Tag Archives: re-writing

Everything is just so much better!

I’m feeling lots better today. I’m not 100% yet, though. For some reason, any time I try to eat something, I feel like I’m going to throw it right back up. But then I don’t.

But I did get a lot of sleep, so that felt great.

I’ve also made incredible progress on the revisions of the play. Still have some really challenging segments left— but I am almost at the end of the play, and the stuff that I’ve done over the last couple days, I’m just really, really happy with. So it is almost done.

Speaking of the play and, therefore of Helen… I listened to Wanda’s radio interview that announced Helen’s 100th birthday celebration at the church in Mayfield— she talked a bit about the play and the DJ said that Kevin Connell has written it — which I found amusing because I think people still just naturally assume that when they see a man’s name, then the man did everything. And the DJ doesn’t seem to have seen my name at all. (Kevin is the director. We are both mentioned on the splash page of the website.)

In the old days, that would have made me nuts, but nowadays, it matters more to me that the play at least gets mentioned — and they got the name of the play correct! (Wanda got my name wrong — she’s known me 7 years already and still thinks my name is Mary Jane. You’d be surprised just how many people think my name is Mary Jane.)

Anyway. Helen had her birthday celebration today. I couldn’t attend — it’s a 12 hour drive from here. But we did send flowers. I hope it was an incredible time for everybody involved.

For no reason whatsoever, here’s a photo Peitor sent me of himself and his husband, Graham, playing Clue at their dining room table in West Hollywood on Halloween!! I wish I could have been there!! It’s been almost a year since I was with Peitor in LA.

Peitor is on our right and Graham, on the left!

I love playing Clue, by the way. It’s actually the only board game I like.  I’m not a big game player. (I guess you could take that a few ways! And they’d all be true…)

Okay, as much as I love summer and all that, tomorrow is my favorite day of the year — when we set our clocks back and get an extra hour of darkness in the morning!! I get up so early as it is that it’s kind of awesome to have yet another hour of darkness to lay in bed and drink coffee!!! And contemplate my Muse. Yay!!

Well I might be mistaken, but it did seem that by late yesterday, the free downloading of Ribbon of Darkness had ceased. I do appreciate that people wanted to read that. But still. And now it’s here on the site, so you can read it for free anyway.  I can’t believe it’s been 30 years since I met my real dad, and 20 years now since he died, at the age of 54. As difficult as all that stuff was back then, I’m glad I have that story to preserve my own memories, if nothing else.

All righty! I’m gonna study my Italian now. Enjoy what’s left of Saturday wherever you are in the world!! Thanks for visiting, gang. I love you guys. See ya.

Ciao!!!

I tried to warn her that this would happen but would she listen? No. No she would not…

Yeah, well. Remember how, early last summer, when the 2 practically free tubes of expensive cellulite appearance reducing creme arrived from the company in France and I was worried that it would work so well — because everything else under the sun that they’ve sent me either for free or practically free, worked so well that I then was forced to keep buying it because I am so fucking vain?

Well, I was worried that it would be the same way with the cellulite appearance reducing creme — that it would work too well. And it’s just too expensive to justify adding it to the long list of cremes and scrubs and masks and cleansers that I already buy every month from that company (and have been buying from them since 1999) because no one ever, ever, ever thinks I am 59 years old — and it’s not just because I’m immature. Which I am. But still. I’m talking specifically about my skin, here.

Well, as I posted the other day, I finally started using the expensive cellulite appearance reducing creme last week, and it really works. And I don’t know how it does but it does. It doesn’t make anything go away, it just reduces the appearance of it. But since I never go anywhere where my thighs are part of what you can see of me — because I am 59 years old, and even if you think I’m only 42 and a half, I’m still not going to dress in something that has my legs hanging out because I don’t want to look like I think I’m 17 and have an inability to age gracefully. (!!)

But for some inexplicable reason, when I got out of the shower yesterday, I sort of idly wondered what would happen if I put that creme all over my body, even though I don’t have cellulite all over my body. I don’t really know why I did it, frankly, but I did it.

And guess what happened? It made that little wrinkly spot directly at the center of my neck completely disappear. Gone. I now have the neck of a 41 year-old. I mean, it was awesome. I mean, holy shit!!

So guess what else happened??!! Yes, that’s right. I got immediately on the company’s website and bought 2 more tubes!!!! AAAArrrrgh!!! $47 plus $8 shipping for a single 6 ounce tube. And I bought 2, since the shipping charge would be the same. And God knows, I didn’t want to ever find myself in a public situation where that little wrinkly spot in the center of my neck ever, ever reappeared again.

I knew this would happen. I just knew it. The company makes incredible products, and 95% of it is plant-based, and they fix things — most of which you don’t even know you have problems with until they offer to fix it for free (one time) and your vanity is so intense that then you cannot live without the product because it fixed the thing you didn’t know you had a problem with.

They once sent me a free acne-controlling face mask. I don’t have acne and never did. But I love their face masks. So I used it and could not believe how great it made my skin look! So now I always have a tube of that in my medicine cabinet — $17 (plus $8 shipping) for 1 ounce of light blue stuff that fights something I don’t even have.

