Sunday, June 5, 2011

Cloudy, cool and gray, up from a short nap where I dreamed of finding 101 page hits like dalmations from you, and also of a tiny chipmunk, perhaps because one was sitting atop the roof of the downstairs bay much of the afternoon, incessantly chirping directly outside the chamber where I lay alternately reading & napping. The chipmunk, when I peeped out at it, seemed aware of its cuteness quotient and was 'workin' it' - folded its paws and made eye contact, beseechingly. It didn't get in the house or persuade me to open a window and bestow its irresistible self with sunflower seed as I imagine was its wish (filled birdfeeders aren't enough?), but did manage to ingratiate itself into the peripheries of my fragmented dreams.

Your page hit just now made me laugh, Mr. Rochester. I'm here, singing my name in Turkish.

What do I write about today? Sorry I skipped yesterday. I drove five or six miles to the local international arts colony yesterday afternoon, where I enjoyed nibbles of bitesize curried gougeres, along with exquisite sheep's milk camembert that I sliced with a knife and spread on petit crisp toast points, perfect pairing, along with what were quite possibly local, and without question lasciviously ripe, overripe even to the tipping point but of course very much on this side of exquisite rather than... (strawberries, darling, they were strawberries) what's the word I want? it's reminding me of a phrase I read this very afternoon, in a hilarious yet utterly dark (a/k/a mordant) novel, Great Granny Webster, by Caroline Blackwood (who was a writer, and onetime wife & muse to, among others, the painter Lucian Freud and the poet Robert Lowell). Let me get the book and follow this trail (like sunflower seeds for the chipmunk) of thought...
'When I was your age,' she said, '- you will never believe it now - but I was so shy and silent and bottled-up I was generally considered to be retarded. I was over-intense as well. Then somehow all that went...'

Aunt Lavinia fed Poo Poo another charcoal biscuit, which he crunched up, dribbling more black saliva to the white cover on her bed.

'I suppose I shouldn't worry about you,' she said. 'As you get older no doubt you'll change automatically, just like I did. You will learn all the tricks. You will dress much better, and talk much more, and listen much less. And you'll start to realise that it never does one much good to take anything too seriously at all.'

She took one of her poodle's charcoal biscuits out of the packet and ate it herself. 'Either these are quite delicious or quite disgusting. Like many things in life, it's rather hard to tell which,' she said.

Right. I didn't go out of my way to do a ten-minute drive simply for hors d'oeuvres and a plastic cup of wine, but in addition to attend an event, staged at the front of a large unprogrammed white gallery space otherwise set up with rows of hard chairs for the audience, of five choreographed pieces, each about five or eight minutes, performed by five different dancers. Or six - one of the dances involved a pair, a mother and grade-school-aged breakdancing son, with a cherubic Botticelli face, long brown locks and sporting a plaid fedora.

I really enjoyed myself. The title of the program, was So You Think You Can('t understand) Dance?: How to Look at New Work with Fresh Eyes. Which actually I appreciated, because I haven't seen very much dance. Staged, that is... As opposed to regarding as a pubescent girl from the sidelines an excruciating school dance, or years later, cloaked by strobelight & pounding beat & midnight at the Limelight.

and a moment in between, slow dancing at a club, in Springdale

Actually, at Omi, I found these particular dances quite intelligible, or was able to connect with them.
-- A woman about my age, seated on a bench, regarding the audience, donning readers, and closing her eyes for the duration, fluttering her black-sleeved arms in semaphoric counterpoint to the well-known prelude of Bach's Well-Tempered Clavier...

-- A wonderful narrative monologue, acted with expressive motions, of growing up in Hawaii as the youngest son in a large family, washing the rice every night, in preparation for cooking it. The dancer filled an aquarium with the totemic rice, and with pitchers of water that could never come clear, in graceful gestures bathed himself with the ricewater, hoping (in his boyhood recollection) that it would whiten his skin...

-- Love letters between a mother and her young son, son away at camp, their time together all too brief, marked by long separations - she mails him a care package, the two dance together, connected by dance and by these spoken love letters, Dear Mom... Dear Mateo...

-- A dance that reminded me of La Double Vie de Veronique - here's what I jotted down as the lithe woman gracefully yet spastically danced - cryptic marionette puppet mysterious realm (I wish ice skating were more like this - less cheesy!)

-- A wonderful, comprehensively choreographed piece (written text, movement, costume, props, etc.,) all working together to express a "universal declaration of human rights," whose very phrase I jotted down (it was in a jangled expressive track, taped voiceover to the live performance) I liked the idea of it so much - a universal declaration of human rights, not just for some... The dancer, who has been awarded commissions from the Kennedy Center in Washington, was amazingly athletic, agile, and graceful (and not a small man, tall and with weight - not fat, not at all, but for this tall mass of muscled physicality to take flight the way he did)...
And that was it darling - or at least that's all I have for now, there was a lively facilitated discussion afterward between members of the audience and the performers. I enjoyed wearing my nice new outfit that I feel quite stylish and attractive in. You will learn all the tricks. You will dress much better...

I talk incessantly. So - what's new with you?

Mr. Rochester.

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