american angel notes from amsterdam – 20

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sunday october 22, 2006 13.21

i cleaned this table at koffie salon on utrechtstraat. a four top filled with the remnants of four beautiful and fortunate people. so i could sit near this electrical outlet. two beautiful women sit on the couches in the back. to be near the outlet for this computer.

i write now on battery power. the electrical thing for the computer forgotten in my forgotten apartment. the outlet like the water of antarctica.

the last two nights have been spent in the homes of others.


that will be the autobiography title.

i am sad that fedja will not be able to play cassiel in boston. i like fedja. gonna have dinner with him and karinna tonight. i am glad he is doing what he wants to do. that he is relieved at his decision. this relieves me. this relieves the play. love thrives in freedom.

cut my left index finger on the french hymn sheet at mass this morning. didn’t know for about 5 minutes that i was cut. blood all over my pant leg and on the paper. i sucked it closed. little paper cut before mass. the unique red richness as a reminder. the holiness of the mass.

each Catholic mass is a funeral mass. each Catholic mass is baptism, a confession, a marriage. each Catholic mass contains all the sacraments. a funeral mass, celebrating life. resurrection. i heard someone say that they were Christian but did not believe in the resurrection. and yet, it’s all about the resurrection. or else it’s just a funeral mass. just a dead miserable bleeding guy suffering awfully on a cross. a torture museum. not the beautiful rich and mysterious redemption song that it is.

“won’t you help me sing. . .
‘cuz all i ever had. . .
redemption songs.”

amsterdam has a torture museum. i think a good thing for a city to have. this amazing village. amsterdam.

the world is so big. and yet i live in smallness. the world is so small. and yet i miss recognizing my loves. the time so short. the day so long.

i’ve had a week of beginning my work on damiel. we began last monday. ola, chris and i. we began with a fight and the rehearsal almost cancelled. fear, mistrust, miscommunication. good good sense prevailed. to stop the nonsense and take care of the child. this play, wings of desire, still a child, still needing such love and care to prosper. the play itself, frightened from neglect. from fighting parents and others in authority. all of us fearful souls seeking confirmation that things just don’t work out. things work out.

“when the child was a child,
it needed time and space and attention
to be a child
to remain a child
to be natural
to grow
to be our teacher.”

“it’s gonna to take a lot of love.” – neil young

this connection, i feel when riding the canals on my girl’s bike. the connection i feel in prayer. at mass. working on and performing the play. this i trust. the connection of humor. what i want is to be vulnerable. at peace with this vulnerability.

“my strength is my weakness.”

the paradox of antarctica. katabatic winds. the biggest fresh water reserve on the planet. not a drop to drink because frozen. making it the driest desert in the world.

i’m 47 years old and only now learning these things. what a joy of discovery. so much to fill the days ahead.

mam has been training me on the fabric. the fabric is an angry bitch that cuts me and yet i don’t bleed. just tears the skin away. to make me raw. to remind me. i like this work. my body adjusting to the torture. i like learning this. it’s demands for strength and fearlessness. it’s demand for faith.

i walk around as if i’m missing love. as if i am out of love. on the outside of love. the paper cut. the blood. the raw back and top of my foot. the reminder. the mass.

Jesus said; “do this in memory of me.”

reminding us of what? that we live inside of love. that we are surrounded by it. and as a reaction to real pain we sometimes choose to be blind and deaf to the love. as if a little pain were a bad thing. something to be avoided.

this beginning journey from angel to human is inspiring me. the saint being a person who identifies with the seemingly weakest of the weak. the leper, the cripple, the homeless. the inappropriate. the ugly. the beautiful convinced they’re ugly. the saint being a former angel. a physical angel.

the angel, having heard all the thoughts, seen all the secrets, taken notes for eternity on these humans, when becoming human recognizes everyone. can look in their eyes and say,

“i know you, it’s going to be alright. the pain is not to be a deterrent. do you have any idea how beautiful you are?”

my challenge in playing damiel will be to be fuller. not to play at being a child when i become human, but really see the world as a child. a new world. my challenge will be to be a man. to become a man. to open myself to the abundance. this journey toward the man/child.

mam and i went to cafe wenders on the prinsengracht last night for dinner. to honor, give thanks to the original guardian of our work.

thanks wim. this wings of desire.

so much to discover. so much lays ahead. dear God, keep us awake. fare forward, travelers.

“onwards, into the ford of time. the ford of death.
let us descend from our crow’s nest of the unborn.
looking is not looking downward,
but at eye level.”

dear friends reading these words and words, dear friends skimming these words, in search of the good parts, dear friends, the parts of relevance. . .dear friends, who’ve lasted this long. . .i invite you to boston to share our work. please come and see the play. i would love to see you. each night i look into the eyes of the audience with the permission of this part. my pretense of an angel.

what a gift this is. what a gift it would be to look out and see your beautiful faces. to look at you through the eyes of an angel so desperately wanting to be human. just come to boston.

you can all sleep in my apartment. it will be plenty big. it will be plenty small. we can look away from each other when we get tired of looking toward. cambridge is a big place, i’m sure. a lot of books. words. good place to get lost.

“may the first step be to lose your way.”

all my silly love,


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