ART: We make it. We sign it. We frame it. We auction it. We sell it. We buy it. We collect it. We show it. We steal it. We make an NFT out of it... And yet... there's one art that is always at out reach and always free and immersive. All we have to do is LOOK UP.
In a world going through a metamorphoses of sorts when it comes to careers and other shenanigans, there are some professions - dreamt or long forgotten - that I'd like to see appear. These are their stories:
*Time Stopper. Someone who could actually stop time. This isn't inspired by some superhero flick. Not my thing AT ALL. Rather, it's driven by the fact that every time I see my beloved nephew, he is so much bigger than before and I wonder where does the time go!? Make time stop!
*Bubble Guy. There is a bubble guy at the pier in Venice beach. Possibly weirdo. Likely homeless. He just decided this what he'd like to do with his time - blow bubbles on the pier in Venice beach. I think he's on to something with that. Yup. This should definitely be a thing.
*Phone Operator. A job of the past that could SO be brought back. Who doesn't like a primer? A soothing ideally feminine voice to prep us as we're about to plead for work on the phone, or talk to an estranged friend, or deal with an unwanted debt collector. A phone operator could be the buffer we all secretly desire.
*Professional Napper. There's no real point to this job except to give the gift of napping to some individuals who would like nothing else better in this world. Hey - cats get to do it all day long, why not humans!?
*Debbie Downer. Because sometimes we need someone more depressed than us to lift our spirits. Let the powers of comparison lead the way here. Consider this a mental health service. The Debbie Downers of this world are so misunderstood. If they are used to offset someone's depressions - they can be unpredictable uplifters!
Quiet. Gentle. Lonely introspection on whether the past several years have made me wise, or rather - did they make me sour? Did the shock of the world shutting down due to a global pandemic awakened shifted my status quo to a point of no return, or whether I now can smoothly sift back into how life was BEFORE, and as if nothing actually happened. Did nothing actually happen...!? Millions of people died. Millions have died that maybe would have still been alive today. Million other people have weakened as a result of the virus in their system. Millions of lives have been affected. Billons have been affected in one way or another. Jobs were lost. Businesses failed. Marriages crumbled. And yet... babies were born during this time of isolation. Real purposes have been found. Lives have been revamped in the process.
It is known that trauma can be turned into triumph.
That lemonade is made out of lemons.
That some curses show up as such but in retrospect are a blessing.
Which is it for me? Has this time been a blessing? Or rather, a curse? The infinitely optimistic side of me screams out 'Blessing, DUH! I found my creative voice during this time! I blossomed in my introverted time! I was fortunate to have work come to me despite the shut down! I started and maintained this blog! I wrote a play! And two TV shows! And a feature! And a poetry book! And more and more and more!' And yet, there is another side of me that contemplates whether I am more fearful now than I was before. That I am more recluse. More introverted. More lonesome. Less ambitious. Less hungry. Less confident. Less gravitating to the world as if it was my oyster.
As the world shut down - my INNER world rose up. I have expanded. I have grown. I have been getting in touch with the most quiet and often overlooked sides of me. The ones I used to bury deep down in fear of no acceptance. And yet - the only one not accepting me has always been... ME. Me and no one else.
So, yeah. The past several years were indeed a blessing. With all their challenges, they put up a mirror for me to face myself. ALL of myself. And sure - there are still sides left to uncover, but I am now brave enough to face them. And more importantly, I am now brave enough to accept them.
Mirroreye was not like all the other girls.
She didn't bring her lunch to school, or had her hair all put together in a braid, she didn't go to school parties or had sleepover on weekdays. She kept to herself most days. Studied hard ALL days. And on some, very few days, Mirroreye would have company: at the library, at her weekly study sessions with Jason.
Jason was much like all the other boys.
He played soccer and basketball like everybody else, he played D & D when he would nerd out after school, and he'd spent most afternoons cutting school early to go to the arcade and to take a dip at the pool just by the school. Jason wasn't an A student, not even a B student, or C. But he was a student nonetheless, and when his parents threatened to send him to boarding school in Montana and kiss his friends goodbye unless he gets his grades get better - entered Mirroreye.
At first the two did NOT bond: Mirroreye would roll her eyes at any and all mention of a new flick Jason and his buddies were going on about, or some sport game she'd have no clue about, and Jason would yawn constantly at Mirroreye's long speeches about work ethic and being a professional and yada yada and yawn and yawn...
But here they were. Committed to get Jason's grades on track. Mirroreye needed any dollar she could get a hold of for her college savings account and Jason't parents paid well, so as much as it tiered her to work with such a - for lack of better words - dumb jock, she was down for the cause.
One afternoon, Jason didn't show up. Miroreye waited. And waited. And waited. Until quarter after three. When he didn't pick up on his pager (these were the 90s' after all), Mirroreye got on her bike and made her way down the street where Jason lived.
She locked her bike and zeroed in on Jason's window at the top right corner of the house.
