Forever Our Prince

If you’re feeling extra magic muscling you through this TGIF, that’s Prince for sure. Today would have been his 61st birthday, which makes this date National Prince Day forever, and that’s a mighty long time. Goddess knows he’s not releasing his hold on us, and that’s because he never did while he shared our plane. Til the end he listened better than anybody and moved everything–pelvises, hearts, heads. Til the end he never devolved into a mockery or monster. Til the end he offered a profoundly universal intimacy. Til the end he was old-soul transcendent and new-world bawdy, what with his beautiful, poly-everything, Gem-in-Gemini originality. And now he reigns as a third-eye winking where you least expect it and most need it. He’s showing us what silence looks like.

The Quiet Revolution of ‘Diane’

What follows is a film talk I gave a few months ago on Diane, about a 60something New England widow struggling to reconcile with her past and the ravages of time. I always loved talking to the now-defunct Westchester Film Club, but it was especially meaningful to discuss this small, mostly overlooked indie with them. N.B. To read this, it’s not necessary to have seen the film, but I encourage you to do so. It’s one of the best of the year.

I consider Diane a quiet revolution of a film.

Its median age is above 60, everyone is lower middle class, and it is is mostly populated by women–the kind of bossy, pointedly unpretentious women who are the backbone of every New England town I knew growing up. For that matter, this film stars Mary Kay Place, whose plainspoken, peevish manner I’ve loved ever since Mary Hartman Mary Hartman, and who has deserved a hefty starring role ever since. That Diane also costars the great Andrea Martin in a rare serious turn, Joyce Van Patten, and Estelle Parsons speaks to how unobtrusively grownup-feminist this film is. Even the crew is mostly female. Continue Reading →

Be Here Next: Mercury’s Mixed-Up Parade

I never permit my Ruby Intuition clients to tape our sessions.

My reasoning is simple. When people know they can watch or listen to something later, they tune out of the moment. And when they’re not present, they’re almost impossible to access so the sessions become useless.

It’s not like I don’t let my clients take notes. Some take a ton. But writing, like reading, is active. Even the act of transcription requires engagement. And when we really engage in a moment–any moment–it transforms us, transformation being the foundation of any practical magic. Continue Reading →

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