"In the artist of all kinds I think one can detect an inherent dilemma, which belongs to the co-existence of two trends, the urgent need to communicate and the still more urgent need not to be found..." - D. W. Winnicott
I'm reading a fascinating book about personality types in the context of the Enneagram... soooo insightful. I consider myself a lay expert on Myers-Briggs, but this book and its in-depth exploration of different personalities far out-trumps any revelations the Myers-Briggs' summaries of the Jungian archetypes provide. I *highly* recommend investigating the Enneagram for self-discovery and understanding the ins and outs of the minds of your (potential) loved ones. It's amazing how different our motivations are, how differently we think, and what we need to find our place in the world.
I'm a Type 4 "The Individualist" (it took courage for me to imbed that link!) - and the authors of my book nail me for the way I communicate in symbols. This blog is usually highly personal in a way that can only be intrepreted by those who are very close to me... and sometimes is only an inside joke with myself. It's the typical tug-pull of needing to put my highly personal thoughts out there - but in such an enigmatic way that only I or a handful of people around me might fully understand. I need to stop that. Trying to get over my self-consciousness is supposedly one of the ways my personality type can find fulfillment... interesting...
Photo is by Jackie Young and Cybil Gustafson... from an Austin-based project of theirs called "I am ______ " Who are you? Take the Enneagram test yourself here.
just back from the hamptons and am feeling thrown. it's odd how some of life's best moments take a while to sink in... take months, years, and other continents for you sit back in reflection and think, "my, how sweet, almost ambrosial, that was."
other moments, such as those final glimmering seconds of christmas, are appreciated as divine and passing within closer proximity to living them - often *as* you live them. my trip to the hamptons this weekend was more like that - a rare circumstance animated by its unchecked merriment and singularity.
so when kasey, our friend tom (international man of mystery), and i boarded the train home, it felt like i was sorrowfully dimming the lights and pulling down a bittersweet curtain over the memory of our weekend. i have not laughed so hard, nor been so thoroughly entertained and surprised by events in a very long time. we gathering hopped, we met artists, we met (other) eccentrics, in some ways, we met each other... and through it all, we laughed, oh how we laughed. it was an unexpected and redemptive bit of perfection... a freeing gust of air... the type of unleashed contentment you'd like to cork up; consumed moments that somehow, someway, you wish you could down again so you could savour different elements of them; those rarest of unmarked hours that are not grand or extraordinary per se, but sober you up with joy, make you wince at their passing, magnify the reality that life is temporary... all of which make it difficult to let go of the experience while it's still up close.
our trio's trip to the hamptons of aug 20-22, 2010 may have been absorbed by the sponge of time passed, but i do hope that something very similar will unfold again, ideally sooner rather than later... and perhaps with greater frequency... yes, being able to count on that would make me less mournful and more gleeful, replace my clingy reminiscence with a sense of anticipation - like the promise that a thousand imminent christmases from my childhood are going to appear on the horizon and i'll have the exhilaration of watching them draw closer and closer, and living through them, all again.
Photo is by a very cool Los Angeleno (can't you *tell*?) who I discovered during our weekend - Alex Prager.
Re: the picture... Is her life over? Or is this some kind of liberation? The moment looks both transcendent and lethal. At any rate, it seems to capture a point where one thing has stopped and another has begun. Shrug. It seemed appropriate.
right. so i'm living life mid-air right now. not quite here, not quite there. my belongings are in boxes on one continent, i'm across the atlantic looking at them from another. an atrium in my heart is tremulously balancing - teetering, really, on a grain of sand in a bankrupt western coastal state, while i'm waylaid in the hello-limbo tar pit of new york city, though my long-term future plans don't look to include either locale.
basically, i'm a homeless, bi-coastal, bi-continent, decision-straddling vagrant who is waiting.... waiting, as my friend said today, for something solid that i can place both feet on to appear. yes, that would be ideal or even as wishy-washy sounding as nice. but at least trying to hover over the unknown till something materializes shouting "me! step on me next!" till then, i'm nothing more than your common, everyday, living-on-good-graces squatter.
