Tag Archives: Tell My Bones: The Helen LaFrance Story

Yes, It’s That Kind of Wonderful Morning!!

Here in Crazeysburg, the cocks — excuse me — the roosters are out and about, which is always exciting, and it is yet another incredibly beautiful day!!

(I’m kidding about the roosters, gang. They don’t actually allow you to keep chickens and such here in the Village of Crazeysburg itself. You have to take 14 steps out of the village if you want to do that.) (And I’m not kidding about that part.)

But that reminds me:  A million years ago, Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers did a live radio broadcast out of Chicago, where they did just a killer (sexy) version of Howlin’ Wolf’s “Little Red Rooster”!

(This whole broadcast is actually really great.  It totally kicks A. I don’t think it’s on an actual album or CD, but there is an MP3 download of it that you can get everywhere.)

Okay!! So!!

Today’s kind of a big day for me. Today is my big foray into Granville, Ohio, to have dinner with Kevin (Director of Tell My Bones) (in some future make-believe land, that is. All theater in NYC is shut down until 2021. I’m guessing NYC will never get back to normal, at this rate.)

Anyway. Kevin and I are having dinner at the Granville Inn and I have not done anything social, let alone been to the inn, since March 14th. I’m not entirely sure that I remember how to behave in public, but we’ll find out. Plus, this will be the first time I will put on my eye make-up in 3 and 1/2 months. So weird.

But I’m excited!! And also nervous. Because life is just plain different now. I’m guessing that if I let go of believing in anything I ever knew before, I should do all right.

Yesterday, I was working on Girl in the Night, and I guess I’ve just been doing too much typing these last few days, because the bones in the tops of my hands started to really hurt. So I took one extra-strength Tylenol and within minutes, my hands felt great but I was so sleepy I couldn’t even sit at my desk anymore! I had forgotten that those darn pills make me sleepy.

So the bulk of the day was not entirely productive, although I did have a nice day, regardless. And the lawn guy came to cut the grass, so the weedsyard — is looking really spiffy.

And of course, by 9pm, I was quite perky and wide awake. And remained that way for a few hours, but I didn’t really feel like working at that point. So, after streaming another episode of Professor T., I just laid around on my bed in the dark — well, with the lights out. My bedroom is never actually dark because of the streetlights outside my window.

But I laid around on my bed in the dark, stared out the window at the truly beautiful night, watching the blinks of the fireflies wane, and I listened to Phoebe Bridgers’ new album, Punisher.

I Know the End Lyrics Phoebe Bridgers | Punisher - Genius-Lyrics

It’s kind of a depressing album, but it’s still beautiful and the lyrics are great. If I were closer to her age and not old enough to be her grandmother, I would likely relate to it a bit more, but I still really love her way with words. (Although the entire album makes me think of the song “Chasing Cars” by Snow Patrol. So I ended up playing that beautiful, non-depressing song over & over, and then finally fell to sleep.)

But back to listening to Phoebe Bridgers — I was thinking, once again, how incredible it is for young women nowadays to be able to make any kind of music they want to; to write any kind of songs they want to and have them sound however they want them to sound.  Because it definitely didn’t used  to be that way.

Plus there’s room now for so many more women musicians and songwriters and performers. They used to sign about one or two per genre, and then get behind them for about 2 albums, as long as they proved to be massive hits.  Of course, back then, there was so much more money at stake for the various music industry gatekeepers, and all that’s been thoroughly “disrupted” now by everyone wanting so much music for free (and I won’t get political today, I’ll just say, that Socialist tendencies are so great, gang; it helps make everybody equally poor).

However!!

I do genuinely think it’s so great that women in music nowadays have so much more freedom to express what they want to express, however they want to express it. And I think that’s just so beautiful.

And something else that is amazingly beautiful, is the Red Hand Files thing that Nick Cave sent out today. You don’t even have to know his music, or know the album Ghosteen, to be able to appreciate what he has to say about love today. You can read it here if you are so inclined.

On that note, gang, I’m going to get started here.  I’ll leave you with both the beautiful song “Punisher,” by Phoebe Bridgers, and the equally beautiful though very different song “Chasing Cars,” by Snow Patrol. Relax and enjoy!! (Or float off into the stratosphere is probably more like it!!) But either way, thanks for visiting! I love you guys! See ya!

“Punisher”

When the speed kicks in
I go to the store for nothing
And walk right by
The house where you lived with Snow White
I wonder if she ever thought
The storybook tiles on the roof were too much
But from the window, it’s not a bad show
If your favorite thing’s Dianetics or stucco

The drugstores are open all night
The only real reason I moved to the east side
I love a good place to hide in plain sight

What if I told you I feel like I know you
But we never met?

And here everyone knows you’re the way to my heart
Hear so many stories of you at the bar
Most times alone and some looking your worst
But never not sweet to the trust funds and punishers

Man, I wish that I could say the same
I swear I’m not angry, that’s just my face
A copycat killer with a chemical cut
Either I’m careless or I wanna get caught
Ooh, I’m not

What if I told you I feel like I know you
But we never met?
It’s for the best

I can’t open my mouth and forget how to talk
‘Cause even if I could, wouldn’t know where to start
Wouldn’t know when to stop

© 2020  Phoebe Bridgers

Another Delightful Morning in Crazeysburg!!

So far, it’s been just an amazing summer.  The weather, I mean. And today is going to be yet another gorgeous day!

Before I forget, I did post another chapter yesterday on the In the Shadow of Narcissa website. This one is titled “I See God Everywhere.”

Also, yesterday — remember, a few days ago, I posted that photo of my new Val Kilmer coffee mug, with the Doc Holliday movie quote? I had also posted that photo on my Instagram feed and apparently Val Kilmer saw it, because he sent it out on his own Instagram feed yesterday. (The limited edition mugs are only available until tomorrow — July 1st.)

Well, that was a totally unexpected little thrill, however, it sent quite a number of scammers to my Instagram feed yesterday. Now that I’ve made my account public, anyone can follow me. But I patiently go through every single follower and block anyone that seems like a scammer, and they were coming all day yesterday.

And it was fun to have my picture posted there, too — the cup is sitting on the cafe table out on my kitchen porch:

 

 

 

 

My trip to town yesterday was splendid! I have never seen the Honda dealership so empty. I think there were maybe 5 people sitting in the waiting room (myself, included).  Most people wearing masks, but not everybody. But the seats were all placed 6-feet apart.

I kind of liked it, actually. Usually, it’s a mob scene in the Honda waiting room! And it can take forever for them to finish your car. I was there less than 30 minutes, and they had changed the oil, topped the fluids, rotated the tires, and even washed the car.  So, you know, one of the sort of “nice” things about the virus, I guess.

Tomorrow evening, Kevin (the director of my play) and I are finally going to go have dinner at the Granville Inn. I have missed that place so much, but I’ve had my trepidations about going there while it was easing out of lockdown because everyone has to wear masks. And I’m sort of afraid to see it like that.