My medicine cabinet is 4 feet high — it extends up to the ceiling. It has 4 deep shelves, all of which are brimming with my many, many products from France (usually with a 2-3 month back-up for each product, because I wouldn’t want to even imagine running out of something and not being able to get to France).

I’m guessing that when my mom was staying here while I was in NYC, she probably had a heart attack when she opened the medicine cabinet in the bathroom, and saw the absolute tidal wall of beauty products confronting her (and quite a few of the products weren’t even there because I took them with me to NYC). I have no drugs at all — except Flonase. I’m a drug-free kind of gal, relying instead on Jesus and my Inner Being to handle any medical emergencies that might pop up. So everything, absolutely everything in my bathroom is dedicated to my skin. (Well, I have a toothbrush, toothpaste and dental floss. But otherwise…)

It’s just un-fucking-real.  And now yet another product has become part of that permanent beauty landscape. (But when I’m one-hundred-and-four years old, and only look 92 and a half, who will have the last laugh??!!)

Okay, so there we have it: Me, up to weirdness in the bathroom again, and another expensive habit is born!! All righty. I gotta scoot. I gotta work on the PLAY. Thanks for visiting, gang. Have a wonderful Wednesday wherever you are in the world! I love you guys. See ya!

“Thank Heaven For Little Girls”

Each time I see a little girl of
Five or six or seven
I can’t resist the joyous urge
To smile and say…

Thank heaven for little girls
For little girls get bigger every day
Thank heaven for little girls
They grow up in the most delightful way.

Their little eyes so helpless and appealing
Someday will flash and have you crashing thru the ceiling.

Thank heaven for little girls
Thank heaven for them all,
No matter where no matter who
Without them what would little boys do?

Their little eyes so helpless and appealing
Someday will flash and have you crashing thru the ceiling.

Thank heaven for little girls
Thank heaven for them all
No matter where no matter who
Without them what would little boys do?

Without them what would little boys do?

c -1957  Loewe Frederick, Lerner Alan Jay

In My Room

I try not to get on Instagram or check email until my morning is well under way, because you just never know what lies in wait for you online that could just fuck up your whole day. You don’t really want to wade into those dangerous waters until you’ve at least had coffee and meditated…

However, this morning, for some reason, it was about 5:30am, and I was barely even awake, let alone out of bed, and I started scrolling through Instagram and almost immediately found a post from Brian Wilson, where he was quoting something Keith Richards had said and it just sort of happily set the tone for my morning.

Keith was commenting about certain very early songs by the Beach Boys that Brian Wilson had of course written, and one of the songs Keith mentioned was “In My Room.”

I had forgotten all about that song and I used to just love it. It was a “B” side, never a bona fide “hit,” but it was included on the greatest hits double album, Endless Summer. And that’s where I first heard the song, at age 14.

Of course, I got right on YouTube and played “In My Room,” as I lay there in the dark, contemplating getting out of bed.

It is still such a sweet song and it made me realize just how much of my life has been spent in my room. (My various online businesses and blogs have either been called Marilyn’s Room, or referred to my room in some way, for that very reason — my whole entire life seems to happen in my room. Try as I have to always move my offices out of my various bedrooms over the years, it always moves back in. I love my room!)

It also made me think about Keith Richards, whom I seem to have loved my whole entire life, beginning at age 11, when I’d read the monumental Rolling Stone magazine interview with John Lennon (whom I had loved since I was about 9).  Lennon talked a lot about the Stones and Bob Dylan in that interview — and that’s how I really got introduced to the “real” Rolling Stones, not the “evil” ones that the media had perpetuated.

Anyway, from that interview with John Lennon, I managed to find the equally monumental interview Rolling Stone magazine had done with Keith Richards, at his infamous villa in the South of France, earlier in 1971.

Image result for keith richards 1971 south of france villa
Keith Richards, Villa Nellcote, South of France, 1971

You know, it was difficult enough to be 11 years old and try to truly understand John Lennon, a man I genuinely idolized; it was a whole other planet of astonishment being 11 years old and trying to understand Keith Richards, especially since I knew very little about the Stones at that point, and knew only a handful of their hit songs.

It is safe to say he made an overwhelming impression on me. I had to read the interview with a dictionary at hand, because some of the words he used I didn’t even know yet. (I remember that “decadent” was one of the words I had to look up, and it was used somehow in connection to Nazis and it took me a really long time — years — before I grasped what he was getting at there.) I also remember going to the library to find all the books & recordings I could on the Delta Blues singers. I knew most of the old rock & rollers and rockabilly guys by then, but the Delta Blues was new to me.

Anyway, it was cool to lay there in the dark this morning, listen to “In My Room” and think about Keith Richards and realize just how young he’d been when I was 11  (he was only 28!!) — he seemed ancient to me.  Like he’d been alive forever… (this song is actually quite appropriate, isn’t it??!!)

Okay, so here’s a photo of my room from when I was 12.

My room, circa 1972

I was actually taking a picture of my dog, Brindle. However, you can sort of see my room. You can see that great old Zenith radio!! That was the actual radio I listened to, even though it was probably 20 years old by then — a castoff from my parents. (I never had any sort of state-of-the-art hi-fi equipment, ever. Even my record player was a portable, battery-operated thing.)