i've mostly imposed at my sister's apartment on the upper west side, but it's a bit of a literal and figurative war zone (not going to get into that) - she calls it baghdad. so fortunately, i've got the equivalent of switzerland on reserve as a place to put myself. have occasionally fled to my friend's ridiculously appointed midtown high rise as a quiet, air-conditioned, oasis of refuge. his pad is *quintessential* new york - what people mean when they say 'the big apple.'
sleek and polished with near-360-degree views.
taken from the balcony 50 floors up - it gives me the shakes to even put one foot on it.
ahhh... central park... surrounded and enshrouded in all its smoggy and dreary architectural glory. honestly, if there's one thing this stint has taught me, it's that even though i always thought i'd *eventually* end up in nyc, i actually don't think i could live here permanently - after london it's just too anonymously urban, too poorly executed, grimy, blah.....
though it looks better at night. which is when i tend to live anyway. so i ought to appreciate it, since i'm here.... until.......
ah meghan, my closest dearest kindred friend from boston. my senior year roommate; the girl with an equally reckless & incorrigibly independent streak; the person who lived a life parallel to mine, albeit, seemingly, always a few steps ahead.
we met through her childhood friend jaime (i also had a childhood friend called jamie) and were fast friends. on the surface, it didn't appear that we had a lot in common, but emotionally, we shared a very similar makeup, plus, it seemed, we had similar life stories. a trend that amplified over time.
in the years following university we appeared marked for the same destiny. first she got stuck back at home, then i got stuck back at home. she moved to california (LA) and left, then i moved to california (SF - then LA - missing her by mere months) and left. she got mixed up in TV, then i got mixed up in TV. she abandoned broadcasting, then i abandoned broadcasting.
if that weren't odd enough, our romantic lives also seemed to follow a similar course, the men we dated, the way things with them played out - it felt like looking in a mirror... i can't tell you how many times we rallied each other having just been through the *same thing.* it was *weird.* honestly, for the longest while, it seemed i could predict what lay in the cards for me based on how meg's life had looked six months prior.
she moved back to boston - permanently. she got a 'normal' job. she met a guy. they stayed together (whoa). a year ago, they bought a house. in the house was a ring. he asked her to marry him. she said yes. they planned a wedding. on saturday, that wedding happened.
clearly, all parallels between our lives ended about five years ago.
and i *could not* be happier for her. meghan, of anyone i know, deserves to be happy. you see, not only do i love meghan because she is fun and free-spirited, she is *nice* - through and through - without having any good reason to be. her niceness isn't a compensation for a lack, or a way of glossing over hollow bits of her character that she doesn't want you to see - no, she's the full package. she's gorgeous, fun, possesses an unshrinking (sometimes she's made me sooo nervous!) wild bent, and has been through too many health problems and other high waters to mention, and she *still* doesn't have a single malicious barb to her makeup. you know the type of person who is so lovely they don't even know how lovely they *are*? that's meghan.
can't you just see it?
so when she told me a year ago, "i'm getting married!" then, asked, tentatively, "it'll be in newport - do you think you'll be able to make it?" i said, "are you kidding?!? yes!!! of course! i have to be there. i WILL be there."
and i was.
after all, i had to witness this person who i consider something of an extension of myself tie the knot, come full circle - i had to approve (and i do... just look at the way he's looking at her, he loves her... )
nathan, you may kiss the bride.
ta da! just like that. nathan and meghan. man and wife.
the best man made 170 people cry during his speech, which he delivered with an undisguisable crack in his voice, despite being a total joker who clearly never dreamed he'd shed an emotional tear in public. it was so good that i'm stealing the gist of his tearful last line: "may you be happy together as long as you live and forever and for eternity."
"When your dawn theater sounds to clear your sinuses: don't delay. Jump. Those voices may be gone before you hit the shower to align your wits. Speed is everything. The 90-mph dash to your machine is a sure cure for life rampant and death most real. Make haste to live. Oh, God, yes. Live. And write. With great haste." — Ray Bradbury
I am Sedona bound.
Photo is for UK Vogue by the surrealist de excellence Tim Walker.