I’m sitting with Grace by the window in a treasure trove of sunlight and clouds–of white fur and pleather cubes, and a sapphire velvet chaise lounge draped with blue-flowered and animal-printed pillows and throws. Joni is spilling over both of us and I’m trying to figure out which of us—me, Grace, maybe even Joni–fashioned this little alcove. The question fills me with more pleasure than the morning already has. Which is a lot, actually.
It sounds ridiculous, suggesting my cat arranged fabrics and furniture to create this robin’s egg dreamscape by the window. Can’t you see her dragging everything in her cunning little teeth? But if she didn’t actively arrange this child’s dream turned inside out, she certainly inspired it with her perfectly composed paws, her caramel stripes and gleaming eyes. With how she absorbs and exudes beauty.
What follows is a review adapted from a lecture I gave to the delightful Westchester film club, now relocated to the Emelin Theater. Perhaps it is of note that I dressed as Emma Goldman to deliver this. Perhaps instead I should have gone full hog and climbed a table bearing a UNION sign. Either way, I now petition you to see this in theaters when you can; it opens in New York today at Film Forum.
For 50 years, director Ken Loach has made films championing the British working-class. They’ve always been acutely observed but as he’s aged they’ve become brilliant. Sadly, that’s partly because they’re driven by a greater urgency–they connect almost too well to the social drama of these fraught times.
His last project, I Daniel Blake, brilliantly confronted the benefit and welfare systems. Now, at 82, he’s indicting the gig economy with this film about a Newcastle family whose delivery driver dad, home aide mom, and two kids live precariously check-to-check. This is the kind of movie that is as worthy as it is wrenching–not just for the social messages it delivers, pardon the pun, but for the portrait it paints of familial love in the face of larger pressures. Continue Reading →
Here in the last stretch of Mercury Retrograde, which officially ends March 10, we are mere weeks from Ostara (March 19)–the astrological new year as well as the beginning of spring, glorious spring. During this quiet nascent time, the line between death and life is as blurred as the line between winter and spring. Notice it in the stirring of the air, suddenly fresher, suddenly sweeter; in the quality and length of daylight; and at dusk–magic hour, my favorite hour, when we are held by everything to come as well as what’s come before.
It is as Alexander McCall Smith writes: The voices of the dead—you can hear them still, if you listen hard enough. Late people talking, like children after lights-out: the faint, distant voices of our ancestors.Now is not the time to act. It is the time to listen–to the earth, to the ancestors, to each other. For any true-soul guidance in these dark times.