I still have my stuffed animals on my bed — from my actual childhood. Not “new” stuffed animals. I seem to have been reading A Blues I Can Whistle, which I recall I had to read for 7th grade English class. (I also recall that I loved the book!! Here is the synopsis: A young man, institutionalized after attempting suicide, writes about what happened the summer after his first year of college.)

And there is my little 3-ring binder, too, not only with flowers on it (because, after all, I was a girl), but also photos of Alice Cooper and his band –photos that had come with the record School’s Out — are taped to the front of the binder. (A pair of paper panties also came with that album!) The binder holds all the songs I had written by then. (What I wouldn’t give to still have that binder and look at all those old songs.)

So that’s one of my many rooms. As near as I can recall, I have had 19 bedrooms in my lifetime…

And for no reason at all, here I am at age 2, ten years earlier, at the first house in Cleveland. (I found it while trying to find photos of my room). A bag of Wise potato chips are in front of me, my favorite potato chips, ever.

Me in Cleveland in 1962

Okay. I’m gonna get back to work here. I hope you have a terrific Tuesday.

Oh, wait! Nick Cave sent out a Red Hand Files newsletter today that was extremely interesting and eloquent — a few words longer than last week’s. About shyness and his wife. You can read it here. (Interestingly enough, when I saw Nick Cave at Town Hall, his wife was sitting a few seats over from me, in the same row. And at one point, when he was talking about his wife being his Muse, he did a sort of impersonation of how nervous she was likely acting over being talked about publicly as his Muse, and she actually was doing that exact nervous thing right at that moment. And I mean, exactly. Sort of fluttery and stuff.)

Okay. So, thanks for visiting!! You know what I’m leaving you with today!! I love you guys, See ya.

“In My Room”

There’s a world where I can go and tell my secrets to
In my room, in my room
In this world I lock out all my worries and my fears
In my room, in my room

Do my dreaming and my scheming
Lie awake and pray
Do my crying and my sighing
Laugh at yesterday

Now it’s dark and I’m alone
But I won’t be afraid
In my room, in my room
In my room, in my room
In my room, in my room

c – 1963 Brian Wilson, Gary Usher

Darn it, forgot to title this!

All righty. I’m back.

What a cool morning! Still tons of fog here, but it doesn’t look nearly as dramatic as it did before the sun came up. Actually, when I got up around 2am to use the bathroom, it looked really spooky outside. I guess mostly because I wasn’t expecting everything in the world outside my windows to have disappeared.

You know, Muskingum County is so intensely spirit-filled, just in general, that a little bit of fog goes a long way. It can turn cool into creepy in a nanosecond. And I’m not just saying this because I’m some sort of lunatic. Muskingum County — and especially Crazeysburg, with its “stopped in time” sort of feel to it — is unlike any place where I’ve ever been.

The ancient burial mounds all over the place have a lot to do with it, I think. The mounds here are sacred grounds to the Latter Day Saints, in fact. They believe Christ had his Second Coming around here, 2000 years ago. And it’s kind of uncanny, some of the terrain documented in the Book of Mormon that you can easily interpret as being all over this region, with all its ancient burial mounds.

And a couple hundred years ago, when the locals dug up some of the burial mounds on farms around here, they discovered the skeletons of giants — 9 to 12 feet tall. They were not Native Americans — meaning, people who migrated here from the general region of Mongolia and became known as “American Indians.” These skeletons predated that. The ancient people are considered Sun Worshipers.  And they were sometimes buried with stone tablets that have ancient Greek and Biblical Hebrew symbols carved on them. So those giants were real old. It does sort of seem they had to have come here by boat, and they just have a number of uncanny similarities with what is documented in the various books within the Book of Mormon. (My in-progress murder mystery, Down to the Meadows of Sleep: The Hurley Falls Mystery, uses all that cool stuff in the plot.)

That doesn’t necessarily mean that Jesus appeared here to the ancient people, as is written. But it does mean that all of it is really, really interesting to ponder.(The Latter Day Saints are really just the coolest people. However, for me, their intense adherence to concepts of “sin” make it entirely unwieldy as a way of understanding life, and they seem even more dedicated to the need for procreation than even the Catholics are — and I think that rigidity comes from an understandable fear born from what happened to Joseph Smith.)

But I digress. And, plus, that’s only my opinion.

I have to say that within my lifetime, I have been all over Ohio, just all over it. And none of it has ever felt the way it feels here in Muskingum County. I’m not opposed to believing Christ appeared here. It seems he appeared all over the place after he died. The definition of “appear” is upon which all of it hinges. You know, even Paul says that Jesus did not go up to the sky as flesh & bone and then reappear in flesh & bone. It was as “spirit.” And certainly the Gnostics had a whole lot to say about the nature of how Christ appears. So that word and how you define it is key.

(And when you’re called to follow Christ, as I was as a 5-year-old girl in Cleveland, it is generally in spirit — for me, it was an aural & spiritual call; not a physical one.)

