New blog for Australia
I've moved to Australia...
Praising Apollo and Dionysus in your nation's capital
Well but so let's say it's a beautiful spring morning, juicy tips of green on trees like a baby's eyelashes, and you peek your head out the door to greet your husband with his orange juice and the newspaper on the porch. And he's talking to a man on the bottom of the stairs, a miserable leprous apparition of a man, with a sad secret mouth and eyes of howling need with red spots in the very center of each. The man on the stairs is asking for money and although he's standing on the very bottom step you can feel the tendrils of his desperate need reaching and curling up the stairs and through the porch and around the whole house. Your husband looks at you and you say "Hi" and he says "Hi" then you look at the man on the stairs and you say "Hi" and he says nothing. You are wearing a loose blue cotton skirt and your arms are bare. He looks at you with a shadow of desire hidden behind a wall of sorrow and then he turns to your husband and he says, a statement not a question, "So that's your..." Your husband says, "Yes. That's my wife." There's a pause, three people on the porch and the sunshine and the wind in the leaves. Your husband says, "I'm sorry my friend, you have to go." The man on the stairs says, "Well do you know any place - any place to go?" Your husband says, "No, I can't help you." The man on the stairs turns and walks away without looking back, and you watch him and then you look at your husband and he looks at you and you say, "But - I think I know some places he could go - there's the church on Harvard St - or the Quaker Church in Dupont Circle - " and your husband says "Forget it." You glare at him and slam the door as you go back into the house, and a few minutes later he follows you in. "Did you just slam the door on me?" "I wanted to help him. He was so sad." "Why do you care so much?" "Because he was miserable and we are happy." "That's what you need to live with in a city. You need to shield yourself, or you'll never survive." "But there's so much pain in the world." "Look, if you care so much why don't you make him a sandwich?" "How can I find him?" "He told me where he was going. He's with his mother, sitting in front of the bakery, a block away." "He's with his MOTHER?" "That's right." So you very noisily and angrily open the fridge and begin packing last night's leftovers into a carton. "You're giving him my lunch?" You glare. "That's right." "That's ten dollars for me to buy one." You glare. "Fine, I'll make him a new sandwich." "I was only joking." You continue making the new sandwich and he does not stop you. You pour some peanuts into the lunch carton and pack it into a bag and start and then you go back and put the whole jar of peanuts into the bag. You glare at your husband in case he noticed this. Then you head for the door. "You're going without me?" "I didn't think you wanted to come." "Well, you thought wrong." You slip on your flip-flops and walk outside. Your husband follows, still in loose pajama pants. As you both walk down the lane with the sun on your hair you must look a handsome couple and your neighbor the English professor waves a greeting. "Beautiful morning!" You smile at him, the white-lie expression of a polite neighbor, and continue walking. There's a teenager listening to his Ipod in front of the bakery and a few friends chatting in front of the nearby cafe. Other than that nothing but a yellow dog wandering down the dusty street. Your husband shrugs. "Gone, just like that." You say nothing as you both walk back to the house. "I wish I'd talked to him more, gotten his story," your husband says. Still your icy silence. "I don't think you understand, I was talking to him until you came out, but then I wanted him to go away. I wanted to protect you."
It looks like my Ode to the Hill is outdated. There's a gang of kids that for some reason have decided to wage war on bikers on 11th St. There was a CityPaper article last week about how they throw rocks - but Martin was actually assaulted a few days ago. I quote from a letter he wrote to some journalists about it:
"Do not touch the works of art.
From Michael Lerner's book "The Politics of Meaning":
Free kirtan at Inspire Yoga tonight with Dave Stringer...
So I'm theatre buddies with this amazing 90-year old man I met at my office - he's a real inspiration: still plays tennis, writing his memoirs, just went on a tour of Croatia, smart as a whip, and glowing with happiness. I wrote about him before, here.
Who's cooler than a guy whose full time job is organizing massive fireworks displays with subversive political messages in symbolic public places?
I haven't been posting very much recently... my muse has been concentrating on a few other things in my life. I just looked at my comments section after a few weeks and there were all these spam comments with links...geez. I'd like to not agree with my geeky friends who lament that the internet is doomed and will choke on spam, but...
