Posts for Category: Musings From Sophie



The Water Bearer

“I’m looking through rough drafts of my next project and I wanted to share this with my friends”
Sophie


 

Before that propitious Spring would begin to stir inside the wintery bones of Manhattan, and I would stride through the puddling park toward east fifty seventh street to meet you, there was a girl heedless of destiny. Before I would stand still across the street from your studio beneath the black, reflective skyscraper known as the Death Slide, there was a woman without a history.

This was my second year at Trinity high school, an upper west side establishment for Catholic boys which was now coed and predominantly Jewish. I was thirteen when I returned to those bleak hallways with their constantly slamming lockers and bright array of students, tan and fresh from their country estates, ready to compete for college placement.

It was time to begin tenth grade and I had spent the summer tripping on liquid A. to the revelations of The Doors, and clanking on a spidery drum set to the Dark Side Of The Moon. I had held a gun to a man’s head, and without knowing whether or not it was loaded, pulled the trigger. I had clung to the hood of an old Mustang going seventy miles an hour down the wooded, serpentine roads of Eastern Long Island and not been thrown off when the driver stopped short. I was a mental acrobat trapped in the habits of a hitchhiking, beach bumming, sleeping bag slumming, stone footed punk.

September tumbled toward fall and I turned over only imaginary leaves, thumping an invisible bass to the lines of Wild is The Wind and flapping my arms in concert with the tom-toms to a wasted audience of three. Ninth grade had been eighth street and Pink Flamingos, army jackets and bleary eyed boy friends who had since been expelled. Now I roamed with a note pad in my pocket and a fence around my head, watching the village spend itself on Friday nights and squatting on curbs until the second avenue deli opened, sweeping the morning into a dusty little pile.

Saturday nights were back uptown, diving into the jeweled pavement outside the Museum of Natural History, loaded on quaaludes, or dancing wildly within the veil of a purple strobe light. And Sunday, my Sunday, was sitting on Virginia Woolf’s lap in Riverside park until dusk, retrieving whatever childhood I could from her tomb of resonant voices.


The Power of Connections

Good Evening, people of the light and shadows, contrast, layers, mass and fine lines. I’ve been wanting so much to share an experience of reading a book with you, and I’ve been thinking, as I fall asleep working on something, I must tell my friends about this book, because the only time I put it down is to cry.

This was a funny day, humorous in its assault of cold winds and dim atmosphere, as the blossoms stood incredulous, defiant at the insult, I mean joke. Winter? Come on! We were just beginning to feel loved by other than the birds! Any how, we must go on as if it’s a passing slight, we must go out and play, roll into the streets for coffee, get out for heaven’s sake, it’s Sunday and six months of Winter is simply too long. (For an East coaster) And so, I was out with my daughter and my friend at café MeMe in Brooklyn, admiring the handsome couples and pink handled knives, when we decided to do a million things in an hour.

We started on our journey through the neighborhoods, the tendrils of our plans reaching every aspect of living as we passed this place we must stop at, then that place, me feeling like we were in the Hundred Acre Wood, until we got to my friend’s house, and she discovered her dog had gotten out. Suddenly, the ease of feigning Spring turned into a harrowing and draining emergency to find her little, tiny Yorkie who was lost and no doubt shivering in the cold.

Of course I made signs immediately, signs with a crying face and a broken heart, until my neighbor said I have to make signs offering a reward, and so I made signs that looked like business, with dollar signs floating promisingly over the phone number. We looked and called, you know how it is to lose an old dog who could get swept away by the wind, or run over like a plastic bottle, there is no end to the fretting and despair as you slip through fences and crawl under cars.

Hours later, my friend got a call. “I have your dog.” Wow. And here is where the story ties into the book I’ve been wanting to share with you. With very little information, we went to the place where the dog was being held, and we waited on the cobblestone street almost beneath the Brooklyn Bridge. By this time it was raining cold, mean water on the weary borough, Sunday was slipping down the gaping gutter, and gloomy Monday was waiting in the wings. Just then, a startling head of thick grey and blonde hair blew around a confident face I could only describe as a pretty plate. Eyes determined and features set in a trustworthy balance of earned confidence, her scarf flew, and her grey cape flapped open, exposing “Le Chien!” The woman stepped across the cobblestone like she was delivering a heart to a person in need of a heart transplant; the importance, the gravity, the reception, must be understated.

