Day 86: Time Machines and Russian Brides

I watched 2 movies tonight. It’s 2am so it’s Saturday. Because I am inside all day and Friday I didn’t look out the window much less leave the house and spent most of the day in my tiny closet office, there is not much sense of time beyond the 50 minute hour, so I get insomnia and a perverse interest in staying up late.

I watched “See You Yesterday” about 2 smart black kids who make a time machine. They go to Bronx Science. It’s just able to go a day behind, but the girl gets caught up trying to save her brother who gets shot by a white cop. All the reviews on IMDB are harsh, but I saw it with my kid and thought it was cool. I love time machine movies, and if you don’t think Bill and Ted movies are so awesome, why would you say this is such a bad movie? They have a more pressing reason to go back and it’s not a comedy. It’s almost a Groundhog Day type movie that’s a tragedy.

I went through a Groundhog Day movie search with my kid a few years ago. We found all the ones like it and watched them. They were pretty bad especially two Christmas movies but the concept is so fun and Twilight Zone they can be really bad but good. The best was about a girl in high school who starts out an oblivious jerk popular girl, and in the end she’s hell bent on saving an “invisible” classmate nobody notices from killing herself. That one wasn’t Christmas but you had to go to a typical high school party several times.

Maybe my taste in movies has gotten a lot less snobby and “discerning” since having a kid. I still hate movies she likes so I haven’t lost my particular flavors. I tried to show her the Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, a movie I can rewatch, a favorite, but she didn’t get into it. Being John Malkovich and Stranger than Fiction are also my types.

We both loved See You Yesterday and the ending is great too. Then she went to bed and I saw Birthday Girl, a Russian Bride Order heist gone bad movie with Clive Owens and Nicole Kidman from 2002. I thought that was fun too. I’m sure it got bad reviews too but it was cute.

I always enjoy movies that remind me of Bartley the Scrivener types, guys who have predictable lives and wake up one day and things go nuts and they get transformed and usually there’s a nutty woman involved. Like “Stranger than Fiction”.

A time machine that can only go a day back is interesting, and the concept of avoiding seeing yourself from the past is always played with in these movies. I guess the idea is pretty obvious. If you made a time machine to save George Floyd from dying, some other guy would die the same way. You can’t fix what’s broken unless you go so far back you’d have to mess with so much. Would it be Christopher Columbus or slave ships?

Was the guy an idiot to order a Russian bride? Like the guy in Stranger than Fiction who’s a tax auditor this one works in a bank.

Maybe quarantine has lowered my taste in films but they’re supposed to be fun and make you think. I’d like to mix it up and see some queer films as the heteronormative stuff gets stale just like the all white people movies do too. Yesterday we watched Flipped. It takes place in the 50s which I don’t love but it’s a cute love story.

I’m watching I Know This Much is True. I read the book a long time ago. Twins and schizophrenia of course make for interesting stuff and Mark Ruffolo is great playing both.

I’m trying to mix it up with important movies and more diverse casts as well as dumb stuff that’s fun. More documentaries and queer films on the horizon. Crip Camp, LA92. We just finished Kareem: Minority of One which was great.

Day 85: Friday, June 5

It’s been quite a week. I just got off Zoom with my last client of today. I had 6 people.

I am truly grateful for this job. It helps me stay halfway sane. I was going to write my answers for this project called The Unlonely Project, about art and quarantine, but most of the answers I’ve written about in here anyway. More on it another time.

I have family members who live in Minneapolis. They texted me two photos that I’m waiting for to post here as I of course asked permission and they’re going, well it seems I can go look at 5 photos and get them up here! My brother took them with a camera except the panorama with iPhone.

Day 83: Burial Mounds

So burial mounds have different names, like Tumulus, from Latin meaning bulge/swell, Barrow, Cairn, Kurgan, Rujm. Seems it goes back to around 1000BCE or earlier. Sometimes it seems, a mound was made for a king with a lot of stuff like treasure and artifacts and made with high quality stones. At times it was an easy way to bury a bunch of people, which to 21st century people may seem gruesome, but it’s not the same as digging a hole and throwing a bunch of bodies in it.