Anyway. A huge blanket of dense fog settling over Crazeysburg in the middle of the night, makes it all feel just that much more fascinating. My photos with my phone don’t do it justice, of course. (See post below from early this morning.)

Okay, well, I’m happy to report that there’s way more milk still in my fridge this week than there was on Monday of last week, so I’m guessing I’m not drinking nearly as much coffee. And so I guess that is a good thing. And I’m not spending as much time in bed, delaying that getting up & getting started thing. That’s not necessarily a good or a bad thing, just saying that I’ve stopped doing it.

I also wanted to report — if you’ve been reading this blog since early summer — that now that all the intense humidity is gone, I have finally been using that expensive new body creme that I got from the company in France (the company that I buy all of my expensive beauty products from and they do manage to take about 2 decades off my apparent age). Anyway, Kara was after me for ages to try the stuff and see if it worked. It is a creme that “reduces the appearance of cellulite.” (While I wouldn’t say that I struggle with cellulite, my thighs are indeed the cellulite capitol of the world and always have been, throughout all recorded time.)

Anyway, I finally decided to try it and it actually works. I’m not sure how, though. It doesn’t get rid of cellulite, but when you use it, it does indeed reduce the appearance of it.  But if, like, the next day you don’t use it, you still have all the cellulite you’ve ever had. It didn’t go anywhere.

It’s really interesting to ponder and try to figure out how it actually works — and it’s made from plant products. But it’s very expensive so I doubt I will ever actually buy it once these 2 tubes of it are gone.  I’m not usually in a situation where my thighs are the things on me that anyone’s ever really noticing anyway.  I guess you never know what could happen in life, though, so it’s good to know this creme exists. (Although I shudder to think about what would be underway if suddenly my thighs were of intense interest to anyone…)

All righty.

Today is all about the play — well, mostly the play, and a little bit of yoga. So I’m gonna get started here. I hope it’s a great Monday, wherever you are in the world. Thanks for visiting! I leave you with an interesting concept: The Mormons singing the famous Shaker hymn, “Simple Gifts.” If you have a minute and a half to spare, it’s worth listening to. It’s undeniably lovely. Okay. I love you guys. See ya!

I’ve Noticed that Sometimes It Takes Her Forever to Get Her Mind Back

Well, finally. My mind came back.

The rewrites I need to make on Tell My Bones — the direction I need to take and the voices I needed to hear from my characters, are finally arriving.

I’m guessing that by the end of this coming week, I might even have the new version of the play entirely finished.

It is such an incredible relief when the voices you need to hear finally start talking to you. Of course, this means that all the other projects I’m doing will take a back seat for a week or two, but I totally don’t mind. It is just such a relief to finally move past certain difficulties I’ve been having — re: personalities involved in the play — and just concentrate on the PLAY. Make space in my head to allow the revisions to just come.

I’ve blogged here in the past about my singer-songwriter career in NYC, way back in the old days of the 1980s, and how naive I was back then about people’s ability to literally sabotage your whole career. And then how it started to happen again in the early days of my writing career, but at that point, I did what I felt I had to do to ensure that I didn’t get sabotaged again.  I’m not going to go into all of it again here, only enough to say that I’ve been around long enough to know that it’s real. People do try to sabotage you.

You know, even if people aren’t consciously aware that they’re doing it to you, on some emotional level, because of their own insecurity, some people do want to see you fail. It’s up to you, of course, to allow that to happen or not. And because of naivety, I allowed it to happen to my music career, but I’ve never allowed it to happen again. But it’s that feeling of incredible disappointment, when you see it coming at you from someone you had no clue whatsoever there was ever any reason to distrust. However, in these few weeks since I’ve been home from NY, shit happened and continued to happen, so my eyes are open. For sure. Unfortunately.

I guess I really just needed to process that whole thing and find the best way to keep the relationship intact, but move forward with a better understanding of what is really in play, underneath it all.

Peitor’s brief phone conversation with me on Thursday really helped me get back on track and get my head together. (And I guess 3 hours of crying in the dark yesterday morning was the final processing of everything. And I can finally move forward. Allow people to be whoever they need to be, but move forward.)

So here we are.

Well, tickets began going on sale in Europe yesterday for the 2020  Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds tour, supporting their new indescribably staggering album, Ghosteen.

If it weren’t for the fact that I will be up to my eyeballs with stuff for the play in NY by then, as well as overseeing the Writer’s Retreat either in Italy or England, I seriously contemplated the idea of buying a ticket to one of those concerts, just choosing a country I’d never been to before, and going.

But, of course, it is just indescribably impractical. And I feel completely, 100% confident, that they will eventually come to the States and add Crazeysburg to their line-up of venues. (We do have a Little League ball field here, with ample bleachers to hold all 14 of us who live here. So of course it will clearly happen. Patience is key.)

Anyway. Whatever. Who knows what the fuck is going to happen in my life by mid- 2020, right? I should try to just focus on the weekend for now. It is the final weekend of October and I just last night realized that I haven’t set out a single Halloween decoration. I keep thinking, subconsciously, that it’s still September.  Oh well.

