Just because I’m drunk on self-inflicted sleep deprivation, I’m going to inflict a journal entry on you. But I’m putting it here, not on Facebook, so only the true masochists will make the effort to see it.
Went to see a film about John Berger. He’s still alive! A hearty 90, smoking and shoveling snow. But he just lost his wife. I went to see it because his short story about a farmer and a calf so haunts me. He went native in a French peasant village 40 years ago. I was a little disappointed to see he is still something of a cultural sophisticate after 40 years of helping with milking and haying. When young he was beautiful and self-dramatizing, with a mop of wavy black hair, high cheekbones and a prominent nose, a sort of Leonard Cohen or Leonard Bernstein of radical art criticism. He’s a beautiful old man, rugged and luminous, with beseeching eyes,
and his dialectics are at least simplified and more enigmatic, the fancy edges worn off. . . . The film, much of it, was annoyingly hip and formless. As if form were a form of capitalist colonial oppression. But I could look at Tilda Swinton forever. She looks like a 6- or 7-month fetus, when they are fully formed but haven’t yet put on any fat.
I realized that I am something of a radical, in terms of despising the worship of money, the loving of it more than life. (There’s a desperation about it, the flight from death that it is, that only makes things worse, gives you more to flee from.) But I see it almost the way an old Catholic would, not as a flaw in “the system” but in human nature, the way we cleverly hot-wire and short-circuit our own brains. And in that way I’m more of a conservative . . . except I don’t think returning to tradition is the answer, because tradition isn’t adapted to the modern world. [Which leaves me feeling] we’re fucked.
“Dick, is it true that Bill is running his side piece, Monica, for POTUS? The stones on that guy!”
“No, Ike he’s running the other one.” “The one with a voice like Nosferatu’s fingernails on the blackboard? The one who looks like a potato stuffed with straw? You’re kidding me!” [Nixon shrugs]
[Ike looks through the photograph…at us]
“Well, we fought The Great Depression and World War II, but I feel sorry for you guys…you can’t seem to find your ass with both hands.”
“Dick and I are probably gone by your time –”
“Speak for yourself, Ike, I’m probably still hanging around…and even if I’m not, Henry is, you can bet your ass he is, and I’ve already told him what to do about now.”
[Ike gives Nixon the side eye]
“Look, don’t pay these fools at the top too much mind. You’ve screwed the pooch this time around and you’re going to give a con man or a criminal the job we used to have. But cheer up, you’re Americans, you know which end is up. Have the faith in yourselves I’ve always known you should have because you ARE Americans, right Dick?”
“I apologize for the failures of the guys who came after me,” [Gives Nixon more side eye] but do what you feel you need to do to get the ship of state righted, kick some ass, and you’ll be fine!”
“We’ll still be here, laughing it up….join us, fellow Yanks!”
I know, I know….an engine rebuilding video? But I just love how the work of 6 days is shown to you in 6 minutes.
You start with an old hulk of an engine….and wow, look at that thing at the end! Those glowing pistons! The amazing covers with tons of old fashioned bolts holding in place….It’s surprising what comes at you and makes you love what people do.
So….it’s that time of year to dance!
This is a colorized lobby card from Top Hat (colorized back then, not now)
The Walnut Room was the upstairs room of Drake’s a long-gone, long time Ann Arbor institution. I got a chance to buy this and another sign from the place when they closed.
This post is long overdue. My housing crisis is over, and I now have a place to live. Now the point of my writing this is not to talk about how I did this and that to acquire this place. Rather, what I want to talk about here is you. All of you. You are who I have in the world. I am not a man of wealth, or family. What family I did have gave up on me years – decades – ago. My remaining living sister did not bother to tell me my other sister died 5 years ago. Is there a term stronger than estrangement? I need that term.
But why am I writing now? It’s simple….I’m grateful. That’s more than just a thank you; it’s not a single moment, but a feeling that carries forward into the future. What do I have to give you in gratitude? The best I can for each of you, and the best I can be for myself . I’ve failed at this in the past, primarily because I didn’t know I really valued in myself.
I have such a long list of people to thank, but no Oscar speeches, and no Hallmark card prose either.
I spent a lot of time thinking how to do this thanking, but I’ll break it to two parts: feeling and doing. Obviously, I’m a bit overwhelmed with feeling these days; relief, joy, surreality. If I could walk up and hug each and every one of you I would, with delight. But I simply can’t do that! Rats!
But the best way isn’t with feeling, it’s with doing. Fortunately, I have a lot to do! Health, wealth…a real home. That would have a lot of meaning to me. Ideally, I would love to have a large enough home to throw a large enough party to invite you all to!
For my friends who live in a different locale than I, what I want most is a visit where I see you in your own setting!
Those of you who know me for some time…I have a novel to deliver and I promise that will get finished.
I will be going back to the Y and working out every day. A car will be needed!
For now….let me just thank you all again for everything from emotional, to financial, to spiritual support.
In front of the new fireplace and my Maxfield Parrish print of “Enchantment”
Ok, I thought I would hold off a bit until I could get some photos and such, but I thought I’d let you know that I have moved into a new place! Yes, it’s complicated, but I’ll be here at least a year, probably more.
I’ve been getting my stuff back from friends who have held onto it for far too long. I’m still lacking a lot of things…like a sofa or pans! But I have a nice new bed on my old bed frame, and slowly but surely things are getting in shape.
This small island of a blog has been a touchstone in my coming back after 3 years of horrible nonsense that I was not sure I was going to get out of. I am grateful to you “regulars” here, especially to Annie, for making this my go-to rather than my own blog! More news will be filled in as I go along. I need wheels!
Here you go Louise…..this is Daffodil, one of the rabbits whose house is where I am staying at the moment.
Asleep as usual….
Hi everyone, Ron here.
It’s true I do love you all! Our wonderful/wonderous (you pick!) blog hostess, LouiseM, for her faith and concern….everyone who shows up and makes us have good conversation.
I’m fine….things are moving ahead, and, more importantly, things are not reeling backwards. I will save some details for another post, but it didn’t want anyone concerned.
Here I am a day late! Ah, well…. I enclose my younger self to show you the proper Christmas sass:
I, of course, engaged in the usual Christmas Watching Of The Die Hard (“Now I have a machine gun! Ho Ho Ho”)
I am staying at a friends place for the moment, so no Ron freezing stories….I’m not in the perfect position, but things are ok for now. I hope you all had an excellent holiday!
You know of what I speak! That day when you are at the peak of your powers in life, when you assemble your Marshals and Colors to deal with foes that seem intractable! Everyone warned you about them; you heeded them not! You knew what glories awaited you! You knew what strength of will, what courage, what esprit, what — dare I say it! — joie de vivre brought you to this field for this, your greatest of triumphs!
I always use this day as a beacon to look forward. Much has been poor for me for a long time….perhaps I have lived on my Elba already! But I can’t give up on life when so manypositives are on the horizon. I wish all of you that same vision in your life….do not merely endure; Triumph!
Addendum: As you can now see… I embrace the concept fully!