Then, as I stood mesmerized by this woman I pegged as an ambulance driver for the Resistance in World War 2, I heard a lovely sound. “Sophie!” rang a bell from across the street, “Sophie, its Nadia!” I turned toward the voice. I know her, I thought. “I met you at the Carlyle!” Yes, I completely remembered, Nadia, John Deli’s (my piano player on the show) girlfriend. And now I would get the full story of how the dog got saved.

Nadia was in a Juno on her way to sell her amazingly good artwork at this place under the Brooklyn Bridge on Water Street. Of course, she was in a rush because the weather was so horrid, how could one extricate one’s self from cozy arms early enough that morning? So there she sat in the back of a rushing Juno car, when the little dog ran out onto the street, the driver swerved, and Nadia made him stop so she could scoop up the dog.

Had the dog been wearing any identifying gear, the story would be short. Thus, Nadia brought the dog to the store where she was selling her art, but she couldn’t bring the rag a muffin in, so she enlisted her friend to take care of the dog until further instructions would be given. The friend with a face like a pretty plate washed the dog, groomed him, put him in a much appreciated bed with her other dog, and had a nice afternoon being perfectly lovely.

Nadia checked her Face Book and saw an alert with the dog’s picture, amazing, because it was a neighbor who wasn’t even in Brooklyn, who was away with her boyfriend, that had heard from another neighbor, also driving somewhere at the time, that the dog was lost.

Are you not impressed with how fast these ladies, who had plenty to do at that moment, worked? How neighborly and generous they were, while I was putting up signs, they were net working like war correspondents.

It’s the connections that made me feel so excited, as though all of our souls, including the dog’s, were talking. The book is called, “Einstein and The Rabbi”, by Naomi Levy. There really is no way that my description can do the work justice. You must simply read it. I did cry every chapter, and I haven’t forgotten one moment of the book. It is a gift, a real blessing, I hope to someday tell Rabbi Levy my feelings about some of her stories, but, more importantly, I use the work as a guide for how much I hope my new work can connect my soul with your soul, in a way that is unexpected and profound and most importantly, healing and inspiring.

I read a lot, and I learn from every author, and often I learn what I don’t want to do. Rabbi Naomi Levy showed me what I do want to do, in my own way, with my own stories, one at a time. I feel my songs are straight from my soul, I feel some of them are channeled from the place that is eternal, omniscient, beyond and yet about me. Now as I write, as I dare to venture into more complicated and demanding territory, I lean on people like Naomi Levi, and I feel I can lean on her, even though all I have is her book. It’s enough.

This reminds me of something that happened the other afternoon when I’d picked up Dashiell and Esther from school. They were upstairs playing basketball in Esther’s room, and I wanted to play with them, but who else was going to feed them? So I put my favorite CD in my CD player, which I had just dug out of my closet. I put the volume on BLAST and was transported, the cabinets shaking. Dashiell’s head appeared over the banister, his jaw slack in wonderment. “This is MY rock n’ roll!” I yelled. It was Bach solo suites for cello played by Yo Yo Ma. “I love it!” He yelled back, and ran to continue his game.

The simple expressions of us, the sweet declarations of our souls, the non fussiness, the acceptance of what we really like and want to do with our short lease on life in these miraculous bodies, makes life soul full. Pick your path, clear your path, and don’t be upset when you wander off it, that’s your soul’s compass.

I have to thank Naomi Levy for her book, “Einstein and The Rabbi”. Each of our souls has a voice. My soul has more than one. I’m sure yours does, too. And it sounds different depending on which story I’m telling, and who’s listening.

See you on the road less traveled, very soon.
Sophie B. Hawkins


Disarming Children

I couldn’t wait to get to my son’s school at 10 am to stand with the students and faculty in silence. I cut fast on my scooter through the abrasive cold, Pooh weather, I call it. Blustery March, full of light and promise and surprises.

There they were, heads bowed, in the right, belonging to the world of people who want children to be protected even from their own confusing impulses. Here I come, I felt, throwing down my scooter, here I am, quietly mourning and excited for change.

The woman next to me gave me a shoulder bump. If I weren’t new here we would have locked arms. Under the bright blue sky, high as the troposphere arches, we are all locking arms. Our arms, human arms controlled by our brains, our sense, our wisdom and our intuition.

