Tuesday, January 05, 2010

Saturday night we danced--under a just-past-full moon--at Marci and Mark's intimate backyard wedding. So sweet. Such a long journey with all its twists and turns, for them to get to this place, for us to get to be there with them.

I met Marci years ago, in yoga class. She was a jock then, and I was--and am--a yoga class clown--but we bonded over tight hips and hopeless headstands. And years and years of crazy dating experiences, insane roommates, and a couple of weekend getaways to yoga retreats.

There was one memorable Nazi Boot Camp Ashram where conditions were extremely spartan--bunk beds, and no toilet in the room. The swami had been out of circulation for forty or fifty years and he breezily dismissed ordinary life as "samsara" without, it seemed to me, ever having experienced it. The food was vegan--very very vegan--and our fellow participants were an odd lot. There was an ex-Marine who was detoxing from PTSD, there was a plump mother-daughter duo on a special diet, there were the usual visionaries and seekers and finders.

I think Marci and I were among the less spiritual people there--we were reprimanded for skipping the 5 a.m. meditation (an hour of meditation, followed by an hour of chanting, followed by an hour of yoga--and THEN you got breakfast, or something they called breakfast.) The swami's "adjustments" were rather rough, but I felt surprisingly great after we left--light and lithe and all stretched out. I remember with glee stopping to get gas on the way back and re-toxifying at the mini-mart--with potato chips, dark chocolate, and Diet Pepsi. And laughing and laughing.

There was another yoga and meditation weekend which was a little less severe. There were many "girl's nights," with videos, food and true confessions. Lots and lots of girl talk.

And there she was the other night, radiant in white, in her own home, with her best friends around her, glowing and laughing and crying. Beautiful. If Sandra Bullock and Salma Hayak had a lesbian affair that produced a love child, that is who Marci would resemble.

Christopher took some great photos. My favorites were two of Marci and I pointing upwards. She was actually showing me how some tablecloths had been pinned to a frame to create a tent effect, but it looks as if we're pointing up at the stars, or a distant planet. Which is what Love seemed like to us back in the years when we first met as single girls--like some very distant, unattainable place. And here we were, here we are, having landed on that star, still in our space-suits, breathing.


Fun fact: Tony Kushner gained 100 pounds while he was working on Angels in America. Yes he did. He retreated to the woods with boxes of Oreos and other necessities and wrote his ass off.

Far be it from me to compare myself or what I am doing with Angels, which i consider one of the works of genius of our age, but let me just say that finishing The Recruiter is proving to be fattening and difficult.

I know I have no right to complain. I know I chose this. I know I am privileged godamnit, but it's hard right now. I was so close to what I thought was the finish line. It was only after consulting with my team--that is, the few die-hard, stalwart friends who will still read my emails and the repeatedly revised drafts which i attach to them--and you are angels, you are worth your weight in gold and I can never repay you--anyway, the consensus is that it's Still Not Done.

It's close. I can smell the champagne waiting for me at the finish. But I have more research to do, and more writing to do. And I don't wanna do it. Don't want to go to that place I have to go to with my main character, Tony. Don't want to have to feel my way through all the shit that he's feeling. My butt hurts. My back hurts. I'm tired of looking at this little screen, these characters.

At least I now have an epigram for the play, from Anna Deavere Smith's book Talk To Me, which I have been re-reading. This is what she wrote about Clinton whom she interviewed as the Monica Lewinsky ('memba her?) scandal was breaking.

“Our ability to create reality, by creating fictions with language, should not be abused. The abuse is called lying. Perhaps we understand the precariousness of our situation. We as linguistic animals. At the very least language is currency as we create “reality.” To abuse language, to lie, is to fray reality, to tatter it. Those in public life who create our values are especially asked not to “lie.” Yet most of us say, at least, that we believe we are often being lied to.”

She also said that--given the fact that many Americans expect politicians to lie, and/or mess around-- "Perhaps Clinton's downfall was that he was too expressive in a time when studied nonchalance is the status quo."

Interestingly, Jeannette Walls' book Dish, about the interpenetration of gossip to news, and news to gossip, opens with Clinton and the Lewinsky incident. Remember how that dominated the airwaves for months and months even as everyone professed disgust with the coverage? There have been so many many instances of politicians' sexual shenanigans coming to light in the past year I can't even count them all. And so what, really? And yet the issue of the use and abuse of language is still crucial.

Okay, now I have to go back to reading the closing pages of The Good Soldiers, and re-entering that world...


Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

Thank you for your insight into so many subjects. I don't comment all that often, but I am always reading and always thinking about your posts long after they are written.

Anonymous said...

i second that emotion