It’s sort of like a high rise for the dead, instead of a spread out cemetery. Maybe it would be nice for a whole family to be buried in a “green” way, wrapped in shrouds in a nice place near trees but in a mound instead of digging holes.

Anyway, my second reincarnated altered book seems to be going mostly with this theme of burial mounds. I found a website with the stats on NYC Covid 19 cases, hospitalizations and deaths and added them to the book on pages with burial mounds.

Pages from my altered book, turning Kurt Cobain’s Journals into Covid 19 Journal of sorts.

Then after I caught up through May and June 1, today I started the mound of names of black people murdered by police, basically a burial mound of modern lynchings by mostly the police.

I salute the protesters, many of whom were downtown near my neighborhood last night, but having a 12 year old and a high Covid risk partner, I did not participate. Luckily due to the internet and social media there are plenty of other ways to participate in protesting police brutality towards people of color and donate to various causes, either directly to Black Lives Matter or to the many other organizations effecting change.

I started writing in names for this Black Lives Matter Burial Mound that of course could be centuries long…

I had interesting sessions today with several people of color and one of my clients who is convinced that the system is broken and the only real change that can occur is a total overhaul, rather than simply protests and voting in progressive and socialist people. Basically revolution.

Who knows? The protests have caused some slow change but justice delayed is often justice denied, and at some point there may be a tipping point. I just hope the protesters arent’ the ones who get sick in two weeks…

Day 2: Saturday, March 14, 13 Minutes

Happy Pi day! I have a great Pi t-shirt I got at a science museum in Myrtle Beach on summer vacation. It’s 3/14!

Daily photo, another great t-shirt:

I am sometimes sad that in high school I was so good at math and did BC Calculus and took the exam. Now I barely know what Calculus is. I have a terrible memory for exact experiences that are recent and my memory of the far-gone past is terrible. I can’t remember how to play the piano or read notes. In high school I was playing Chopin Nocturnes.

Anyway, the silver lining in my terrible ADHD memory where everything is like trying to hold sand, is that I remember odd irrelevant things, and they can be fun to write about.

Today I had a WhatsApp video call with one of my best friends who live in Milan with her 13 year old. They are very inspiring, as they obviously are in the later stages of the Coronavirus, but still have hope and a sense of humor, despite there now being strict rules about leaving your house: only to walk dogs, go food shopping or to the pharmacy, so not even a curfew, a total stay home order.

I have a nail polish bottle in my studio where I keep my nail polish collection. You can use nail polish for art, like decorating your pillbox or the front and back of a journal.

This nail polish bottle is special. I actually bought it with my Italian friend soon after 9/11 or maybe before, in downtown Brooklyn where we worked. We both lived right near Ground Zero. Anyway we went to a department store near work. I can’t remember if it was a Macy’s or another one. We both bought the same color of Lancome nail polish, a kind of iridescent peach color.

Not only do I still have that nail polish, it still works, meaning it hasn’t thickened and gotten clumpy like many other nail polishes do in even 2 years. You open this bottle and it’s like your bought it yesterday. I wish I had a photo of it.

Some stores that have closed long ago, like Pearl Paint, I remember the exact layout and where they put the Sakura gelly pens and the frames. I remember the fancy pen case and the floor with sculpture tools, all the floors. I remember waiting on line on the paints floor in the palette aisle and seeing Bob Ross brand of things and the paint knives on the left side. Pearl Paint had a few specialty stores on Lispenard Street across from the main building, which was red and white brick. There was a store for home depot kind of stuff, wallpaper and paint and home decorating stuff. There was a store just for art furniture towards Church Street. There was an awesome craft supply store, with 2 stories and you went up the stairs for stuff and could see the bottom floor.

