Monday, March 29, 2010

plunging into murky waters

How will you go about finding that thing the nature of which is totally unknown to you?- Meno

Leave the door open for the unknown, the door into the dark. That's where the most important things come from, where you yourself came from and where you will go.- Rebecca Solnit

Sometimes I feel like I am a blind bat flying in the dark, not knowing what I am going to stumble into, but something pulls and pushes me against the current and I always end up where I am meant to be. I guess because I never have a pre-disposition to know what I am seeking. I just know something is waiting to be discovered even for a moment.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

in the presence of ghosts

I always wanted to go in and never got the chance. A invitation to an honored event changed that. Once upon a time it was a theater, ornate columns and moldings on the ceiling and along the perimeter of the amphitheater. If you listened closely you could hear the faint echo of the talented giants that passed through its doors and had congregated under its bright lights hoping to be recognized.

Now it is a house of worship, hearing the private hopes, dreams and heartaches of those in its pews. And while a limited selection of talented women were honored for their lifetime achievements, I looked up and thought of the specters looking down on everyone making their own paths.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

the thread that leads to everywhere

People need to put a little bit more time and effort into following what their heart wants verses selling themselves short to go down the easy path. I got to thinking today how many times a dream or goal is swept to the wayside because someone else wants to pull the strings. Look how often children are told ( or in most instances, just humored with the "aww aren't they cute" looks) that they can do whatever they want when they grow up: be a firefighter, an astronaut, an explorer. Fast forward 15 to 20 years and the tolerance evaporates along with the glass ceiling that is put up as a barrier, you are told you can only go so high. Don't think different thoughts than us, don't pursue different things than us. Just make enough to take care of yourself and someone else and leave the dreams for the kids.

We all have to do things we may not like in order to survive, but that doesn't mean you sell yourself short. The dreams that are in your heart is what sustains you. Just live it and everything else will work out if you want it to. And it doesn't matter what it is, you could enjoy staring at earthworms in a jar all day or going through a box containing the stories of dead men who did bad things or learning how to turn nothing into something. You never know where the road is going to lead you. It only takes a single thread spun in different ways to make something magical.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

the unexpected question of the evening

It was a surprise birthday party in an old building on the Upper West Side. The hallway was turned into a makeshift extension of the apartment, with notes stuck on the doors of the neighbors to join in, you know in case they complained about the noise in the hall. The cat made her way around everyone's legs jumping up to have her head rubbed.

I didn't know any of the others, the usual awkward silence when you only know the host of the party. I stuck to the wall, a party hat on my head waiting for the birthday boy to arrive off the elevator. Lost in my concentration on focusing on the elevator buttons I hear the hostess say:

" You should really talk to her, she's writing a book on Jewish gangsters."

Meaning me, the only gentile in the group. Looks of interest my way turn to rushed excitement as the doorman phones to say the birthday boy is on his way up. Then for the next four hours I hear variations of "so how did you get interested in Jewish gangsters?"

"It's a long story. But a fun one."

Sunday, March 14, 2010

my easter present

it is over fifty years old, made by a woman long gone for my father when his hands could barely hold it and filled with easter eggs and fake grass. Sat in the giant cupboard in my grandparents dining room for years, next to the letter dated from 1945 from my great grandfather to my great grandmother. And after a weekend curled in my grandparents room watching Joan Blondell, Dick Powell and Carole Lombard, she reached in and said I should have it as I would take better care of it than my father. My grandpa gave me wrapping paper and I carefully tucked in my bag, holding onto a piece of my family before it vanished into thin air.
My dad won't mind, he misplaces things all the time anyway.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

catching sight of yourself by accident

"...she described you by your shoes. Said look for a woman in sneakers because you walk everywhere."
It was true, in a sea of heels and boots I was the only one in sneakers. Was the best description of myself that I've heard so far.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

"none doing"

Mr. Agent,

Lemme take a few moments to introduce myself though I'm sure you've heard of me...I'm the Dutchman, my researcher's cranky, unpredictable, frustrating and fun subject of a book. Oh yeah, and I'm dead, as in shot with a bullet 75 years ago dead. She was real honored to meet ya this evening courtesy of the lovely dolls that brought her to the Chow Bar. However you freaked her out with the dreaded "D" word: deadline. She don't do deadlines. It never entered her mind. Not near completion yet and she was already given good advice by Mr. Downey on that subject of offering a porterhouse steak when all she has is ground up meat.

If she was writin a fiction piece that might not be so hard..but a bio? and a first time writer at that? she ain't ready for that. She thinks she's Dr. Seuss' little sister right about now. Personally I like sending her on wild goose chases or giving the silent treatment, after all I have all the time in the world and there's only so many times one can play pinochle in gangster purgatory. So don't worry, when she is ready to show anything she will. But don't say the "D" word again or else she's likely to turn into Dorothy Parker, smokin cigs and throwin back orange blossoms. And that lady never turned anything in on time.

Oh geez, I better go tap her on the shoulder, she's singing some Ruth Etting song at the top of her lungs and the neighbors won't like that. And I gotta go back to gangster purgatory, there's a poker game goin on and that bum Julie owes me 20 grand. But, I'll see ya some time in the future, after she gets the run over from her buddy in Jersey, Jupiter's mother and that doll out in Cleveland. Till then try to decipher a boy has never wept...that oughta keep ya occupied for awhile...

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

peering into the rabbit hole...

has yielded all kinds of interesting goodies and still does. Think by my calculations I think I have inched over to the halfway point so now I can pull my hair out over the other half. Don't worry, I'm not getting done anytime soon. That would be way too easy and I don't believe in doing a half baked job at anything.