What up gente!?!?!?
This is it!! Today, (time in the UK) at 11 am, we will be making our way to Spain and bidding farewell to Merry ol' London-town. It's been 14 years since I was last here, so I am especially glad I got a chance to get back - wish the lady, Mrs. Jasminne Mendez could attend, but that might be another time. *HINT - click on her name and go check out her site!! I'll wait...
Ok, so you done yet? Great. Now let's get going shall we?
This being the last blog about London, I thought I would start off with an idea that was brought up in our writing workshop (YES, in fact, we had work to do and it was thrilling!!), the idea that while we are in Europe, the writers we pour over, might have actually set foot in the very spaces we take up now. For me, that means then, one of the poets that rocked the planet, Sylvia Plath, had to have done so. She spent a portion of her life (and her death) here in the UK and especially in London. It is an exciting idea, a far fetched idea - we occupied the same spaces, in separate times of course, but it is connection. It is an important connection. It means that the very trees, the very sidewalks, the very buildings evoked the same emotions, perhaps dissimilar feelings, but as humans, as writers, as poets, it causes a movement that must be caught - and I know, on that, I must write, even if after her.
I was so entranced with this idea, I decided to look up if there were any interviews done before her death about her time in the UK and sure enough I found one:
So upon further inspection, I decided to see if any of her work had any focus on her time here and again, sure enough, I found a poem she wrote - "BLACK ROOK in RAINY WEATHER. I read the poem and figured out she has an audio recording (again on Youtube). Check it out!
From there, I decided to work on a poem in response to her poem - a restorative piece - where I want to talk to her, tell her that the miracle is there: take a look - its not done, but orale, echate la
On Plath’s “Black Rook in Rainy Weather”
“I do not expect a miracle” - Sylvia Plath
you should try to go back
down to the shores again.
The houses you saw the first time,
they have all been redone,
with antenna dishes,
the size of beach balls,
pointed at the sun and the sky,
still gray, and the colors
in the “Cheers” and the “Hullos”,
the very faces have changed a bit,
they are darker, they believe
in Yaweh, in Allah,
in Diosito Dios and omens,
the ones that pick up grains of sand,
wear away wooden doors,
rust the edges of iron gates,
the ones that lay bones in placid order.
It is all an awe,
milagro ante milagro.
Take a walk with me,
let me reintroduce you
to the butcher,
he’s the son of the man
you used to ask for pork chops,
he reads minds too.
Instinctively, knows where to cleave,
where to separate the tender
from the unessential.
He will take care of you, he holds
another job too, works in the yards,
landscapes, notices the way the leaves
fall, is able to make the blades of grass
grow greener. He has built a few bird feeders.
It is there, amongst the trees,
at the edge of Bloomsbury,
on a bench, that’s where I sit.
So it is no where near done, but it's going...
Before I finish up the blog about our efforts in London, I have to mention the last play of significance while on this trip. I think I have to mention that the theatre bug has bit me again! Now, I don't know if its the fact that we have seen a gaggle of plays o si es que this last play me callo pero rebien. I mean, the last play entitled "INCOGNITO" written by Nick Payne, was truely a beauty.
This is what the site for BUSH THEATRE had posted about the play:
"The brain builds a narrative to steady us from moment to moment, but it is absolutely an illusion. There is no me, there is no you, and there is certainly no self.
Princeton, New Jersey. 1955. Thomas Stoltz Harvey performs the autopsy of the recently deceased Albert Einstein. And then steals his brain.
Bath, England. 1953. Henry undergoes pioneering brain surgery. The surgery changes Henry’s life, and the history of neuroscience, forever.
London, England. Present. Martha is a clinical neuropsychologist. When her marriage breaks down she starts to make some radically different choices.
Three interwoven stories exploring the nature of identity and how we are defined by what we remember, Incognito is a dazzling new play about what it means to be human.
Nick Payne was the winner of the Evening Standard Award for Best Play forConstellations (Royal Court/West End). His plays also include Olivier Award-nominated The Same Deep Water As Me (Donmar Warehouse), If There Is I Haven't Found It Yet at the Bush Theatre and in New York starring Jake Gyllenhall, and most recently Blurred Lines (NT Shed)."
It was a magnificent performance. It made me want to do the play. If I could audition again and do THIS play, I would. It struck me. It was very well done. The lighting, the set, the actors (those 4 actors were beasts!), each of whom took on at least 4 characters apiece, did a masterful job of presenting overlapping stories. It was breathtaking.
Here is the director talking about the play:
That was literally the night before last - it was an amazing way to spend the evening.
Last night, we spent the time going to the park in Russell Square. We spent the time at dinner. We spent the time, selfishly, as writers, enjoying the city, enjoying the brisk weather - the gray clouds did roll in, and there was a bit of a chill in the air and I loved it. I think that is what enamors me to the city - the crispness of it matches the crispness of the language, of the accent, of the colors. It is all ancient and at time modern, it is current and antiquated all at the same time.
For dinner, I had a slender stake and fries and a small bowl of Mac and Cheese. Ha. I had mac and cheese. It was a fitting simple meal, that helped give me the energy for one last walk around the town. After not being here for 14 years, it amazes me how well I was able to get around. I did not stumble like I did before - Sonia, I have you to thank for that. Hope you are well, amiga mia. Hope you are well!!
And with that folks, I bid this city farewell. I hope to make it back here before another 14 years. I have a wife that needs to see this place the way I do. It is a goal of mine. Until then, enjoy the pictures of two days and two nights on the town, in the tube, at a play, with a pint, with a smile, with a breathe of London air...
ONE LAST NOTE: A SHOUT OUT!!!
Because I am an artist from an amazing Houston, TX - I just had to take a moment and congratulate two individuals making some big news and doing it up big!!
Many thanks and praise go to Deborah "D.E.E.P" Mouton and Carlos Paz, Jr. , both of whom are making headlines and reaching new heights in their careers.
Check out the posts/video's that follow:
D.E.E.P on "UPWORTHY"
Thank you both for all you do! See you soon!