If Lucretia Mott was alive today she’d be very cross with me. She’d be standing firm, eyeing me straight on whilst giving me a strong piece of her mind…something about perseverance, commitment, honesty to my own self. Truth! Truth to one’s own God-given Inner Light and how I have been squandering my energies. I’ve been dark. For a month this blog has been dark. Nothing posted, no excuses, no explanations…just…nothing. Yeah, sometimes nothing happens.If you are reading this then I commend you whole-heartedly and promise to post things worthy of your exquisite time in the days ahead. Thank you for giving me a bit of space to process here.
I live one foot in the digital world and the other in the analog world. I keep a paper date-book and on the cover of my paper-date book – which, yes, adds weight to my bag – are three quotes:
· First say to yourself what you would be; and then do what you have to do – Epictetus
· Nothing can be created out of nothing – Lucretia Mott
· We can know only that we know nothing. That is…human wisdom – Tolstoy
Epictetus, Lucretia Mott and Tolstoy; that is quite a literary cocktail. I may add
· We chase the melodies that seem to find us /until they’re finished songs and start to play – Lin-Manuel Miranda (from his moving acceptance sonnet from last night’s Tony Awards)
The lesson here is to take life, whatever comes at you, and make art! I started this blog as a way to gather my thoughts about opera (a new art form to me at the time.) Now I am taking it as a tool to push myself to learn, grow and produce librettos. I fell off. Today I get back on and I have a few revisions to make to my syllabus.
It is still imperative that I write every day. It’s not so important that I post something every week simply because “every week” becomes about just posting shit and not about producing something worth reading. I don’t want to waste your time. The new requirement is that I post something I’ll be happy about you reading. Hopefully that will make you happy too.
I’ve got three stories in development
The Light Within – on the life and times of Lucretia Mott: Quaker pacifist, warrior against slavery, poverty, war and the oppression of women, not to mention her own inner daemons – based on the book “Valiant Friend” by Margaret Hope Bacon
Goatscape – a fairy-tail about a police officer, a homeless vet, a hospital janitor and a goat on-the-lam in Bed-Stuy in the middle of the night
Soferet – a drama about a woman becoming a Jewish scribe in the early 1980’s and the effect she has on the Orthodox community she must count on to help her in her journey
Once – long ago – I was a bookbinder. I made books for a living. It wasn’t much of a living so I moved on to other more profitable pursuits but the art of book-making has never left me. I make books, I can’t stop myself from doing so. Since I don’t have a bindery any more I do scrappy little projects that keep my hands and my heart at peace. As I was thinking about writing librettos I realized that a component of these works are the source elements I use to create the story. Naturally I look to making a book.
Here are two books I’ve made specifically for the early stages of writing – brainstorming, character development etc. It all goes down in these lo-fi memory storage units and they are part of my story. So I may not have been writing but I have been creating and here is the beginning of these two tales