The main building had an old creaky elevator with a cramped waiting space and a bulletin board of flyers and announcements for art lessons and other things. The stairs in the main store were worn dark wood that wasn’t flat anymore. I remember where the turpentine was and the orange scented one that I discovered and bought, on one of the lowest shelves to the left of the entrance to the paint floor. You had to purchase whatever you got on that floor. There was a little room for specialty paper with someone behind a counter who would get certain papers that weren’t out on the racks. They wrapped your big paper carefully in brown paper. One of my clients even reminisced about going there after therapy with me and picking up art supplies. I even remember the customer service nook. All the cashiers and stock people were artists. It was the most magnificent art supply store I ever went to. It was an experience. I remember seeing people with their typed out lists of supplies from their painting classes searching for maybe their first tube of oil paint in September.

Thinking of Pearl Paint always makes me happy because it was so connected to me of my first ten years or so of being an artist. Going in there was magical.

 

13 Minutes Writing

I just saw my last post. I have been looking at the current health crisis through various sources. One great way I’ve always loved for getting the daily news is through the comedy shows/late night shows, starting with the Daily Show. Trevor Noah had some great commentary on Trump’s latest delusional talking at the CDC and about the cruise ship in California. By the time I was watching Colbert’s version, I coulnd’t even listen to the clip because he is so delusional I cannot believe he hasn’t been removed from office since the outbreak of the coronavirus with his fact bending, callousness and just idiotic statements. He is always acting like these things are about him. It’s common knowledge that a vaccine isn’t just going to be pulled out of someone’s ass in two weeks or so. All the experts say it could take a year or more. He coulnd’t even bother to ask the people standing around him who are supposed to be scientists about what’s going on.

Ok. Everyone knows he’s inept and dangerously psychotic and I guess that is the norm for him now. Part of the comedians’ collective material about him involves us not being shocked or surprised by the shit that comes out of his mouth. Imagine if Obama were to be saying the exact same things? It’s impossible to imagine.

Anyway, whatever you think about Governor Cuomo, compared to Trump he is handling things pretty well. There was a fun moment when he was touting the wonderful scent of the government’s version of Purell. I’m not sure where they are handing them out. I found a 3 ounce one that cost 7.99 at Prime Essentials down the street from me. They are a super weird store so it’s not surprising they might have something that’s run out everywhere else. There is this weird statue of liberty outside the store, about the size of a tall person. They now have devoted a 1/3 of the store’s space to a weird clothing vendor. They have jewelry, hair accessories and other accessories and a lot of clothes, all at expensive prices and the kind of thing you didn’t want and wouldn’t want. Who is buying the stuff? It’s like a bad version of an expensive Thrift  store but the stuff is new. I love fashion but it is completely unappealing. The place has a lot of stuff for sure, from food to snacks to cleaning supplies and office supplies.

There used to be some lovely wierd stores in this neighborhood back in the day. One of those great ones where you go to the back and the store feels like it’s getting bigger while all the merchandise is crowded together. That store boasted cheap items of all kinds and a kind of cranky yet appealing old woman cashier/manager. I can still remember the layout.

It’s really weird to be able to envision a whole layout of a place that no longer exists. There are so many here in Tribeca.

Gender Feature Story 1: The Shoes Review

In writing my other Gender post, I was reminded of the day I was on the Payless Shoes Website and saw a very cool review because it was a self described “gentleman” wearing “ladies shoes.” I then went back to the website just now and hunted down the review to quote it here. I posted it on something when I first saw it a year ago. It bears reposting just because it’s so great how gender and gender identity are not some side topic but are part of everywhere. I proposed my Gender Identity Altered Books Workshop and the person in charge said it may be too specific a population to do a workshop on, so I explained that it is extremely relevant to every clinician and ubiquitous and in fact everyone needs to be trained in gender identity sensitivity.

Anyway here is the review in all its glory. Thank you to this person who bravely put himself out there! And FYI, while they should be “unisex”, they are Mary Janes and look like non fancy practical shoes but have that element that makes you think of little kids (female) shoes.

“I just received my “Geanette” Mary Jane shoes today and have been wearing them most of the day. I could not be more pleased with them. My new “Mary Janes” are very comfortable and nice looking. I am a gentleman who enjoys wearing women`s shoes exclusively and find these to be very suitable for around the house or street wear. This shoe would be excellent for women as well as men, as it is a true “unisex” shoe. I am a red-blooded male and have already received a few compliments on this attractive looking shoe. I heartily recommend these well made nice looking shoes for anyone. I think I`ll order another pair just in case they are discontinued.”

