Thursday, October 22, 2015

The Not-So-Wonderful Wonders of the Aging Process

So. I’m just now settling down to watch last night’s episode of Criminal Minds on the DVR when an ad comes on promoting Late Night with Stephen Colbert.

I smile.

There’s good old Stephen Colbert, doing some physical, Groucho-Marxian shtick. Oh, and look, there’s that cute and cuddly Amy Schumer. She's so funny. And at the same time sweet, yeah, real sweet.

Then I see...George Gobel.

As the thought is flashing across my mind, “Isn’t George Gobel dead?!” the announcer’s voice chimes in, saying, “...and Paul Simon!”


Is it me and my rheumy eyes or is it Paul?

I replayed the clip several times. Each time, I could swear the man I saw was a rumpled George Gobel. A kind of hipsterish/skid-row-ish-looking George Gobel. But, nonetheless, George Freaking Gobel.


You may now Google Gobel.

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Time, Time, Time

Time was, I used to open the morning newspaper to the entertainment section the way you open yours to sports. Nowadays, I open it to the obituaries.

Time marches on, and we try to keep up with it until one day we wake up and find ourselves near the back of the herd, catching the scent of lions in the air.

Time really turns out to have been short, and, looking back, we can see how much of it we wasted.

While you are young, if anyone tells you time is your friend, walk away. Time is indifferent to you. He will never acknowledge you nor mark your achievements. He will not even pause a moment to mourn your ending when he drapes the pall over you.

Sunday, September 13, 2015

A Gift Declined

I don’t usually post much when I’m feeling low down, so you can imagine what the last eighteen to twenty-four months have been like. Talk about blues in the night.

If I’m really going to come clean about this and not be so obtuse no one will have a glimmer of what I’m talking about, let me be plain, prosaic, and blunt. I have buried my dream about making theatre here in New Orleans in St Louis Number 1.

Had to. Dead, y’know.

The dream died a few months after I had done Battle of Angels. A friend asked if I would consider directing him in a two-character play written by a well-known Canadian playwright. I read the play and found it lovely, so I readily agreed to take it on and also to produce it. I contacted the company representing the playwright to obtain the rights to present the piece and paid a deposit to the theatre owner for the space in which to stage it.

Then a funny thing happened on the way to rehearsal. No actor I approached would accept the second role. I furnished each with a copy of the script, but it did not good. The answer, if any of the actors even decided to respond, was always, sorry, no, I expect to be otherwise engaged during the run of this piece.

And these were people who had sought me out to say they’d love to work with me.

I should have known better. I had never actually encountered them in attendance at any of the plays I’d done.

I realized too that I had always had to scrounge to complete a cast for every play I had directed. That is not a good or productive way to work. It is demoralizing and humiliating.

So I pulled out of working on my friend’s play. I lost my deposit on the theatre; and, despite what people say about Canadians, they can be very pushy people. It took me another year to convince the company representing the playwright that, since I had neither formally requested the rights in writing nor produced the play, I did not owe them royalty.

But I could see that a part of my life was over.

I believe we are born with certain potentialities (in addition to genes) that will determine how we grow and what it will be that we grow into. I see these potentialities as dreams planted in us by God or Nature and meant for us to nurture and release as gifts upon the world or at least our little corner of the world.

But sometimes something goes wrong.

Did you ever get a sweater for Christmas that you could not, would not, wear? Or a toaster for a wedding anniversary?

Not everyone will always want the gifts you have to give.

Better to stop giving.

So I grieved until I’d achieved a certain peace of mind in letting go.

And that was where I was when, without any prompting and seemingly from nowhere, I received a note which read:
So... it all started looking at your photos... Roses - thought of my Maw Maw - spoiled me ROTTEN, but loved me totally!

Then... read some of your blog entries and your About Me page.  Although I came along decades later, many of the events recounted were VERY familiar to me and recalled fondly.  We have much in common, genetic and otherwise...

For some reason I can hear you singing from the church balcony at one of our distant cousin’s weddings right now - a tip of the hat to a real singer from a wannabe!
That note came from my first nephew.

Comfort from the Cosmos.

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