I’m gonna close this and get started here. Go down to the kitchen and get another cup of coffee. Thanks for visiting, gang. I hope you have a splendid Saturday, wherever you are in the world!! I leave you with this parting shot of Tom Petty, early 1990s, drinking a cup of coffee. (He was a Maxwell House drinker to the end — according to his second wife, Dana.) Okay. I love you guys. See ya.

Coffee! Always has been and forever will be the beverage of champions!

Let’s Try that Again!!

Okay! Another day!! We’re gonna see if we can’t find some sort of balance here and do some writing that I end up keeping — not deleting — by the end of the day.

I think I’m working on Tell My Bones rewrites today. That seems to be what’s calling loudest to me right now.

By the way, Helen LaFrance will be 100 years old in just a few weeks. Her old church there in Mayfield, Kentucky, is planning a big birthday celebration for her. They’re going to send me videos of it, which the director will upload to the Tell My Bones website.

Oh, and also, please visit the web site and sign up for the newsletter! Even if you don’t think you’re likely to get to NYC to see the play —  you never know!

(And follow it on facebook here. And on Instagram at tellmybones.) (Please!! And thank you.)

Okay. I just went down to get more coffee and the world outside looked amazing as the sun was coming up, so I went out onto the kitchen porch and took a photo of Basin Street (the light there in the tree is a street light, not the sun):

Basin Street from the kitchen porch just now, as the same came up.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

All righty. I just got a text from Peitor just now, as his plane was landing in NYC, and he was trying to come up with loglines for our first micro-short production, Lita’s Got to Go. Here’s my favorite so far (although it doesn’t even hint at the key thing that happens):

“A psychologically disturbed woman becomes obsessed when she senses her housekeeper has been inappropriate with her furniture.”

(This is a micro-short piece of abstract absurdist humor, with that creepy Bauhaus cinematography. And erotic undertones.) (I’m guessing it will be 8 of the best minutes of your life.)

Oh, and by the way, I’m not sure now if the writer’s retreat is going to take place in Italy or not. There’s issues with the electricity there at the villa that Peitor is unhappy with, so he might be moving all the various retreats to a castle in Devon — in England. Of course I speak fluent Devon, so that would make my life a lot easier!! But we’ll see. Either way, it’s not getting underway until next year, so I’m still studying my Italian. I’ll keep you posted.

Okay, gang, this is short today because I want to get started on the play.

I leave you with my breakfast-listening music, “In My Own Particular Way”; a wonderful song off of Marianne Faithfull’s album from earlier this year (or maybe late last year?), Negative Capability. It’s an amazing album, by the way; really just sort of chilling but celebratory, too. And it’s one of those things that makes Instagram so great — I initially found out about it on Instagram because of following Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds. (I find a ton of cool music by following musicians on Instagram.)

I met Marianne Faithfull once while I was working at MoMA in NYC. I think it was 1986; I was maybe 25 or 26 years old. Broken English had certainly already happened, and I think she had another album out by then, but regardless, she was this mega icon from my girlhood and I had just turned around and suddenly she was standing right there. She was smoking (you could still smoke indoors back then) and I remember she was wearing a leopard-print blazer of some kind. I was so excited, I blurted, “Oh god — hi!!” And she smiled and said, “Oh god — hi!!” It was really sweet and funny, and she had the throatiest voice since Dietrich.

I was a lot taller than her, though. I’m not sure why it bothers me that so many of these cultural icons from my youth are not taller than me. But anyway, she made my day. She even asked me my name. She was very nice.

Okay. Thanks for visiting, gang. Have a terrific Thursday, wherever it finds you and with whatever it finds you doing (or perhaps meeting!!). I love you guys. See ya.

“In My Own Particular Way”

Send me someone to love
Someone who could love me back
Love me for who I really am
Not an image and not for money
I know I’m not young and I’m damaged
But I’m still pretty, kind and funny

In my own particular way
In my own particular way
Capable of loving in my own particular way
And ready to love
At last

It’s taken me a long time to learn
In fact my whole life so far
So much rubbish I had to burn
So much I had to go through

Send me someone please who’ll love me
Someone who can see all my faults
But love me nevertheless
And we will love each other

In our own particular way
In our own particular way
Capable of living in our own particular way
And ready to love
At last

In my own particular way
In my own particular way
Capable of loving in my own particular way
And ready to love
At last

c – 2018 Marianne Faithfull, Ed Harcourt, Warren Ellis, Robert Mcvey

Well! Now We Know Just How I Feel About That!!

Yesterday was sort of magnificent.

Letter #5 for Girl in the Night: Erotic Love Letters to the Muse began its transmigration from the ether to the page!! I was not really expecting it, so I was really excited.

It’s titled “Hymn to the Dark” and it begins with the idea that angels can be pretty dark, that they aren’t always about “hallelujah,” but that my Muse has shown me that the dark can sometimes be glorious.

So it goes to some beautiful  (& erotic) places.

The title came as a sort of play on Novalis’ famous Hymnen an die Nacht (Hymns to the Night; Germany, 1800).

Novalis’ real name was Georg Friedrich Philipp, Freiherr von Hardenberg. He lived only from 1772-1801. And Hymns of the Night is an often heart-rending poem of grief that he wrote after his beloved Sophie died (very young) and then he died shortly after her, at age 29. They both had consumption.