It seems we have no rights to protect ourselves from crippling taxes, from chemicals in our water, air and food, from government mandates, from unaccountable corporations taking over our every social and vital need, from abusive law enforcement, but we have plenty of rights to endanger others with weapons and vehicles.

A wonderful student at the gathering today said, “Take this with you. Don’t let it end here.” We have to protect each other from stupidity and greed. We have to have each other’s backs. Laws will eventually reflect the will of society, but we have to enact the heart of society, right now.

Bill de Blasio is supporting the kids on this one, and I’m impressed with his stance. These changes can start small; it doesn’t have to be a nationwide change. In fact, wouldn’t it be great if New York could lead the way in dis arming citizens? Maybe, if we really are worried about defending ourselves against the government, we can open up the Armories (share them with the art exhibitions) and have a citizen militia that employs unemployed people over 40. Citizens against unfair practices! We have to be vetted, trained, fed, paid and tested on current events. We also have to have dances and poker nights, and we can’t take the weapons home!
Sophie B. Hawkins


If I Were Dying

Last night, Memorial Day night, I was lying between my son and daughter, whispering with them as if a grown up were going to come in and yell at us. We were laughing about a girl who had terrorized the playground all weekend, scandalized the mothers by refusing to get off the “spinner” and let their children have a turn. Dashiell called her the “Sassy Grump” and followed his imagination through scenarios of the Sassy Grump taking over playgrounds all over the city, locking mothers out and extorting money, while my heart trailed off to thoughts of Karen Walsh Rullman.

I remembered her imitating my eighteen month old daughter, dramatizing her diva-­‐ esque hand motion, laughing, and in that moment I saw what a good actress she was, how alive and funny to watch.

I remembered her in the school yard at pick up, talking about a show, trying to get me to meet a friend of her’s, always wanting to put artists together, always that laugh like we’re all in this together, we all know how tough it is, let’s just put on our best face and walk out onto the stage of life.

When our kids were in kindergarten I wrote a musical with them, Karen’s daughter was so cute, like a fairy, eyes like a fawn, brown and gazing mirthfully at everyone, expecting us to break into song and dance at any moment, waiting for it. Karen must have been like that to her. And then after weeks of writing with the children, and them really knowing the songs, the music, Karen came in to the classroom to choreograph. That was the first time I’d ever seen her serious. Because it was a show. And a show was the real deal, you can’t laugh through this, not like life, it has to be, you know, as close to Broadway as you can be on Seventy Eighth Street.

One year Karen and I did Broadway night at the school. She sang, “You’ve got a friend”, and I listened in the wings thinking, ‘She is that friend. She lives these lyrics.’ I went out and sang an original song, feeling uncomfortably self-­‐promoting, and wishing I had sang the duet with her. Later, she sat in a child chair in the first grade classroom talking with her performing partner like she were back stage at a gala. Again, I felt so willowy watching her, admiring the seasoned pro, and yet, I hadn’t a clue that very soon I’d never see her again.

Today, thinking about how to bring up Karen’s death with Dashiell, I asked him what he thought about dying. ‘What do you mean?’ He asked. ‘In the book you’re reading, Magnus Chase, is there stuff about death?’ ‘Yes. If you die bravely with a weapon or a tool in your hand you go to Vanaheim, which is a peaceful paradise with good dinners.’ ‘So death is an extension of life?’ ‘How you live determines how you live after death.’ A few blocks later I told him Karen had died last night and he was startled, hit by real sadness, empathy for his classmate and her brother. No Odin, Gods, afterlife. ‘It’s so sad’, he said, ‘to never see the person you’ve been so close with, you’ve seen every day, again.’

That’s what is so tough about living. Making loss bearable. Breaking into song, into dance, tickling each other late at night in the face of imminent heartbreak, and fear. That’s what was in Karen’s laugh. Memorial Day. We remember our brothers and sisters in arms, and we are all soldiers. But when a family is putting up such a fight, being so brave, exuding spirit and life in the face of such odds, it humbles us. If I were dying, I often thought. If I were dying, I would only be concerned with my children. Whether they were being loved, respected, cared for, treated fairly, empowered to design their lives, and if I felt my children had support, lots of generous support, maybe I could go to Vanaheim in peace.

So, here, I’m putting Karen’s family’s website up so you can read about them and hopefully contribute to their well being in the aftermath of a great mother, artist, and wife’s death.