Here are the shoes if you’re curious or want a pair, whatever your gender!

https://www.payless.com/womens-comfort-plus-geanette-mary-jane-shoe/77840.html?dwvar_77840_color=black#q=mary%20jane&prefn1=gender&prefv1=Women&start=3

 

The Therapist Profile: Reflections

Writing my profile for websites for therapists, such as psychologytoday.com, has always been a challenge for me. With each new website, I’ve discovered new clearer ways to answer the questions about my work. It’s hard to put into words my practice and approach and how I might be the kind of therapist you would work well with. I definitely look at other people’s profiles for inspiration, more to see how they word things, if they start with questions, what kinds of phrases they use that seem to be really clear  than to paraphrase. My profile is unique and I explain art therapy in the way I think of it from how I experience working as an art therapist, but I’m still not too satisfied with it. It’s an ever evolving process for me, so I’ve often changed my profile on psychologytoday.com (the Main Encyclopedia of psychotherapsits), when I am in the process of putting it on it  other websites.

I’ve recently joined the relatively new website and community of healers/doctors/providers, lighthouselgbt: Safe Space for LGBTQ + Wellness. The first part of the Lighthouse Profile defines the space and providers in this way: “We are a group of NYC based providers who have devoted our careers to caring for LGBTQ+ patients.” This is the link if you’d like to check out the website: https://www.lighthouse.lgbt

I am very excited to be part of the Lighthouse community, especially right now with the political climate we are forced to endure. It is more than ever important to find your “tribe(s)”, no matter whether virtual or “real world”. As an extreme introvert, I need meaningful soul to soul  person to person connections with other like minded open tolerant curious and out of the box people, including in my work as an art therapist. (I have yet to find a group of artists/writers/galleries/publishers/creative professionals that feeds me. Here I am in NYC and the NY Art World is not for me at all, but I’ve never quite found something. I do have plenty of friends whose careers involve creativity and the “arts”, and social media places to share my work, but it is not quite a real community of people for me. I’m hopeful I will find this eventually. I put this in parentheses because it is a whole other topic to explore that is on my mind lately.)

Identity: “Who am I and what am I about?” is a lifelong voyage of discovery. I’m a work in progress. The longer I live, the clearer I am at articulating who I am in whatever sphere of life, and then I’m able to look back and see how I’ve always been this way and are just in process of becoming more fully who I am, constantly evolving. I am passionate about evolving and becoming increasingly aware of ways that I want to present myself to the world more accurately. Whenever I have an “Ah ha” moment, I realize this was who I was even back when I was a 7 year old just being me, without as many barriers to being able to be myself. I understand when my clients report that they have bravely forayed into proclaiming their discovery of their gender or something else and gotten reactions of “you never said this before. You’re not this and that so how is it you say you are this (gender, career, creative mode of expression.) It can be as simple as “But you’re a performer, youre not a visual artist.” “You’ve always been “xyz”. Even, “You should talk to your parent. They are so nice or they are your family.” Someone has gotten to the point of taking a brave stand and boundary with an abuser and doesn’t always get this validated; in fact often people devalue whatever you’re proclaiming. I recently read someone’s essay about their identity as an asexual person and what it is about for them. The comments were downright nasty, some insinuating that you can’t say you’re asexual because you had sex in that relationship or you’re talking about having sex, so you’re not asexual. I’m happy that now there is a phrase, “the asexual spectrum”, which was invented to explain especially to such limited bullying individuals that being asexual is not that simple and only works when not a label slapped on someone.

I can say that most of the barriers I have had to being myself have been self created, but maybe I woulnd’t have created these barriers to radical full self acceptance and standing fully in the light if the world were a lot safer and more openminded and accepting.