Sunday Brunch - Review of The Granville Inn, Granville, OH ...
Those non-mask days of yesteryear…

But, tomorrow, we’re going! I’ve been hearing that it’s crazy busy there — meaning, busy while remaining at 50% capacity. So we’ll see. I haven’t been there since St. Patrick’s weekend.

Then on Thursday, I have a phone conference with my accountant in NYC, because Peitor and I have to formally set up Abstract Absurdity Productions. I always love talking to my accountant because he is always a straight shooter and I get off the phone sort of in renewed & devastating shock over just how fucking much every single fucking business-related thing costs.

Still. It’s better to know than to be surprised when you can least afford it.

And then sometime later this week, Peitor and I have a conference call with the line producer in LA to see just how we might be able to come up with a budget that doesn’t undersell our film but that doesn’t make all of us fall out of our chairs, either!!

Other than that, life is pretty much quiet around here. I’m going to be tackling Letter #8 again for Girl in the Night. I’m hoping that the unexpected detour into In the Shadow of Narcissa will help Letter #8 seem fresh & brand new today!! I do love the 3 and 1/2 pages I’ve written (and re-written and re-written) so far, but I really, really would like it to finally finish itself, you know? It’s dragging on forever.

So, on that note, I will take my leave, gang! I hope you have a terrific Tuesday, wherever you are in the world!! Thanks for visiting.  I leave you with one of my favorite songs from my wee bonny girlhood (mentioned in my new chapter for In the Shadow of Narcissa — I absolutely loved this song when I was little, gang, although a bunch of children were singing the version I knew back then): “This Land is Your Land” by the late, great Woody Guthrie.

All righty!! Enjoy. I love you guys. Have a great day. See ya!!

Almost Time to Harvest those Peaches!!

Can you believe it’s already late June?? Peaches are beginning to get ripe?  A moment ago, it was February…

I have, like, a hard time getting my mind around that. And even though we’re mostly out of lock down around here, and Kevin (the director of my play, Tell My Bones — whenever that manages to get off the ground again, sometime in 2021); well, he and I keep saying we’re going to meet for dinner at the Granville Inn — I keep sort of dragging my feet because I’m not sure I want to see that beloved place with everyone wearing masks.

But of course, if everyone thinks that way, then nothing will get back to normal.

Anyway. It’s late June and I still halfway feel like I’m still in lockdown mode. But part of that is okay because the evenings around here have just been splendid.

By late afternoon, I finally was able to pull myself out of what was happening to me yesterday, gang, but it got really really bad before I was able to do that.

I don’t know why, but sometimes, my triggers get hit so hard (by key people in my life) that the spiraling down just takes over and happens so fast. I get like a zombie; it’s so awful. At its worst point, I went out and took a walk, but I had to absolutely force myself.

I walked into the dollar store and bought vitamins that I didn’t even really need — clearly not someone hell bent on self-destruction, right?  Just trying to interact with reality. And with the nice lady behind the checkout counter. She smiled and said, “How are you today?” And I was forced to be fake and say, “I’m good. How are you?” But it helps. It really does — hearing my voice say that. It’s at least something that’s not telling me to die.

Then on my way back home, I ran into two older men (strangers) from the senior living complex, who were sitting on the bench in the town square (that’s really a triangle). One of them was old enough to need a walker, but both of them were just so friendly and so nice. They forced me to remember for a few moments that life is beautiful. That I have every right to live.

Just two of the angels who came to my assistance yesterday. (I rely on some truly beautiful unknown angels; I really do.)

This thing that happens in my brain has nothing to do with how I actually feel about myself here & now. It’s an old program, an old voice, that gets triggered. Usually, I can override it all by myself. But yesterday was one of the scarier days.

You know, back when Tom Petty managed to become a heroin addict at age 50, it dawned on me that it was never too late to become a heroin addict. Or when all those famous movie stars who became alcoholics in their later years,  wound up drinking themselves to death, it served to remind me that it was never too late to become an incurable alcoholic. And then, when one of my colleagues — a very well-known erotic photographer — jumped to his death from his balcony in San Francisco a couple years ago, when he was in his late 70s… It’s just that horrible reminder that I never know what my brain is likely to start telling me if I’m not incredibly vigilant.

I did manage to get some work done — focusing on “tasks” kept my mind from doing that horrible shit. At one point, though, I was on Instagram, looking up the suicide hashtag and interestingly enough, when you enter that hashtag, a little gatekeeper comes up with a link to “Get Help.”

That was actually enough to shake me out of my tunnel vision — should I get help? — but I proceeded to the hashtag anyway. To see what people who think about suicide had posted there. But then it actually led me to some Anne Sexton poems, so I decided to follow the Anne Sexton hashtag instead, and that got me to a much better place. And eventually, it got me right back to my desk.

So, I was able to get some work done on Girl in the Night , and also tackle a lot of the stuff on my To-Do list for Abstract Absurdity Productions. That kind of focusing helped turned down the voice in my head a lot.

And then somebody I care about so much came through so unexpectedly, in spades, yesterday, and I was able to completely break the spiral.

Speaking of Tom Petty — the battling Petty clan seems to be coming to some sort of agreement to move forward on those early Wildflower tracks that were never released. And today, at TomPetty.com, the first song from that batch will be debuted. An 8-track version of his song “You Don’t Know How It Feels.”

I’m not sure I need to hear an 8-track version of that specific song, but I am really eager to hear that Wildflowers Part 2 collection, whenever it comes out. (Plenty of unreleased songs that he actually wanted released are supposed to be on it.)

I don’t know if you tuned into the NASA YouTube channel to watch the guys go off on their space walk this morning — at one point, nearly 77,000 viewers were streaming it. Wow, they have to wear so much stuff to go out for a walk in space. But it was still nice to see that Russians and Americans can thrive together way the heck out in outer space!! (If you’re too young to remember the original “space race” — the USA and the USSR couldn’t have been less accommodating of each other back then. To put it extremely mildly.)

Well, all righty. I guess I will get to work here on this beautiful day. Today, I know it’s Friday!! I have all my faculties in working order here today. So I hope you are gearing up for a nice weekend, wherever you are in the world. Thanks for visiting, gang.

Today, I will leave you with Neil Diamond yet again, but a much more uplifting song than yesterday’s (which was also a favorite of mine, even though it was sad). This one today is one that I post here a lot. But it is such a great song! “Sweet Caroline.” Who can ever get tired of it?? And this is such a great version of it. Okay. Enjoy, gang. I love you guys. See ya!

You KNOW I’m In A Mood When You See *THIS* Guy

I’ve been sitting here at my desk  in front of the blog template for almost an hour already, unable to clear my mind and get to someplace fun & happy!

