In the meantime, people who visit Shikow would do well to visit under Safari or Explorer, as I have found out that Firefox does not show any of my new posts after August 19th. This is very peculiar and I have written to blogger about it.
I assume they will get back to me in a year or so. Ha!
Anyway, I am hard at work producing a new DIY show. It's a craft show and will probably not air until this time next year, but it's fun to hang out with all the different people and eat buffet lunches and talk about Anthony Hopkins.
"He's the same height as you."
"Same build too."
"Oh, I love Anthony Hopkins."
"He's wonderful. Such a sweet man. He told me to call him Tony."
"I want to call him Tony."
"He had piercing blue eyes," she smiled. "It made you want to go up and-" she makes a sound like eating someone alive to reference his Silence of the Lambs quote.
"Funny," I say.
At night, I tutor kids. I like how this dichotomy works. It offers me a completely different experience in one day, and although I am fairly tired by 7pm, I do my best to muster the difference between William Blake's Infant Joy and Infant Sorrow.
"You could ask the class to circle words in Sorrow that are similar. What words do you see?"
"All the sad ones."
"Yeah, isn't that funny? All the expereince poems got this saddness to them. While the joy one is what?"
"Yeah. That's pretty cool, huh?"
"So, Joy is 2 days old?"
"Yeah, or it could be that a person who sees Joy feels like they're two days old. Because what happens when you look out at the world and see joy? How do you feel?
"Yeah, and what happens when you look out and see all the sad things of life?"
"So, maybe, Blake is showing us how to look at things. We don't necessarily have to be two days old and feel joy as a baby. Maybe, we can be any age and feel joy. All we got to do is acknowledge the things that fill us with joy. Because if all we see is sad things then all we'll see is sad. But that doesn't mean experience or innocence is any better. Maybe, it's just perspective that makes it so. I don't know. What do you think?"
"I like that. I'm going to write that down."
Now I'm at home. I step outside for a smoke. There's a neighbor working on his 91' Toyota. It won't start and we sit there trying to figure it out.
"I think it's the ignition."
"Same thing happened with mine. It was the ignition. I thought it was the battery the whole time, and I kept getting it jumped, but then when I went to Pep Boys, they told me it was the ignition and that was that."
"Pep Boys, huh? How much they charge you?"
"I think about 200 bucks."
"200 for Pep Boys? That's eexpensive."
I shrug. He looks at his watch.
"I guess I'm late now. I probably can't go to Venice. I was supposed to be there at 930."
"You can still make it."
"It's 10 to 9 now."
"You can make it. Take the 10."
"Yeah, I'll have to take the 10," he opend his car door. "Well, I better try it now."
"It'll work now."
He starts the car. It turns a couple times and roars up.
"Think I can make it?"
These were the 3 conversations I had today. They were my teaching points. And by that, I mean, MY teaching points. I got to learn something from each person.
1. The costume designer showed me that I was no different from my idol Anthony Hopkins.
2. My student showed me a new perspective on William Blake and helped me switch my sullen mood to one of innocence.
3. And, my neighbor showed me that it's good to go places and talk to people and that miracles can happen. (It's how I see it; not exactly how I tell it.)
I know it may not seem like all that, without you being there and all, but I'm pretty sure that is a close approximation of my 3 lessons for today.
Doing this blog and writing teaches me too. I guess that's one of the reasons I do it. I get to see myself for what I am. I get a sort of Brechtian hello when I talk about my experiences as an objector. I like that. I also like how every story teaches something, whether it's meant to or not.
I learned that from the Blake poems.
It makes me wonder too.
If everything teaches you something, then why is there any need to worry about anything at all? Isn't it just one big hello?
Yes, I'm sure it is.
All pretty simple really.
There isn't uber-happiness; just as there isn't uber-sorrow.
It just is what it is.
I just spend most of my life fighting between them. It's really funny actually.
Have you ever thought about it?
Holy shit! It's so funny.
Like the other day I was getting into it with a chick and I was like happy, and then I heard myself go, "Well, why you so happy?"
And then flip that forward to yesterday when I'm sitting on a stoop and my brother is trying to cheer me up for not having all my dreams-accomplished-now-syndrome, and I'm like, "Why am I not chipper?"
It's so funny. Ecstacy is when I can see that there is no fight betweeen one or the other.
I can only accept what I am in the moment that I feel it, and I even then I have the opportunity to see if it's real or not.
That's some crazy thinking. Becuase what would be the point in living?
Anyway, I'm writing pretty plainly, because this is the voice of my emotional understanding. It's pretty young like Blake's Innocence. It doesn't have to be complex or nothing. It's just this voice inside me that rings true for right now, so that's how I'm rolling.
It's also true to who I am.
This Hollywood producer who moonlights as a teacher and spoonlights with poems.
I could write more and make this pretty and fairrly erudite, but as you all know, I gave that all up the moment I read English for the first time. The words not sounding right. The class snickering. My head spinning.
"What's the answer to number 6, Parooz?" the kindergarten teacher asked.
"No!" I said.
"What's the answer!?"
"Do you want to go to the principal's office?"
If she only knew NO was the only word I was capable of saying.
If my father and I could learn to say YES at the same time.
If facts could exist as MAYBE'S.
If NASA could take risks again.
If the President of Iran could be my dad.
If the President of the United States could be me.
If I could write a book and be a Hollywood Producer.
If Hollywood could produce my book.
If JIM GOAR was a marsupial.
If STACY DACHEUX was a chimp.
If dinosaurs were Zen masters.
If Conan O'Brien were British.
If Lindsay Lohan could learn my number.
If Tupac Shukar knew Kurt Cobain.
If poetry were graffitti.
If I could say my name without flinching.
If I could flinch when you said NO.
If I could flinch at the end of this poem.
If I could flinch when you said God.
If I could flinch tomorrow.
If I could crawl under my desk.
If I could say NO again.
If I could say NO again.
If I could, but I don't.