photo by Jeremy Thomas on Unsplash. Used with permission.
When asked to elaborate on his fame-plagued life, he only mentioned family—his folks and kids and wife. His whole battery of movies went without a mention, and when they broached the subject, the air grew thick with tension. “If you only rate yourself by how you earn your keep,” he said, “you dig a trench that’s wide but isn’t very deep. My work was just a scribble on the margins of my life. Those roles I played of other people’s lives, I fear were rife with violence and sadness, full of passion and its ills, but they were all fiction just meant to pay the bills.
The story of my life was written out in grocery lists, outings with my children, that woman that I kissed at the least two times a day—each morning and each night. My fame was a reflection of a deeper light. The true role of my life was one that had nobody writing it, no director or producer or studio inciting it. It seems these days that what we seek is just escape and fiction. We don’t have to live ourselves–a mere contrived depiction of other people’s lives and thoughts more valid than our own, preferring fruits of other lives more than the ones we’ve grown. So though the meaning of my films are constantly debated, the roles that mattered most to me were ones that I created.”
The rain is falling drop on drop. It’s lessened but it doesn’t stop. No lightning breaks the coal dark sky, no noise of cars nor passers-by. I have the night here all alone, activity stripped to the bone. No barking dogs, no shouts and cheers of parties shifting up their gears. The whole world’s snuggled under covers, strangers, enemies and lovers. For this night, disputes delayed. All our petty gripes allayed. Rain the perfect arbitrator, our woes will have to find us later.
This picture is taken from my upstairs terrace. The dome you see covers the ceiling of my bedroom.
Our children follow in our footsteps
Creating their legacy
Every tactless comment, every lurid lie
pollutes the world around us—the water and the sky.
Rude winds disturb the quiet with cacophonous shrieking.
From floods and fires and hurricanes, safe shelter we are seeking.
They expect our gratitude for charity provided.
Instead they should be shamed for it. Charged and then indicted.
They cause disaster every day. The world grows daily worse
as they turn the ship of state into a floating hearse.
Rivers flowing poisons—clouds of toxic gas—
unheeded in the legislation that they pass.
They make a crypt out of our world. They seal their children’s doom,
converting our whole lovely world into a giant tomb.
Have you built a final fortress behind the winding wall so you need not deal with this crazy world at all? Is your lofty Shangri-la an adequate escape from the headlines of the day—the raw world’s rub and scrape? Have you left behind the saga of this noisy world to hide out in your quiet cave where you are snugly curled in your Barclay lounger, an old cat on your lap, your only excitement rubbing against its nap?
How the needles click and clack as you knit and purl, remembering small triumphs from when you were a girl. No need for social intercourse or charity or giving. Each year you knit out a life that contains less living, striving for an entity devoid of stress and trouble, sealed up neat and tidy in your private bubble. This is really living, you tell yourself each day— loneliness the only price that you have to pay.
Seventy-two years old, and I still get the same thrill out of staying up late that I did when I was five years old. There is something magical about still being awake when everyone else in the house has been asleep for hours. Things go on in the night that they will never know about. The heavy rain beating on the bulbous skylight of the domed ceiling, the moths fluttering around the chandelier over the patio table, the mystery of cool night air that makes a saga out of what might have been an ordinary night spent in dreams forgotten in the light of day.
The only prompt word ready at this very early hour is saga.