The poem was a sensation when it was published in Germany in a literary magazine,  Athenaeum 3 (in 1800), and the poem heralded the birth of German Romanticism.

The book (it’s a long poem mixed with prose), is a staple of Divinity studies and so I’d read it when I was studying for the ministry.  But I think that Christian theologians only look at one specific segment of the poem and don’t really consider the entirety of what Novalis wrote. Even while he does do an uncanny job of capturing what the idea of Christ brought to masses of people who moved out of paganism and into monotheism and then needed to re-frame their idea of Death.

I’m making the poem sound scholarly, but it’s not; it’s really fluid and deep and beautiful. Still, Novalis has a really succinct grasp on how three different eras of Western humanity dealt with the loss & grief of death, and since it was still only 1800 A.D., he ends with the Christian era, nailing it precisely:

“No longer was the Light the seat of the gods or their heavenly sign — over themselves they drew the veil of Night. Night became the mighty womb of revelations — the gods drew back into it — and fell asleep, only to go out in new and more splendid forms over the changed world.”

But in the beginning of the poem, where he’s talking only about his own deep grief and deep loss, he is surprisingly modern and doesn’t represent traditional Christian thinking at all, so why Christians sort of seem to ignore that part is a bit of a question mark for me. But it’s that early, non-Christian, part of the poem that moves me most. Lines about how the secret heart remains true to the Night, where creative Love comes alive, and how we owe everything to that Love (and you can easily read several passages of it as implications of erotic love):

“Won’t Love’s secret offering ever burn forever? …Only fools misrecognize you… They don’t feel you in the grapes’ golden flood — in almond trees’ wonder oil — in poppies’ brown juice. They don’t know that it’s you hovering around a tender girl’s breasts making her womb heaven — and don’t suspect that, out of old stories, you, opening heaven up, come and carry the key to the Dwellings of the Blessed, quiet messenger of infinite mysteries.”

“Doesn’t all that inspires us bear the color of the Night? It bears you mother-like, and you owe all your magnificence to her. You’d evaporate inside yourself — you’d crumble away in endless space if she didn’t hold you, tie you, so that you became warm and, flaming, sired the world.”

His beginning premise seems to be that the Night saved him from his grief and returned his passion, as well as his lover, to him; that in the Night, he engages in some sort of erotic  coupling with her soul once more. And at the very end of the poem, he seems to be plainly speaking about it:

You come, beloved —
The Night is here —
My soul’s enraptured —
The earthly day’s past
And you’re mine again.
I look into your deep dark eyes,
See nothing but love and bliss
We sink onto the altar of night
Onto the soft bed —
The veil is gone
And, lit by the warm pressure,
There glow the pure embers
Of the sweet offering.

None of those sentiments are encouraged in true Christian theological mindsets. Unless, of course, you’re subversively dressing it up in the guise of how you feel about Christ. But Novalis isn’t talking there about Christ at all; he is plainly talking about Sophie’s soul coming to him at Night after her death.

Well. All right. I have truly digressed there. I only meant to say that Letter #5 of Girl in the Night is underway… And won’t it be fun!

Anyway, yesterday was wonderful and I’m thinking today might hold more of the same wonder. I will indeed make time to drive into town and buy groceries!! Yay! That’s always fun — having food in the house.

(And I did go to the gas station yesterday and I begrudgingly bought the smallest bottle of milk available. And then, while making my way to the counter to pay for it, I passed through the candy aisle.  I am not a big candy-eating person, at all. However. What to my wondering eyes should appear but a Kit-Kat bar in dark chocolate!! I did not know they made such a thing! I do love dark chocolate. So I bought the darn thing, and four-hundred-and-ten calories later!!!!!! I had eaten it in its entirety and it was incredibly good.)

Okay-doke, gang. Oh — Nick Cave sent out a Red Hand Files newsletter today. (Linked there.) But only read it when you truly have the time to contemplate his always-eloquent reply. If you hurry through it, you will only do yourself a disservice.

I am, of course, joking, This time, his reply was only 2 words long. (If you’d like to know which words, they are linked above.)

Okay. I’m gonna scoot!! Thanks for visiting, gang. I’ll leave you with something somewhat appropriate, somewhat not, for today’s ramblings.

This is the song I personally played (over & over) when I graduated from Divinity School (Magna Cum Laude, but on my heady way to nowhere because I just see Christ so darn differently than everyone else does.) It was in December, so it was around Christmas and this song was appropriate to the season. While I do not believe in transubstantiation, I do believe this is a truly beautiful (and beautifully sung) hymn. (It’s actually about Easter, but we sing it at Christmas…) Okay, I love you guys. Have a splendid day!! See ya!

Panis angelicus
fit panis hominum;
Dat panis caelicus
figuris terminum:
O res mirabilis!
manducat Dominum
Pauper, servus, et humilis.
Te trina Deitas
unaque poscimus:
Sic nos tu visita,
sicut te colimus;
Per tuas semitas
duc nos quo tendimus,
Ad lucem quam inhabitas.
Amen.

