SHEPARD & DARK


Ralphie I served 1966–78

Ralphie I served 1966–78 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

THE SCREEN IN SANTA FE scheduled three showings of this Docudrama.

Huh? Sam ol boy lives in Santa Fe. I’ve had bar chats with him, everyone has, and he’s our mascot for independence, accessibility, and still a flush hand of rugged classic looks. Like he should be Ralph Lauren‘s model, not Ralphie.

I figured the theater would be packed so I brought earplugs.  I take my films too seriously, and refuse to be interrupted with slurping and munching.  Into the first scene; my concentration was so acute I would have protested if anyone said a word.  Beginning with the footage; unbelievable home-made movies and photographs. You will see Sam as a youngster on the ranch where he grew up in Central California, Sam leaving home and working his way through puberty.   Then we see that chiseled frame of masculine sensitivity as a young playwright in Greenwich Village where you meet Johnny Dark.  The dialog between the two men and the dramatization of their feelings about the  collected letters they exchanged over a forty-year period is something beyond a reality show.

It is as honest and genuine a continuum of conversation between two men that you’ve ever witnessed.  The subjects: their father’s, destiny, fate, women, writing, dogs, tragedy, and loss. Just to name a few. So if you wrap the cinematography around the humor, philosophy and ending that left me in tears, you have a masterpiece of film for the audience.

Yes, there is a dusting of emotions  on Jessica Lange.

I walked away feeling as if my life had not even begun. So much life squeezed into one man lead me to question my limits on adventuring. Several lines I recall in particular, to paraphrase Sam;

We can change our lives, our work, our wardrobes, our women, but we never really change. Our essence remains constant. I’ve always felt outside the whole thing, sometimes more than others. As a writer  you have to be selfish with your time. I’m always moving, going on the road, I didn’t know that was how my life was going to turn out, but it did.  

That kind of admission for a floundering but dedicated writer will last me a while.  On documentaries; they don’t get enough attention. I hope this film tears that fence down and let’s the HONEST-REAL-BULLS come through.

HA HA SANTA FE


IN THE GALLERY- EVO GALLERY SANTA FE, NM

The panel of experts on appropriation and copyright of

images covered the recent case, Cariou vs Prince. I knew nothing about the case; but it

was a participation of audience and panel that really worked.  The humor on the panel did not

overcome, the man in the third row who was knitting.  Richard Prince, "Graduation" (2008) was widely cited throughout this case, and was one of the five pieces the Court withheld judgment on today (image via Fordham's IPLJ)

Today I saw a woman in her fifties walking past my house with a dog. She was wearing her apron.

Last week, my phone called Sam Shepard three times, instead of calling Stefanie.

 

DEADBEATS IF WE DON’T HAVE…


dsc01192.jpgThere is assurance that most of all, above the tasks, aspirations, dreams and commitments; we are dead beats without love. The feeling has to pass through our veins and arteries, as often as possible, from one suitor or another. You can love a moon in a black sky, as much as man in black suit. I believe the feeling it gives us is medicinal. It gives us something no other prescription can. That is why when sickness comes, all the love pours out from friends and family.

ADULT IS SHOUTING


The waking of an adult in a unwilling woman
Forever young is an idiom that I enjoy reading and humming in a song. In the honesty of thoughts, I feel the adult pushing through, and clawing it’s way into my perceptions, spirit, and creativity. The struggle is constant, because the adult has proven to be a protector, but lately she is interfering with my favorite toys. There it is, finally surfacing, and sounding off about trite irritations, suspecting, unyielding, distant, scrutinizing, and cowardly for being a little selfish.