I hate using this blog to preach about shit, but I also hate just ignoring the blog for an entire day because I can’t think of something fun & happy.

So many of my readers here are not from the US. You come here to the blog every day from South America, Central America, Western Europe, Eastern Europe, Africa, Asia and countries of the Far East, the Middle East, the Near East, India, Canada, and Russia.

And of course it makes me wonder what you can possibly think about this insane country of ours, especially now.

Oh — and by the way, in case you hadn’t already heard, Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds announced yesterday that their North American tour, which was set to begin this fall, has been cancelled.

And, NO, they didn’t say it was because the US is so insane right now that they wouldn’t be caught dead here…. it was something to do with a pandemic.

Anyway!!

The news here this morning is that Columbus — the nearest city to Crazeysburg, 50 miles from here — announced that those few nights of rioting is going to cost the city and its small businesses over $3 million. (This doesn’t count what the pandemic has cost them, either. Small businesses have absolutely lost their shirts from the virus.) (If you don’t understand that phrase — it means that you have lost everything, including the shirt off your back.)

(I don’t know — doesn’t that look like at least 3 million more votes in Trump’s lap? Hmmm….)

That remark wasn’t really my point. My point is that this is a democracy, and people are always going to protest about something, and sometimes the protests will be violent, and there are always going to be factions in this country virulently opposed to other factions in this country. And the fact that we are allowed to have our opposing ideas, and even our violent opinions, and our individual understanding of what truth is even when it’s completely at odds with what everybody else’s truth is, is what makes a democracy so sacred to human rights.

However, the thing that confounds me about the US now is this whole up-swelling of younger people who have the misunderstanding that a democracy is a “cancel-out” culture. That if  someone disagrees with you, that person needs to be cancelled out (silenced) in some way.

(My problem with my play, Tell My Bones, comes under that banner, but I want to add that the director called me twice yesterday, assuring me that he was not abandoning the play. That we were going to have to wait it out, for when NYC gets back to some sort of “normal.”)

The sad situation in our country is that most public schools no longer teach History or Government, or even World History. Private schools are where children get the prime education nowadays — whether they are Catholic schools or strictly academic schools.

Public schools are no longer funded well enough to focus on anything but the basics. There’s no Art, no Music — without parents paying separately for it, and then it usually happens after school. A lot of the schools no longer even have libraries. And even the school sports teams are funded by parents paying for the kids to be on the team.

Yes — isn’t that insane? You no longer have to try out and see if you’re good enough to make the team. If your parents can afford to pay for you to be on it, you’re on the team.

What’s even worse, is that sports like swim teams, that hand out trophies for 1st, 2nd, 3rd place — well, now anyone who participates gets a trophy. Just for showing up. Because no one wants any of the kids to have hurt feelings.

This has been going on for a couple of decades already.

Even at the college level — a friend of mine is a college professor and he’s not allowed to use red ink to grade papers because the color red is too threatening to students.

This is not a joke. This is real. Red ink is too threatening.

An entire culture of young people coming out of our public schools who are not adept at handling challenges or conflicts or the opposing opinions of others.

And they aren’t taught how a democracy is run, either. They don’t even study the Constitution of the United States or the Bill of Rights  anymore (in public schools). They aren’t taught History, for godsakes. Or that tolerance, however difficult it can be, or impossible it can feel sometimes; it’s the foundation of the civil liberties of all Americans.

(And I guarantee you that a lot of politicians are banking on you not having a clue what the fuck is really going on with all that anymore. Even if you think you’re on the “right” side. That same side is banking on you not knowing how to even really think.)

I just saw a comment just this morning where a well-known Hollywood actor was making a movie about a revolution in another country and he said that it made him think about how the Europeans came to America and what happened then to the Native Americans who were already here.

Honestly — he had to act in a movie in Hollywood before that thought occurred to him??!! WTF??!!

When you study History and World History and Government you learn about things that are really important.

About how history has an uncanny way of repeating itself — all over the world. And to expect that violence is met with violence — so, if you want to choose violence, which is your right, you need to expect violence to come right back at you. Whether you’ve murdered someone, or whether you’re fighting for your inalienable right to live.

It has astounded me, the outcry in the national news that the recent riots were met with riot police, or even the militia. Or that what was intended to be a peaceful protest became violent anyway — on either side. Or that people with an organized agenda of some kind will barricade themselves behind innocent, well-meaning  people and allow them to become victims of violence that they didn’t start.

Where is the “news” in that? This has gone on throughout all time.

And so many people bringing up now what happened at Kent State in 1970, when the Ohio National Guard was called in and unarmed students were killed.

Yeah, that happened. I’m surprised they didn’t teach you that in school. It’s part of our history — people fighting for change and for their rights and losing their lives because of it.

I can’t forget it because I lived here back then. Ohio was very violent back then, and the country itself was very violent. Non-military groups, of all colors, were arming themselves and were setting off bombs everywhere and blowing up buildings. Shooting all sorts of people — on all sides.  Aside from flat-out assassinations, well-known public people, from politicians to pornographers, wound up in wheelchairs for life because of snipers’ bullets. And riots were common. And blow back was common.

It’s awful. I’m a pacifist and always have been. I cannot handle violence. I expect something more rational from all people. And I’m usually really disappointed. But violence is a part of an equation. We’re all allowed to make any choice we want to make, but we also have to at least be aware that no action exists in a vacuum. There’s going to be a reaction — it’s part of the laws of Physics.

That stuff that they teach you in school, right?

Anyway. It all sucks, of course. But what I have a hard time dealing with is this lack of education in a huge section of America, and this lack of critical thinking and this idea that Liberals — who were once the embodiment of tolerance — are now at the forefront of the culture of cancelling-out; of silencing people; of  the idea that someone is not entitled to their views if they oppose yours.

And this lack of History. My god. Honestly. If I see one more person putting forth the image of Bob Dylan and quoting his song “The Times They Are A-Changing”, I’m going to scream.

The times are changing. It’s a no-brainer, gang.  But you’d be much better equipped quoting other songs he wrote, that weren’t so “feel-good.”  He wrote a ton of them. I leave you with a couple of those today.

All right thanks for visiting, gang. I love you guys. See ya.

