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Rise and Toil and Thank Your Lucky Stars

I woke thinking about how, when I was a kid, you’d still encounter elders with numbers tattooed on their arms. If you were a Jewish child in the 1970s, you knew those numbers were not like other tattoos. You knew they were from the Camps. And even if you didn’t entirely understand what the Camps were, you knew they were the worst places imaginable, that they haunted your grownups more than dark closets and spiders could ever haunt you. I woke thinking about all this, and it made me dive immediately into my writing rather than succumb to the hour of lollygaggging and whining that usually precedes my book production. Because I am free to do what I think I’m meant to do, and I cannot take that for granted, especially in Trump’s America. My line did not survive so that I could merely sit on my ass. None of our lines did.

Love and Darkness, Green Days and Rain

I was so sad in my last post. More than sad, I was hopeless.

And I guess people aren’t accustomed to such despair from me. I’m glad they’re not, actually. And I’m even gladder for the subsequent outreach.

Subconsciously it’s probably why I put my great despair out there. Sometimes you don’t see the light unless you acknowledge the darkness from which it emerges. And a big source of light in my life are the people who do see me, and are loving and gracious in their perceptions. Are gentle with my heart.

Last week’s rain came right from my own body. I’d wept enough tears that they manifested as a nasty summer cold–sinuses streaming, fevers and body aches, all that natural-unnatural drama. Supernatural, too.

K and his kid dropped by impromptu Saturday evening with supplies and sardonic sweetness, their specialty for as long as I’ve known them as a dynamic duo. We sat on my dirty rug while I rasped like an inadvertent torch singer and Grace wove in between our legs. Everything under the sun got discussed except for the things that would have just hurt more. Then we even talked about those things because by then nothing hurt. My sweet sardonic friends kept me company until I was ready for bed, and then traveled back into the good night because they go to sleep just as I wake. Still sniffling, I floated in that darkness, grateful that K and I could fuse a real friendship from the embers of our failed expectations of each other. Continue Reading →

Mars Retrograde’s Paradigm Shuffle

I wake before the sun and shuffle into the kitchen to fix Gracie her breakfast and brew my coffee. I sit by the window, watch the doves bicker gently as they set up a new nest on my fire escape. Babies coming, I think, and pour coffee and heated cream into my biggest mug and shuffle back into the bedroom with a sated Gracie nipping at my heels.

I do not turn on a film. This is momentous.

When anything ominous looms on my horizon, I watch a film before beginning the day. I can rationalize the viewing by nodding to my ostensible profession of the last two decades–muppet critic, at your service–but lately I’ve come to wonder if the profession itself developed as the ultimate rationalization.

As dissociation devices go, a chosen profession is not so bad.

Lately, I have been watching an awful lot of early-morning movies. Yesterday, I watched Singin’ in the Rain. It’s a wonderful film. Certainly the best metamusical ever made–the best metamovie, period. I chose it in honor of the nation’s birthday–Debbie Reynolds in gold and pink spangles, popping out of a cake while my man Gene Kelly beams broadly and drawls: “Well, if it isn’t Ethel Barrymore.” Continue Reading →

"All, everything I understand, I understand only because I love."
― Leo Tolstoy