First, I must apologize to my significant other’s brother for not writing anything for awhile. My mind has been cluttered with presidential politics, and I hate writing about politics.
The two conventions were like a manic depression to me. First, it was all good and happy. Yes, we can. We have hope. We can do it. Yes! Yes! Yes! And all sorts of positive energy from the Dems. Then, I sank into the dark dank depressive place with the Republicans. I couldn’t help it. I couldn’t turn it off. It was like watching bad porn---I try to see the appeal, but I can’t, not really.
Let me just stay in the depression for a paragraph. I need to vent about Sarah thanks-but-no-thanks Palin. I really can not stand her voice. So much of what she says is negative. She reminds me of those girls in high school who said things like jen, you really should or jen, you can’t or jen, you’re so weird or oh jen, I could never move to New York because it's so dirty. It’s all no, no, no, no, and I don’t understand it so it must be wrong. I didn’t like those girls in high school, but fortunately, they were not the only girls around.
Last week (or is it now two weeks ago), I saw Patti Smith: dream of life at the cinematheque. The film is a documentary in which filmmakers followed Patti Smith for ten years as she hiked around the globe. Not only is she a poet, artist, rock icon, and activist, but she is also a darn nice person. I also appreciate her hair---I should wear my hair down more often.
I discovered Patti Smith in my early twenties. I played her album, Horses, over and over again. She was singing poetry and speaking songs, and it all made sense to me. She showed me what I could do as I tore at the seams between musicals and plays and poetry and tried to make something, anything, because I had to.
The documentary is true to life. It’s not chronological or linear. It’s messy. It jumps between time and space like a poet’s brain. People show up then leave then show up again.
There is a lot of clutter in the film. She was often surrounded by a lot of things. At first, I was a little uneasy about all the clutter. I work very hard to keep my clutter in drawers and on shelves, so that I can be light and free. Then, at one point, she started to talk about her things---about the little dress from her childhood, her old guitar, the gnarled old paperback books of poetry, and I realized that it’s okay to have things we carry along with us. Even though I hide my clutter away or put it on shelves, it’s still there. It still has meaning to me.
My mother took two photo albums worth of pictures of me when I was a toddler, and my father passed them onto me when I was in my late twenties. I occasionally look at the pictures of my young self and I see who I am now. I see a look in my eyes, and I know what I was thinking. It’s strange. There are things about myself that are myself that were there even when I was two.
As I looked around my room to take pictures of my clutter, I spotted my little blue bird. I’ve always had it. I think my Mom got it from the Avon lady. The bird just sits on my shelf and watches over the whole room. The little bird has been packed and moved so many times, but he’s never been broken. The paint might be fading, but he is still himself. He still has a spot on my shelf---right in front of the plays.