Karen’s Circle of Support

https://karenwalshrullman.org

Love, Sophie


Tribal Thoughts

paddle-board

Dear friends, I was walking Esther down the street on a hot yesterday and kept stepping into the shade. I’m looking for the shade in every moment, I thought. I’m not drawn to the fiery hot aspect of ideas, people, attractions or emotions. I’m leaning into the cooler, quieter perimeters of observation. Especially in my creative work right now, where there is plenty of heat in the content of what I’m writing, I keep edging into the shady spots.

Why?

Because I don’t want to get burned.

I’m realizing the difference between safe and unsafe, and I don’t even want to be singed, or singe another. I see what is worth risking, and not worth risking. My children are worth risking everything for, and so is my creative work, but neither at the expense of the other.

With my friends, when heated subjects come up, I stray into the leafy coverage of my mind, the protection of the tall buildings surrounding my heart. Dashiell called me “Mellow Fellow” walking home from a sunset the other night, but that’s only on the outside. I am allowing myself to hush, and go down to my streams where new ideas are trickling out of moss covered rock beds. I am letting the waves crash and the fires blaze above me and I’m still going deeper into my shade. I need from myself. I need to find the well. I need the time to drink from my well and fall asleep by it and let my unconscious sprout the words, the phrases, the images that tell the story I’ve been wanting to tell my whole life. It’s not a story about me, it’s a story about a girl like me, a girl I was almost best friends with, but she scared me and I ran away from her. That’s what I’m doing.

My neighbor said of his new born daughter, “she has nothing but time.” I’ve remembered that moment for years, because I thought, “So do we all, nothing but time to grow until we die.” But it doesn’t seem logical, it feels like we are running out of time, but even if we are, it’s still all we have, because when it’s gone, we’re done. So time to choose, as I just did, to go out with my children on the paddle board, instead of write. Time to sleep inside, or as I did last night, to trade sleep for watching the ever changing canopy of our solar system wrapped in dewey blankets with my son.

Time to go to the sunset, as we say, to stand on the edge of our day and watch the earth under our feet literally turn away from the sun. Dashiell said, what if the sun burns out? We die. And when I lay next to him trying to figure out how to tell East from West by the stars, I imagined what if this night were the last time we saw the sun? It was a scary feeling, so when I woke up in the grey blue mist of dawn I felt overjoyed. I felt relief and sweet giddiness that we turned toward our sun again, and I wondered if that appreciation is what many people used to feel, when we were more connected to our natural world, and what now only some people feel, when they’ve escaped death or transcended the pain of being alive. What we do with our time can balance us as we grow, or plummet us into neurosis. And what we do has to change, as we change, as our environment changes. I need, I wrote, from myself more than anyone. Yet my children need from me, probably more than anyone. My daughter especially, my son less and less, but still. What a balance, it reminds me of a Chinese acrobat we watched at the Public Library last night, so much energy was used to balance the parts of herself that she appeared inhumanly calm. I appear that way, I’ve been told, but it’s more the awareness of not wanting to hold precious time over the flame, and burn it up. I have had great shows, particularly in this last year. I feel it’s because of the new material, how I’ve grown into the new songs that tell a new story in new ways, and also my appreciation of you who come to listen. It’s like I woke up in the grey blue mist and there you were, the sun.

I do have the new cycle of songs ready to release, and that means I have to reach out and find ways to deliver them to you and other people who are curious. I love the recordings. You’ll hear more about this soon. I feel I have reached a certain status. The status of a strong, tall tree. My branches reach up to heaven with equal strength to my roots, bearing down into the dirt. I hope I see you soon, all we have is time to grow.

Your faithful song writer,

Sophie B. Hawkins


Meeting David Bowie

There are people who bring up the question of who are we and why do we matter. When I heard David Bowie for the first time, the sun was pouring onto the living room floor like batter, and you were sitting next to the victrola, looking at an album cover, “Changes One”. I was nine. I was drawn into the room by his voice. The purity of that moment is astounding to me now. I was over whelmed with curiosity and also aversion because his music was a little strange. And then when I saw his picture I died of love.

I didn’t like your taste in music that much, you liked rock n roll girl singers and I only liked boys, but there you were, cross legged, listening to the album you bought, and there was I, discovering a connection to the world I wanted to be from.

