Monday, June 25, 2007


remember: stop and smell the roses
they are all around you
the only obstacle: you must be looking

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

the best book ever and Visibility

The book is called The History of Love and it is by Nicole Krauss. I think it may be the best book I ever read. I have felt this way about other books before, and they still hold a special place of course-- they may be the most complex, or the smartest, or the funniest, but OVERALL, I think The History of Love now takes my top prize. Oftentimes while I was reading it I felt my eyes sort of fill up with water, not that I was crying, but I felt Ms. Krauss created a world so full and recognizable to me-- I actually felt I was living it. ANd that best kind of living-- the feeling like you get not so much while you are ON the Cyclone at Coney Island, but,-- right after. ALIVE. wow.
Also, I felt a little bit psychic while I was reading the book. At the beginning the area where a main character lives is described in loose detail. I pictured 504 Grand Street on the Lower East Side. I pictured that corner and the locks on the doors there. At the end of the book-- it gives his address. 504 Grand!!!
Also, there is a story within the story regarding a blind photographer and his desire to document all that he is close to, in case he ever does get his sight back, so he will know what his life looked like, people he loved, etc. When I was 18 I went to Europe and on my first night abroad, in London, I wrote my dad a letter about a story I was starting to write with just this manner of blind photographer. Funny. Especially because this sort of seamlessness of authorship is one of the touchstones of the story.
anyway, READ this book. It will possibly change your life.

also: a quick theory. The book got me thinking a lot about invisibility and our actions to be sure we are not invisible... and I was thinking 'blogs' are sort of an act of Making Visible. Probably so many people feel they have no one to share their stories with. But maybe putting them out into the ether/waves, they fell better. Less lonely. I am not sure. But I happened upon this blog and it seems to argue in favor of that. It always freaked me out a little when boys wanted to show me their journals. Especially if I was not in love with them. It is awkward. But maybe it is different if it is a stranger. Maybe.

Monday, June 11, 2007


I had the most vivid dream last night:
I left LA in a storm, not rain or wind, but an emotional one
like when you storm off because you are angry at a person or a situation and you want to make sure everyone knows it, and they feel bad, and miss you, and really want you to come back and they will do whatever will make you happiest, or at least that's what you're hoping for...
like that, I got in my car, and then I got off an airplane (jump cut I guess, remember, this is a dream), and I was in Australia.
I wasn't jet-lagged because the travel was instantaneous.
I had only a small nap-sack and no plans or expectations whatsoever. I saw all this lush greenery, sort of sloping levels, and you could walk along switchbacks and have this great view and there were only rugged, interesting people passing by-- like I have seen at Macchu Pichu, or in Haleakala, and I had this feeling of intense excitement but also sadness, because in the dream I had to get back to LA. To go to brunch. That was literally what was pressing on me to leave. I felt that I had only the amount of time it would take me to make my way from the top of the plateaus along the narrow paths to the ocean down below. A man approached me and at first I thought he was trying to sell me something and I was dismissive but then he was very kind and wise and he understood my parameters and my predicament. You see, I have always wanted to go to Australia, I used to be obsessed with it, and I recently got invited to go, and I didn't go, and that is not the kind of decision I would have made a few years ago, I would have gone, and it is interesting how things change, but it is powerful for me to be aware of these changes at least...
So, anyway, this young man showed me a way around my problem, we went into a tunnel in the side of the slope and there was a whole world in there. This stranger was my guide and my friend. We had an incredible adventure and for much of the time I stopped thinking about time and the boat I had to rush to in order to make it back to my home. To the people I love. So that I wouldn't hurt their feelings or something Which is funny, because of course most people who really love you really only want you to be happy. To feel free and safe and great.
So, the dream ended with me trying to figure out what to do, if I should stay, or if I should get to the boat. I felt more than satisfied but then I kept asking myself-- what am I really rushing back for? What is there waiting for me?
I woke up at 5:30 with lots of crust around my eyes and wanting to fall back into it, to find out, to be there, with my friend and all that Australia represents to me...

I wonder what would have happened next!

