Tuesday, June 19, 2012

The art of writing

Can one achieve art by writing for a few minutes, hours, daysand days?  Can it be art if it's like the tree that falls before no one else's eyes?  Can my eyes see my own artfulness?  Can I trust what I see?

These questions pester my pondering, painful approach to getting something accomplished in this write-a-thon.  The mountain of doubt I live on is suddenly evident and no longer hidden beneath the daily plod.

So far, I've restructured the meaning of one of my poems and started a short story.  But having done so I don't feel the wonder I expected.  What did I expect?

Better yet, what am I getting?  See the above AND add a wonderful sense of collegiality from Facebook convivialities.  I've already been to Kississame, FL and back, sent photos, seen pictures of the faces whose writings I intend to meet.  And don't forget, Nicola, man we all owe her a beer or two.  Okay, so things aren't so bad and I've written and thought about what to write for three days.

What I expected is this feeling of failing I sometimes find my self . . .

Monday, June 18, 2012

Second day blues

A problem identified is a problem solved.  I read too much, too fast, digest, regress, too much.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Don't ask me not to tell . . .

Two things: First, T and I are watching Glee while discussing the recent stay of the military's Don't Ask, Don't Tell rule. She said she understood the reluctance to change the rule since the idea of "rude sex" as she called it was still hard for her to stomach. My usual counter to this is to point out the flaw in taking the word of this "christian" based hypocrisy as accurate because it has no basis in fact. This discussion took us our usual direction until we reached the point in the show where Kirt sings his duet from both sides. Watch the episode and you'll see what I mean.

Second, I just finished reading Sara Paretsky's, Body Work. If you haven't read it yet be advised that one or two of the main characters are lesbians and there is quite a bit of criticism directed towards the ongoing war in Iraq.

Which lead me to the third thing: The thing that is really wrong about this whole policy. We, by implementing this rule, are asking our soldiers to, if they are gay, lesbian, or tran, to actually go it alone. No loved ones to talk them through the fear, no helpmate to share the constant stress, no outlet, except a secret and stressfilled one, to let them make it through the fight. It is wrong to ask this of anyone who is in a war.

What is being constantly demonstrated in the real world, outside the military base, is that we as a culture are discovering that honesty and openess about our sexuality is good not bad or dangerous as those military geniuses would have us believe. What is being demonstated by our country's reluctance to change this policy is our own fear of the other, and how this fear makes us blind to the very real effect that this policy does have on the ones we are asking to go it alone.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Thelonius and Monks in general

The strangest thing happened the other day. My youngest son chose this blog to break radio silence by telling of his new interest in reading the biography of Thelonious Monk. My son plays guitar. Rock n Roll, and Country Rock too. I thought. But things change and certainly it is possible that for some reason so has he. Monk of course is a fascinating subject to study if you are a musician. Especially a self taught one like my son. Wikipedia had this to say:

Thelonious Sphere Monk[1] (October 10, 1917 – February 17, 1982) was an American jazz pianist and composer who, according to The Penguin Guide to Jazz, was "one of the giants of American music".[2] Monk had a unique improvisational style and made numerous contributions to the standard jazz repertoire, including "Epistrophy," "'Round Midnight," "Blue Monk," "Straight, No Chaser" and "Well, You Needn't."

Often regarded as a founder of bebop, Monk's playing later evolved away from that style. His compositions and improvisations are full of dissonant harmonies and angular melodic twists, and are impossible to separate from Monk's unorthodox approach to the piano, which combined a highly percussive attack with abrupt, dramatic use of silences and hesitations.

Monk's manner was idiosyncratic. Visually, he was renowned for his distinctively "hip" sartorial style in suits, hats and sunglasses. He was also noted for the fact that at times, while the other musicians in the band continued playing, he would stop, stand up from the keyboard and dance for a few moments before returning to the piano. One of his regular dances consisted of continuously turning in a counterclockwise fashion, which has drawn comparisons to ring-shout and Sufi whirling.
Which brings me to the other strange thing. Buddhism. I love the story telling skill of John Burdett and his mysteries of Bangkok. I just started reading the fourth in his series, The Godfather of Kathmandu.