I listened to David Bowie in headphones and looked at his picture every day and night for the next five years. I imagined I was there, and I learned all the parts that made up the whole without being a musician. On summer vacation I sat in one chair all day every day listening to David Live and picturing the shows.

I was able to hear through him. When I started playing African drums at fourteen I already had a vision of myself as an artist, I had to learn the physical way to get my music out, but I had developed a true sense on my own world.

I loved David Bowie because he helped me. He helped me connect and have confidence in my own existence.

When I was coat checking at Orso in New York, the same job where Marc Cohn ‘discovered me’ and left my demos to be found by a producer at a jingle house,  David Bowie came in for dinner. He leaned into my window as if it were a mirror and said, “How does my lipstick look?”

Years later I met him and his enchanting wife, Iman, with my friend Rosie. We had dinner and another time went to a show. I laughed so much at the dinner, I was like a nine year old, and I hugged him the next time we met at the show. I realized, though he was kind about it, that he didn’t know me the way I felt comfortable with him. I hugged him because I wanted to thank him. I felt I may have stepped over a boundary, and I was embarrassed at the time, but now I’m glad I did it.

The following Winter I was living in London working on my second album, “Whaler”, and Rosie called to say David and Iman invited us to join them in Belize for Christmas. I was too shy. I wanted to go, but I was too damn insecure.

It is sad to me now that the artist who most affected me, the person I day dreamed of meeting and being friends with for almost my whole childhood, offered me the chance to just be myself around him, and I was too scared to accept it.

I wonder who will transform my children’s lives? I wonder if I’ll get to witness that moment, I wonder if I’ll recognize the connection. I hope my son and daughter will call me someday and say something like, “You’ll never guess who I met today!!!!!! And I’m going to their house for Christmas!!!!!!” And I will remember the graciousness Of Iman and David Bowie and feel so happy that my children have the confidence to fully live their dreams.

That’s how I imagine David Bowie. As a boy determined to turn his mind inside out on a quest for his own truth, his own reality, his own creativity.


GROWING INDEPENDENCE

By: Sophie B. Hawkins

This evening, Dashiell and I walked onto the beach with dry branches and matches, kindle from the 7/11, a blanket and some water. The sky was as bright as laughing children, the sand warm, and the ocean waves as relaxed as horses turned out in the field, swishing their tails, snorting, and hanging their heads in the long grass.

We found a hidden spot near the dunes and dug a deep, round hole for our bon fire; our friend met us with hot cocoa and other ingredients. No one bothered us, as I thought they might, telling us not to build a fire, breaking our momentum with rules. We roasted marshmallows and Dashiell made perfect smores, we talked and watched the moon appear and hide behind its gauzy curtain, and then when evening turned to night, we watched her step out with indomitable radiance and clarity.

This is the unfettered moment, the true magic of being alive, Dashiell and I and Bubble Gum are sailing as a tight ship on the spirit of the times. Dashiell runs into the night ocean, dances on the rocks with incredible balance and courage, and I no longer caution him. Or I should say rarely, and then it’s about other people’s lack of common sense. Dashiell is playing with his independence, and in a more experienced way, so am I.

Still pregnant with the moon inside me, bigger and rounder every day, my daughter hasn’t yet illuminated me with her indomitable radiance. Meanwhile, the world she’s coming into is more and more wonderful, less and less limited, lighter and more luminous from dumping heavy judgments into the past. My seventy nine year old mother said, “I’m so happy about the Supreme court ruling!” She looked like a gleeful Barnard student, her young self, waving the New York Times with triumphant expectation.

For me, marriage is more about creating a family than shimmering romance. I am at a cycle in my life of returning to my family of origin, appreciating the fullness and richness of where I come from, and creating a solid family of my own with my children and friends. I have married myself. I am exactly who I want to spend the rest of my life with.

Thinking about it now at 5:48 in the morning, listening to distant thunder and admiring the green grey bay at my feet, Dashiell has been the wiser. He has taught me by example to look for myself in me, to stop seeking permission to accept what I’ve already accomplished. In supporting and protecting his mind, body and spirit, I’ve also changed the flora and fauna of my subconscious. I readily embrace my right to feel happy and free. It’s what our ancestors fought and died for- Independence. Even if some of our ancestors were on the wrong side of history, in their own way, every human marches toward individual freedom, becoming one with their own spirit.