This adult is more concerned with dust, and neat piles, then the sun beckoning my soul to a dance in the light, a trip to Greece, or a two-hour lunch and trip to the museum. The adult is pressing through the work plan, publication, interviews, the emails, and bills, the laundry, and a, the rain soaked rugs left outside, the weeds, and in between these tasks of productivity, the mind is rumbling like a tea kettle about to boil, about bumper sticker things I’d rather be doing. The rather be doing list drops down just before I go to sleep. I look at it blankly, and ask someone who never seems to answer; when am I going to begin the begin. If there is an absence of time to write, and the avoidance of time to play, then I am left with a very dry outlook. In the presence of my admission, is the sweep of rage that crosses over the keyboard. Yes, there is madness in an obsession to produce great things, bundles of money, inventions and art. In replacement, there would be gossip, self-absorption boredom, complacency, and trashy novels. Balance, as we know it today, means the consumption of everything we yearn for at more than moderate levels. That is also an idiom that I read about and hum in a tune, but it passes, and I am back to uneven feelings, and imbalances between laughter, and shouting.

I’M NOT LIEING


2013101095112653Photo credit to: LOREN TUPLER aka White Wolf.

 

The throw of the dice this week lands on adventures in livingness; friendships.

The subject pierced me yesterday morning, and came by way of Anais Nin, a passage in her diary. 
“Each friend represents a world in us, a world possibly not born until they arrive, and it is only by this meeting that a new world is born.”
Anaïs Nin, The Diary of Anaïs Nin, Vol. 1: 1931-1934    Today, the first in several months that the atmosphere is ripe with thought, and has brought me back to the writing of the moment. The delivery trucks have not opened their doors and dropped their ramps, the garbage trucks have already passed, and the traffic is so slight it feels like Sunday.

Fall is brushing nature with a varnish of  sunshine all day, the sky is swimming pool blue,  and so I sit in the garden on the lounge chair, shaded by the droopy elm tree.  I hear some cheerful shouting on the sidewalk, a horn breaks the sanctuary, and then a dove lands on the wooden lattice and we watch each other.  I breathe deep, close my eyes, and feel my noon time tuna sandwich thumping in my belly.

The stream of consciousness is threaded to the deeper blanket of anxiousness. I am going in circles, not physically like I have been moving from one bedroom to another, one closet to another to accommodate, the vacation rental guests. I am in the circle of chaos that seeps into every day activities. Tempers are flaring, combative street encounters rouse the hum of music on my porch, authoritarian behavior is exhuming from Managers and Owners, employees are jumping ship everywhere. People are relocating, selling possessions,  or using succulent lips and breasts to lease men for financial support. We are all a bit edgy.

 Just as we adapt to one highland of composure we lose another. On Yom Kippur I attended synagogue in Santa Fe. There were only a few empty seats, so I took one and opened my prayer-book. I tried to read the portion I missed but the two women behind me were chatting. The expectation of searching your soul does not come easy when two women are talking. The same annoyance follows me everywhere; I always end up seated next to the talkers. Whether it’s in on an airplane, a restaurant, or a movie theater, the talkers seem to trail me. The passages from Yom Kippur service remind us of: sensitivity, tolerance, love of thy neighbor, selflessness, jealously, and trust. There I sat, silently scolding the two women who continued to chatter and laugh. Rather than deter my soul-searching, I changed seats, and asked forgiveness for my intolerance. Above all my flaws and quirks, the altar of shame lies in the hiss of distrust. It is a hiss that rises from my gut, and enters my brain. It wasn’t always a malignancy; as a young adult I trusted everyone, unless they asked me questions about my Dad. In recent years, the tumor of trust has splintered  friendships.  The Rabbi chose the subject of trust as his closing narrative. He said that a person who suffers from lack of trust, runs the risk of becoming paranoid.  I sank lower on my inner backbone. Yes, that seepage of paranoia has invaded my trusting heart.   When I got home  Rudy was painting the new double pane door to my room. 

“How was the service? Hand me that screw will you?” He asked

“Guess what the Rabbi talked about?” I said and handed him the screw.

“Israel.”

“Well of course that’s embedded in the Torah. But his personal message was about trust.”

Rudy continued to insert the door into the archway with his screw-gun.   “You inherited distrust from your father, I don’t know if you can rid yourself of it.”

“I have to!”

“Good. I’m so hurt when you don’t trust me, I mean after thirty years.”

“You still lie.”

“They’re not lies; they’re white lies, so people don’t get hurt.”

“But I know when you’re lying.”

“I know you do.”

“And the lies really hurt.”

“Well then we’re both guilty.”

