What we do
To carry on
We LOVE ON
And LOVE ONWARD
Until there is nothing left to carry.
'Go to the beach.'
'Get a Tan!'
'AHHH You are blinding me!'
These are some of the teases that I heard growing up in Jerusalem, Israel.
See, in contrary to what some *ignorant* people think who have never set foot in Israel - the majority of people there are not white. Or white looking. Or whatever the US definition is. (Sidebar - is there a definition to this term!?) Nope. The majority of people there are brown. NOT white. And I was very fair, very white, porcelain doll white. My complexion was the exception growing up, and I was teased A LOT for it. I was also teased for my last name, for my freckles, for my long finger nails, for my long and frail arms and an array of other things kids like to make fun of. But I wasn't special at that - kids tease kids. Kids bully kids. Anywhere and everywhere in the world.
But imagine my surprise that now - some DECADES later - I find myself living in the US, and the conversation surrounds how Israelis are WHITE and are fighting brown people. Um... what? At least bullying from kids makes some sort of SENSE.
PEOPLE: Learn history. Learn science. Learn facts. STOP the ignorance, the hate, the harmless 'trend' in revising history to fit your narrative. Think less binary and more critically. Think from a pragmatic solution-seeking place and not from a destructive separatist place. Please. Please. Please. Please. PRETTY PLEASE!!!
Putting pen to paper is something I've done ever since I learned to write.
My first poem was written with a green crayon in third grade.
I pondered the meaning of life in that poem, questioned the notion of God, described my point of view on angels, and may have even thrown some suicide ideation into the mix. A masterpiece, obviously.
I went on to write short stories all through my elementary school years. I am pretty sure it was because I had a bit of a childhood obsession with O. Henry. The mystery of the name "O" made me wonder who they were. And perhaps it made me believe that I myself, can also be "O."
There was a phase in fifth grade, when I wrote magazines or newspapapers. YES - full megazine and/or newspapers that consisted of:
1. Cover Page
2. Table of Contents.
3. Editor's note.
5. Ads! (I wonder what for!?)
6. 'Jokes' page.
7. 'Recipe of the day' page.
8. My attempt at a comic/illustration.
Clearly my writing was on a roll. And the poetry continued throughout. Never ceazed, really. Years later, screenplays entered my writing sphere, plays, monologus, even a novel, a self help book... clearly: I was now a writer. I AM now a writer!
Except that since October 7th, 2023 I have not written a thing. Does it make me not a writer? No. It makes me traumatized, sad, broken, angry, horrified, overwhelmed... all the feelings that keep my fingers too shakey to hold a pen. But I am here, now, attempting to connect to myself. To restore. To nurture. To open back the floodgates of creativity. Maybe despite the horrors of October 7th. Maybe because of them.
When something wants to dim your light, SHINE BRIGHTER and blind that thing into hell.
"Art means nothing if it simply decorates the dinner table of power which holds it hostage." ~Adrienne Rich
My industry: the entertainment; show business; ART industry, is going through a crisis right now. Art always has an existential crisis - that's its purpose after all - but this crisis is more of power play between the players of the ART in this said industry: the writers and the actors. What ART do we have without those key players!? What stories do you see? What people do you live vicariously through? The studio execs are not the artists here. They are the audience at times, and the gate keepers at other times but they are NOT the artists, and therefore any power they have, is a man-made fabrication of TRUE VALUE. The value is in the courageous act of artistry.
Power to the people, in this case - the artists.
*Accept (something) as true; feel sure of the truth of.
Belief systems are how we cope. Are how we are taught. Are how we bond with others. Belief systems are intertwined with the ability us humans have in telling stories. For good, bad, and all the vast middle in between... what do we believe in is another root of our identity. I now am facing a crossroads in a belief: shall I go with the side of logic, of probability and statistical likelihood? O shall I go with the anomaly, the miracle, the 'off the beaten path' road? In life, my answer is simple: I am an off road kinda gal. But in my mind, miracles are so easily concealed with logic that they are, well, hard to believe.
I don't know what tomorrow brings, and if miracles do happen.
But maybe today - I BELIEVE.
Dear Fearful artist,
What are you actually afraid of?!
Losing control? Being rejected? Disappointing others or yourself?
Are these growing pains you're feeling? Are they childhood traumas awakening?
What is it that keeps you up at night, wondering how to do THE WORK?
Or are you wondering why is it that you can't NOT do the work?
The artist's life is sometimes a weight to carry. A burden. A toll. A charge deep inside you. A fire that won't let go. You feel it with every breath you take. You try to calm it down. You say "Enough inspiration for one day. Leave me be. Let me live a NORMAL life for a change. A quiet, simple, disappearing life. A life that doesn't need to live forever. A life that doesn't need to be purposeful, to have meaning, to share the dream that is in my frail and mortal human eye." What is a normal life like? I wonder. And that wondering takes me on the artist's spin yet again.
'You are what you are' say people wiser than I. Yes, I am what I am and my eyes and how I see the world is a never ending dream while I am awake. Life's biggest gift is poetry, music, dance. The languages that live beyond logic. That spiral in a different sphere. How to inhabit inhibitions is the conundrum of the social artist. How to live alone together, or together alone. How to make friends with the artist within. The artist that wants desperately to hide, and desperately to be seen.
Oh, artist's life. You break me piece by piece, and you fill my heart with humanity with every word, and every story , and every frame, and every feeling captured in the camera's eye.
