Just as nature loves a pattern, abhors a vacuum, and chaos leads to order, so goes my blog…finding itself, perhaps, emerging from the mess. Maybe it’s a good day today, as I am equating natural order with making a kind of sense, making form, growing from single-celled organism into beautifully complex human beings.
On a bad day, I might see only the raw, random forces of destruction, assured that a kind of cruel chance rules us all. In that case, my blog here makes no real progress, condemned to repeat itself and swirl into meaningless over time. Okay, what side of the bed does one wake up on, anyway? And does reference point not shift during the week, the month, the year, sometimes by the hour?
So last week, I let the calendar spark my fingertips to press “Publish,” surrendering to the cut and dry measurement of time to set my words forth. It occurs to me now that using Mondays to write my blogs may bring a modicum of order to these missives. Maybe I’ll call them Monday Musings…being prone to name things, as I am…This may lean toward list-making, so clean, so deceptively simple.
Last Monday I wrote a list of things I got WRONG in 2019. Here’s a list of things I got RIGHT in 2019. (note how much shorter it is.)
- Took a sabbatical from teaching at the college.
- Was a student at a different college.
- Tried to be more visible online, jumping fully into more social media.
- Tried to get away from social media because it was having a deleterious effect on my state of mind.
- Made a website and started writing my blog. I committed myself to this work.
- Gave myself permission to ignore my blog in favor of my other creative endeavors. I broke my commitment.
- Gave myself permission to feel affection and devotion and loss – about my dad’s death.
- Gave myself permission to feel relieved – about my dad’s death.
- Gave myself permission to sing.
- Gave myself permission…
(Okay, this is not an exhaustive list, but I do not want to pummel you with self-help affirmations here. There’s more than enough of those floating out there in the ether.)
More Monday Musings:
- Everyone is back to the grind, all semblance of celebratory freedom has ceased, and January brings forth a long haul of dreary chores. For me, this means sticking to my tasks without waiver, using the cloudy, cool mornings to compose. You?
- The government shut down drags on—did you miss the memo on this? I agree with David Brooks (he’s my favorite moment in the world of TV news) who so beautifully articulated how we have entered our days of “theater” now; all practical, common sense for a common good has disappeared. Maybe I like the use of “theater” here as an antithesis of common sense. Hmmm?
- Nancy Pelosi and the veterans of Congress are not too shaken by the whirling enthusiasm and youthful blunders coming into the House… I’m all for the passion of the new blood, but I’m equally compelled by the parental, cautionary tone by the elders. I’m no prude, but keep “mother fucker” out of the public discourse. We can argue about this, I’m open…
- Confession – when the headline suggested that Julia Roberts made a fashion statement of sorts at the Golden Globes with her toe nails, I opened the article. Oh no, yes, I did! I hurl vitriol at such things—augh, all these award shows that continue to reinforce how important these celebrities are, in case we missed that memo too –some people are beautiful, successful and important…then there’s the rest of us. Who gives a fuck about someone’s gown when the homeless encampment by Home Depot off of Fruitvale in Oakland has grown every day for a month? Who gives a fuck about Julia Roberts’ s golden toe rings? I guess I do. Fuck! I hate that.
- Is it possible that “Post Truth” (a book title and cultural nomenclature for these times) is finally a reflection of the general agreement among philosophers, scientists and artists that truth is relative at this point? Maybe politics and journalists are just coming around to a realization that Einstein posited long ago, and that many of us have been exploring our whole lives?
- LANGUAGE ALERT: I take issue with the term, “Hot Flash.” No, no, no, it is no “flash.” It is a wave, starting at the edges of the skin, the arms, and the trunk…the heat travels upward, a surge, a pressing wave of heat, rising up the cheeks and forehead. It doesn’t happen in a flash, and it isn’t over in a flash. I’m quite certain that Hot Waves are not random, but driven by something as subtle as a quick thought; something is triggered, a valve flipped…I am also certain that we don’t know squat about hot waves, and yet millions suffer from every day! The fact that we name them inaccurately reflects our ignorance. This is political, time for a march on Washington.
- I’m doing a solo show, art thingy, part of my series called ARTTALKS, at the end of the week. Yes, the theater artist in me is alive and well, needing to jump around in real time and real space…but I still wonder if all that performance is still rooted in an adolescent need for attention? Theater seems like a childish art form, really, generated mostly by arrested development. Sigh. Does Chekhov’s mastery fall into this category? On second thought…
- “How you do one thing is how you do everything.” This is a quote from a sweet, slim little book on Zen Buddhism. Oh, could it be true? Food for deep thought.
- I saw an old boyfriend over the Holidays. Cold night. Warm Peets. Almost 40 years have passed…want the details? Let me know… He still wants to be a writer, going on 5 decades. I remind him of one thing: Writer’s write. He doesn’t.
- Confession: I found that chatting with an online assistant for Verizon strangely satisfying. Some stranger typing to me, responding to my questions so directly, Wow. His little “got it” comments and “what can I do for you?” conjured warm, full feelings…Had I found a new friend without subscribing to Match.com? Why do I assume it was a male? There’s a new play in there, don’t you think?
Back to the playpen.
3 thoughts on “Monday Musings”
It’s me again (Liz), now a secomd time reader. As usual, I find that if I look at two things that are not identical, I tend to like one more than the other. Is it because one is cleaner, shorter, more concise, colorful…? So I am going to say flat out that I liked last week’s blog more than this one. So I thought, “Is she sliding downhill or am I ?” Realizing that a sample size of two never works well in any kind of statistical analysis, I decided to read all of your previous blogs. Not enough. Poured over your poetry and prose, watched an old interview of you as well as some theatrical work (even a play you had written that I found at the community college library). In other words, BINGED OUT ON LEPELL ! Now I feel like I have a good sample size with which to work. Three of my ex-husbands are also on board. The consensus is that no matter how much you give us, we always want more.
Rachel, you are a writer. You have given us all hope with your two simple words…writers write.
Oh please…don’t look any videos please…augh… but thanks again and say hello to the dead husbands for me.
Sometimes acting is a childish thing–full of people who are strutting their stuff for attention.
Sometimes the magic that happens on stage changes everything.
You never know what is going to show up — the jerks or the magic, but I am always willing to risk the former for the latter.