“You still don’t get it.”

“Yes, I do. You’re not listening to me.”

“You’re right. I’m about feeling, and you’re about telling. ”

 Why do we lie; is it to protect the other person’s feelings or

is it because we use deceit and dishonesty to get what we want,  If we could change a single human gene; it would be the fib factor. Just imagine how different our life would be.

REVOLUTION RUMBLINGS


I‘am stalked by a sensation of revolution; the upheaval of a crusted and molded foundation erupts and the contents spill into chaos. The spillage of this eruption is sparing political leaders. Everyday they appear more childish and temperamental.Your referee whistle is blowing, and spinning your diatribe into tongue twisting hollow promises.

The annoyance of conflicting orders robs me of my Aladdin (magic moments), and the mental sweep to clear out my conscience.  I feel like time is stained with stop signs, alerts, and too many laws. What happens is subtle, but when so much time is placed in soulless activities, life looses it’s Aladdin.  Even if you’re sitting at the local bistro and dining al fresco with perfectly agreeable friends, and chanting; our souls ache for reprieve.

Imagephoto by Dick Spas.

HOW MUCH MORE NEWS CAN WE TAKE


As a writer I read the newspapers; Wall Street Journal, USA Today, Los Angeles Times, New York Times, and the Santa Fe New Mexico papers, where I live.  I watch all the news stations. I quit MSNBC, cause Chris Mathews made me hyperventilate.  I think Charles Krauthammer is the most knowledgeable and sustainable journalist of our time.

Do to an act of nature, lightening, I lost Cable for a month. This was when Syria broke. No one talked about it here, and I felt the communities disillusionment. When my service was repaired, I turned on the news.  I felt more insulted than the time a young boy told me my legs were hairy.  Who did you think you are kidding? You want us to watch both sides fisting each other like a street gang!  Please someone tell them, the Press, chill out a bit and stop turning the news into a talk show.  You talk to us as we were mutes.  The Government has evolved as false as who we see in the mirror.  If you are plain you see beautiful, if you are beautiful you see plain.  I see you government, and I am ashamed.

I haven’t read the papers since June. This Thursday I went to the bank to make a deposit to cover my negative, and I looked at the newspapers on the customer coffee table.Image, My eyes shut after two headlines. How much more can we take? I really have lost track of priorities.

Should I get a job because my writing remains unrecognized. I need a retirement guidance counselor. I don’t like the title of financial advisor; they sound too rigid. Should I respond to the dreadful vacillation of American Policy. How much more debating can they do? It’s like when I worked in corporate real estate.  The meetings I attended and had to present were progress reports on whether I was an effective employee. I don’t know how I lasted as long as I did; my act was good, and I impressed some of the boys, but communication was too formal to bring out honesty. Maybe that’s what has evaporated in our government, or am I seeing it differently because I’ve aged into it slowly. I think it started when the cool shit act came about. Some artists have it,  Musicians, yea they got it, gangsta’s got it, but they always had it. Those of us who feigned cool acts, became feigned. Rambling now. Got to sweep fall leaves and start editing 350 columns.

I’m listing to Nessun Dorma, and I was thinking how much I detest all this multitasking. I can now handle five projects at once; write, sweep mop the floor, water plants, contemplate resolutions to my finances, all the while feeling my nerves tighten, and even though I stretch four times a day; this crushing operatic play in life is over strung.  I watch those Sandals vacation commercials and practically cry because how many of us haven’t had a vacation in years, or a chance to

play a round or golf or read More Magazine all the way through?

DON’T READ THE NEWS OR WATCH IT ON TELEVISION


[contact-form subject='[SMILEY%26#039;S DICE’][contact-field label="Name" type="name" required="1"/][contact-field label="Email" type="email" required="1"/][contact-field label="Website" type="url"/][contact-field label="Comment" type="textarea" required="1"/][/contact-form] I’m a creative nonfiction short story writer, and a  columnist on arts and lifestyle. I have never said one word about politics; I am not a debater, academic, or political science major.

