Friday, June 28, 2013

it takes a lifetime to write your obituary

my friend jeff asked me if i had any tips on his writing his own obituary. i immediately ordered three books sent to him, a cross-section from london and new york. and i've got two others for myself. writing your own obituary is not as easy as you think. i've tried it a couple of times. complete failure. all i can do is goof around:

      "It's very hard to be honest about yourself and probably not necessary...."

     "From now on, your only guardian is a neglected future."  
                                                                                                            (Mahmoud Darwish)

      "I decided to steal her shadow and replace my own with it."

      "Being remembered isn't the same as being alive."

       "Looking back, as I leave my body...."

        "I can't believe how much money I've spent on books."

         "Though born of a minister, Wayne overcame these scruples at an early 

i mean, how does it all add up? i've hidden a lot of my life, flying below the radar. i value my sense of humor most, but it's very, very sick! and i keep thinking, okay, i encouraged independence in individuals. what a terrible mistake. only kids who follow the path their parents set out for them have a decent life: family, cars, jobs. pushing rebellion onto the unprepared definitely a mistake and a no-no. 

hmm, i used to place great emphasis on my travels, 40 countries and so on. alas, anybody who can buy and plane-ticket and backpack can do the same. and as for romance, i thought i'd succeeded in this department without leaving any illegitimate children. the latter fact may or may not be true. i keep waiting. unfortunately, i now give myself a two on a scale of ten. why was i in such a hurry?

hey, there's an idea. he lived life like it was a marathon. not bad, too honest, but not bad. 

         "Unfortunately, he was short-winded."

          "The race goes to those who play it safe, and needless to say..."

           "He always wanted to get it overwith."

            "Everytime he got to the top, he found a higher mountain ahead of him."

             "He lived for art and poetry and hoped he had a bit of talent. Little did 
                    did he know, like all young people he underestimated the 

well, this is certainly fruitless! maybe if i finish it, i'll die. no sense tempting fate.  humbling, humbling: maybe i should be worried about what others say of me? now there's a disparaging thought.

did i end up making momento mori last nite:


Friday, June 21, 2013

i always want to start all over again

no wonder i never get anywhere! how can i become a genius if i always begin again, go back to basics, the primitive sources, trying the correct all the mistakes i've made later? trouble is, the ecstasy  is in beginning. poetry, for example, i remember the excitement of discovering it, of simply not understanding its language. for six months i tripped on it, hiking a sierra trail and hiding behind trees to avoid people. how  thrilling to find my first poetic image coming from myself. "the dead branches curled up like ibex horns."

okay, not a fantastic image, i grant you, but my own. i began to see correspondences, resemblances, and reading lots of books, i discovered all poems about love and death, that the key to their cryptic inscriptions. for forty years the impulse kept pounding through me. finally, when i could no longer fall in love, idealize a human woman as the muse, i came sadly to the end of it. all i can do now is philosophize. what a poor substitute! 

yes, i want that thrill of discovery back, like alfred hitchcock did when he made psycho. he renewed himself by putting everything he had on one cast of the dice. what if i did move to australia, dashed my past, adopted a new name, pretended i'm younger than i am, could i recapture my discovery of the stage, six months of going to at least two shows a week, often the same one, in the foggy streets of san francisco? after thirty years at it i could be sure of writing a workable play and directing an exciting production. 

alas, so many things i like to do only once: make a movie, go to russia, choreograph a dance. not exactly false starts, they fulfill a certain impulse immediately, usually when i'm not enamoured of the process. and what shall i do now? yes, i have a special insight into acting. damn, i never wanted to teach and have to repeat myself like a parrot. the same with being a parent. all those basic questions i ask myself, how could i ever have the answers for a child?

ah, i know it's all a desire for the wonder of learning to spell dog and sailing away under my own steam on a bicycle for the first time. those initial triumphs, nothing like them. can i kid myself again and say,   i don't really have arthritis in my spine and in reality, my kidneys operate at full capacity.  can i pull the wool over my eyes, wear rose-colored glasses, chug enough viagra to put my primary organs back in order? perhaps, perhaps, if life were only mind over matter. maybe it is and i just can't remember it, and that's why i need to learn to spell dog all over again. 

              let's give those transformations a review:


                                                                                            Andre' Gide

Thursday, June 13, 2013

"We shall cool the black sun/Of its savage, insomniac passion." (Osip Mandalstam)

Pagan Spring:

"Life is energy, and energy is creativity. And, even when we as individuals pass on, the energy is retained in the work of art, locked in it and awaiting release if only someone will take the time and the care to unlock it."

                                                                                                    Marriane Moore 

Saturday, June 8, 2013

hmm, what is privacy, anyway?

  "The internet broke the private-public wall: Impulsive and inelegant utterances that used to be kept private are now available for literal interpretation."
                                      Nassim Taleb

Fracturing the light: a government snooping program called 'Prism.'

If everything were known about you, what would happen?

Are they also looking for acts of generosity?

These huge technological companies are the government. 

The problem has become too much information. 

Tell them more than they want to know, it will confuse them.

You got out of the draft by telling them you wanted to kill people. 

Type is hype. 

Can technology keep ahead of our stupidity?

Personal privacy may be far important to the state than it realizes.

Privacy equals vitality. 

We've always complained no one listens to us. Now we're upset when we find out the government does. 

Am I really that interesting? Who would care to know so much?

Americans aren't very sensitive to silence.

Of course, there's always the danger a confused government will harm innocent people. 

Innocence is done by the young, and practised by the aged. 

Innocence is relative to your point of view. 

The extreme right would control my actions, the extreme left my thoughts.

Terrorist vocabulary used to advertise every thriller, horror, mystery movie made.

A therapist doesn't have the freedom of a psychic. 

The extreme left makes the personal political in order to invade the deepest recesses of our being. 

An inefficient government leaves the people free.

Don't make an institution your parent. They don't know love. 

Increasing knowledge expands delusions. 

Guilt comes from unshared knowledge. 

Those who say thank you don't need to pray.

The heart of America is invention. 

By the time we got to the other side he'd learned to paddle. 

     "The very act of observing disturbs the system"

                                                                         Werner Heisenberg. 

9/11 letters (excerpts) oct. 24 - nov. 26, 2001: