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: