american angel notes from amsterdam – 11

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thursday september 21, 2006

and on the other hand. . . i miss the smoke free world of america. even now, at this cafe, the blonde across the way smokes and smokes and smokes and smokes and smokes and smokes and smokes. why do the dutch need the occasion of smoke to breathe? a high level of mistrust in any act of faith. even the act of faith of breathing. smoke it up. but they do it with such gusto. such beautiful unapologetic sensual pleasure. i long for fresh air. the pleasure of that.

it’s been one of those days. i ran a red light on my bike, like everyone, like everyday. passed a cop as i was doing it and thought of how great amsterdam is with it’s common sense approach to the law. the dignity offered to the individual to make the right move, make the right call of safety. the not sticking to the letter of the law. a red light, i thought, just being a suggestion. the name of a district. not a traffic signal to be obeyed.

as i bathed in that thought, on this beautiful autumn day along the prinsengracht, the two smiling cops pulled me over and wrote me a ticket for fifty euros. gave me the choice of going to the station and paying or handing him the 50 on the street. i handed him the 50 on the street. they were very friendly. everybody was smiling when i paid the ticket.

to think that there are only 20, 50 euro notes in a 1000 euro note. and for a 1000 i could buy a plane ticket for someone i love to come and hold me here in amsterdam. yet i am the angel of solitude and tears. so breathe in the smoke or run away, punk.

and rehearsal today. i go with such hope. such openness to the adventure. i walk away exhausted, depleted, beat up and sad.

ola is under a lot of pressure. she has such good ideas. the environment though is not joyful. it’s heavy and fractured. the organization such an obstacle. the lack of staff to help with rehearsal. loesje doing the job of 6. i’m just having a bad day. it is hard for me to find my way through this process. the language being one of the chief difficulties. frustrations are high. not feeling safe to create. but i will continue to show up. it’s hard. and yes creation happens, in spite of me.

much pain around my dad’s failing health. he’s back in the hospital. my sister wants to move him. she doesn’t feel he’s getting the proper care. this is a hard and heavy decision. i am far away and i feel there is nothing i can do but try to do my job well here. try to be alive here and do my best. and pray. i miss my family.

ola so generously called to apologize. so very kind. such a good soul. the professional heart demands a proper toughness. a proper openness. a certain endurance. i invited sarita and maria to the premiere. i wait in love. love hurts.

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