Three! No, Four (!!) No, FIVE!!! No, SIX!!! Cars Coming Right At You!

Yes, that is currently me, in the happy intersection of life.

I have three projects, front and center on my plate. All of which call out for my attention; all of which engage and delight me: Tell My Bones rewrites;  Girl in the Night: Erotic Love Letters to the Muse (erotic memoir letters);  and In the Shadow of Narcissa (memoir of childhood).

Then I added Thug Luckless to the stack of projects — a porn thing I’m writing that I really, really love but I’m basically writing it just to sell it.

Then, of course, Peitor and I got back on our writing schedule for Abstract Absurdity Productions.

And then I heard from Sandra last night that our other theatrical project, The Guide to Being Fabulous, is once again moving to the forefront in Toronto. (Translation: TONS of rewrites needed there, plus a trip to Toronto for an initial roundtable with the director and the producers at the theater.)

It’s like standing in an intersection and having 6 projects coming right at you, all of which make you really happy, and all of which require 100% focus, attention, concentration. But if you don’t make a decision immediately about which one to focus on, they are all going to run you over.

I think this is why I’ve been staying in bed a little later every morning, even though I’m still awake every day at 5:30 am.  Still going down to feed the cats, eat breakfast, listen to music at the kitchen table — in short, enjoying my peaceful little early morning solitude time. I then go back upstairs to meditate and then center myself by writing in my Inner Being journal thingie. And THEN — I go right back to bed and stare out the window.

Because, by then, it’s still only about 6:30 in the morning; it’s still dark out. There’s no imperative reason to get dressed while it’s still dark out and sit down at the desk and try to tackle that now daily question: which project am I going to focus on first? That daily question that is starting to make me insane. (In a good way, but nevertheless, insane.)

And undeniable proof that I’m staying in bed too long in the mornings is that this morning, I ran out of milk for my coffee!!!! I cannot drink black coffee, and so I never run out of milk. To me, that ranks as a terrible (albeit, First World) catastrophe: Snuggly fall morning in October, still in my PJs, still in my quiet pre-dawn place and suddenly out of milk for my coffee.

Fuck.

I only drive into town once a week to buy groceries. It’s 25 miles each way, so that’s an hour of driving. I drink organic milk, too, so that’s why I buy my milk in town. There is of course milk readily available at the gas station. Two minutes from here.  And even though it’s actual milk, you know; it works. It makes my coffee not-black. But still. Come on. I’m surrounded by farms here for miles and miles and miles. I want my organic milk. But the gas station is not going to carry that and yet only the gas station is open at that lowly hour of the morning… (Which reminds me, yesterday, I was out on the main road that heads out of town, where all the farms begin, and I actually saw a bull trying really hard to mount a cow who kept  sort of scurrying away from him — if cows can be referred to as “scurrying.” It was funny.)

But I digress. My point is that I did indeed run out of milk, which never happens, which tells me that I’ve been hanging out in bed too long, drinking way too much coffee…

But how do you prioritize projects when every single project you’re working on is something that makes you really inspired? Or feel fulfilled, or what have you. My brain gets sort of jumbled. And when that happens, stress sets in.

(I think I will blame my Muse, for being too intensely and wonderfully muse-like. But I’m not gonna shut off that valve, no matter what.)

So, here I sit. At my desk. Dressed. Black coffee in my enormous autumnal coffee mug. I have no clue what I’m going to work on first today. And the morning is already half-gone. (And I need to get my ass to the gas station and buy some fucking milk. Because black coffee sucks!!)

But I’m happy! So that’s cool.

And while I try to figure out what the heck I’m doing today, I leave you with my breakfast-listening music from this morning! I just love this song: “Crow Jane” from Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds’ Murder Ballads, from something like a million years ago (or 1996 — something like that).

Thanks for visiting, gang. I hope Monday is just a really great day for you, wherever you are in the world!! I love you guys. See ya!!

“Crow Jane”

Crow Jane Crow Jane
Crow Jane
Horrors in her head
That her tongue dare not name
She lives alone by the river
The rolling rivers of pain
Crow Jane Crow Jane
Crow Jane Ah hah huh
There is one shining eye on a hard-hat
The company closed down the mine
Winking on waters they came
Twenty hard-hats, twenty eyes
In her clapboard shack
Only six foot by five
They killed all her whiskey
And poured their pistols dry
Crow Jane Crow Jane
Crow Jane Ah hah huh
Seems you’ve remembered
How to sleep, how to sleep
The house dogs are in your turnips
And your yard dogs are running all over the street
Crow Jane Crow Jane
Crow Jane Ah hah huh
“O Mr. Smith and Mr. Wesson
Why you close up shop so late?”
“Just fitted out a girl who looked like a bird
Measured .32, .44, .38
I asked that girl which road she was taking
Said she was walking the road of hate
But she stopped on a coal-trolley up to New Haven
Population: 48”
Crow Jane Crow Jane
Crow Jane Ah hah huh
Your guns are drunk and smoking
They’ve followed you right back to your gate
Laughing all the way back from the new town
Population, now, 28
Crow Jane Crow Jane
Crow Jane Ah hah huh

c – 1996 Nick Cave, Martyn Casey

New Coffee! New Morning!

