Thursday, March 26, 2015

I Think of Sylvia and Joan and Spring

An homage.

Spring glides over New York City this week. The wind is picking up, the frost heave has settled down.

When it is spring in New York, people get the courage to come outside to try on their new selves. A decision was made. Or the winter was so rough that all focus must be sharpened in order to forget it.

In spring in New York, I think of young women who have had enough, the smart ones and the ones who are also smart but also know exactly where to go, which is often very close to where they came from.

In spring in New York, I think about Sylvia Plath's The Bell Jar, having her romantic nervous breakdown. She learns she is inadequate. I would bring down my paperback from the sunken-in shelves right now and read a random page, but it was long ago lent to someone, I do not remember who, and is certainly lost.

But the quotes from the book never go away and you can read some of the best ones here. They never get old.

But what I really feel, and see, when it is spring in New York, is the back of Ms. Didion's head, at 28, when she says Goodbye To All That, having had enough. She is clear and tough. Some essential internal boomerang has forced her return to New York in old age, but when she was 28, it was time to leave. I do not remember if it was spring when she left, but by summer, it was certain she was not coming back. But now I have become curious so I look it up and there is the line, "And then one morning in April..." so I did remember, somewhere, it was spring in New York, and Joan, newly married, left town.

Spring is when you feel the entire population shifting. The men, certainly. But men often leave quietly in the night, with very little on their backs. The women, or at least the women from the last century, the century I understand without trying to, they feel it dry and damp all at once and they tell you. It is the weariness. The coldness. The chance.  They are reminded it is time to leave. And they write the leaving of it so well.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Let's Just All Go to Norway

Thanks S.M.

Monday, March 23, 2015

I'm All for Looking

There was a fine article about LOOKING, the gay SFO show in the NYTimes that has run for two seasons on HBO.  Good writing. Good acting. Believable.

It does feel like it is the first series on television that deals with gay people like they are people and not simply clowns.  This has been exciting to watch.

It is a great experience to witness people who are like you be depicted on screen in a truthful way. Or in my case, younger versions of me.

I do hope the show comes back. But like I've always asked about Joni Mitchell, whom I love, "Does she seek endless pain in order to write songs?"...

In order for the story of LOOKING to continue, must these guys forever be breaking up with people?

Ah, well, Hannah in GIRLS has to keep hunting along with her friends for love and work. But that's both of the biggies. LOOKING deals with half as much.

So, maybe, LOOKING will get deeper (and more subtle?) if it stays on the air and remains, basically, about relationships, but deals with large human issues while being IN relationships.  Maybe the looking they will be doing will be things like, Looking for the authentic self, Looking into raising kids, Looking for more self acceptance and acceptance of others, Looking for love, again, if a divorce comes to pass.  You know, like life. But mostly men.

Kudos to HBO.  How much we love it.

TV... remember when we all made fun of it? I almost never watched Cheers.