 

“Only A Pawn In Their Game”

A bullet from the back of a bush took Medgar Evers’ blood
A finger fired the trigger to his name
A handle hid out in the dark
A hand set the spark
Two eyes took the aim
Behind a man’s brain
But he can’t be blamed
He’s only a pawn in their game

A South politician preaches to the poor white man
“You got more than blacks, don’t complain
You’re better than them, you been born with white skin” they explain
And the Negro’s name
Is used it is plain
For the politician’s gain
As he rises to fame
And the poor white remains
On the caboose of the train
But it ain’t him to blame
He’s only a pawn in their game

The deputy sheriffs, the soldiers, the governors get paid
And the marshals and cops get the same
But the poor white man’s used in the hands of them all like a tool
He’s taught in his school
From the start by the rule
That the laws are with him
To protect his white skin
To keep up his hate
So he never thinks straight
‘Bout the shape that he’s in
But it ain’t him to blame
He’s only a pawn in their game

From the poverty shacks, he looks from the cracks to the tracks
And the hoof beats pound in his brain
And he’s taught how to walk in a pack
Shoot in the back
With his fist in a clinch
To hang and to lynch
To hide ‘neath the hood
To kill with no pain
Like a dog on a chain
He ain’t got no name
But it ain’t him to blame
He’s only a pawn in their game

Today, Medgar Evers was buried from the bullet he caught
They lowered him down as a king
But when the shadowy sun sets on the one
That fired the gun
He’ll see by his grave
On the stone that remains
Carved next to his name
His epitaph plain
Only a pawn in their game

© 1964 Bob Dylan

“With God On Our Side”

Oh, my name—it ain’t nothin’
My age—it means less
The country I come from
Is called the Midwest
I’s taught and brought up there
The laws to abide
And that the land that I live in
Has God on its side

Oh, the history books tell it
They tell it so well
The cavalries charged
The Indians fell
The cavalries charged
The Indians died
Oh, the country was young
With God on its side

The Spanish-American
War had its day
And the Civil War too
Was soon laid away
And the names of the heroes
I’s made to memorize
With guns in their hands
And God on their side

The First World War, boys
It came and it went
The reason for fighting
I never did get
But I learned to accept it
Accept it with pride
For you don’t count the dead
When God’s on your side

The Second World War
Came to an end
We forgave the Germans
And then we were friends
Though they murdered six million
In the ovens they fried
The Germans now too
Have God on their side

I’ve learned to hate the Russians
All through my whole life
If another war comes
It’s them we must fight
To hate them and fear them
To run and to hide
And accept it all bravely
With God on my side

But now we got weapons
Of chemical dust
If fire them we’re forced to
Then fire them we must
One push of the button
And a shot the world wide
And you never ask questions
When God’s on your side

Through many dark hour
I’ve been thinkin’ about this
That Jesus Christ
Was betrayed by a kiss
But I can’t think for you
You’ll have to decide
Whether Judas Iscariot
Had God on his side

So now as I’m leavin’
I’m weary as Hell
The confusion I’m feelin’
Ain’t no tongue can tell
The words fill my head
And they fall to the floor
That if God’s on our side
He’ll stop the next war

© 1963 Bob Dylan

Onward & Onward, Full of Grace Pt.2

Well, somehow I got through yesterday. Many phone calls — all of which helped me find balance and perspective, and redirect my focus toward the future, and all my other projects.

A few of you wrote to me yesterday (thank you), some of you not understanding why my having written a play about a black painter is now considered “racist.”

The term is actually “cultural appropriation,” which means that white people are not supposed to write about black lives because we can never truly understand them and would therefore create a false perspective of what it means to be black in America.

I can agree with that, but only so far; only up to a point.  At some point, we all become human beings. I wrote a play about a woman’s life with not only her full consent to write about her, but with her very deep hope that her story would reach the world in some way.

I also feel that the accusation of cultural appropriation threatens to ghettoize all writers, because it also means that blacks can only write about black lives; Asians can only write about Asians; Latinos can only write about the Latino experience of life on Earth; Native Americans can only write about Native Americans; and Eskimos or any other indigenous people, are only capable of expressing what life on Earth means to an Eskimo, etc. Men can’t write about women; women can’t write about men; Gays can’t grasp the lives of straight people, and straights can’t imagine what it’s like to be Gay.

It gets dangerous to compartmentalize everyone’s experience of Life on Earth, gang.

However, sadly, I saw this coming a few weeks ago — even before the Black Lives Matter protests exploded again with the murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis — because I attended a poetry reading online that truly alarmed me in its rage and anti-white agenda.

It was a fundraiser, and at the time, I was impressed that they’d raised $9,000 during a pandemic. Until another fundraiser I attended online — a multi-cultural poetry reading, heavy with Latino/Latina poets — raised $140,000 in 24 hours, during the same pandemic.

I was just incredibly alarmed, gang, by all the “vibes.” I could tell that something was going to absolutely explode. And I could also tell that my play was going to somehow get hit by shrapnel.

Anyway. It did. It has. And now on we go, toward the future.

I have no lack of projects to devote my attention to — and that’s an understatement. And I hope that all the sorrow and devastation I felt yesterday, cleared the deck for me emotionally, and I can get back to focusing on these other things. For instance, Girl in the Night sits there with only one additional sentence since Sunday. And everything else imaginable remains, basically, half done.

But it is a really unbelievably beautiful day here today. And I slept great (through some miracle), and I am still in love with my life. I don’t really give credence to that saying “everything happens for a reason,” because I’m more of a firm believer that once something is created, it lives, and it goes out into the world, either in spirit or in physical form, or maybe even both. Allow creation to happen for the joy of creation itself.  Just allow — you know?

It’s not always easy to get to that place of allowing, but it beats the energy of resisting. For sure.

Okay. I hope you all have a terrific Tuesday underway out there, wherever you are in the world! Thanks for visiting, gang. I leave you with something I was listening to, just for the hell of it. The joy of it. For the years gone by and all the joy and dreams-under-the-bridge-of-it! “Emotional Rescue,” by the Rolling Stones. This was their album that was a huge hit at the time that I moved to New York City, in 1980 (at age 20) and finally started having my “real” life.

So listen and just rejoice, gang. I love you guys! See ya!

With Great Sadness

I honestly cannot believe I’m having to post this, but it is looking like my play about the painter Helen LaFrance, Tell My Bones, is being shelved indefinitely due to my being a white writer and the play is about a black woman.

Since the Black Lives Matter protests have taken over the country, no one wants to be perceived now as racist or as politically incorrect.

I’ve worked on Helen’s life story now for 8 years — as a screenplay first, then as a  play with music.

I’m devastated. I can’t really even think straight. This has been going on since last evening, so I’m really just a mess. My nerves are destroyed.

Naturally, I got no significant work done on Girl in the Night: Erotic Love Letters to the Muse. And today — in between bouts of crying, I’m just worn out. Just wanting to vomit.

A bright note — the other day, I found a first edition of the photo book Fish in a Barrel, in excellent condition at list price. These are photos the photographer Peter Milne took of Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds on tour, and it came out in 1993. It includes some of my favorite photos of them.

The book arrived in today’s mail. I’m happy but I’m also sad because I don’t know how 27 years flew by so quickly. This all seems like yesterday.

Don’t forget! If you live in Copenhagen, or can get there, Stranger Than Kindness, the Nick Cave exhibit, opened today!!

And on another sad note, my best friend Paul, who died from AIDS in 1999, would have been 61 today.  I like to feel that he’s hanging out with me a little bit today, but honestly, I just don’t know anything anymore.