As a writer I read the newspapers; Wall Street Journal, USA Today, Los Angeles Times, New York Times, and the Santa Fe New Mexico papers, where I live.  I watch all the news stations. I quit MSNBC, cause Chris Mathews made me hyperventilate.  I think Charles Krauthammer is the most knowledgeable and sustainable journalist of our time.

Do to an act of nature, lightening, I lost Cable for a month. This was when Syria broke. No one talked about it here, and I felt the communities disillusionment. When my service was repaired, I turned on the news.  I felt more insulted than the time a young boy told me my legs were hairy.  Who did you think you are kidding? You want us to watch both sides fisting each other like a street gang!  Please someone tell them, the Press, chill out a bit and stop turning the news into a talk show.  You talk to us as we were mutes.  The Government has evolved as false as who we see in the mirror.  If you are plain you see beautiful, if you are beautiful you see plain.  I see you government, and I am ashamed.

I haven’t read the papers since June. This Thursday I went to the bank to make a deposit to cover my negative, and I looked at the newspapers on the customer coffee table.Image, My eyes shut after two headlines. How much more can we take? I really have lost track of priorities.

Should I get a job because my writing remains unrecognized. I need a retirement guidance counselor. I don’t like the title of financial advisor; they sound too rigid. Should I respond to the dreadful vacillation of American Policy. How much more debating can they do? It’s like when I worked in corporate real estate.  The meetings I attended and had to present were progress reports on whether I was an effective employee. I don’t know how I lasted as long as I did; my act was good, and I impressed some of the boys, but communication was too formal to bring out honesty. Maybe that’s what has evaporated in our

government, or am I seeing it differently because I’ve aged into it slowly. I think it started when the cool shit act came about. Some artists have it,  Musicians, yea they got it, gangsta’s got it, but they always had it. Those of us who feigned cool acts, became feigned. Rambling now. Got to sweep fall leaves and

start editing 350 columns.

I’m listing to Nessun Dorma, and oil treating my hair. I was thinking how much I detest all this multitasking. I can now handle five projects at once; write, sweep mop the floor, water plants, contemplate resolutions to my finances, all the while feeling my nerves tighten, and even though I stretch four times a day; this crushing operatic play in life is overstrung.  I watch those Sandals vacation commercials and practically cry because how many of us haven’t had a vacation in years, or a chance to

play a round or golf or read More Magazine all the way through?

