Three days to Bwagamoyo Script Premiere
I've been reading Chris Hedges and Barbara Kingsolver, two of my heroes. They are the pinnacles I reach for in my work.Chris Hedges
often moves me to tears. Not just his brilliance: I would make What Every Person Should Know About War
, and War Is A Force That Gives Us Meaning
, and American Fascists
required reading on the US high-school curriculum. But his willingness to stand in the river of what he writes about. Be drenched. Feel.
What do you say to those who advocate war as an instrument to liberate the women of Afghanistan or bring democracy to Iraq? How do you tell them what war is like? How do you explain that the very proposition of war as an instrument of virtue is absurd? Hw do you cope with memories of children bleeding to death with bits of iron fragments peppered throughout their small bodies? How do you speak of war without tears?
And Barbara Kingsolver
. What can one say about her sheer virtuosity? The Poisonwood Bible
is another book that should be required reading for every teenager in the world
. It breaks down Empire, power, love, adulthood, choice, truth, better than a hundred college philosophy, world politics, history courses.
Then there's Prodigal Summer
. Singing bubbling joy from the first lines:Her body moved with the frankness that comes from solitary habits. But solitude is only a human presumption. Every quiet step is thunder to beetle life underfoot; every choice is a world made new for the chosen. All secrets are witnessed.
A book I wanted to re-read as soon as I'd finished it. And re-re-read. I feel a genuine, gut envy towards anyone who still has their first reading of it ahead of them.
On the writing of it, she says: I can't say why other modern writers have turned their backs on Eros, but I can guess, because facing her head-on made me pretty nervous at first. Sex in our strange culture is both an utter taboo and the currency of jaded commerce. It's very tricky terrain to write about copulation, when the language seems to be held in the joint custody of pornography and the medical profession. But Prodigal Summer is about life and fecundity, and it could not be an honest book without sex at its very center. For this book to be taken seriously as literature, I realized I would have to invent a new poetry of copulation, and that is what I tried to do.
Other gems I've culled for encouragement and guidance this week, from her site: I immerse myself often in poetry, I guess, for the same reason painters rinse their brushes -- to keep the colors true.
When I begin a novel, I don't start building the story around pre-existing characters or incidents. I begin with theme. I devise a very big question whose answer I believe will be amazing, and maybe shift the world a little bit on its axis. Then I figure out how to create a world in which that question can be asked, and answered.
Like every infant and child I've ever known, I have a passion for making up stories, and an exacting need for truth. It's a heck of a life.
I'm also learning knots. Noose knots, to be precise. For the nine nooses I'll make on stage in three days time. Real nooses won't work structurally for visual impact, because they're designed to tighten around a neck. If the neck is absent, they slide up and vanish into the rope. So I have to figure out how to adapt the knots for what I have in mind - open hanging nooses. (First person to say "ah, a knotty problem," gets a rope thrown at them)
On the wall next to my desk are lines that struck me in a book randomly browsed at Stockholm airport: Too Soon Old, Too Late Smart
, by Gordon Livingston. Thoughts to work by for the next three days.We are not what we think, or what we say, or how we feel. We are what we do.
In general we get, not what we deserve, but what we expect.
....the only communication that can be trusted: behaviour.
It is the act that defines us, not the cause we use as a rationale.
Finally, we are entitled to receive only that which we are prepared to give.