She approached the door. A knock. And another. Finally, she heard steps and the door opened. Jason's little sister, four year old Billie-Jean, opened the door.
"Hi. I'm a ... friend of your brother. Is he home?"
Billie-Jean shook her head.
"Okay. Are your parents home?
Bilie-Jean shook her head. Mirroreye now noticed Billie-Jean's barefoot feet were quite dirty.
"Is.. anyone home?"
Billie-Jean shook her head again.
"May I come in?"
Billie-Jan nodded with a big smile, and closed the door behind Mirroreye.
To be continued...
*Lack of understanding; uncertainty.
*The state of being bewildered or unclear in one's mind about something.
Confusion is not just my word of the day. It is also my FEELING of the day. And there is something so prisoning about confusion. So tense. There is no relief with the feeling of confusion. No rest. Confusion makes me yearn, and praise and appreciate CLARITY.
When climate change has ceased its roundabout
And the great reef is eighty six'd
And humans will no longer give birth
Something else will die:
In a world where there is no life -
There is no art.
And that is the true sorrow of death.
The death to art.
Once upon a time, you were a close friend of mine.
I didn't appreciate you when you were around. Even took you for granted. Assumed you'd always be there. And maybe that's why you decided to drift away with the years, with the happenings... drift away and tease me from afar.
I see you there, at a distance, I can almost reach you.... and then I find myself in limbo again, reminiscing on how things were easier when you were around. Things were clear. Things were known.
Now, without you, I am aching for the young and fearless gal I used to be with you by my side. The one that had do much of you - that she moved across the world in search of a new identity, a new world to call her own. With you by her side, you helped that little old me act towards each and every one of her goals. She didn't even need to name them with you around. They were known to you and therefore easy to her. You two were a winning team. You and I were a winning team. But alas... we are now far apart, and as time goes my hesitation grows and your teasing echoes louder and louder... but it is hard to hear you amidst the beat of my hesitant and fearful heart.
Oh, I long for your company again... to caress me, lead me gently and surely to wherever I aspire to go, to guide me towards tough decisions as if they were the simplest ones. Oh, how I long for thee again, dear Decisiveness.
Please come back and take me from my limbo misery...
MAMMIE: DON'T give me that face. I know that face. I was BORN with that face. Nah, I created that face. I birthed that motherfuckin' face! Sit your ass down and have a listen, all right? Now. I don't mean to yell. You know I don't like no yelling. My voice gets scratchy and Juanita from apartment C will bang her broom on her ceiling if I yell. And then she'll shake her head at me by the mailbox or at the laundry room. And I like Juanita, allright? I like ALL my neighbors. We live in serenity, peace and community here in La quinta Queens apartment and so I can't - I repeat - I CAN'T YELL! God forbid they'll all give me the stinky eye and we'll end up losing my deposit and that would be a whole crock of shit!
So. Let's talk quietly and gently. Like adults. Like two adults having a simple conversation.
JIMMY: I'm a kid.
MAMMIE: Well then be an adult! For once. Afterwords be a kid all you want.
MAMMIE: It's that face again. I said DON'T! That face breaks me. Chops me to little pathetic slabs of meat even a dog won't eat. Spare me the face or I'll swear to mother fuckin' god I'll YELL!
Did you go snoopin' around in my safe and opened up your birthday present a whopping five months early!??
MAMMIE: It's the face. Boy do I know that face. The 'you caught me' face!
The clock calls: ITS TIME
And I turn into
A wrinkly aging pumpkin
One that has no more use
Except to rot in an attic
Of some has-been shop
With fashion that has long ago ceased to be fashionable
I, too, will parish like an old newspaper
And future generations wouldn't even know what I was
Or that I was
Maybe a descendant long from now
Will reach to the attic
Dig up the old written words
And imagine a person such as myself
A great great great grandmother
That was hardly great at all
Just a human that breathes until it stops to
Just a human obsessed with living forever
Knowing tragically well that fairytales don't come true
Just a human
With organs and blood and failures
And skin that sags and voice that cracks
Just a human
*Feeling responsible or regretful for a perceived offense, real or imaginary. Can be part of the grief reaction.
This can totally be a cultural thing or a familial thing... oh, hi Jewish mom! But guilt is a feeling I know very well... And most of the time it is due to imaginary circumstances. I often feel responsible and regretful for things I actually haven't done, or words I didn't actually say. Go figure why and why so often I feel that way. In any case - I find guilt to be crippling, imprisoning, and as an old mentor of mine once said: "Guilt is a useless emotion." Some times I even feel guilt for simply existing. 'Existential guilt'. Meaning, I cause harm or offense by simply existing. How USELESS is that!?
Do YOU relate? Do YOU find guilt to be useless? And if not, what uses does guilt have for you? For me, I think guilt keeps me from making mistakes, because I am already consumed with the emotional consequences of making one. But then again... I am human and do and will make mistakes regardless of my purest intention not too.
So... useful or not - guilt is a HUMAN emotion.
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