I saw Tick Tick…Boom! this afternoon at the newly reopened Paris Theater and it was the first film I’ve seen in years where the audience, unprompted by the presence of cast/crew (I see a lot of press/industry screenings), burst into spontaneous applause.
Given that the musical, written by Rent composer and playwright Jonathan Larson, centers on Larson’s struggle to write and produce a musical, it easily could have devolved into a super-grating ouroboros. In the hands of anyone more narcissistic or nihilistic (Charlie Kaufman), it would have. Instead Tick Tick illuminates how creating art—creating anything—invites us to move beyond projection and self-aggrandizement into communion with each other and the love always moving through everything.
Exactly what we need in these dystopian times.
Shoulder to shoulder, ogling a big screen only blocks from Times Square, we in that hodgepodge audience reconnected with the irreplaceable joy of being part of art simply by fully experiencing it, and were briefly united as one. It underscored how grateful I felt to still be in NYC, one of the few places Trumpism could never infect (a place from which he beat a hasty retreat) because it relies on that shoulder-to-shoulder coexistence—no one more important, everyone a star of their own uniquely technicolored musical. A place where we’re all performance artists just by showing up at the plate, and grudgingly loving each other for it.
Which loops back to diehard New Yorker Larson, who delighted in making and embodying art, not just wrapping it up with a bow and delivering it somewhere slick. Who embraced the joy of trying, no matter the result, and the inevitable shock of change, even his own demise. Who built worlds celebrating that joyful, grueling praxis.
Thus his death at 35, right before Rent ever saw a real audience, was not a sad story so much as uniquely his story. The crescendos always as important as the climax. The grace notes not codas so much as bittersweet refrains. Not untimely at all, but linked into kairos, also known as soul time– what truly endures.
Utopia (noun). Perfect place. No place. A place to which we’re always striving.
More than any moment in my memory, we Americans need to thread back to each other and our best selves. And from the other side, aided by Lin-Manuel Miranda and his fabulously staged cast (a “Moonlight Diner” scene alone is worth the price of admission), Larson still is activating that American experiment. If you can, see this film on a big screen, for the full re/sourcery of real life as magic and magic as real life. Even if you’re alone as I was–especially then, maybe–it will reconnect you to the intimacy of strangers, arguably the most beautiful artwork of them all. You may know it as the social contract.
Samhain, which occurs from October 31-November 1 eves, honors the end of harvest season and the beginning of the darker half of the year. (It’s no coincidence daylight saving time ends next weekend.) There are downsides galore to less sunlight, but it can deepen our faith–teach us to trust what we cannot see and to liberate our inner light. This is the time to commune with the dearly departed—anyone no longer on this plane who has fostered our mind, spirit, and heart. So how to do so?
Wear white to purify the energy field. Gather photographs, heirlooms, and other mementos of deceased family, guides, and companion creatures. Arrange them on a clear surface, along with votive candles and other decorations they may please them. Light the candles and call out their names and express gratitude and appreciation. Thank them for their guidance. And then sit quietly and listen, look, and learn. (In my practice many clients report unusual bird sightings!) Whatever you put out during this time tends to come back threefold so prepare to be awed.
Scorpio season activates our true lives and light by any means necessary. Book an intuitive reading for yourself or a loved one. Image by Betye Saar, doctored by yours truly.
This weekend marks the 12th anniversary of my Ruby Intuition practice. As the descendent of a long line of Jewish, Scottish, and Salem, Mass, witches, I’ve been clairvoyant since I was a kid. But it wasn’t until Halloween 2009 that the genius chefs of Brooklyn’s Saltie (RIP) hosted my first-ever tarot salon. Nervously nipping Powers whiskey—Becks relabelled the bottle “Psychic Powers” in her beautiful block letters—I dressed in gauze and gold and pulled tarot cards on their little bench, reading for many, many wonderful souls for whom I still consult today.
Since then I’ve learned a lot (including not to drink while giving readings) and have been honored to serve as conduit, mirror, and medium for your extraordinary transformation. My clients’ activation of joy, growth, and integrity gives me heart amid the great upheaval of our world. To celebrate, from 9am-6pm EST tomorrow (10/30) I’ll be giving the exact sort of tarot readings I gave that day. This is a one-time-only event.
Here’s how it works: Pick one category—1. Spirituality/Wellness 2. Love/Romance 3. Work/Money—and I’ll draw tarot cards to see what’s showing up in that part of your life. These 30-minute $55 sessions are Zoom or audio (your choice), and activate your intuition and optimal path, as well as supportive guides, ancestors, and highest selves. I’ve designed separate spreads for each category, and you are welcome to book more than one reading if you seek insight in more than one. ()
This is one of the most powerful times of the year. I am always awed by what—and who!— comes through, so I hope to read for as many people as possible. For old time’s sake, let’s lift the veil together.