When I was in fifth grade, I was picked on a lot by this one boy.... let's call him "Daniel."
Daniel was the classic trouble maker. He'd never done serious harm, but he disrupted every class and every social gathering. Oh, what WOULDN'T he do for attention. And attention he got as the 'bad' kid in school.
I wasn't the only one that got picked up by him, but I was one of Daniel's favorites.
Years later, I learned he had a crush on me. He bothered me non-stop in order to get my attention. Any attention was an act of love for him. Years later, I now understand what a sad home he must have come from. Sad, neglecting, lonely home. Being a trouble make in school was his way to 'be somebody' since he was so unseen in his home life.
I think of Daniel now, and I can't help but feel sad for him. Sad for the kid that craved love so much. 'Cause you only crave what you dob't have.' But then I also remember the kid that I was. A kid that had nothing to do with Daniel's sad home life (I had my own sad home life to think about...) and didn't deserve to be bullied, to be ridiculed, mocked, even scratched at some feud. Why should my inner little girl pay for the wound of another kid!? Why should she? And why years later... I still think more of that poor bullish kid, and not my very own self.
JANE: Why Are you smiling?
THE STRANGER: Because I am inspired. I am inspired by YOU.
JANE: Me... me?
THE STRANGER: A more accurate question would be 'why NOT you?'
THE STRANGER: I see what you did right there. That frown. That look. That start of an eye roll. You tried to understand it with your mind. With your intellect. But this isn't for the mind. Intelligence isn't needed to follow what I am going on and on about here. This, all of this... is for the heart.
When you felt inspired in your life - surely you've felt inspired in some pivotal unforgettable moments in your life - where did you feel it in the body?
THE STRANGER: Yeah. Where did you feel it?
THE STRANGER: The heart. You felt it in the heart. Not the physical heart, but rather the subtextual heart. The underneath of all things. See, when something resonates with us, when something echos 'I am real' to us, and it's loud and clear and beautiful, it touches us deeply in our bodies. We FEEL it. It's our metaphysical heart that responds to inspiration. You can call it God. Or Source. Or nature. Or consciousness. Or a million other words humans made up to try to make sense of their senses. To make sense of everything that is beyond our five senses in this world. But no word can match up to a feeling, a sensation in the body. They are prior to words. You, I, WE are prior to words. Words sometime shrink us down. Minimize us. Box us in.
JANE: But sometimes words can explain things.
THE STRANGER: Yes. Words explain, that is accurate. And they can expand us. But the body is superior to the mind and the senses are miles ahead of logic. Do you understand?
JANE: In some ways, I think.
THE STRANGER: Uh-huh. And in other ways you don't.
JANE: Well... you use words to explain. You use big words. Metaphors. And they sound beautiful... very eloquent. I'd even say poetic. But the more I sit and listen, the more I think of you as a performer, and of me as your audience.
THE STRANGER: Why not think of us as friends?
JANE: I just met you.
THE STRANGER: True. Moments ago I was a stranger, and now here we are talking deeply as two people who look into each other's soul, not strangers any longer. And if not strangers, why NOT friends?
JANE: Okay. Okay. You clearly want to affect me here. To rile me up. Or to 'inspire' me. But if what you say is true and the body knows what the logic doesn't...
THE STRANGER: Go on.
JANE: Well, let's just say that my body knows some things here and it says to me 'oh, nope', because it totally and completely picks up on your bullshit. Don't take it the wrong way, I am sure you are a lovely man with some interesting thoughts and philosophies and beliefs on why people are the way they are and the world is what it is. But in the equation of this conversation here: you are not my friend. You are solely a guy trying to pick me up from a hotel bar on a Tuesday night in September. You are a stranger, and a strange one indeed.
Suddenly you have no more words to spare, huh?
The Stranger leaves.
JANE: (to the bartender) I'll take another G & T. Thanks.
Evidently, I need you more than I realized.
Like fuel, You and I merge and I fill up and can face the world again.
You are my lifeline. My battery. My sacred space where I can listen closely to my soul, to my insides, to my bitterness, loneliness, silliness, cleverness.
My sacred space when inspiration hits, and tears flow. Where flow flows in all its wonder.
No one else is needed when you are around. In fact, no one even exists in my mind. I am in a blind spot when you are near, and YOU is all I need.
When we are separate for too long, I lose my anchor, my ground, my center. I run with no fuel, with no system to record patiently and thoughtfully. In less poetic words: I'm a total impatient and irritable jerk when I don't get spend time with you for a while.
Yes - I need you WAY more than I realized.
I thought I was the life of the party. An extravert who thrived on people. A people person. HUH! Little did I know... I am as addicted to solitude as it comes. A melancholic silly introvert. Such is me. But none of this is news to you, Solitude. You know your worth and you know how needed you are. You knew it all along, so you kept being there - offering your presence whenever possible. Those long teen nights when I would spend my time yearning and longing to love, to be loved, to be something, to be somebody... you were always there. Waiting for me to pick up my notebook, listen to some jazz tunes, and go on dates with no one other than YOU. And we'd dance together, make love together, evolve together... just as a melancholic silly introvert must do.
You are my forever first love, dear Solitude.
If I had one tattoo,
It would be a small heart on my right middle finger, facing my right index finger.
It would be there, so my right index finger will always be reminded --
that it taps from one place only:
Like my beating heart, so does my beating finger breathes life into every fleeting moment.
Into the page.