Have a good Monday, gang, wherever you are in the world. Thanks for visiting, I love you guys. See ya.

And This Is How I Feel About That!

Well, yesterday was a really unfortunate eye-opening sort of day.

I was more than happy to participate in the black lives matter hashtag because I do believe, with every fiber of my being, that the civil rights of black Americans need to be respected without question, 24/7.

However, I also believe that about every American. There are, unfortunately,  a whole lot of Americans who are indeed treated like second class citizens, at all times. That’s gone on for as long as I’ve been an American.

Civil liberties are extremely important to me, and because of that, I’ve learned the really difficult part of that — and that is that sometimes I have to support the rights of people I absolutely do not agree with but it’s the underlying foundation of being part of a Democracy.

It’s a really delicately balanced give & take, and because of that, America’s destiny has always been fraught with extreme emotions and outright violence. But I don’t support violence. I am a complete pacifist. And I don’t support racism of any kind.

I chose not to participate in the Black Out on Instagram yesterday because it felt a little like being forced by the Union to walk the picket line, even when you see some huge holes in the agenda that you can’t get on board with. For instance, the violence. And the underlying anti-white agenda that’s going on there, too. And the militant thinking, etc.

Not everyone is in all those camps, but all those camps were under the banner of that agenda yesterday.

Signing on for the Black Out meant you were supporting the whole kit & caboodle, and I’m not such a generally-sweeping kind of gal. I prefer to stand back and be a critical thinker and throw my support behind each specific thing that I truly believe in.

But standing back, allowed me to see some of the really inexcusable stuff that went on. For instance, people choosing to not participate in the Black Out but posting their own meaningful posts about nonviolence instead, were slammed as racists.

Sean Ono Lennon springs hugely to mind. He posted an incredibly thoughtful post, in line with his Buddhist beliefs in nonviolence, and that nonviolent revolutions bring on more substantial change, and instead of being praised for being his own person and having his own mind, he was treated like a racist by total strangers slamming him on Instagram.

So, that kind of stuff, I can’t participate in. Anything militant, I can’t participate in, regardless of nationality, race, gender, religion, etc.

But the hugest hole in all of this is that I wouldn’t vote for Joe Biden if you paid me. So where are all these protest leading?

Anyone with an ounce of critical thinking can see that Biden’s sleazy and ineffective — and yet much more controllable than any of the other candidates who were vying for the job — and, if elected, he will likely just be a puppet President for the Democrats to prop up and stand behind so that they can then get down to practicing their own brand of dirty politics, business-as-usual. Because Democrats are just as guilty of that stuff — Hilary and Obama seem to have led the pack during their final year in the White House, based on what seems to have come to light in the Senate Judicial Investigative Committee on Mike Flynn.

So where does that leave someone like me? Voting for an Independent candidate again, which means — in the eyes of many — a wasted vote. No Independent candidate is ever ever ever going to be elected President of the United States.

Anyway, my point is, the protests (which are beginning to become more peaceful in some cities), are only throwing way more voters into Trump’s lap. And leaving no strong leader-type candidate to oppose him.  None. Zippo.

That’s a huge gaping leaky hole in that boat that’s organizing both violent and nonviolent protests all over the country. You know — what is all this massive (and justified) unrest leading to? Joe Biden? And is there going to be a Presidential debate between Biden and Trump? In what universe is Biden ever going to win that? Honestly, we all know he has trouble forming coherent sentences.

And so where does that really leave people like me, who are nonviolent, who don’t support racism, who do support the complex inter-balance of civil liberties across the board…

So, yesterday was not a pretty picture at all, in my opinion.

And then something else happened that appalled me beyond belief.

A white man connected to my play, Tell My Bones — a play about the 100-year-old black  painter Helen LaFrance — was using Helen’s incredible painting, “Canning Peaches,” as his wallpaper during a Zoom meeting the other day, and he was accused of being a “white Master on a slave plantation” and told to remove the painting.

Is this really what we’re coming to in America? Such extreme intolerance between the races? Helen’s painting couldn’t be more magnificent — especially if you’re lucky enough to see the painting in person. Her use of light, of primary colors, and her unbelievable attention to detail and perspective just stagger the eyes when you really look at it. (And she’s a Memory Painter, which means, she paints everything from her memories — she uses no live models or actual landscapes.)

Are we really saying that only black people are permitted to stand in front of, or be depicted in front of, any of Helen’s paintings that feature black people in them? (And in the case of “Canning Peaches,” it’s Helen and her mother. They aren’t slaves or even sharecroppers. They’re in the farm house that Helen grew up in — on the farm her family owned.) So, really?

Well, it happened, gang. Just this week.

Canning Peaches by Helen LaFrance. Permanent Collection of Kentucky Folk Art Center at Morehead State University

You know, I wrote, first, the screenplay (Tell My Bones), and now the play, about Helen LaFrance because I fell in love with her paintings. And I wanted to try to help the world find out about her art.

And when I secured a chance to actually meet her in person (through Gus Van Sant, Sr.), I had a 15-year old beat-up car, with 150,000 miles on it, but I threw an overnight bag into it and just took off. By myself. And it was a 10-hour drive. Plus, back then, I was suffering from acute anxiety disorder and I had a dread fear of crossing bridges. But I had to drive over so many fucking bridges to get to the farthest south-western corner of Kentucky, where Helen lived (in a nursing home) — including the enormous bridge spanning the Ohio River just to get into the State of Kentucky.

But I drove and drove and drove. And drove and drove and drove. And crossed many, many bridges that made me feel like I was going to have a heart attack. And when I finally arrived in Mayfield, and the woman who handles all of Helen’s business affairs, took me in to meet Helen, Helen was not at all interested in talking to any white person. She was cold as stone, suspicious, and not friendly at all. (She was working on a painting and would barely look at me.) (She paints with her left hand now, because she is paralyzed down her right side.)

You know, some white people have been of great help to her career, but a number of white people have exploited her terribly. So she was absolutely unimpressed with me and my white girl enthusiasm.

But I stuck with it and eventually I guess she could see that I was genuinely in love with her art and that I wanted to write about her life. And by the time the trip was over, she had given me the Life Story Rights to write about her life, and the okay for me to have access to her handwritten journals.

So when this man told me on Tuesday that he was accused of being a “white Master on a slave plantation” because he used “Canning Peaches” as his Zoom background and being forced to remove it — Jesus. I didn’t know whether to cry or to scream or to shoot myself. (And this was an educated white person accusing him of this, btw.)

What has happened to critical thinking in this country? I just don’t know. But it really hurt when he told me that. It really upset me. Plus, it was so humiliating for him — he couldn’t be more in love with Helen’s paintings if he tried.

So. Anyway.

Now I will talk about Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds!