Yes, it’s another one of those slow-starting mornings. I’m still in bed, a cup of coffee next to me on the night table. I’m just lying here, staring out the window at the intensity of another lovely October morning.

Cloudy. The wind blowing the autumn leaves into a swirl.

I’m blogging from bed so I’ll be brief. Got my plate super full again so I’m trying to conserve my brain power. Working on both Thug Luckless and Tell My Bones pretty much at the same time. And one project is pure porn, the other is pure poetry. And then on my inner horizon last evening, I saw that Letter #5 for Girl in the Night: Erotic Love Letters to the Muse was  taking shape!! And tomorrow morning, bright & early, Peitor and I get back to work on our micro script for Leta’s Got To Go, the first micro short that we’ll be producing for Abstract Absurdity Productions.

Yeah, so. Getting out of bed this morning was a little delayed.

Oh! I had a dream about Nick Cave last night. You know how, whenever I dream about him something about it comes in duplicate, plus the dreams are always utterly indecipherable?  Plus I always wake up immediately after the dream so it’s always really pronounced in my mind, which makes their indecipherability all the more frustrating.

This time I dreamed that there were 37 things he was willing to do on the train, but 37,000 things he was willing to do in the other place.

And there you have it. The dream in its entirety. I woke up at around 4:30 with that hovering in my brain and thought, oh my god, what the heck does that mean??!! It was sort of anxiety-inducing, my inability to make sense of it, least of all, at that early hour.

It might have something to do with Ghosteen, I don’t know. But yesterday I couldn’t let go of that song “Hollywood.” It is just so haunting. (I still think I shouldn’t link it here but it is on YouTube.)

All right. I’m gonna close and try to figure out how best to focus this day — in which direction: porn or poetry?  Have a wonderful Thursday wherever you are in the world. Thanks for visiting! I love you guys. See ya.

The corner where I live, this time last October.

 

It Was A Miracle!!

JESUS (speaking quietly to Simon-Peter): “Though I had nothing to do with it, it was an actual miracle — her cats did not go near that fucking tree.”

SIMON-PETER (quietly): “I cannot fucking believe it. Jesus. That’s awesome.”

Yes!! From Christ’s mouth to your ears! My cats did not go anywhere near that tree.

You know how cats are so good at math?  How you can actually see them calculating the distance of something they wish to jump up on to?

Image result for math equations for calculating distance
The actual formula that cats use to calculate the distance up to a tree that isn’t covered with books

Well, when they looked up at the tree, they saw this:

Image result for a stack of books falling down

Which led them to think THIS:

Related image

And the problem of my cats shredding the fronds off of my helpless palm tree,  eating the fronds and then vomiting them back up all over the carpeting has at last been solved!!

Isn’t math great??!!

Well, alas. The photos on Instagram of Nick Cave’s final Conversation of his US tour looked just great.  It was mostly photos from the very start of the show, and then two photos from the final song, where he had a guy from the audience come up and sit on the piano bench next to him while he sang “Stagger Lee.” (Nick Cave sang — not the guy from the audience.)

But it looked like a great show. And oddly, it seems like the folks in Los Angeles are more of the rule-following ilk than the folks in San Francisco were. I find that a little ironic. You’d think that in LA, people would be more likely to do whatever they want, but almost all of the photos from last night were from that brief period at the start of the show where they were allowed to take photos. Not so in SF, where you would think they might be more respectful of the other people in the audience…

Anyway, it’s over. I just can’t believe it. For four months, I had my tickets to see him in NYC, and now not only are the NYC shows long gone, but now the tour is completely over. In a heartbeat.

All righty. Well, it is just a really cool day here today, gang. Perfectly fall-like outside. Rainy, chilly, wet autumn leaves scattered everywhere. It just feels so cozy to be inside, looking out at the rain. Drinking my cup of coffee. I have to work on some technical stuff for Tell My Bones here today, then work some more on Thug Luckless. Then maybe go back and do some more work on Tell My Bones. I think it’s just going to be a nicely paced day.

Last night, I spent a lot of time working on Thug Luckless and so  it was kind of late when I got around to doing yoga. I had the lights down and I was listening to the 2nd half of Ghosteen. I don’t know if that was the very best idea. You know how, when you’re doing yoga, you’re so focused and anything you hear goes right into your consciousness. I know I keep saying this, but Ghosteen is truly an intensely beautiful album and just so incredibly sad — to me, anyway.

I was in the cool-down part of the yoga when the final song came on (called “Hollywood” but I keep thinking it’s called “Malibu”). The cool-down part of yoga is such a meditative mental place, and that song — the part where Kisa is unable to accept yet that her baby has died, she thinks it’s only sick. Oh my god, that just washed over me like a tidal wave — of love, of loss, of longing. That whole song is almost unbearably exquisite. You should go listen to it wherever you listen to your music.

Okay, I’m gonna scoot!! Have a beautiful, beautiful day, wherever you are in the world. Thanks for visiting, gang. I love you guys. See ya!

Image result for louis wain vintage illustrations of cats