The Furnace of Art

I’m going through Julia Cameron’s The Artist’s Way again – this is definitely the 2nd time with someone else. First was, alone, was way back in the mid 90’s, then a few years later with a friend in recovery. I’m going through it again with the same friend. I may have done some of the exercises that first time because I starting doing morning pages in the mid-90’s as I result of that first reading.

The next time we worked through everything. Now some 20 years later it’s time for this version of me to give it another go. I found it productive then & hope to again. In recovery meeting soften go through the same text, a step at a time, endlessly because repetition is the mother of learning. No one is too well to get better 😉

I still have my paperback of the book but opted to download a Kindle copy for reading in transit. I’ll went to Indigo & bought the workbook – that’s right I went into a book store ! & bought a book ! I did check a couple small indie stores first but they didn’t have the workbook. I discovered that there is now a ‘Creativity’ section full of books to free the mind – a step up from New Age, I suppose.

So far I’ve read through the introductions. Cameron makes no secret of her recovery & the role that it played in her ability to explore creativity. I remember when I got sober I was afraid that without booze to fuel the furnace of art that I’d never play the piano again 🙂 I thought I wrote better after a few drinks – I still have some of notebooks & can read my handwriting for the most part. I was certainly in touch with melodrama & self-pity after a few doubles.

Evanescent Extra

it didn’t last long

the look

beguiling inviting

for a brief moment

passing him on a subway platform

me getting on 

him getting off

eyes catch

not long enough to snag

our heads turn 

but the doors close

am whisked away

 

the moment memory 

has a hold of me

a face that needed a shave

sloppy quick half smile

eyes I think I remember 

moment too short to get color

dark hair dark eye browns

skin coffee 

or was that just subway lighting

or memory dimming already

 

I carried that glance 

as long as I could

I didn’t check my phone 

didn’t look for other faces

savoured that intimation

or am I reading

something into those eye

maybe he was glad

I was the only body 

between him and getting off

a half smile of thanks 

to the transit gods

that allowed for his easy exit

but no 

he did turn a bit towards me

as the doors closed 

he did follow me 

as I was ripped out of his arms

did he have arms

 I’m pretty sure he did 

but all I have is that face 

the unshaved line of his jaw

half a smile

short hair

yes I think he had short hair

or was he wearing a tight toque

 

funny how a glance

can take in so much and so little

would I recognize him 

will it be one of those faces

one can’t quite place

like extras in movies

in a subway scene

just out of view

out of focus

filling in a background

so my life 

doesn’t feel so empty 

https://wp.me/P1RtxU-2f6

March

March 5 – Hot Damn! It’s Queer Slam – Buddies and Bad Times Theatre

April
April 3 – Hot Damn! It’s Queer Slam – Season 6 finales Buddies and Bad Times Theatre

May

Richard III – Stratford Festival

June

June 25-26-27 – Capturing Fire 2020 – Wooly Mammoth Theatre -Washington D.C.
 capfireslam.org 

July

All’s Well That Ends Well – Stratford Festival

Hey! You can give me $$$ to defray blog fees & buy coffee

at Ted’s Bulletin in Washington DC

at 2020’s capfireslam.org – sweet, eh? paypal.me/TOpoet

Unmasked

In Canada Thanksgiving falls in October. So the Toronto GLT (et al) recovery AA/AlAnon community holds an annual roundup on Thanksgiving weekend. This year was the 36th such roundup. I haven’t missed one, yet. It draws up to 400 members from around the world but mostly from Ontario & Michigan. It’s always a good opportunity to reconnect with people I see once or twice a year, even locals, and share our progress & dedication to spiritual recovery.

drawersI see a Ikea nightmare

Towards the end of my drunk life I was published, exhibited & performing – on my way somewhere but had become increasingly suicidal. I had the things that we’re supposed to make me feel fulfilled & satisfied & yet they left me lost and looking for a way out.

polerider I see a pole rider

Looking back I realize I was attempting to fill a spiritual need with physical objects & accomplishment – an attempt that only made the need bigger not small. There was no such thing as enough. Booze was a mask to hide behind and when I was drunk enough to reveal something of myself.

shade I see a party hat

I was transferred to Toronto & here I was set, almost by accident, on the road to sobriety. First hurdle, as it is for many, to real commitment to recovery was to deal with the difference between religious and spiritual – some people still cannot grasp that difference – such is life. But for me there is a difference. It’s like the difference between life and death.

samples

Unmasked

background:

Hendrix: burning the midnight lamp

soon … I wish I was a merman

<>

foreground:

messy coffee table

open bottles wine beer Scotch

weed rolled in papers too thin to write on

yet strong enough to hold a shared dream

<>

mid-ground:

three of us

Carl me Kathy

share this joint enterprise

laugh at a phrase I was going through

hands touch to pass

the precious opener of minds

or rather the opener of pants

as Carl loudly called it

his eyes on Kathy

she gave him a look

that said ‘see you later’

then left with her cigarettes

and the remains of the wine

<>

‘uptight bitch’ Carl laughed

as the door shut

he stayed

the supply on hand

held more appeal than

the supply leaving the room

that Jimi guitar

hooked its way around our brain

lead our eyes across patterns

the voodoo child

my eyes would wander

all along the corduroy

that hugged and held

Carl as he invitingly

pushed the coffee table away

to make room on the floor

we had become so smoke soft

only the backless floor could

hold our floating rolling bodies

till we found ourselves

naked

<>

I could feel the crosstown traffic of my heart

the sensation of his tongue on mine

the coarse grind of pubic hair on stomach

a move for a breath of air

to refresh the disguise of liquor

thighs hands lips

trimming a midnight lamp

that still burns today

but no longer needs

the bottled mask of permission

glass too much stem not enough where