Saturday, May 12, 2007
Went to See How We Almost Fly again last night and there were eighty people there! Eighty!! They had to bring in extra chairs! It was fantastic!! A little dance-poetry performance never gets that kind of turn-out--often a small, start-up dance company is lucky if the audience outnumbers the performers! A lot of old friends came, and even my aunt Varya, who lives in Berkeley, and they all loved it. I got to chat with Elizabeth's mom afterwards and kvell with her about how talented and brilliant her daughter is. It must be an amazing feeling to see your child create such beauty in the world.
I spent last Wednesday reconfiguring the poetry manuscript for See How We Almost Fly for the fifty bazillionth time, pulling out older, weaker (I think) poems and replacing them with newer, stronger (hopefully) poems, re-ordering the work, and just generally trying to get it right.
I'll send it out next week to all the contests with deadlines in May, cross my fingers, hope for the best. I am definitely ready to have a second book out by now--have been ready for five years, not that I'm counting, but these things have their own timelines. It's looking like Saying Kaddish With My Sister may finally see a full producion in '09 or '10--only eight years after I wrote it. Overnight success!
I'm not so angsted out by the whole process as I used to be though, because I have figured out the solution, which is to have a lot of projects going at once, large and small, independent and mainstream. That way, something is always coming to fruition, even while other things are taking years to manifest.
That and finally having a fulfilling personal life, which was long-overdue and definitely takes the edge off my driven desperation to achieve. I'm a late bloomer, that's for sure. First book in my early forties, true love in my late forties, first full-length play production at 50, if I'm lucky. I guess all this means I need to take my vitamins and drive carefully, since I'll be wanting a few decades in which to enjoy and savor the fruits of the harvest.
My dad called this morning and we talked what a great visit he and my sister had here. It really was perfect--and packed. Can't believe it was only a week ago. The weeks are so full, and I feel like I'm barely keeping up, juggling full plates and dropping half the food on the floor.
Dad had the opportunity to have dinner with my two brothers the other night, just the men--and says what a lucky man he is, to have had me and Emily last week and the boys this week. He talked about how hard my brothers both work--corporate jobs, both of them, good money but no time for themselves or any hobbies or creative pursuits. It's all work and family, work and family. I know this is the "normal" American lifestyle and both my bros are good fathers, good workers, good men. I just wish we lived in a culture that valued community and participation in the arts as much as it does quarterly reports and stock options.