How this all comes together with my son's visit, I'll have to let you know.

Friday, February 05, 2010

Waiting for Godot . . .

I always remember the first time I saw this play. Lakeside, CA 1969, Cathy Fogerty and I team teaching and deciding that there was much to be learned from Beckett's play. But I hadn't seen the play, I had just the synopsis from Cathy and she seemed to think it had merit. So it starts. Oh, did I mention we were watching it via a video taped copy from KPBS? And it starts, and starts and starts again. And we are all like waiting, you know, for something to happen.

I think I read Joseph Heller's, Something Happened, at about this same time period. Anyway, nothing much occured. Just us, waiting for some dude named Godot (pronounced Goh-Do) never comes. Kinda' like the end of this fucking war in Iraqistan.

Which reminds me of what was said, "The air is full of our cries. But habit is a great deadener."

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Our own little tea party

Why not, I woke up thinking. Why not form our own little version of the tea party movement? We are certainly fed up enough. We are certainly done with trying to cooperate while we are asked to wait. We do have a real agenda of concerns that need to be acted on. So why the hell not?

But first, lets go see what the tea party network is already doing. I took the time to join up and then look around, starting with the ning network guidelines where I found the following strictures against posting:

in a manner that is libelous or defamatory, or in a way that is otherwise
threatening, abusive, violent, harassing, malicious or harmful to any person or
entity, or invasive of another's privacy;

in a manner that is harmful to minors in any way;

in a manner that is hateful or discriminatory based on race, color, sex,
religion, nationality, ethnic or national origin, marital status, disability,
sexual orientation or age or is otherwise objectionable.

And yet, at the Tea Party site there were quite a few malicious and harmful videos and comments being posted. Hmmm. I guess I'll be seeing if the taplin blog got it right when he suggested the Republican Tea Party is a closed movement.

Meanwhile, back to my original thought. Why not do our own tea party thing? I think a full page ad in the LA Times would be a great place to start. I'll be back when I find out how much that would cost and if the Times guidelines would restrict us saying what we want to say.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Little Bee, two

So I finished the story and I was gratified by the discovery that the tale was well told. Little Bee and Charlie and Sarah and Lawrence and all the bit players from soldier/killers to killers/antiimmigrantracists rang true. We do live in a world where harm blends with happiness and where courage is used to face every new day. We live in a world where a fellow like President Obama, who professes to want to end war, can continue the war in Afghanistan. We live in a world where neocons can disrupt town halls but protesters can't parade any where near a political convention. We live in a world where the banks have the money, get the money, make the money and the people don't. We live in a world where despite all of that a story like Little Bee can end with hope for a new tomorrow and Rambo can finally go home.

Little Bee

I am a firm believer in the serendipitous. So I find it no coincidence that last night while perusing the tv menu, T and I came across a Sylvester Stallone flick and began to watch it. We are North Americans after all and violence on film attracts us. We love to watch the Die Hard series, and this one, was a Rambo though we were sure we had never seen it before. For one thing Rambo looked old and for another, Julie Benz from Dexter was playing the love interest. But it wasn't til after the destruction of the village scene that I felt compelled to find out when and for that matter what this movie was called. 2008 and Rambo. So it was the comeback film we had heard about but weren't able to see in the theater.

But back to the scene. One moment, it's Doctors without Borders doing their thing in a sleepy jungle village and the next it is a war zone filled with flying bodies, burning huts, raped women and total wanton destruction. Too real, too realistic. T and I looked at each other and asked why would any human being do that to another? What reason could they have? Religious belief, a village built on top of valuable oil, political disagreement, or just destruction because they could?

Which brings me to Little Bee, Chris Cleave's 2008 novel about two women who meet through the happenstance of war, one from Nigeria and the other from England. I am half way through the story but still, here come the same questions, why and how can this be happening in the same world where T and I sit and watch Sly retaliate with more than equal violence?

Is it because we sit and watch? The Rambo film is simplistic in its answer. "You can't change anything.", he says. Cleave on the other hand maybe going for something different. A subject for my next post.