Friday, August 07, 2015

Some More Words

Is there anything we want more than to be seen and heard? Can we be listened to too much? I don't think so? Don't we all need to connect? I know I do.

There are so many cartoons about the Facebook, phone, photo phenomenon. Here's one from this week's New Yorker:

Last night I wrote 3 poems.  That was good.

Tonight I got tragic news from a dear friend. That was bad.

I'm thinking a lot about personalities and needs and relationships and family and connection and love and marriage and dating and growth and self awareness and self care.  I'm thinking a lot...

I write haiku.  I have a lot posted on my haiku blog, so I share less here than I used to. Here's one I just wrote based on the news from my screen:

"Your Haiku Classes,"
the email subject reads and
I get excited

I'm offended by Google for choosing the name of a hundreds of years old form of poetry as the name of a computer program.  And in one second that word was on the lips of thousands of teachers who had never uttered it before, some of them not English teachers.

Now I'm thinking of sharing more haiku here and explaining what they're about.  When I introduce a poem with explanation I often think f this Billy Collins poem:

I just finished reading Our Souls At Night, and now am considering starting Haruf's masterwork, or I may start The Marriage of Opposites by Alice Hoffman.  I was so taken by her reading and Q and A the other night...

I've started All Who Go Do Not Return. So well written.  So painful.

Here are my thoughts on something in the news:

Years ago, in 1993, John Stewart had a late night talk show called the Jon Stewart Show. I wish I could find the newspaper article I read after it was cancelled. They asked Stewart what he was going to do next. I wish I could remember the exact words and I hope what I'm about to write comes out right.

He said that he had tried and had reached high and it ended. He said that he had no idea what he would do now other than drink a lot and maybe become homeless. Something about the way he spoke seemed so honest and vulnerable, like he cut through the normal baloney he was expected to say and just told his truth.

I once crossed paths with Stewart. I went with a friend to see Richard Lewis read from his book The Other Great Depression, when it came out. As we were walking into the Barnes and Noble downtown Stewart and his crew were filming a brief interview with Lewis. As they finished it he turned to the camera guy and they agreed that it was good. There was something unpretentious and very down to earth in the that moment.

When I come across the saying that the way of Torah is to sleep on the floor and eat just bread and salt I think of artists. When you are truly dedicated to something you are willing to give it all up to attain that thing. The greatest people in all fields worked and sacrificed to get there. I think Stewart put in a lot of time as a starving artist and that honest attitude of his helped him get where he got. And I wonder, and I don't wonder, what he'd say he's going to do next.

I'm posting this on a Friday and if I don't post again today I wish you now a beautiful Shabbos of rejuvenation and inspiration.


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