Into the unknown.
One day I will no longer be here.
And neither will my finger.
Nor my heart.
But the tapping will remain forever,
Like the sound of air when souls drift away from life to life
Like the sound of human motion
Of heart into mind
Of a human, doing, writing, breathing, being.
If I had a tattoo - it will be a tattoo of a heart.
Today's words are not my own, but rather they are words that inspire me:
*I think an actor's job is being open to all feelings, even the painful ones that scare us the most. I trained myself to keep my eyes open when I cry and to keep my head up instead of hiding in shame - it's no easy task. And facing others' pain with openness and presence is even harder.
But facing others' pain is facing our own pain.
It's embracing all facets of humanity within us.
It's being human, and whether we like it or not - that is what we are.
Exactly a month from now, I will have a birthday. Not I- as 'I' the person that I am. The persona, the human, the shell that is named 'Tamar'. No. The 'I' that has a birthday exactly a month from now is the 'I' that is this very blog. And this blog will be two years of age. A two year old! I'm a mama of a toddler! Of a two year old! Whaaaatttt? How did this happen? Time flies when mothering a baby ;)
In all seriousness, I know writing a daily blog is nothing like the challenging task of mothering an actual tiny human, but it offers a different challenge. The challenge of facing the page every single day. (Or, um, the keyboard)
As if writing isn't challenging enough to step into - writing a daily blog and committing to it - is being okay with airing out to the world all of my imperfect, unfinished, in-the-making writings that most keep hidden deep in the drawer.
Nearly two years later - I can't say I am 'okay' with all that. It's still hard for me to post writings I'm not proud of, be it because my creativity wasn't top notch that day or my grammar or typo game was not on.
But still - staying true to my commitment to this blog is something to be proud of. Is something to celebrate. Is something to note.
Nearly TWO YEARS of facing words. My words on a page. For the world to read, receive, judge, love, hate, get confused by, ignore... But really - it is mostly two years of facing words FOR MYSELF. To face myself. To get to know myself. To stretch myself. To - I dare say - heal myself.
We can all do some more self healing. Every. Single. Day.
Living my life as both and actor AND a writer, means that I think about WANTS a whole lot. My characters always want something, desperately, fully committed, eagerly... If I know what it is they want - my work, whether it's acting or writing - becomes so much smoother and richer. But what actually is it... to want?
*To have a desire to possess or do.
*To wish for.
*To need, crave, or demand.
*To hunt or seek in order to apprehend.
No real surprises in the dictionary about this word... but then again, if I think of my characters as hunters, who seek their prey in order to survive... the want becomes the most essential thing to uncover.
Instead of asking 'what do I want?' I can try 'What am I hunting?'
or 'what am I craving?'
Or 'if I had one wish from a ginny - what would I wish for?'
I used to think you were something different than what you are.
I used to think you were brash, and loud, and walked with stride. That you were the center of attention. That you wanted to be heard from every rooftop and in every alley.
I used to think you were hard to reach. That I would have to 'fake' you, in order to 'become' you.
But now I know: You are none of those things. You, dear Confidence, are a small light that lights up deep in the stomach. You're a root of knowing that comes from somewhere inside me, and you are just there, at peace and ease with yourself.
You don't need to showcase your presence. You don't need to announce your arrival. You don't need to raise your voice, in order to be heard.
No, your voice carries loudly even in the softest whisper. Because it comes from the root of all things: the heart.
Confidence, you are a knowing that anchors me to who I am, and NOT who I want the world to think me to be.
You and I mingle most, when I am in flow. It is your happy place, indeed. And mine as well. Together we waltz and forget the time, lost in our endeavor, bound to our creative flow. That is when your truest form appears to me. Without the veil of my "idea" of you.
A picture in a Magazine of what you are, or something. But the only picture I can truly make of you is how you feel when you are inside of me.
And you feel like ease. You feel like the ground. You feel like truth.
Thank you, dear Confidence, for residing in me.
You make me truer.
Some of you may have never heard of it.
Some of you heard of it once or twice in a 'Seinfeld' or 'Curb Your Enthusiasm' episode.
But I had heard about it my entire life.
In fact - I think I was born with it:
CHUTZPAH / HUTZPAH
(noun - informal)
*Extreme self-confidence or audacity.
*A Yiddish word that originally comes from Hebrew. Its meaning is usually defined by a series of synonyms, including nerve, gall, audacity, supreme self-confidence, and conspicuous boldness.
As an Israeli, it is almost required to have some level of chutzpah.
But something happened to my chutzpah with the years and when immigrating to the Unites States: I lost a great deal of it. The boldness, the tenacity, the nerve... was prayed upon by the ole' classic: the need for approval. The need to be liked, loved, validated, considered 'good'...
Will my Chutzpah make a comeback at later years!?
Will I say 'fuck what anyone thinks' for once and for all and dare to do or say the un-dareable!?
Time will tell... for now, let my ole' chutzpah emerge....
I wish I was a feather
Belonging to some animal
Not in a zoo
But rather in a wild forest
Or another planet
Where no one hates or dies
Where animals are kings and queens
I, a feather of such royal animal
Would be floating in the wind
Wherever it would take me
And however long it would want
To embrace me
And carry me toward the edge of the world
I would be a loving feather
A romantic one
But ONE, nonetheless
A single lonely feather
Belonging to some wild animal
Who would not even feel my absence
Because that is the way of kings:
They don't feel their own feathers.
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