According to Instagram, today is the 35th Anniversary of the release of  Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds’ astoundingly amazing album The First Born is Dead.

The Firstborn Is Dead - Wikipedia

This is the record that totally blew my mind and made me a life-long believer in the utter genius that is Nick Cave. (I’ve written in detail about this before — getting off the subway train in Hoboken, NJ, to visit my girlfriend, finding that tiny record store along the way, which was filled with impossible-to-get (expensive) imports, and finding The First Born is Dead, taking it home, playing it, and becoming eternally stupefied.)

So anyway. Let us celebrate that, okay??!! Not so much my stupefication, but the album, over all. And let’s celebrate that it’s June, and that somehow, someway, everything always kind of works out all right. All things considered.

I’m gonna leave you not with the really, really famous song, “Tupelo,” but another favorite of mine from that album, “Train Long Suffering.” So listen and enjoy.

Thanks for visiting, gang!!! I hope you enjoy your Wednesday, wherever you are in the world today — regardless of your race, nationality, gender, sexual preference, religion, education level, or state of your bank account!! Yay! Seriously, though. Thanks for visiting.  I love you guys. See ya!

“Train-Long Suffering”

Woo-wooooooo Woo!
In the name of pain!
(In the name of pain and suffering)
In the name of pain!
(In the name of pain and suffering)
There comes a train!
(There comes a train)
Yeah!
A long black train
(There comes a train)
Lord, a long black train

Woo-woo! Woo-woo!

Punched from the tunnel
(The tunnel of love is long and lonely)
Engines steaming like a fist
(A fistful of memories)
Into the jolly jaw of morning
(Yeah! O yeah!)
O baby it gets smashed!
(You know that it gets smashed)
O baby it gets smashed!
(You know that it gets smashed)

I kick every goddamn splinter
Into all the looking eyes in the world
Into all the laughing eyes
Of all the girls in the world
Oooooo-woooooh
She ain’t never comin back
She ain’t never comin back
She ain’t never comin back
She ain’t never comin back
And the name of the pain is…
And the name of the pain is…
And the name of the pain is…
And the name of the pain is…
The name of the pain is
A train long-suffering

On rails of pain
(On rails of pain and suffering)
There comes a train
(There comes a train long-suffering)
On rails of pain
(On rails of pain and suffering)
O baby blow its whistle in the rain

Woo-oo Woo! Woo-oo Woo!

Who’s the engine driver?
(The engine drivers over yonder)
His name is Memory
(His name is Memory)
O Memory is his name
(Woooooo-wo!)
Destination: Misery
(Pain and misery)
O pain and misery
(Pain and misery)
O pain and misery
Hey! Hey!
(Pain and misery)
Hey! That’s a sad lookin sack!
Oooh that’s a sad lookin sack!
And the name of the pain is…
And the name of the pain is…
Ooh the name of the pain is
A train long-suffering

There is a train!
(It’s got a name)
Yeah! It’s a train long-suffering
O Lord a train!
(A long black train)
Lord! Of pain and suffering
Each night so black
(O yeah! So black)
And in the darkness of my sack
I’m missing you baby
(I’m missing you)
And I just dunno what to do
(dunno what to do)
(Train long-suffering)
(Train long-suffering)
(Train long-suffering)
(Train long-suffering)
O she ain’t never comin back
O she ain’t never comin back
O she ain’t never comin back
O she ain’t never comin back
And the name of the pain is…
And the name of the pain is…
The name of the train is…
The name of the train is
Pain and suffering

© 1985 Nick Cave

Okey-Dokey! Sorry, Gang!!

All righty! Well, I’m a little bit late posting here today.

What a gorgeous day here in Crazeysburg, gang! I ran out of a couple things in the fridge so I decided to go ahead and drive into town and do the marketing this morning.

What an incredible day for a drive into town.  Just lovely.  And so now the marketing is done for the week.

I hope this finds all of you faring well during all the riots and unrest we’re having, Stateside. (And, I don’t know — if you live somewhere other than the States and are having riots and unrest, too, well I hope you’re okay, also!)

Here in Crazeysburg, all is well.  And sometime this week (I think) I might be getting that brand new barn door!! I’m going to hear from the Amish guys sometime tonight to get the firm date. But I am so excited, gang!! I cannot wait. And I can’t wait to see Kevin’s face when he gets back from Montana in the fall and sees how great the barn will be looking by then!

And the other Kevin in my life — the director of my play, Tell My Bones — should be calling sometime today to go over the plans for the Zoom staged reading that we’re taping sometime this month. I’m excited to get the update on that, too. (And I’m going to try to persuade him and his husband to come out of lockdown and meet me for dinner one night soon at the Granville Inn!!! We’ll see what they say…)

And Peitor texted a while ago and wants to do more Abstract Absurdity Productions work today, so I said okay.

So between that, and the editing I’m still doing on Peitor’s book (more than halfway done with that), and any work I can get done on Girl in the Night: Erotic Love Letters to the Muse, my day is just about over!! Or so it seems…

On an unrelated note… loyal readers of this lofty blog will no doubt recall that I had to finally unfollow the Keanu hashtag on Instagram recently because it was literally jamming my feed with endless, endless, endless photos of Keanu. (And doing that has now allowed tons more photos of alpacas, bears, birds of the world, and the Rolling Stones to flood into my feed!!)

But interestingly enough, there is an “official” Keanu Instagram account that I discovered by way of the Johnny Depp official Instagram account — (and there’s also an actual Johnny Depp account that he personally posts to once in a blue moon and when he does, in a nanosecond 65,739 viewers have already viewed it…)

Anyway, I thought that was interesting. An official Keanu account. So I clicked “follow” and it turns out that they have to approve you! Clicking “follow” is merely a request. You don’t get to just follow him, willy-nilly!! (Probably because the average Keanu fan is just indescribably rabid about Keanu.) Well, the other day, I got approved! I now get to officially follow Keanu’s official account! And they only post maybe one photo every 3 days…. much better than that other stuff.

Okay, so.

Life here is just really good, gang. What can I say? Perfect weather. All my many projects are moving ahead again. My heart is as happy as can be right now. And my refrigerator is full of food!!

And my dad is slowly coming out of lockdown — he’s doing his own grocery shopping now. Throughout the first 2 and 1/2 months of the quarantine, his grocery shopping was done for him by people who work at the Nursing Home-compound-place where he lives.  He still has to wear a mask and all that, because the virus is still really prevalent in the county where he lives, but he is really enjoying at least being able to go to the store now.  And plus he gets some dinner invitations from friends, now, too. So that’s nice. (If you’re new to the blog — my dad is about 90 years old, and his wife of over 30 years died in mid-January. So not only was he alone in the quarantine, but he’s still grieving the loss of my stepmom. So all the isolation has been rough on him.)

But things are moving forward — at least, here in Ohio, they are. I hope it’s similar where you’re at.

