I too am a fan + follower of Neville Jacob. What a sweetie he is to meet + greet The Beautiful Satos arriving @JFK! Learn more + donate here.
My life was the size of my life.
Its rooms were room-sized,
its soul was the size of a soul.
In its background, mitochondria hummed,
above it sun, clouds, snow,
the transit of stars and planets.
It rode elevators, bullet trains,
various airplanes, a donkey.
It wore socks, shirts, its own ears and nose.
It ate, it slept, it opened
and closed its hands, its windows.
Others, I know, had lives larger.
Others, I know, had lives shorter.
The depth of lives, too, is different.
There were times my life and I made jokes together.
There were times we made bread.
Once, I grew moody and distant.
I told my life I would like some time,
I would like to try seeing others.
In a week, my empty suitcase and I returned.
I was hungry, then, and my life,
my life, too, was hungry, we could not keep
our hands off our clothes on
our tongues from
~ Jane Hirshfield
painting | JUANA OLGA BARRIOS
I wonder how many theatrical performances I’ve seen in my lifetime. It must be in the mid-hundreds or so. Not sure. Doesn’t matter. But I’m pretty sure that I’ve never experienced what I experienced when I stumbled out of The Public Theatre after attending a performance of ECLIPSE (which ends next weekend, but which will be transferring to Broadway in 2016). Lupita Nyong’o was the draw for me. A recent graduate of the Yale Drama School who nabbed an Oscar for her debut performance in 12 Years a Slave, she was born in Mexico City to Kenyan parents and is all kinds of crazy talented. But nothing prepared me for the emotional intensity of this show. Five actresses. All delivering staggering, searing portraits of the appalling dehumanization so many girls and women endure during war. A tiny set in a small theatre. I sat front row and center. The women were in my space (or rather, I was in theirs) for two+ hours.
Just reading this NYT review by Charles Isherwood is intense enough! This is the power of words. Danai Gurira’s drama set during the Liberian civil war is a haunting and intimate tale of brutality. Notably, while the central premise is the sexual enslavement of these women by rebel soldiers, there are no men in the play. We see and ultimately experience an ounce of the fear coursing through these women every time they are summoned off stage when their commanding officer wants sex, yet we don’t see it. We don’t hear it. They return to the stage a little dazed and with a slightly altered gait, but no graphic signs of abuse. The terror lies in the power of the playwright’s words and, of course, in the performances.
To all of my New York friends, DO NOT MISS this production. To all of my friends who travel here often, DITTO.
GRATITUDE is not a passive response to something we have been given, gratitude arises from paying attention, from being awake in the presence of everything that lives within and without us. Gratitude is not necessarily something that is shown after the event, it is the deep, a piori state of attention that shows we understand and are equal to the gifted nature of life.
Gratitude is the understanding that many millions of things come together and live together and mesh together and breathe together in order for us to take even one more breath of air, that the underlying gift of life and incarnation as a living, participating human being is a privilege; that we are miraculously, part of something rather than nothing. Even if that something is temporarily pain or despair, we inhabit a living world, with real faces, real voices, laughter, the color blue, the green of the fields, the freshness of a cold wind, or the tawny hue of a winter landscape.
Thankfulness finds its full measure in generosity of presence, both through participation and witness. We sit at the table as part of every other person’s world while making our own world without will or effort, that is what is extraordinary and gifted, this is the essence of gratefulness, seeing to the heart of privilege. Thanksgiving happens when our sense of presence meets all other presences.
~ David Whyte
I ♥ NEW YORK
Juana Camp 4 Juana is almost over . . . .
Twyla Tharp, choreographer, dancer, and writer, is one of my heroines, right up there with Toni Morrison, Georgia O’Keefe, Mary Oliver, Gloria Steinem. She has created and produced more than 130 dances with her own company, as well as with the New York City Ballet, the American Ballet Theatre, the Joffrey Ballet, the Paris Opera Ballet, and the London Royal Ballet. Today, I had the good fortune of seeing two new works for her 50th Anniversary Tour which culminates tomorrow at Lincoln Center. The 12 Tharp dancers were exuberant, athletic, graceful, and clearly overjoyed to be on that stage. The audience was wild with enthusiasm. It could not have been a better closing in honor of 50 years of incredible creativity, perseverance, and sweat.
Tharp is also a wonderfully candid and insightful writer and has documented aspects of her process in developing, rehearsing, and performing these new pieces for a column in the New York Times. Every essay a gem. Her book, The Creative Habit, is one of the best books on creativity I have ever read. Fundamentally, the biggest take away from that book was that “discipline is essential to the flourishing of one’s creativity.” And routine. Creating the routines that signal your brain to prepare for the creative juices to flow.
Here is a simple one from Toni Morrison::
I always get up and make a cup of coffee while it is still dark — it must be dark — and then I drink the coffee and watch the light come. …Writers all devise ways to approach that place where they expect to make the contact, where they become the conduit, or where they engage in this mysterious process. For me, light is the signal in the transition. It’s not being in the light, it’s being there before it arrives. It enables me, in some sense.
Love that. It’s not being in the light, it’s being there before it arrives. Yes!
NEW YORK | in solidarity with Paris
UNFOLLOW | Who is Megan Phelps-Roper?
HOLLYWOOD | The Women Speak Out
WINDOW WASHERS | in memory of Manolo
image via | Paddle 8
Normal is not something to aspire to, it is something to get away from.
~ Jodie Foster
Is this really a matter of food waste or would it be better to call it food surplus? Interesting, alarming, and important documentary on the ridiculous forces that so readily reject a peach because of her aesthetic imperfections. We need a revolution!