Thursday, May 31, 2007

Baby steps into more committment with C...first plane ride together, back East, in July, for my stepmother's ordination as a Buddhist...whatever-she's-going-to-be (priestess? rabbi?) I reserved the tickets on-line. And the rental car. Observed my heart pounding a little. It's not like I haven't done it a hundred times before. Typed in my credit card to Jetblue.com or Orbitz, chosen a flight, booked it, hit Purchase. But this was the first time doing it with someone, with a partner, in...years. A dozen years. Gulp.

From Massachusetts, we'll go to New York, and then I'll join other Interplayers on a plane for Malawi (double gulp!) and C will fly home to California.

Meanwhile, Berda Lee sent me the link for the MP3 file of our interview..which I cannot open. But perhaps someone out there in cyberland can. It is http://www.sendspace.com/file/7cxuw1

Work on the musical continues. And another essay, which I submitted to More Magazine in an attempt to earn More Money.

And then, spur of the moment, ten pages of the hot tub play in a mad attempt to beat a June 8 deadline for a plays-in-progress contest.

I sat in Borders today and read Julia Cameron's latest book, Finding Water. It's basically a rehash of The Artist's Way, with the message that it takes persistance to stay the course. I already knew that! The one new factoid I brought away from the book is that it takes an average of seven years to get a musical produced. (Cameron has written several musicals, a movie, a couple of plays, and was once married to Martin Scorcese.)

Seven years! At that rate, C and I will see our as-yet-unnamed musical go up in...2014???

But I know there's truth to what she writes because I started work on Saying Kaddish in Fall 2001 and if Jewish Ensemble Theatre takes it--big if--it will see the light of day in a full production (and I may finally see some money for it) in 2009 or so.

Hence the mad scramble to get the hot tub play out by next week--(Just do it! Don't be too precious about it, don't overthink all the little twists and turns, just spill. Suzan-Lori Parks wrote Topdog/Underdog in three days. And I read somewhere that Tony Kushner wrote Hydrotaphia on an airplane trip (but then, he's Tony Kushner. There's a reason they call those MacArthur things Genius awards.)

It--the hot tub play--is turning out kind of nasty, sexual and angry and even gross--but that could be good. I honestly don't know. I'm writing fast, under pressure, (albeit self-imposed,) so the censorship switch is off. Gnarly stuff about male-female relationships, marriage, betrayal, anger, power, and sex is coming out, and I'm letting it.

Right now, I feel like the six-burner stove that C covets, with all my gas jets blazing, and full, almost-boiling-over pots on each one. Had to take myself for a long hard walk in the woods this evening and breathe--breathe!--and pray.

Dear sweet God, God of the cool evening fog and the twig-strewn woods, and the little orange wildflowers whose names I don't know, and happy dogs, and chewed pinecones, and green piles of horseshit, help me do a good job with all of this. Help me be a better Big Sister. Remind me that the source of my good is not any individual man or woman, but this spirit of life and truth and divine intelligence that is flowing through me and through all living things. Amen.

It's almost scary how well things are going. Did I say baby steps soward committment with C? Actually, it's more ike giant strides. Like my life is changing--has changed--overnight, the way it does, the way it did when Alan and I got together. Only this time around everything else is fuller too, work, friends, the house. This time around I am a grown-up in the world.

(After I get this hot tub play out, I'll turn my attention to writing another essay--this one about improvisation. I'm hoping to get regular work as a personal essayist for these high-paying glossy mags.)

And also incubating ideas for the third book of poems.

One would expect--one would hope--that with the accumulation of a track record, it would get easier to get books published and plays produced. That somewhere, over the rainbow, there's a promised land where one just has to do the writing and the rest of it--audience, production opportunities, and money--follow smoothly.

I'm beginning to suspect there is no over the rainbow, there is just the next project, and then the one after that. The reward for the work is just to keep doing the work. That and love, and serious play and connection with other beings, the freshness of the Redwood trees, and this incredible aliveness I feel as the moon rises and pink lights of the city turn on below the ridge. And that is more than enough.

2 comments:

Carla said...

Blaze away my fiery friend. My heart is bursting with joy for you. We have been through so much pain together and to hear that you are happy makes me want to dance and dance, broken ribs and all. Do you have any idea what a catch you are, beautiful, wise one? C. is a lucky man and it sounds like you are lucky too. I must meet him soon though as I'm beginning to wonder if he exists.

For some reason I had a memory just now of you calling up when you said to me "My heart is broken, I'm coming over and I'm bringing lamb chops." did I remember that right? I remember you cooking lamb for yourself (I had already said bye bye to meat) and me propped up on a chair too weak to help and thinking how much you deserved a partner worthy of you.

Until recently, 1986 seemed so close. YOu and Alan and Mike and me and "excellent parking job." Now that all looks like a yellowing faded photograph and the present is sharper, crisper than it was before.

Brava my old friend. I love you so much.

Carla

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