I can say 'don't be afraid', but you will be afraid.
Dreaming out loud is a scary act. Is a sacred act. Is a terrible act and a wonderful act.
It's both selfish and both extremely generous. It demands courage from every fiber of your being, and yet if there is no fear - there is no humanity.
So be afraid, dear fearful artist.
Make fire with your fear. Let it keep you warm. You will need to be warm to embrace your audience.
Yet Another Fearful Artist.
There is a place
Where parents raise their children
With no borders
Where things are run
With no corruption
Where life as you know it
Is not some status on a Tiktok Feed
A place where
To SHARE with others
The heavy toll of Life
Is not a dirty word
A place where
Hugs don't need to be posted
On a street
Because they are a thing of nature
They are a thing of Life
Where wombs are beds
And beds are as comforting as a womb
And kitchens are in the wilderness
And forests and seas
Where jobs are not needed
But rather they are wanted
And art is simply the language of nature.
That place is not here
Nor is it by you
There at your home reading this
This place is in the mind
Of the DREAMER.
*Have the courage to do something
*Defy or challenge (someone) to do something.
*Take the risk of; brave.
*A challenge, especially to prove courage.
I DARE you to DARE.
Dare to dream. And be the driver of your trip
Dare to believe, because no one else will. Even your loudest supporters have their own dreams to dare.
Dare to care. Not just about people you care about. Dare to care for you. For your inner you. For your sacred you. For that un-daring wounded child in you.
The human cat is a cat that does not care about the outside world, other than for the sheet FEAR of having to face it with every vetrinary visit. The human cat does not scold at the thought of being caressed by a human person. In fact, the human cat obsesses with the human touch, even to the point of closing its eyes instantly and producing a strange vibrational sound some refer to with the odd labeling of 'purring.' The human cat views a human LAP as its thrown and will be vocal with its tiny cords to the point of persuading even the most stubborn of human person to offer a seat on the so-called lap-throne. The human cat likes to chat, and talk, and converse on many occasions and without any particular reason. It does not ask for a thing other than to be heard. Since after all, it is a HUMAN cat. The human cat enjoys drinking water out of its hand and not by the barbaric animalistic ways of some other lesser human kind of cats who filthily drink water directly off their tongues. The human cat eats only what she likes. And will remind you of that fact in any given moment. The human cat gets what she wants, but that is solely because she is a CAT. Her human mirroring aspects simply have nothing to do with her ability to have her way be known and her way achieved. The human cat enjoys sleeping on a bed, preferably with a plush pillow and a down blanket, just like any human person would. And if a human person would be by her side, well, she'd be delighted and may even surrender all of her human cat weight onto the human person's body. Be it a thing they like... or a thing they don't. The human cat prefers its royal toilet be cleaned daily, with extra points for immediate clean-up after use. She is a human cat and considers herself of the Japanese kind so respect to her behinds is of upmost importance. The human cat speaks in her human ways, using her large human cat eyes which she directly uses to hypnotize the human person to be her obedient staff or shall we even say SLAVE. The human cat lives a glamorous life, which mostly consists of getting her way and long hours pondering on the meaning of life while staring out the window at the blowing of the leaves. The human cat gets bored like any human person would, and so she drifts into long hours of napping, which is her favorite hobby and what helps fuel her human-cat ways. The human cat doesn't see a 2D world as projected in screens around her human house, as she only lives in a 3D world and will comply ONLY with living, breathing 3D human persons. The human cat will tolerate a lesser human cat. She will even mentor the ordinary more animalistic cat, but make no mistake: the human cat does not associate herself with those kinds. She is, after all, a human cat.
Connect the dots.
Line by line.
Move by move.
Action by action.
Tear by tear.
Another face. Another hand. Another persona tickling my insides.
Who is she? This persona.
Is it a SHE, a HE, a THEY, an IT? Is it a THING at all? Is it a THINK at all?
The invention of words is the gift that keeps on taking. It takes the absence of meaning. It takes the floodgates of possibility. Knowing what someone IS, alters it, changes it, takes it. To exist in the beginner's mind, like a baby learning how to walk, how to talk, how to ask, how to feel. NO - we don't learn how to feel. We learn how to mask our feeling. How to turn away from our feelings. It is the curse of life - the learning. How to unlearn is the task at hand, how to unlearn is the goal. Unlearning what is learned - is being born again. Is sliding out of the warm womb, in a tube, holding our breath and lashing out into the dots we must connect in order to survive.
But truth is - the beginner's mind is the beginner's lack of mind.
The mind's delay in sifting itself into the body. Sure, it's a protector but where one protects one may imprison. The prison of our mind is what we learn. The mind is a VERY good student, it's a straight A student, and a goal setter, eager to reach level of expertise. The expertise of controlling one's feelings, one's heart, one's safety. Creative unsafety is getting out of the womb faster than the mind. Racing it and WINNING the race, for a rare occasion.
Oh, thoughts. You are incredible little vessels of truth. Who am I without you?
I AM without you. I AM. Just AM. AM. A.....
Oh, thoughts. Helping me, shielding me, connecting me, separating me all at once.
Because nothing is ever one thing. Nothing is = everything.
In April 2020, while experiencing her first ever global pandemic, Tamar Pelzig pledged to write something every day, even if it's only a word, so she welcomed to the world a daily blog to keep her creative writing wheels rolling.
Header Art: Daniel Landerman