, I knew beyond all doubt that falling in love with straight women was a serious dead-end street. Just in a hugely BIG way. So I didn’t make the trip and, almost immediately upon realizing what my heart was doing, I stopped being in contact with her.  Didn’t go visit her even in America anymore.

I don’t know if she ever wondered what suddenly happened to me — we had a couple of writer-friends in common in NYC and in LA, but I never actually heard anything from them about it. I’m guessing she just assumed I was nuts , which is generally a good assumption to make about me. However, it leaves out some of the key things that drive me to nuttiness. (L-O-V-E, in particular.) But it’s okay, I guess.

Still, wow, was it beautiful this morning. It was mild enough to have a window open, so I heard  the birds singing as the sun came up, too. And that music and those poems? My goodness. What a lovely morning. Life is so beautiful, isn’t it? And before I knew it, the tone of my whole morning had completely shifted in the direction of love.

So, I’m going to get started here. I like to get to the market close to when it opens, since there are fewer people.  I did sew a new mask yesterday, btw. I no longer own a sewing machine, so I sewed it by hand and it took forever. But I watched Bad Seeds TeeVee on my phone the whole time, which made “forever” go a lot faster.

Life has just gotten so weird, hasn’t it?  Sewing little cotton masks while endlessly streaming intensely intense songs by Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds? (There’s poetry in there somewhere, I’m sure of it.)

Anyway.  Okay. Thanks for visiting, gang. Enjoy Wednesday, wherever you are in the world. I leave you with 9 minutes of stellar beauty. Perhaps it will inspire you to write award-winning poetry, too. Who knows?  You might even be fluent in Russian and not even realize it yet! Go on — put pen to paper, hit “PLAY” and see what comes out! I love you guys. See ya.

I’m Guessing It’s Windy!!

Yes, well. I am sort of reduced to telling you about the weather here every day, because I’m not doing a whole lot right now with which to regale you.

However, it is a sunny day here again — a little chilly, though, and very windy.

So there you have it!

And this also gives you an idea of every single morning phone call I have with my dad now, too. But in his case, he’s kind of depressed, so when the weather looks rainy and likely to keep him from taking his walk and being able to chat with other people in his assisted living compound, it turns into a long, depressing day for him. So the weather has become a huge deal.

I, of course, love the sunny mild days so that I can open the windows for the cats — they love that so fucking much; it’s almost what I live for. But other than that, I don’t care that much about the specific weather, because I love all weather. I get a little anxious when it’s super windy and pieces of the roof of my barn go soaring away. Or if we get a torrential downpour with high winds, then it grieves me to find pieces of the bathroom ceiling on the bathroom floor. Other than that, I’m just a big fan of weather.

Anyway. So now I’ve talked about the weather. (Oh, and that reminds me, there was a really funny video on TikTok that I saw this morning by @TylerJarry — “When Dads talk about the weather.” It was just hysterical. I think his videos are always really funny — such intensely silly stuff about suburban parents that is so spot-on.) Well, it felt good to laugh out loud.

Yesterday was a rough day for me. I had such high hopes for it, but by early afternoon, I was back in bed, with more difficulty breathing. And even though I try so hard to be optimistic and upbeat and all that crap — I finally just broke down and cried.  I am just so fucking sick of this virus. It is now 18 days.

I know I have it better than so many people — and aside from the breathing, my life is actually kind of perfect. So I hate to resort to tears, but yesterday, I had just had it.

I’m trying again today, though. So we shall see. I’m supposed to work with Peitor on Abstract Absurdity Productions stuff. I’m breathing pretty good right now, so I hope it stays that way by this afternoon.

Well, I watched the first episode of “Dummy” on Quibi yesterday (the comedy about the woman who becomes friends with her boyfriend’s AI sex doll). There were things about it that I liked, so I’ll keep watching it to give it a chance. But even though the show was created by and written by a woman (Cody Heller), I really just hate when smutty dialogue is passed off as “empowering to women.”

After having lived most of my adult life in various areas of the sex industry, I know for a fact that women can talk about sex and their identities relating to sex, and be frank and open and maybe even talk like a sailor, without actually being “smutty,” you know? I don’t think that speaking coarse about sex empowers women at all.