“Be yourself. Everybody else is taken.”As I wrote that I think of Oscar Wilde’s words in a way I haven’t before. The two sentences are kind of a dialectic in the sense that being yourself involves having to define yourself in relation to other humans because we use language, verbal and non verbal, to express or hold back who we are. We can’t get out of the aspect of self acceptance that involves negating a sort of “norm” communicated to us by society and their constructs and clarifying taking space as unique and beyond the norm. There should be no “box” to be inside of or outside of in any arena of life; of course that is a fantasy. Imagine being born into a world where gender was a spectrum, where polyamory, monogamy and a romantic approaches and of were all just choices like the color of a t shirt and that your shape, size and color of your skin were seen like a box of magic markers. You wouldn’t need to focus on what you are not and what does not resonate with you as who you are. There would be freedom to be and freedom to play. My challenge: “What gender are you today?” which was the main focus of my last art show, “#Bathroom Art Only” would be like deciding on a cereal for breakfast. Some people want the same breakfast every day; others want different things or no breakfast, or have the same breakfast for years and at age 37 decide to have a completely new breakfast. It would be the ideal of “live and let live”, “whatever floats your boat” and the maxim would be “Be yourself. Be free to be yourself. Be free to evolve and change in your concept of yourself.” with no need to refer to others.

There is a therapy phrase, “ego syntonic” and another one “ego distonic”. I like these phrases because they get to the heart of self acceptanc, self worth and learning how to navigate an unsafe unpredictable world we all have to live in. Something is ego syntonic if it is in sync with who you are and your values and aspirations, like when you put on a t shirt and it fits you in size as well as what it looks like and what kind of t shirt it is. Jobs can be seen in this way. If you are working at a job that is deadening you and feels like it’s not what you want to do or the people you work with are people you would not choose to be around, the job is ego distonic. When I worked cleaning the house of a science fiction writer in the summer during college, it was ego syntonic because he was nice and weird and non critical and paid me cash and the job was temporary; a job doesn’t have to be on your career path to be ego syntonic; it just needs to match who you are and your wants and needs. Same with any relationship. Therapy for example. If you feel comfortable with your therapist for whatever reasons and that there are minimal blocks in the way of your accomplishing your therapy goals created by the therapist, or even if the therapist has done so and you are able to address it, then the therapeutic realtinoship is ego syntonic; at certain points in therapy, it can be very therapeutic for you to notice and tell your therapist that they have said or done something that was not ok with you. Then you have an opportunity for the therapist to adjust/correct and you are improving your communication in important relationships and growth occurs. Often we discover what is ego syntonic by experiencing something as ego distonic. That’s the “everybody else is taken.” part of the dialectic. It means asking “Is this for me or for the other person?” “Am I ok with this or am I now not ok with it even if I was in the past?” “Is this something I want now in my life or not?” “How does this serve my growth or impede it?” The more you can clarify what is ego distonic, you also clarify what is ego syntonic. The process is unique for each person.

As an artist and person who has a deep need to approach life creatively and express myself creatively, I have always been someone who tries many of the t shirts on, or has different breakfasts every day. I like to shape shift and morph and copy and try on things; I learn best by watching how someone does something and trying it out, but reshaping it to do it my way. I don’t learn well by being told what to do in a rigid way or being told what I did wrong. My college was ego syntonic to the way I learn and the kinds of people I needed to find for my life, so I was able to grow as a person during thpse important years. I like seeing diversity and experiencing diversity, as I am easily bored and like the new. At the same time I don’t gravitate towards situations involving meeting new people in a social context. As a therapist I enjoy meeting new clients because I am curious and interested in how unque and fascinating each person’s inner life, identity and approach to life is. As an artist, I often try out new things and then in that process, keep repeating something I’ve stumbled upon. With drawing especially, it involves looking at other people’s drawings or images; to draw musical instruments for my Warrior Series, I looked up musical instruments from other cultures, especially middle eastern and African.

Using the line from Annie Hall comparing relationships to sharks, as an artist I need to be like a shark, constantly moving. The dialect between me the artist and me the art therapist is being the shark and the snail. As a therapist I slow down and stay with whatever the client brings in to explore and process.

Mission Accomplished: Art Therapists Are the Experts!

An Art Therapist Explains Why Justin Bieber Needs Coloring Books

Yes! Mission accomplished!!!

