american angel notes from amsterdam – 19

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friday, october 13, 2006 13.08

today is anne davis murphy’s birthday. anne is a great writer. poet and playwright. she is paul’s wife. john and hannah’s mom. her heart is filled with love. at times she is shy and that is beautiful. sometimes she is stubborn and frightened. that is beautiful, too. happy birthday, anne. i am so glad you were born.

something so amazing about listening to these jackson browne songs. songs that moved me, awoke me as a teenager. jackson is about 10 years older than me, i think. he might as well have been my father.

i was in an acting class with him for awhile. doing a scene once, his scene partner threw a dart through his foot. jackson did not react until the scene was over. then he screamed in pain. when kenneth mcmillian, the incredible actor and teacher, asked him why he didn’t react during the scene, jacskon said he didn’t think it was appropriate for the scene.

real life on stage. telling the truth. being present. telling the story that needs be told. just showing up is sometimes enough. the truth was he felt the pain and didn’t react. that was the truth that was told. a strong, compelling, memorable choice.

so many of our teacher’s have put “feeling” above everything.

“don’t trust my inner feelings,
inner feelings come and go.”
sings mr. cohen.

hearing “the pretender” now. his youthful exuberance and idealism. it still stands. i still believe in it.

i hope i can have lunch with jackson one day and tell him how grateful i am for his art. how he has been an angel for me. inspiring me, guiding me through the darkness. the tears shed in my 47 years while listening to his songs. some label him sentimental. and this is a bad word. i love listening to his songs. they are family. i’ve grown up with them. they visit me. they call me when i’m struggling. they leave me alone.

i spend holidays with them. and regular days. we go on trips together. travelled the world.

paris, rome, zurich, montagnola, avingnon, toulon, giens, new york, detroit, los angles, amsterdam, colombo, kandy, pittsburgh, miami, sydney, calgary, tucson, trona, chicago, east lansing, warsaw, ft. wayne, dallas, austin, atlanta, assissi, positano, lincoln nebraska, minneapolis, portland, st. louis, cape cod, williamstown, philadelphia, san diego, la jolla, laguna beach, santa barbara.

there are so many places i haven’t been. i’ve never read war and peace.

jackson browne, bruce springsteen, gilbert o’sullivan, don mclean, the tempations, karla bonoff, gary wright, peter frampton, harry nillson, the beatles, the sugar hill gang, neil young, james taylor, al green, the eagles, marvin gaye, buddy holly, the monkees, miles davis, woody guthrie, aerosmith, pure praire league, john coltrane, bread (lost without your love), erik satie, louis armstrong, roy orbison, harry belafonte, carol king, pink floyd, carly simon, melanie, glady knight and the pips, yes, frank sinatra, roberta flack, roberta flack, robert flack. . .

“strumming my pain (or fate?)
with his fingers,
singing my life
with his words,
killing me softly
with his song,
killing me softly
with his song
telling my whole life
with his song
with his song”

thank you dearest loving God for the music.

the hands; forcing it. my ego’s last stand. time to let it go. and breath in stillness. just that. love. tell the story in love and surrender.


my voice suffers from some virus. my agonized “no”.

scarlett johanasson says we all should could tested twice a year for sexually transmitted diseases.

i am an amsterdam celibate. in body for sure. approaching also the peace of the celibacy of the mind.

saturday october 14, 2006. 16.21

tired of the computer. writing. have begun working on damiel.

ola spoke of the difficulties with the prospect of fedja not traveling to america with our production. she hinted that it might be easier to cast someone as damiel and keep me as cassiel since i am the “perfect cassiel”. i don’t like this at all. i think it is so wrong for this production.

if she really feels this way. i don’t know who thinks what. what hidden pressures rule what.

how exciting it would be to see the “perfect cassiel” become human. to see an angel, as ola describes, a “real angel” become human. this is what would be exciting. if i thought it would be good for the production that i not play damiel i would not. i enjoy cassiel so. i believe strongly what is best for this production in boston is for me to play damiel.

any extra work that we now face we must face. simple as that. if fedja came we would still have a lot of work to do with the switch. it will be equally as difficult to train a new cassiel as to train a new damiel.

what a tragedy it would be to not see this journey through to the end. i have a sense everyone sees that. i believe ola does. i’m not worried. enough. time to work. we have barely touched the depth of this work. much yet to be solved. i think both ola and i agree that the talk about the work is useless. time to work. and yet the philosophy of the piece needs clarification. we are on the right path.

even with all our incredibly hard work, it feels we have made too many bad compromises. we all want more out of this. ola and i made an agreement to fight it through to the end. we begin again. all of us better equipped than when we began. we are well on the way to reaching the “inner most door”. to then be faced with the choice of going through.

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