But it was only the first episode, so we shall see.

I’m still a big fan of “Agua Donkeys”, though. That show cracks me up. (And the writing on that show actually does empower women.)

Nick Cave sent out a Red Hand Files letter today. It’s about his song, “Palaces of Montezuma,” on the Grinderman 2 album. It’s a song I really love — and I think I’ve posted it here on the blog a couple of times. But in his letter today, he drew a comparison between that song and Lou Reed’s song, “Andy’s Chest,” — from the Transformer album. And I’m really surprised that I had never seen the similarities before, but they are indeed there. So very interesting.

Many decades ago — particularly during the years when I lived in the hellhole tenement on E. 12th Street in the East Village — I played that record Transformer a lot. But oddly enough, I am not a fan of Andy Warhol, so I think I probably blocked out “Andy’s Chest”(which was written for Andy Warhol).

I met Andy Warhol a number of times at art gallery-type functions in NYC. And I also worked at the Museum of Modern Art, and met him there, too. I didn’t know him, or anything. I simply “met” him — repeatedly. And he always seemed really, really nice. He really did.  And I sort of appreciated his approach to his Pop Art paintings. And I did see a number of his movies in cinemas in NYC. And I bought his (often expensive) books.

But I still kept feeling that his forte was exploiting people when they were vulnerable. And I’m guessing that a whole lot of those people wanted to be exploited — still. It just felt like a no-brainer to me, you know? Is exploiting people actually art? I honestly don’t know the true answer to that. Defining “art” gets murky indeed.

But it was still sort of bittersweet to hear all those other songs on Transformer this morning. Songs that I used to just love that I had kind of forgotten about because eventually I wound up gravitating more to some of those amazing albums he did in the 1980s. But to hear Transformer again — it was that repeated feeling of: Oh my god, I know every single word to this song… and trying to remember when that had happened. At what point had I memorized every word? And at what point did I move on?

Anyway. If you’d like to read Nick Cave’s comments about his song “Palaces of Montezuma,” it’s at that link above. (Or here, to make it easier.)

Well, truth be told, I had a very slow start this morning because I had some trouble getting out of bed. And so I’m posting this a lot later in the morning than I usually post, so I’m going to get going here. I hope you have a terrific Tuesday, wherever you are in the world. I hope you’re staying hopeful and healthy, and getting a good grip on the weather!

I leave you with my breakfast-listening music from this morning. I hadn’t listened to this song in a really long time, but I always loved it. It’s such a great song to listen to when you want to feel hopeless about love! However, today it came to mind because of the lyric “somebody can’t breathe” — and I’m guessing you can figure out why that specific lyric popped into my fucking head!!!

And on that note… Thanks for visiting, gang. I love you guys. See ya!

“Somebody’s Me”

You, do you remember me
Like I remember you?
Do you spend your life
Going back in your mind to that time?

‘Cause I, I walk the streets alone
I hate being on my own
And everyone can see that I really fell
And I’m going through hell
Thinking about you with somebody else

Somebody wants you
Somebody needs you
Somebody dreams about you every single night
Somebody can’t breathe, without you it’s lonely
Somebody hopes that one day you will see
That somebody’s me
That somebody’s me
Yeah

How, how did we go wrong?
It was so good and now it’s gone
And I pray at night that our paths soon will cross
And what we had isn’t lost
‘Cause you’re always right here in my thoughts

Somebody wants you
Somebody needs you
Somebody dreams about you every single night
Somebody can’t breathe, without you it’s lonely
Somebody hopes that someday you will see
That somebody’s me
Oh, yeah

You will always be in my life
Even if I’m not in your life
‘Cause you’re in my memory
You, when you remember me
And before you set me free
Oh, listen please

Somebody wants you
Somebody needs you
Somebody dreams about you every single night
Somebody can’t breathe, without you it’s lonely
Somebody hopes that someday you will see
That somebody’s me
Somebody’s me
Somebody’s me
Somebody’s me

© 2007 – Enrique Iglesias, John Shanks, Kara DioGuardi