Archive for April, 2012

From the deep archives: Jon Lipsky’s MASTER OF ECSTASY

April 30, 2012

I only just last week belatedly learned from the Boston University alumni magazine of the death of Jon Lipsky (above) over a year ago — March 25, 2011, at age 66 from cancer. When I lived in Boston in the second half of the 1970s, Lipsky belonged to a small hardy population of talented artists passionately committed to making experimental theater in Boston, rather than accepting the conventional wisdom that you had to move to New York to do such things. As a tribute to Jon, I’ve posted on my writing archive the admiring review I wrote, as an eager young theater critic for the Boston Phoenix, of a play he wrote in collaboration with the ensemble who called themselves Reality Theater. The play was Master of Ecstasy, and I’m still surprised that the play never had a life after its original production. Check it out here and let me know what you think.


Quote of the day: VOTING

April 29, 2012


Some people in the media act like Washington is some autonomous entity that’s operating with no connection to the public. I had a woman stop me the other day, she said, “I’m very angry about Congress. What are you guys doing?” I said, “Who’s your Congressman?” “Oh, I don’t know.” “Well, see, I vote for me, I’m happy with me. What are you blaming me for the people you vote for?”

— Barney Frank, interviewed for New York magazine

Quote of the day: WRITING

April 26, 2012


I think the single best line of advice I ever heard on being a parent, a writer, a seeker, an anything, is something the great E. L. Doctorow said years and years ago, that writing is like driving at night with the headlights on: you can only see a little ways in front of you but you can make the whole journey this way. This may not be verbatim, but for me it has rung true in every area of my life.

— Anne Lamott

photo by Scoo

Photo diary: spring is here

April 12, 2012

Park Avenue

56th Street


meditation altar

Central Park

Quote of the day: NATURE

April 12, 2012


Here in the country beauty and death surround you. They’re that close. The hummingbirds whiz in and out sipping the Kool-Aid in the feeder for them. The cat races back and forth in the garden climbing higher and higher in the tree. I see her at the doorway with something in her mouth, it’s still struggling. I yell and smack her, and a quail runs away into the garden. It doesn’t fly away. I go to see if it’s hurt. Ostensibly it’s not. Legs not broken, neck not broken. It stands breathing heavily, eyes darting all about. I decide it’s just in shock at narrowly escaping death. I talk to it, I point out that it’s still alive, it can walk, it can fly, it’ll be fine. The cat, of course, can’t stay away and comes prowling. I pin her to the ground a foot away from the bird. The bird doesn’t move. Still catching its breath. I hesitate to pick it up and move it somewhere safe – doesn’t human scent ostracize a bird from the pack? I pick up a stick and try to get the bird to stand on it. It jumps slightly, so it does seem to be able to move. It just doesn’t want to. Now I’m feeling restless and foolish. How long can I hold back this cat, prevent nature from taking its course? Maybe this is something I need to watch, the dance of predator and prey. The instant I release the cat, the bird flies away, out of reach.
And then: the next day on the path outside the gate is a dead bird, perhaps a quail, perhaps the same one. The head is missing. Do cats eats birds’ heads? The body of the bird has been torn open, and a swarm of bees, perhaps two dozen, partake of it in a literal feeding frenzy. I can’t look. I look.

— Don Shewey, diary entry, 9.23.92

Grapewine Springs Ranch, rural Mendocino County, California, 1992

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