All righty, on that note — it is now after 12-noon here, so I’m going to get started on the editing.

I hope you have a great Monday, wherever you are in the world. Thanks for visiting, gang! This morning, on the intothelightadventures blog, she mentioned a Cat Stevens song that I used to love that I hadn’t thought of in years (“Moonshadow”), so it got me into a Cat Stevens mood again. So, today I leave you with a really gorgeous “live” version he did of the song, “How Can I tell You I Love You?” (a song that means a lot to me, gang). So, I hope you enjoy it. Have a great day. I love you guys. See ya!

How Can I Tell You

How can I tell you that I love you, I love you
But I can’t think of right words to say
I long to tell you that I’m always thinking of you
I’m always thinking of you, but my words
Just blow away, just blow away
It always ends up to one thing, honey
And I can’t think of right words to say
Wherever I am girl, I’m always walking with you
I’m always walking with you, but I look and you’re not there
Whoever I’m with, I’m always, always talking to you
I’m always talking to you, and I’m sad that
You can’t hear, sad that you can’t hear
It always ends up to one thing, honey,
When I look and you’re not there
I need to know you, need to feel my arms around you
Feel my arms around you, like a sea around a shore
And – each night and day I pray, in hope
That I might find you, in hope that I might
Find you, because heart’s can do no more
It always ends up to one thing honey, still I kneel upon the floor
How can I tell you that I love you, I love you
But I can’t think of right words to say
I long to tell you that I’m always thinking of you
I’m always thinking of you….
It always ends up to one thing honey
And I can’t think of right words to say

c – 1971 Yusef Islam

Summer is Basically Here, Gang!!

Yesterday was just amazing! Such a beautiful day. I was able to keep the windows open all through the night.

And for me, nothing beats that feeling of waking up just before dawn to wide-open windows. All that fresh air.  All those birds singing. All that peace.

Loyal readers of this lofty blog no doubt recall that I am in love with the silver maple tree in front of my house. My house is 119-years-old and I’m guessing the tree is about the same age — it is easily twice as tall as my house.

The front part of my house is totally shaded by the tree — including my bedroom. Here is a view of the tree right now, as I’m leaning out from one of my bedroom windows and trying to look up. I’d say this is still only, maybe, 1/4 of the way up the tree.

My silver maple. God only knows how many people have been shaded by this tree in this bedroom over the past century.

My house is what’s called a “salt box” style house, so the front of it is flat — straight up and down. The ceilings inside are high, so the second story, where the two bedrooms are, is up pretty high.  It’s very difficult to see into the windows of the second story from outside — you have to be pretty far down the street to do that. In the summertime, the tree makes it just about impossible to see up into the windows from any angle, yet I still have an amazing view of the outside because the windows are really tall. All of the main windows in the house (10 out of 21 of them) are 6-ft, 4-inches tall.

The combined amount of privacy I get in my room from the enormous tree and the old-fashioned style of the house is kind of magical, gang.

Just one of the many reasons why I love living here. (And also why I hate raking leaves now — there are just a ton of them in the fall. It’s insane. I used to love the meditative process of raking leaves in autumn, but now it’s like — you’re kidding, right??!! Jesus.)

Okay!!!

Another great thing that happened yesterday — I sat down at my desk to do some more editing on The Guitar Hero Goes Home, and suddenly — and I mean truly from out of nowhere — Letter# 8 for Girl in the Night: Erotic Love Letters to the Muse started to come out!!

I mean, it was not even on my mind, in the slightest way. And suddenly the words started coming. A whole stream of them.

I was literally in the process of editing Chapter 7 of the Guitar Hero, when a bunch of words came into my head. And they were kind of provocative, so I stopped what I was doing and wrote them down in my notebook. But suddenly a bunch more words came out, and a title: “The Choice to Kill.”

And I was, like — whoa; this is Letter #8 for Girl in the Night.

In total, about 8 paragraphs came out all at once. So I stopped editing Guitar Hero and gave my attention to Girl in the Night: Erotic Love Letters to the Muse. I hope to have it finished today but it’s kind of an intense section (as perhaps the title of it implies) so I’m not sure how long it will really take me.

I hadn’t even thought about Girl in the Night since February (when I wrote Letters #6 & 7) because I was so busy revising the play (Tell My Bones) at that point. And then, of course, I got completely wiped out by the coronavirus for nearly 2 months.

So this is exciting, gang.

(That whole time I was sick, I really struggled with thoughts that I was never going to write again. And so, now, to have it just spring up again — feels like old times!!)

Okay. Well, today is Bob Dylan’s 79th birthday. And in honor of that event, I went over to YouTube to find a song to post here for the occasion. However, I can never log onto YouTube without first checking to see what’s playing on Bad See TeeVee. 

This morning, I logged on just in time to hear Warren Ellis give an impromptu commercial for the channel over the phone, while, visually, there were these great little animated line drawings of Warren and Nick Cave “dancing” provocatively in their Y-fronts.

(That’s why I can’t ever get onto YouTube without checking Bad Seed TeeVee first, because you just never know what the heck you’ll be looking at!)

And then it went into the video for “Red Right Hand”, which is just so great — the video as well as the song (from the incredible Let Love In album, 1994). So I’m going to leave you with that song today, in addition to a Bob Dylan song, in honor of his 79th birthday.

I have chosen a song of Dylan’s that I absolutely LOVE — it won the Oscar in 2001 for Best Original Song — from the movie Wonder Boys, which I also totally love — to pieces!! (I think most writers loved that movie; it really captured just how fucking insane it is to be a writer, and also to struggle with the politics of academia, if you ended up choosing that route.) (I didn’t. I was always just a “hit the ground running” kind of writer, hoping I wouldn’t starve to death…) (I didn’t.)

All righty!! So, as the sun shines in on me, I’m going to close this now and get going. Have a great Sunday, wherever you are in the world — and continue to enjoy the holiday weekend if you live Stateside! Thanks for visiting, gang. I love you guys. See ya!

“Things Have Changed”
(from “Wonder Boys” soundtrack)

A worried man with a worried mind
No one in front of me and nothing behind
There’s a woman on my lap and she’s drinking champagne
Got white skin, got assassin’s eyes
I’m looking up into the sapphire-tinted skies
I’m well dressed, waiting on the last train

Standing on the gallows with my head in a noose
Any minute now I’m expecting all hell to break loose

[Chorus:]
People are crazy and times are strange
I’m locked in tight, I’m out of range
I used to care, but things have changed

This place ain’t doing me any good
I’m in the wrong town, I should be in Hollywood
Just for a second there I thought I saw something move
Gonna take dancing lessons, do the jitterbug rag
Ain’t no shortcuts, gonna dress in drag
Only a fool in here would think he’s got anything to prove

Lot of water under the bridge, lot of other stuff too
Don’t get up gentlemen, I’m only passing through

[Chorus]

I’ve been walking forty miles of bad road
If the Bible is right, the world will explode
I’ve been trying to get as far away from myself as I can
Some things are too hot to touch
The human mind can only stand so much
You can’t win with a losing hand

Feel like falling in love with the first woman I meet
Putting her in a wheelbarrow and wheeling her down the street

[Chorus]

I hurt easy, I just don’t show it
You can hurt someone and not even know it
The next sixty seconds could be like an eternity
Gonna get low down, gonna fly high
All the truth in the world adds up to one big lie
I’m in love with a woman who don’t even appeal to me

Mr. Jinx and Miss Lucy, they jumped in the lake
I’m not that eager to make a mistake

[Chorus]

c – 2000 Bob Dylan

Yeah, Baby! More Laundry Than You Can Even Imagine!!

