In other words, I’m waiting for a better mood, and a more balanced state of mind

In Local projects, Poetry, Sanford Meisner, Theater on November 13, 2014 at 8:45 am

Thank god for the kids. Including the thirteen-year old (French-born and bred) who looked befuddled when I said: “Excuse me; the year seventeen eighty-nine; the French Revolution. This is a first-time mention for you?” Answer (with the befuddled look): “I wasn’t born yet.” Whereas I was, I suppose. Never mind. He’s clear excited at the thought of writing a great novel and handed me the Prologue yesterday. I lost track of which humans were demons in disguise, which were humans controlling their inner demon and which were the hero attempting to wreak vengeance on the demon who – no, sorry on the human who – no, that’s not it… More to come next week.

The new boy, seven years old. Second session, we’re still on a mutual scoping-out mission. He attempts to hide a real problem with phonemes by faking a larger problem with them. Sounds weird? No. Less ego damage in playing the dummy than in revealing a real difficulty. Caught him at it a few times. He laughed. We went at it another way. He’s not dumb; letter order is something of a challenge, that’s all.

Both girls swear up and down the teacher never, ever explained what the word haiku means, except to say it’s a poem and write one. I don’t have the teacher’s version. We spent the better part of the hour throwing on paper whatever came up in our heads, then seeing what we could pick out as material for something short and unexpected. Basho may rest in peace; his supremacy isn’t challenged. I’ll bring in my French translation of his works next week, just so they’ll know what a haiku does, and what it sounds like.

An hour spent with an eleven-year old, helping her memorize one of the most famous excerpts of Molière’s Le Bourgeois Gentilhomme – the part where Monsieur Jourdain discovers he’s been speaking in prose all these years, and didn’t know it. She then reeled it off to her dad who looked at me and said the French equivalent to: “well, gee, will you look at that” (eh ben, voyez-vous ça.)

I kept a safe distance away from any fiction of mine. I refuse to look at my work the way a disappointed parent looks at a kid’s report card, and notes the mistakes and none of the achievements.


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