My biggest complaint about the media and art therapy is that they need to interview art therapists as experts when art making is involved. Too often I see an article where a psychologist is looked upon as the expert to explain people’s pictures. They ain’t the experts. We are, and we need to be the first ones out there. We need to be on more talk shows and all the stuff the psychologists do, and we’re on the way to getting in people’s living rooms and in their Twitter and other feeds.

For me, that’s the goal; get the general population to know about the existence of art therapy, by all means necessary. That means television, magazines, newspapers, articles, Youtube, all social media.

Now that we have the best adult coloring book out there: The Real Art Therapists of NY Coloring Book (https://nycreativetherapists.com/real-art-therapists), we need it to be sold in airports and supermarkets, Walmart, Target, Whole Foods, Duane Reade!

So check out this article in Vice and read Nadia Jenefsky’s take on Justin Bieber coloring as well as what he colored and how.

As art therapists, we are trained to look at images and pictures, and we know how to translate and explain them. We are trained in understanding what makes people drawn to certain materials and images, verbal and non-verbal communication. We make our own images, and we get other people not just to make images but we invite people who haven’t touched paint or other materials since they were 5, to get back the joy of art making and get in touch with their creativity, whether it’s cooking, gardening, sports, writing, coloring, sky diving, etc. Art therapy is not just about making stuff in therapy. Art therapy is about creative environments, connecting with others…

That is what it is really about, connecting on small and large scale, so this article is at the forefront of raising awareness of Art Therapy and who the expert art therapists are!

Trump Trauma or Trump Overdose?New DSM 5 Disorder

This comes from my own personal experience. Others with this illness, you are not alone! (Stay tuned for post on more severe illness, Trump Psychosis)
New DSM 5 Disorder for OCD or Trauma Chapter, possibly a specific form of PTSD:
Name: Trump Trauma or Trump Overdose, specify whether co occurring with Trump Psychosis
Age: 5 years to 99 years
Symptoms: One or more of the following, occurring at least 3 times/week:
(specify severity: mild, moderate, severe)
1. Trump in any form triggers somatic responses such as nausea, vomiting, digestive issues  
2. Trump in any form triggers responses such as revulsion in form of anxiety, panic, depersonalization, hopelessness and/or depressive outlook.
3.Inability to control obsessive thinking about not wanting to think about Trump and/or experiencing intrusive thoughts/images about Trump.
4. Nightmares about Trump and/or feeling of being in a nightmare while awake. Knowing that you’re not delusional about waking nightmare:
5. Compulsion: Feeling not in control of contact with social media about Trump and spending 20 minutes or more of your day in a Trump Trance writing posts or commenting or reading about Trump while being aware of not wanting to do so. 
6. Paranoia: after other symptoms get triggered, believing there’s something wrong with you or that you’re crazy to have such symptoms/reactions.
7. Frequent Violent fantasies you can’t control about physically assaulting, disfiguring and/or killing Trump or Trump dying sometimes accompanied by brief feeling of euphoria that often triggers subsequent descent into depression.
8.Frequent Violent fantasies regarding sources of info about Trump (usually in form of physically assaulting/destroying TV, Computer or Smartphone, specify whether danger to others)
9. Frequent fantasies about living on another planet, belief and/or realization that you are from another planet if this knowledge further triggers other symptoms. (see treatment)
Treatment/Cure:

1. Cure: Trump somehow disappears. Symptoms should be gone in a few days.

2. Trump gets out of the race. Symptoms will immediately subside, may linger a few weeks.

3. Person with this disorder finds any way to return to their planet and reduce greatly contact with planet earth. Taking a substantial amount of aliens chosen carefully is also a great option. Not a complete cure due to memories of Trump situation and concern for planet Earth.

Treatment for chronic condition:

  1. recognizing you have this disorder and you’re not crazy helps reduce paranoid symptoms while also triggering symptoms if you get reality check through search engine or social media

2. Talking about moving to other countries and picking what country/looking at homes there can help reduce symptoms. Focusing on that country or any other as a safe space may also reduce symptoms.Cure: Trump magically disappears or .gets out of the race.

