american angel notes from amsterdam – 2

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sunday 8/27/06

on saturday, it was just fedja and i. the dutch and the american angel. much talk about the difference between dutch and american “public”. and thus the difference between dutch and american theatre. the dutch, it seems, don’t want to be told anything definitive. we must approach them “from the back door”. i’m interested in the seeming contradictions. the show of liberalness masking a deep conservatism.

in the audience last night for “het temmen van de feeks”, the taming of the shrew, there are few to no single laughers. the audience laughs together or not at all. one’s solo american angel laugh is certain to draw stares. and not necessarily stares of condemnation. i am told that they like things to be normal here. this is interesting and surprising. i dare say i begin to understand a bit of bush’s talk of “old europe”.

amsterdam is not new york. long ago amsterdam was one particular people’s home and in recent years it has been invaded by some of the peoples they invaded. in new york we are all invaders. at our best, to be american is to be more transparent. to be more communicative. to be willing to let people in the front door. to be willing to go in the front door. when we all know the light and the garden may be more beautiful in the back.

bernie

monday 8/28/06

this week i am turning from noisy to quiet in my approach to cassiel. i think my rebellion is over. i pray to God i am ready to listen.

the rain soaked my shoes to the shoes bone. once i returned home. yes home, here on the silodam, i put the shoes in the dryer. the left shoe came out with the sole flapping. to walk in this shoe now means i must lift my left knee higher or else i will trip. at this point, i would like for these to be the american angel’s shoes. cassiel’s shoes. torn shirt. i suppose a bit of a hobo feel. some kind of homeless thing. angels are homeless. right? at home nowhere and everywhere.

the birds have their nests, the bears their caves, but we angels have no place to lay our little pin heads.

“my head is a spinnin’ round
my heart is in my shoes.
i went and set the thames on fire
i must come back down to you.
i don’t need anbody
because i love to be alone
and i say
anywhere, yeah anywhere
i’m gonna’ lay my head,
boy i’m gonna’ call my home.”
tom waits, “anywhere i lay my head”

yes, i should have brought more tom waits. gotta’ load up the ipod with his song. talk about american angels. all my tom waits cd’s are in arthea’s garage in pasadena.

bernie

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