Seriously. Today is already SO MUCH BETTER than yesterday, that it can’t even be compared.

You know, like, what was yesterday, anyway? Some sort of strange partial reality, wedged into a dead-end probable universe or something?

It’s so weird, because today couldn’t be better, but I didn’t do anything different, really.  Except, I guess, to decide that today was simply going to have to be better.

Also, this is that first day of the gateway to summer. Weather-wise, it’s going to be a perfect day. Which means that windows will be open around here by this afternoon, and that always makes me so happy.

Right now, I’m doing all the bedding that needs to be washed and then stored away in the linen closet until Fall. That’s like, 5 loads of laundry. Just bedding, quilts, blankets, etc. And it really feels just so good to do that because it means that the whole house is soon going to be really airy and  sunny and of a summer-weight that always just feels lighter on my whole soul.

So!

NO!! Absolutely no work got done on Abstract Absurdity stuff yesterday, or on the cover design for The Guitar Hero Goes Home. Although I did at least chat with Valerie on the phone for about an hour, but it was not work-related. I was trying to sort through all my complicated feelings about my dad’s announcement that he’s moving to Florida (see post from yesterday).

That whole thing just triggered all these abandonment issues I didn’t realize I actually had — beginning with when he left us for good the summer I turned 13 (and not ending there, by any stretch) (how many times can my parents discard me, you know? It’s astounding). So much horrible shit came up in me yesterday, which I honestly did not know was there.

So Valerie and I talked about that and decided to have the work chat on Thursday, instead.

And today, I just feel worlds better. I honestly do.

Plus, Kevin is coming over this afternoon to drop off his vintage 1965 VW camper-van until Fall! Hard to believe it’s actually that time of year already. And I know he is eager to see the new roof on my barn!

It’s going to be so nice to see Kevin. I haven’t chatted in person with a human being that I actually know as a friend since March 14th. And then I’m going to drive him back into town and go get more groceries.  (Oddly enough, he lives 3 minutes from where I do my marketing. He can walk there from where he lives.) And it’s going to be perfect weather for driving 95 MPH on the highway here in Muskingum County today! Yay!!

I think this tai-chi idea that I had yesterday is going to be a really good idea. Tai-chi in the morning, yoga at night. And try not to have to do Booty Core again. I think it’s going to be a lot more relaxing for me. I don’t know why I am such a stressed-out individual. Well — I do know why. But I don’t know why I can’t just let it all go for good, you know?

And I’ve been letting it spill over into my writing lately, which I usually don’t do. The last few days, I’ve been feeling like I just can’t focus right now, and I hate that. And feeling like people are looking over my shoulder while I write — my mind getting super critical of me — and I really, REALLY hate that. But it seems like even a little bit of tai-chi yesterday helped that, so I’m hoping that by keeping it up for a little bit each morning, I can totally re-set myself and get back on track around here.

So, yes, that means my new routine will be to wake-up at 5am, go downstairs to feed the cats, feed myself, do my little Inner Being dialogue journal thing, then my little journal where I pre-pave my day into a positive direction so that I don’t become completely unglued before noon, then go back upstairs and meditate, and now add tai-chi — then post something to the blog and get my day underway. And that’s about a 5-hour chunk of time there — I’m not exaggerating. Have you ever known anyone who had to invest so much time into not losing her fucking mind every day?

Well. So far, it’s working. So I’m going to stick with it. I literally spent 11 straight years (2006 – 2017) on the verge of suicide every single day — and that is an absolutely exhausting way to sort of half-live, even though I was really productive in my work during those years. I wrote 2 novels, a ton of short stories and novellas, developed 2 TV series (still in “development” in LA), wrote an award-winning screenplay that placed well in half a dozen major screenplay competitions in Hollywood, and then developed two musical theater projects that are inching toward production as soon as the virus gets out of NYC — oh, and I went to Divinity School in the middle of all that and got a degree in Ministry (and got ordained, wherein I also took perhaps an ill-advised oath to never smoke again, or do recreational drugs, and only drink alcohol based on Biblical guidelines, which means wine, basically, but only wine that started out as water moments before…) (kidding about that last part; I can drink wine if I want to, but my point is, how the heck do I get rid of my stress??? Prayer, or some weird shit like that???).

Well. Anyway. I jest.

But I did a ton of fucking stuff while on the verge of suicide for 4, 015 straight days…

And I like my life a lot better now.  Those years were a nightmare, in all seriousness. So even if I have to get out of bed at 5am in order to have enough time to start my actual day when most everyone else is just starting their days, it’s worth it to me, so I’m just going to stick with it. And add the tai-chi.

So. I’m very, very excited about today. It’s so beautiful outside and I get to see Kevin today — and through some twist of fate my house is actually clean on the one and only day that a human being is coming over!! So all things considered, pandemic-wise, everything’s looking good around here.

I’m gonna go make a little more progress on that laundry now and, yes, get my day underway over here. Have a wonderful Wednesday, wherever you are in the world, gang!! Thanks for visiting. I leave you with my breakfast-listening music from this morning — a song that millions of girls the world over believe that Tom Petty wrote just for them!! And I am no exception!!! “Wildflowers,” the titular song from his multi-platinum album from 1994, Wildflowers. It’s a beautiful song, gang. (And I know for sure that he knew I was going to eventually live out here in the peace and solitude of the Hinterlands and that’s why I know for sure that Tom Petty wrote this song specifically for me!!) All righty. I love you guys. Have a great day. See ya.

“Wildflowers”

You belong among the wildflowers
You belong in a boat out at sea
Sail away, kill off the hours
You belong somewhere you feel free

Run away, find you a lover
Go away somewhere all bright and new
I have seen no other
Who compares with you

You belong among the wildflowers
You belong in a boat out at sea
You belong with your love on your arm
You belong somewhere you feel free

Run away, go find a lover
Run away, let your heart be your guide
You deserve the deepest of cover
You belong in that home by and by

You belong among the wildflowers
You belong somewhere close to me
Far away from your trouble and worry
You belong somewhere you feel free
You belong somewhere you feel free

© 1994 – Tom Petty