Friday, July 07, 2006

Hi Everyone,

I have had the great luck of having gone to some amazing shows these last months. The first, and the most transporting, was Gogol Bordello. My deliverance unto the phenomenon that is Eugene Hutz and Gogol Bordello is my dad's doing. He was tiring of being in their universe alone so invited me along. I was hesitant and unsure and a little resistant at first--at the show itself, before its start, I thought: it's going to get really LOUD. And oh man, it's going to get really HOT. And oh man, it's late and I'm tired and there's not a chair in the place to sit in. And oh man, my f-in feet hurt from traversing the city's 'walks all day. Those of you who have caught wind through e-mail about my experience, you know by now that despite all the above being true, after a mere two minutes of Eugene Hutz's thick Ukrainian accent, his seeming innocent catharsis of "f"words, his winning gypsy salutes, his finger snapping, his swashbuckling across the stage in his handlebar mustache and red leather jacket, I not only went willingly but hurled myself, face first almost, into the shoulder to shoulder crowd of happy, multiethnic NYC crowd, and hence, into the land of Gogol Bordello--after that, there was no turning back. I returned to my pops, two hours later, sweat-covered, head to toe, still jumping, talking a mile a minute about how amazing, and oh my god did you see that part when the Hutz was standing on top of the speaker and he jumped down and then right into the crowd and when he kicked his drink into the audience and when the Mexican rapper guy came out and oh my god that was so incredible, amazing . . . and on and on! many of you have already heard my stories about the show, how I helped the Hutz up onto the bass drum that some of us in the crowd were holding up--I wasn't tall enough to actually reach the drum, so I held on to a guy's muscly forearm instead, so I was one degree separated from the drum's metal frame. . . I still like to think that I had something to do with the fact that the drum, holding Pamela (one of the beautiful washboard players), didn't even slightly lean, for the length of a whole song (whilst she boomed on the thing with all her might). Eventually, the Hutz freestyle swam his way out on top of the crowd, and I touched his sweaty corduroyed calf and heave-hoed him, with the help of many others, onto the drum. So she's banginga away and he's kneeling over her, singing his gypsy heart out). The hours are a blur of sweat and jumping and screaming and bouncing and knocking into people and laughing. . .I could jump higher than anyone, with the help of a few neighboring and willing shoulders. Afterwards, I could have run the circumference of Manhatten with my arms in the air, screaming and yelling for all the celebration it brought out in me. If you ever get a chance to see GB . . .DO IT! It's a cure-all for any malaise or inner disturbance. Thsi isn't the end of this conversation. . .an essay in the works.

Last Friday, in contrast, Baryshnikov at Bard College:
Oh heavenly father.

Need I say more? Even standing still, he exudes grace and austerity and poise. Then he starts to move. 58 years old this man!

Yesterday afternoon was Hamlet at Shakespeare & Co. in Lenox, down the street from Kripalu. We were gifted, us Kripalu Marketeers, with a few free tickets. It was exquisite. I'm still there a little, swimming in the beauty, the comedy, the tragedy of Shakespeare, and how it all manages to be there at once. When I came out into the glaring light of the late afternoon, I'd forgotten who I was. Doth Laura, pray tell, exist? The ever-lovely and famous line inspires: And this above all: to thine ownself be true, and it must follow, as the night the day, thou canst not then be false to any man. I've heard it so many times, but hearing it at a live performance and in the midst of the story. . . . I sniffled through the whole play . . . the darkness, the passion!: Tis now the very witching time of night, When churchyards yawn and hell itself breathes out contagion to this world., now could I drink hot blood! and do such bitter business, as the day would quake to look on. It's the adult version of a children's book. . .the witching time?! The churchyards yawning. . .contagion. . . It just doesn't get much better.

Friday, March 10, 2006

So this weekend is the big move back up to Hudson (rumor has it that Philip Glass just bought a house on my street). Very long in coming. I'm excited to have my own place again . . . it's a cute 1 BR apartment with wood floors and a big kitchen. The street is really quiet and pretty--an entire long block of renovated Victorians.

I have to laugh a little at myself for the full circle this year has been, a circuitous path to a better life under the auspices of a failed relationship--from the northlands of Hudson east across the river to Athens, south to Kingston, now back across the river and north again. Actually if you draw it point to point, it's more like a square. So I've come full square?

I'm still reeling from the Ohio trip, from the sequins and the glitter and all the oily, muscly bodies. Whoever thought a beginning hip-hop class in Rhinebeck, NY, would lead me to Columbus to participate in Arnold Shwarzenegger's fitness vision for the midwest, and have me returning, no less, with a perfectly kitsch championship medal and windbreaker just for proof.

And the contrast of the flashing lights, bucking bronco machines, and magical energy drinks (one "natural" drink I looked at was 375% caffeine; I think that's like 5 Red Bulls in one) with the peaceful hallways of the Kripalu Yoga Center is just shocking. For the writer in me, it provides large amounts of unexpected glee. I thrive on contrast I realize--the joy of the nonsequitor, strange image next to an even stranger one. It makes me feel lucky somehow to be privy to so many different worlds. The land of Unique Fitness (where I dance in Kingston) is contrast enough to the rest of my life, no matter transporting that world into the world of Arnold Schwarzanegger and his fitness version of Bladerunner. The world is a cauldron of weirdness is all I can say.

I have to get back to work where I'm writing an article on the "Yoga of Poetry" for Kripalu's monthly newsletter. It's a little confusing but I figure if I use enough abstractions it'll arrive at making some kind of sense.

Thanks for reading!

For now,