REARRANGING AND REMEMBERING


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September is the month to rearrange; wardrobes, patio furnishings, and thermostats. Heaters go upstairs, fans go downstairs, down blankets are released from plastic zip lock bags, and coverlets are removed. We seal the windows with weather stripping and my list notebook follows me everywhere.  If you live in the seasons then you understand that the menial work goes deeper as our bodies prepare for winter’s residency.
The interior change, what Anais Nin refers to as; ‘our emotional landscape,’ wakes to a chime of awareness. Now that I’ve completed all those mindless tasks, I’m ready to listen to the chime and renew the organism of emotion. On this brilliant film shooting day in September shadows of light, glaring light, brush the feathers of my wild birds as they tap dance from tree branch to feeder. Between the leaves that drop like confetti from the trees, the New Mexican sunlight feels like ten thousand flashlights in your face.
Summers postcard days flash on and off  as I write; Natives dancing at the Plaza in the wildness of fiesta to Latin and Mexican music, while Anglos freestyle a sort of slow rock and roll hippie dance.  I meet strangers and we exchange our exaggerated cheer and humor, during festivals, fiesta parades, and the burning of Zozobra.  These yearly events chisel the face of Santa Fe into a collage of New Mexico colors; magenta, orange, lime, and yellow surface on paper Mache flowers, streamers, and costumes.
     The phantasmagoria of my summer thumped one night in July during a Monsoon thunderstorm. My summer vacation rental guests were in the main house and I was in my casita sitting at the desk writing, with the door open. It was pouring rain, the kind of shower that explodes from the rain gutters like a tub faucet and those huge blue and white La Posada Hotel umbrellas seemed  race up the street unattended.  When the skirmish between warm air and thunderstorm collided, lightning seared the charcoal clouds and thunder bombed me out of my swivel chair.
      How rigid my body felt;  like hardened cement, but the phone rang and released me from this state of shock.
     “ LouLou, I think we have some issues in your house.”
I rushed over in my kimono (a writing uniform) and found the three of them stiff as statues. Young headlight deer eyes, all piercing me at once. 
     “ We saw sparks, and all the electricity is out. I think the lightning hit your house. ” 
     I didn’t’t know what to say; suddenly I was responsible for this rarity of nature’s behavior.  They clung to their cell phones, and watched as I feigned authority and calm by checking the blackened outlets. The electronics were silenced, appliances deadened, circuit breaker inoperable. I called my friend, White Zen, who doesn’t fluster easily.
      “I have to get help now. Right now! What should I do?”
     “I’ll call my electrician. He’s really good. Are you all right?”
     “No, not at all right.”
     “You want me to come over?”
     “No, but thanks anyway.”
     A few moments later, she called back.
  “ I pulled Phil out of Smiths Grocery. He’s on his way, she said with humor, enough to release a molecule of laughter from me.
     “ I can’t believe this. Do you know the chances of being hit by lightning?”
     “ No, but don’t take it personally.”
The funny thing is, I did. Other house disasters; like the time the plumbing backed up, or the historic windows wouldn’t’close didn’t’t have any comparison to this cataclysm.  Then my next door neighbor, the Architect, and professor of all topics informed me, “ Oh you’re in bad shape; you’re going to have to rewire the whole house.”
     Phil arrived within ten minutes, and I greeted him with a hug, more for support of someone’s appearance with tools than anything.While my quests and I tried to answer his questions, all of us at once, he went down to the basement, as we followed behind. Phil replaced something in the circuit breaker, and the lights came back on.  I clapped my hands but they didn’t’t join in;  they went back to texting.
     Then he tried the TV and stereo. The stereo is fried he said, but the television is okay.
     “What about our Wi Fi connection?” I asked.
     “The surge protector fried too. You have to call your provider. Good luck on that.  I’ll come back tomorrow, after you get PNM (City Electric) out here to check which panel.”
     “Which panel what?” I said.
He went into a Wikipedia explanation about the two hundred and fortyhouse voltage, and who is responsible for the outage. I followed Phil  outside after failing to soft stroke my tenants.  What made it even worse is they are musicians with the Santa Fe Opera and live sensitive structured lives.  One gal remained board stiff and and unblinking, the young man offered all of his technical support but his hands were trembling. The leader of the pack, who greets life with radiant optimism, was busy eating crackers in rapid succession.  I felt the responsibility of a mother, and so I assured them of my competence. Then I  slipped into jeans and T-Shirt, almost falling over as I raced across the street to La Posada and gulped a Martini. While I was still trembling, staff and guests gathered around me.
     The concierge said, “The lightning hit your house; I saw it from the window! Are you all right?”
     “ On no, a bar guest remarked and rubbed my back, ‘Oh Loulou, something always happens when you have guests, a waitress commented, and another broke out in a euphoric smile and said, Wow LouLou! What was it like?”
    “Ahhh. It’s not a humor story Ed; it’s a disaster!”
The electrical company showed up late that night, and poked little metal toothpicks into a box outdoors; a box I didn’t’t know existed.
     “Sorry Mam. Our panel is working fine. You’ll have to get the electrician to make further repairs. Wow! That lightning sure hit hard. Have a nice night. ” Ha Ha, I said and stumbled into my room. No Internet, no television and no music.  I slept with a pillow over my head.
     The next day Phil returned to trouble shoot everything.  My television and the house stereo blew out, so did the surge protector to our modem, and the electronic gate was broken. The guests couldn’t get their cars out of the driveway.  We pried the gate open, and they backed out in jerky anxious motion.
          A week later, in between substantial attempts to behave normally, all of us were still irritable, prone to trip, biting nails, and voices wavering over the tenseness that clipped our tongues.   It was never the same after that; our simpatico shared residency turned into staged friendliness.
     That’s the thing about lightning, it gets inside of you, and you are involuntarily rearranged.  My emotional landscape is naturally in a state of alarm. I startle easily, imagine voices, and see too much in the dark.
Too be continued.