3. Avoidance of exposure to Trump will reduce symptoms. Tracking time in day that you are symptom free gives hope for recovery. (Trump Disorder tracking App coming soon.)

Medication: Klonopin and similar anti-anxiety medication may help reduce symptoms and other medications of this type may make you so drowsy you forget about him for a while. Any medication proven to reduce nightmare frequency.

Course of illness: whether treated or untreated, will worsen with time. Possible extreme severity can cause another disorder: Trump Psychosis.

David Bowie, Thank You

“Gimme your hands cause you’re wonderful (wonderful)”:

This morning I woke up to the news of David Bowie’s death. A heavy loss for his family and for the world. For me personally, it is more than sad. I feel like a brilliant light has been blown out, too soon. I can’t describe everything I am grateful for that David Bowie inspired for me. I want to write and post this today to honor him, so I will try to keep it short and organized…

David Bowie was/is one of the most important creative Public Figures in my life and my life as an artist. Before I had an idea of becoming anything, much less a visual artist, I loved Bowie. I first discovered and embraced everything I found about him while in first years of high school. It would not be crazy to say that he and Katherine Hepburn, another big love of mine, also a gender non comforming rebel, helped me enormously on an emotional level to survive a turbulent, confusing, sometimes lonely, amazing and crazy time of life. During the adolescent years when we are going through crazy transformations and trying to figure out who  the hell we are, these two icons in similar and different ways spoke to me and inspired me, not to make art, but to dare, to stay on earth, to discover and adventure, to embrace my uniqueness and weirdness.

As there was no internet in the 80’s, I had these two shining examples of people who said yes to T. S. Eliot’s question: “DO I dare disturb the universe?” On my senior high school yearbook page, I had that quote and Bowie’s: “We can be heroes, just for one day.”

I could continue about how David Bowie got me through some rocky times of confusion and contortion, but I wanted to say more just through his words, as I loved his way with words, whether lyrics or just things he said that came from him, in interviews, casually. I’m assembling a few from today, in memories, and including some things I just found today that speak to me and my history:

“He took it all too far, but boy could he play guitar.” -from Ziggy Stardust

 “I GLIT from one thing to another a lot…It’s like “flit”, the 70’s version.” I found this gem from his  Dick Cavett interview that speaks to the parts of me that are interested in any random thing and quickly bored and moving to something else shiny and new.

“Being an artist of any kind …a social dysfunction… An extraordinary thing to want to do… “-said to Charlie Rose in answer to some kind of question about creativity and craziness

:He’ll think about paint and he’ll think about glue,
What a jolly boring thing to do.” (and the whole song, Andy Warhol) One of my favorite of his songs. This goes through my head all the time, and sums up a lot of my days spent enjoying things like new scissors, glue, a new kind of paint, brush pens, any discovery of a magic art supply.

This is just a taste of the biggest part of his message for me, about being true to who you are, and accepting yourself and really celebrating your uniqueness.

My favorite Bowie song in high school was “Rock and Roll Suicide”, the last of the Ziggy Stardust album/concert footage. It’s not about suicide really; what spoke to me was the verses about not being alone. Growing up is often a lonely scary process for many of us…

Oh no love! you’re not alone
You’re watching yourself but you’re too unfair
You got your head all tangled up but if i could only
Make you care
Oh no love! you’re not alone
No matter what or who you’ve been
No matter when or where you’ve seen
All the knives seem to lacerate your brain
I’ve had my share, I’ll help you with the pain
You’re not alone

The last verse of that song is what I will end with. I have in my mind the image of Bowie as Ziggy Stardust leaning down and holding the hands of the outstretched audience. A beautiful image of connection. Ziggy Stardust at least for me was a complex person/persona and felt like a friend, not an aloof outer space creature actually:

Just turn on with me and you’re not alone
Let’s turn on with me and you’re not alone (wonderful)
Let’s turn on and be not alone (wonderful)
Gimme your hands cause you’re wonderful (wonderful)
Gimme your hands cause you’re wonderful (wonderful)
Oh gimme your hands.

Thank you, David Bowie, for all your gifts to us, from the bottom of my heart…