i used to identify with the glamour I can pull up out of my performance joy, as though it was the best part of me. It certainly got the most attention.
Now I think of it more like one of many essential ‘functions’. A runner learns how to run, or a digger to dig- I’m a musician. so performance is a muscle I learned to identify and then make good use of. I’m only now beginning to to understand that it’s not the point.
Gandalf uses glamour to great effect (greater in the books) when he absolutely needs to make certain that what he’s saying is heard and understood. He gets bigger, more dominant, more resonant. A performance. But not the point.
There are deeper things in me that are far more essential, valuable, and private. They include My Ugly which I spar with in deadly contests more often than I care to acknowledge.
I have grown a deep respect for My Ugly over the years. She has taught me more than anyone else, and is wiser than I will ever be.
I feel like the ocean tonight. As though the surface of me has nothing to do with who I am- it’s just a reflection of everything else.
I’m curious about my behavioral boundaries and how they might get distorted in the overflow of this steadily increasing sleep deficit. If I were a Christian Mystic I’d be well on my way to a Grand Vision by now. If I were a shaman who’d also been fasting this whole time, I’d be more than ready to meet my spirit guide. What does one DO with these insights and not-so-sublte proddings that come at 2:30am, 4:03am, 6:12 I wonder. Come on, insomnia friends – break out the what-I-do lists & send them in.
I’ve developed some strategies of my own:
1. Watch Peter Sellers laugh his face off in the Revenge of the Pink Panther. Ideally start with the first ‘Panther’ movie from 1964, and watch the progression of the next three. You will find yourself sitting in the Land of the Absurd, giggling like a 5-year-old. This project will take several nights during which you’ll wonder why you need sleep after all….
2. Find your totem animal and commune with it.
3. Smell those Holbein oil pastels! Honestly! What do they put IN them?
4. Channel BANKSY with a piece that has become too static:
New addition to this post: PLEASE watch this now, esp if you understand Monty Python:
The rain on our tin roof keeps me dreaming past the appointed 6 am, then 7am, and even the waking realization of this isn’t jarring. Now coffee’d and downstairs beside the fire, I gaze out the window where the cat uncurls into a stretch. It really should be snow, but the effect is the same: a deep deep heartbeat of peacefulness as the cat re-curls herself.
There is sociology study all over the couch and table in front of the fire – it sounds like paper flip, <sniff>, pen scratch, blanket shuffle, paper flip, <breathe, sigh>, paper flip, pen scribble, <clear throat>, fire crackle, woodstove click-click, ping (as it heats up again). The old fridge – Hazel’s fridge – roars its fan over this, but even through that I hear the rain outside. There it is, through the big window – straight down rain as steady and familiar and comforting as day following night, the North Star, Orion’s Belt, the Milky Way. The grass outside glows green – drinking drinking.
In my head a radio is always playing on low volume – is everyone like this? I don’t get to choose the playlist – it can be anything from an irritating pop song, a Brahms sonata to God Save the Queen (all versions). Happily my radio selection is appropriate to the morning – Sting’s version of Gabriel’s Message, performed in Durham Cathedral.
The simplest of things astonish me today, at 8:20am. I think I’ve been altered on a cellular level by the movie Life of Pi .
I’ve seen it twice now, so those incredible Ang Lee / Yann Martel images are now imbedded in me, to my everlasting delight and wonder.