When you tune a guitar, the most important thing is not the absolute pitch of the strings but their relation to each other. So you hold the fifth fret of the lowest string, and then pluck the next-highest string. The two notes should be the same. Then you do the same for the next-highest string and the next-next highest, and so forth. Eventually, the whole guitar is in tune with itself, each string vibrating in harmonic proportion to the next. At that point lives in the guitar the potential for all the music that exists in the universe.
Hurricane 'Katrina' Benefit: Heart-Opening Yoga
Dear Lord, perhaps one day
From a letter to my friends:
So my mum's farm is full of these Galloway cows roaming around, and it seems that Australian cattlemen have invented their own version of aHindu sacred cow, because there is a Galloway Cattle Society and a Galloway Cattle Review Magazine and lots of glossy coffee table booksof the History of the Galloway Cattle Breed through the ages with endless archived black & white photos of cows at cattle shows (which all look the same to me but I suppose that's what white Americans used to say about Chinese people). These guys are obsessed!
But the point of this story is that the hills of her farm are beflowered with cow skulls and bones, all bleached white by the 100% Australian sun. If I was a priest perhaps I could commune with these skulls, and if I was Hamlet perhaps I would lament that alas I knew them well, but I am just Zoe and I reckon that they could be the next big thing in interior design.
Just imagine the possibilities! You could hang a skull on a string and make a punk rock mobile with danging safety pins and razor blades. You could paint it like an egg and save it for Easter. You could arrange it on a stylish wood table with a bowl of fruit and a musical instrument for a still life worthy of the old Dutch painters. You could arrange it next to a statue of Shiva for a little altar dedicated to the remembrance of mortality, the observance of which is certain to make breakfast taste extra good every day. Oh, the mind boggles...
In short, let me know if you'd like me to bring you a cow skull. They're plentifully strewn across the hills, and I've got a lot of room in my luggage, so come one, come all!
As an added bonus I promise to hose off all the little dried pieces of bullshit. Since we live in DC, we certainly don't need any more of that.
I went to the Tidbinbilla nature reserve in Canberra with my brother yesterday, where we had a chance to witness the phoenix-fast resurrection of the eucalypt forest there.
I just danced an jig with Mary Robinson and Senator McCain in a huge ranch in the hills of Aspen. Mary Robinson has very nimble feet. I can see why she was so popular in Ireland. Diane Feinstein hired a country western band to play at the dinner and they had all the famous people singing drunkenly in a circle about the hills of Colorado. I took my shoes off and I was doing high kicks, at one point narrowly missing George Soros' head as he chatted with his gorgeous young Chinese girlfriend.
We had a dinner at the Aspen Institute and Al Gore gave his slide show about global warming to the group. It was an extremely well done presentation, and Gore was clearly passionate - but I can see why he turned a lot of American voters off. His passion can seem a bit like self-righteous anger, like, "I'm right about this guys! You've got to listen to me or you'll get into trouble!" Which is totally true...but politically, it's off-putting. Anyway, I loved the presentation and I'm glad that he's putting so much effort into these issues - the man really does have remarkable vision about the important issues facing the world, from his work with the internet, to this. He's starting a new open source TV network and I'll be interested to follow what he does with it.
Al Gore is one of the guests at our star studded Aspen conference on global poverty and two nights ago he called Emily, our administrative assistant, at 11pm on her cell phone. "Hello, Emily? This is Al Gore. I've lost my laptop." So now she has Al Gore's number saved on her cell phone. We joked that she should get drunk one night and call him back. "Hello, Al Gore? This is Emily. I've lost my car keys."
I'm leaving tomorrow morning to go to a conference in Aspen on global poverty. Yes, I know the irony is astounding. The main funder of the project I work for is a billionaire investment banker who's into Buddhism; he has a huge ranch on the hills of Aspen with sweeping views and gigantic tapestries of Buddhist mandalas. Uh huh.
A World Bank evite has spun out of control ... so I figured I'd add to the madness. Tonight, in Georgetown on the waterfront.