Saturday, May 7, 2011

Inbreeding, Plagues, and Glorious Messes of All Kinds

Here' s a bit of Morrison family humor: My parents are traveling around the UK and Europe and have made a detour in order to pay their respects at the grave of their common ancestor in Dorset. It seems I am the twisted progeny of an incestuous marriage. Sure, my parents' mutual relative died in the sixteenth century, but still. Inbreeding. Incest. My parents have gone all Angels & Insects on us.

Meanwhile, at home in Seattle, a plague has befallen us: the husband has the bubonic and I am flirting with it but keeping it at bay with loads of zinc and good theater: I always believe in doing more when I'm getting sick-- I have this theory that nothing beats a cold like the will to live. And what reasons for living have I enjoyed this week! Mike Daisey's The Agony and Ecstasy of Steve Jobs at Seattle Rep, and last night Elizabeth Kenny's Sick at New City Theater. It's also Solo Performance Festival time at Theatre Off-Jackson, and I'm planning to catch Troy Mink and Matt Smith, two of the finest jewels in Seattle's crown, in the coming week. Plague, be gone! I will make offerings to the god of inbred children, that he may forgive me the sins of my forefathers!

I'm miraculously nearing the halfway point in the new book. It's a huge mess, of course (and I vowed that I would stop referring to it as such, but honestly, there's just no other way to describe it) but, BUT! this glorious mess is getting me somewhere, namely a finished draft that I can start to really work with. I am the sort of person who has to discover the same truths over and over again, and so even though I've had this epiphany about twelve million times now, it bears repeating: this first draft is the discovery draft. I'm just digging around in my head to see what's there. The story is revealing itself to me like a trip wire in the sand. And while this flawed metaphor of the trip wire might end with something exploding in my face, well, that's just the nature of this writing business.


Hello again.

So, I started writing the above well over a week ago, before the plague that felled my strong husband did a number on me. Since then, I've been in bed, coughing blood into handkerchiefs (not really, I just like the idea), and wondering when to call my cousin, a priest, for last rites (also not really, but isn't it a thrillingly tragic thought?). Tonight I'm supposed to be hosting a story slam called DIRTY LITTLE STORIES at the closing night party of the Solo Performance Festival, but instead I will be home, talking smutty to the codeine bottle in my barely-there Kathleen Turner voice. Es super sexy.

This past week has been dreadfully dull, all Mucinex and Nyquil and bad TV. But I've had two bright surprises. This, the very first review of Yoga Bitch, up on Kirkus Reviews. (Quoth Kirkus: "Brings the higher path down to earth with refreshing honesty.") And then today, the marvelous Lia Aprile of Shantitown posted this little bit of loveliness about yours truly, complete with a blurb about how she hasn't read my book but she knows it's gonna be good! I love this woman!

I was feeling a bit low-- I've never canceled a show in my life, not even when I was performing Yoga Bitch in London and had a stomach flu so fierce I couldn't keep food down for three days. I still got onstage. But without a voice? No dice. Luckily Keira McDonald will be there to step in for me, but I've still been feeling wretched with guilt. So when Lia sent me her post this afternoon, it put a stopper in my bottle of sucktasticness and made me feel a bit less plagued.

I've been reading Lia's blog for years, now, and I think it's one of the finest yoga blogs out there. Wise, funny, and most affectingly, honest. Lia doesn't shy away from exploring the underbelly of the yogic path or the glorious mess of trying to live a spiritual life; she puts it all out there, ego, self-indulgence, fear, ambition, laziness. And let me tell you something: I am far more familiar with those five limbs of the human experience than I may ever be with Yoga's eight. So when Lia gets to talking about transcendence and transformation, I pay attention, because I know where she's coming from. So this is my thank-you blurb to the lovely Lia Aprile. Really, check out her blog. Here's a wonderful piece she wrote for Elephant Journal, How to Tell if You're a Yoga A-Hole.

I'm on too much codeine right now to wrap this up tidily, so I'll just say this: even if my parents brought a plague upon the house of Morrison, even if I've failed in my duty to the SPF closing night party and left an audience in the dark, clamoring for the dirty filthy stories I will not be able to provide them, even if I'm a bit of an inbred mess, today was still an okay day. Because of compliments. Because I really love compliments.

With that, I die.
(Or nap.)

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