Wednesday, June 6, 2007


I am writing this in flight over the western states—not the Rockies, but the places where crossroads look like new geomtric forms—straight and simple in their exactitude. It is such a clear day I almost feel like I am flying free, with nothing separating me from the vastness and the gravity. I feel my own weightlessness though.
I was away. I went home to Boston and also to Cape Cod. I spent most of the time in Wellfleet, which is a magical otherworldly place. It feels like you might be at the edge of the world, which is kind of funny since apparently the Pilgrims first stopped in nearby Provincetown on their voyage but, finding it too rocky, … they continued on to Plymouth. (Why don’t they spell it Plimoth like they used to?) Wellfleet was also home to the first translatlantic radio broadcast, in 1906, by President Teddy Roosevelt. The name is most often assumed to be some version of Whale Fleet, and from 1670 to 1740 there was an active tavern in Wellfleet of which a few artifacts remain. It was probably a magical, nutso place back then too, since whalers would come in after weeks at sea seeking, well, I can only imagine the most debaucherous versions of human interaction. That was on a place called Great Island, which is the most pristine of beaches and sadly, a large-bird graveyard. If its got to happen somewhere though I can think of worse final resting places. During his presidency Kennedy actually made the Cape Cod sea shore a nationally-protected park… so, it is especially lovely.
Anyway, a few highlights of my time:
There is a swamp which you can access at Marconi Beach which is the playing field of all Cape-area frogs and fairies… Grimm’s Tales crossed with the Lord of the Rings and you are starting to get a picture… there is a wooden plankway low and unobtrusive but making it possible to wander through. It brought me back to my days in Brooklyn/Paradise doing Gale Gates et al’s performance installation of the Divine Comedy. [Always a great place and time to return to in my mind—I think the performance is enough fodder for even one-time viewers to have images to last a lifetime. Big ups Gale Gates!]
A sunset party in Truro at one of those ten little grey cottages you see in all the paintings and photographs. When you stand at the top of the dune you really have the sense that life has not changed in these environs for at least 50 years. Simple and still and the ocean being enough to entertain indefinitely. [Thank you Jessa and the Bomb Shelter for being such a fine meeting place]
The play MOJO at the Wellfleet Harbor Actor’s Theater (WHAT). Personally I think Adam Harrington stole the show… so what if I am a bit biased. I saw it 3.5 times and I got more out of it each time. By the third time the interesting and sometimes awkward threshold/device of theater was gone. I was transported and engaged and cared deeply for the characters and their suffering and their livelihoods. Adam Clem (as “Baby”) was also a standout for me, capable as he was at capturing his character’s vulnerability and bullying sociopathy. The complexity of his eye movements, (not when he was looking at things, but when he was thinking about things, or remembering, or listening), reminded me of the Wooster Groups’ Kate Valk—and for me, she is the top.
Mac’s Shack, and the Harmon Gallery, food and wine and art, in this case, with family and friends. I especially enjoyed the Martini glass appetizer filled with tuna and avocado, tomato, and with homemade tortilla chips. If you go there—you’ve got to try this. I don’t really eat fish and I just couldn’t resist—which is saying a lot!
[there is a Madonna video on the airplane system and god, is she in good shape. Inspiring really. And Par Cours—it looks so fun and easy—ahh, an illusion I’m sure]
Then, in Boston:
I went to the Codman Academy graduation and it was probably the most inspiring experience I have had this year. The school was started by my mother, and just finished it’s 7th year. It is in Codman Square, Dorchester, in Boston. There are too many moments to share here but as it is also the MOST-documented school in America if you are curious to learn more there is no doubt a bevy of media sources available for your perusal. One tidbit I have returned to in the past few days though was from a teacher’s speech to the class—though it actually highlights words from a student. The teacher spoke movingly about one particularly hard day hours before the then-juniors were to begin performing their original hip-hop opera called “Diallo.” Students didn’t know their lines and were disappearing in droves to get their hair braided or get pedicures! Aaron said he was losing it, yelling, probably waving his arms, when he felt a hand on his back and a quiet voice whispering to him… “Aaron, love yourself. Love yourself.” Ahh, a lesson Aaron had been trying to teach the students over the four years he spent teaching them Humanities. Clearly, he taught them well. They spent the first minutes of each class meditating and the graduation was no different. He led them through a meditation asking them to ‘close their eyes, and feel this moment. Feel the warmth and love and support in the room. The pride. The glory. This was the moment of their high school graduation.’ You could have heard a pin drop despite the entire Huntington Theater being packed to the gills. [I wish I had thought to meditate at my own graduation—I might remember it better!!—but I will use this as an opportunity for the future. Sometimes it is best to just be still a moment and take it all in, isn’t it??]
Teacher and students alike were crying remembering the hard time and the brilliant ones and I am confident they will be in touch after Aaron settles into his new home in the monastery he is leaving for. When he came to interview six years ago my mom told him these kids would be his “Zen Masters.” He didn’t believe it then—but he has found this idea to be quite true.
Sitting by the pool with my young cousins Maggie and Lucy and their babysittee, Isabelle, … talking about “puberty.” Unbelievable. Lucy has to do a project interviewing her parents “about when they got their puberty,” and puberty was defined to Isabelle as, “what happens when a popsicle melts” (Maggie) and “what happens when you get older” (Lucy). The setting sun was dancing on the water and the conversation was but a quick interlude between handstand contests, noodle floating, and lifeguard-chasing.
There is nothing like getting away, or, going home. Sometimes these are the same thing, sometimes not. The idea of home changes as I get older and living 3,000 miles away. I am lucky to feel at home in many places and travel so frequently between them.
Thank you to everyone who made my travels so rich.

Adam, Meg, Moriah, Chris, Steve/Windwalker, Sarah, Jeremy, the Harringtons, the Collins, Alex, Elsbeth, Charlton, Tracey, Julie, Sarly, Jessa, Kevin, Risher, Andrew, the cast and crew of MOJO, Codman Academy, Maggie, and Lucy.