Sunday, March 22, 2009

you can't go home again

okay, so the title's not original. i couldn't think of anything better. besides, titles can't be copyrighted. maybe this one will have a new meaning, though i doubt it.

in the shower the dream i'd had just before waking haunted me. it started as a very pleasant dream, myself in a city i enjoyed, finding a place to stay and thinking, 'i've got a bed, at least for a week.' then i met friends. ah, the terrible feeling of being connected to others, how long could it last? not long, it seems. first the two women disappeared down a hallway. then the actor pulled aside by someone offering help for his career. they vanished on a platform into the sky.

the beginning of the end. i tried to find the women, going from room to room in what seemed like a huge resort: dining rooms, a room full of leaping ambitious young ballet dancers auditioning, a jewelry and clothing store where i got lost among the racks.

i'd change tactics. go find my friend in the sky. fat chance. and we were on the way to hear irish music. where was my cell phone when i needed it? yes, there it was, but i was in a foreign country. and i didn't know the phone numbers of the others. i threw a handful of tortilla chips angrily into a potted plant. bang, bang, i hammered on glass obstructions, windows and doors.

and woke up upset i had to start the day with this particular incident.

no, not the first time i've tried to find my way back. and the lesson: i had to always go forward. i couldn't go back to the moment before i broke off a tooth or a love affair, said something stupid or lost my inflatable pillow on a bus! this was the new condition, the configuration of events i had to deal with, despite my desire to avoid it all.

how can we save ourselves from so many feelings of loss? basically, i can offer one word of advice. we constantly worry about our weaknesses and try to shore them up. FORGET IT. alas, what we do well bores us. GET BETTER AT IT. instead of just being a good actor become a great one. build on your strengths.

true, that means leaving a lot behind. unless forced, we don't want to give up anything, especially childhood. and why should we? to have a past enriches us. to try to re-create it, however, seems to make us forever poor. for example, i've realized my photographic strength is black and white. i've hundreds of photos i could convert from color. yet, when i go back and do a couple, i get bored. maybe someday, when i can no longer walk or have an interest in finding refreshing visions, i'll return to them and bring out the genius i think is there.

in the meantime, it's the first day of the rest of my life.