Monthly Archives: August 2012
Addicted to LIFE
NY to Rio AA flight 973 – Aug 19, 2012
I’m often paralyzed by the term “masterpiece”. I’m often paralyzed by how much time is spent explaining what should be a natural and – for lack of a better word -organic work of art which can repulse you and seduce you all at once. Yes, of course I remember Clement Greenberg’s loooong explanations and theories about his “Cedar Tavern” guys: the Pollocks and Koonings the Barnet Newmans. In those long explanations he tried to defend the minimalism and abstract darkness expressed by painters who seemed to express no wit. And, coming out of dark Second World War, this movement was hard to swallow.
Those days were strange and different. Different? Well, they were supposed to represent (oh, forbidden word !) the beginning of a powerful era of hope and pretense happiness and, justifiably, blotches of thrown paint of desperate abstraction (dark as it is and was) was not called for in those days. But the movement took off and became a reference to the world.
Yet, I really wonder what has changed. I mean, this was a stupid rhetoric to begin with – because EVERYTHING HAS CHANGED – yet, there’s a reason why I say this, ask this and pose the question.
I’m often asked about my constant and ongoing depression, compulsions, stress and so on. I always try to answer in ways similar to “well, how can one not be so, if paying attention to the world’s politics, warmonging habits, bad manners, power groups, interest groups, the corporate interest over the human one and so on). But that formula doesn’t work anymore. I mean to say that the above discourse is too old.
“I’M UNHAPPY, BUT NOT UNHAPPY ENOUGH”
So, yes, of course, the concept of “ending life” is constantly going through my mind. Every day, 4 times, 6 times, 10 times a day and night. Every night. Especially at night. Not suicide per se, mind you. I’m talking about life just ending right here and now. Not a bad idea. After all, this is the only certainty we do have: death. So?
DEATH, so why wait? Why this long and decadent wait?
Yes, we all “moan and groan from the cradle to the grave”, in different manners. Or, we keep ourselves occupied (obsessively so), with chores, whatever they may be.
I’ve achieved a great deal in life, gathered an amazing amount of data, dates, fetta, fates, mates and history and times and knowledge of this and that.
Now, at 58 (and after having constructed a strong identity, a strong theatrical language which is both LOVED and HATED – and never in between – ), I wonder what this had lead to . I wonder where to go with all this.
Problems we have and face are obviously a mix of our own doing and some heavy duty genetic and family history crap, meaning, emotional crap. Nothing new there.
Our neurotransmitters from heart to brain need fuel, fueling, whether it’s by way of artificial stuff or what we see and absorb from the outside world. So, I wonder.
This trip has been an overpowering experience. Last night’s flight was cancelled and postponed to this morning and here I am, after 2546 hours of flying in what should be a fairly routine 8 and a half hour flight.
But the word ‘overpowering’ was not used in vain. I mean that in all sorts of ways.
I began reflecting on my life and what I do and how I act toward people whom I love. My wife for instance.
This week has been tremendously intense in that regard. We saw a 3rd person who has helped map the way to a better life or , if nothing remains, to at least understand the path to complete destruction. Must say that I have never seen my wife so wise and ‘adult’, so aware and lucid. Must say that I’ve rarely have felt like a confused ant running around pretending to be the mosquito carrying the West Nile virus.
A checker cab driver (very Jewish and from Bwoooooklyn) told me during a ride uptown in the early 1980s.
Art kills. It can.
Complex emotional issues are too small to be noticed or too big to be understood.
And it is precisely in a puddle of ‘smallness’ that I find myself right now. I am in the middle of coming up with a masterpiece, but don’t know it yet.
I’m often paralyzed by the term “masterpiece”. I’m often paralyzed by how much time is spent explaining what should be a natural and (for lack of a better word) organic work of art which can repulse you and seduce you all at once!
I’m sitting in seat 2A, my second favorite in all these weekly transcontinentalatlantic flights, whether the NY London shuttle or NY Rio or Jerusalem or Zurich. It all becomes a long torturing wait and weight when this pregnancy of the new is about to hit the contraction level.
No, I don’t mean to pontificate or, even, make a mission statement about who I am and what I want because….simply because, 3 years ago, in front of a Rembrandt self portrait, all of that fell to pieces, crumbled and the mosaic is still dysfunctional. And even more confusing now.
Just imagine how the year 2012 resonates in the mind and brain of a kid of the 1960s! Yes, the “make love not war”, the sexual revolution, the gay liberation, black power and women’s rights and all the rights, the civil rights! Right. The civil rights anti war and organically correct movement of the anti American dream taking place and parading optimistically through our neuro and neurotic system and in the streets of the USA, And now?
I read an article about the shocking amount of ‘nakedness” (not nudity, mind you) on stage within the international dance world trends.
Have I lost it all? Have we all lost it all?
Not a two way (two lane) street in what we used to call England, then Britain and now the UK (because it reads like the US). But the UK is NOT us, not US. But I’m not there yet.
Please keep the focus.
This is the first time in months that I’ve been able to open this Word program in order to jot down a few critical and self indulging ideas about the self, the selves on shelves, about herself and myself. And that, in itself, is an amazing manifestation of progress in my life. It may all be crumbling – as things tend to do in a period of truce, but stream-writing deserves all the credit and all the merits of someone who has been at it and is addicted to life.
Whatever life may be. Yes, those living things. Us.
Rio, Aug 20, 2012
The best of the world’s arts, film, music and literature brought to you every day.
Presented by Harriett Gilbert.
On today’s programme: Brazilian-born opera- and theatre-producer Gerald Thomas discusses London’s Olympic closing ceremony. Jonathan Mills, director of the Edinburgh International Festival, offers his Manifesto for Culture. Super producer William Orbit joins us to discuss John Cage’s legacy as a composer.
Image: scene from the closing ceremony of the 2012 Olympics.
or, if you’re having problems…
PS: it seems to be, from the feedback I received that this plays on Firefox and not the other browsers.