As another great love and challenge comes out of the sea of dreams and into my life, our lives, my roots grow stronger under pressure, and deeper still. I have moments now when I am afraid of the unknown, the physical unfathomability of pushing a human out of my body, meeting her for the first time, and it feels like it’s not really going to happen-but the dr. won’t let her stay in a day past July 7. Dashiell waited until the last minute, too, but he wouldn’t let himself be induced, it had to be on his time. It’s a Hawkins thing. I’ll let you know when she’s born, and I’ll post a picture.

HAPPY INDEPENDENCE DAY!!!!!!


Intimacy

Hello people of the light, how are you? I am fine. I shake my head, how does one blog totally honestly, intimately; knowing intimacy has no integrity on the Internet. It’s a form of thought promotion. And yet in writing books, stories, novels, songs there is no false idea or hiding of the truth, because, speaking for myself, art is an honest search for the truth. Art could be an abstract audit of the balancing act between one’s heart, soul, intellect and spirit. An intimate engagement between our sinuous supports, like an eternal yoga position.

One can’t have integrity if there is a conscious omission of an article of truth that would move the story along in a different direction, a more honest direction. But life itself has integrity, and always eventually exposes all things.

Manhattan-20140319-00540

I’m looking through my “musical” notebook, the one I bring into my son’s kindergarten class every Thursday morning, because we are writing a fascinating musical together. Talk about integrity. The children are the most inspiring writing partners I’ve had so far, I walk on air out of the classroom, and can’t wait to walk into the classroom. And in the notebook I see other notes; Religion sensitizes us to feel we don’t belong. Radical aloneness. Prayer is how we understand Gd. Become a thought of Gd. Risk=to save yourself, don’t wait to be saved. These are shorthand thoughts inspired by Heschel in a study group I joined with Rabbi Jan Uhrbach.

And listening to the poet David Whyte, similar revelations, like being out of it, feeling homeless in the world, are not just passing feelings, but facts. Don’t try to make it fit, or fix it, or smooth it over. “God is an alien”, Dashiell said. If we have Gd inside of us, if we come from Gd, then how can we be totally at home and at one on this planet with other outcasts as unique as each one of us is?

sophe-60-chair

I’ve gotten in touch with my radical aloneness lately. Not that I want it to be a comfort. It’s unbearably raw. But I don’t want to avoid it. I wonder if it’s akin to being able to die while being alive. I also wrote, in this wonderful orange notebook of the magical musical, “intimacy, integrity and irrational behavior. Mother. Myself. Then I started a song. Thankfully, the songs still are the thing, they sing through me, my murky pond bottom, and clear a path toward my enlightenment.

I’ll start recording here in this apartment in May or June, and will upload the bits, do some local shows, as far as I know, and record more in August, up load the bits, do some local shows, as far as I know, and have scintillating plans, truly, for reaching you out there with something so new, so roots, so mysterious to me, and yet I have plans of how to capture it. That’s the unicorn in me. We all have one. Catch a glimpse of your unicorn and chase it through your woods forever.

I quickly want to mention how much I loved doing the show in Connecticut, I played some classic songs like “Let it Be” and “Lola”, “I can’t get no satisfaction”, “Whole Lotta Love”, “Proud Mary” and of course some Janis Joplin along with my Sophie songs. Why did I wait so long to become selfish, and use those stories for my pleasure?

Also, at the Love Heals benefit, Hilary Clinton wrote a letter for Bronson Van Wyck in lieu of presenting him an honor, and I have to say this; if Hilary runs again, her whole campaign should be the way that letter was written. From the mother. The mother of the planet. She is a great mother, and anyone who has children can agree that being a great mother is the toughest job. So there. This planet needs a great mother. I could write more about the progress of the book etc., but time being the youth which only the young get to squander, I better play a few bars, write a few words, before I’m carried off by dreams.

Goodnight, Sophie.


Hat off to Bedlam’s Hamlet and Saint Joan at the Lynn Redgrave Theatre

dash-with-sophieRight now my son is taping my mouth, tying my wrists with binoculars, shutting my lap top and just took a glob of cocoa butter to smear in my mouth. He is earnest and compelling to watch in his work. I don’t feel he’s doing to it to me, but rather with me, as I am not the object, but a subject in a story of his imagination.

 

 

sophieThe way I watch his face, before he’s hidden my glasses, is the way I watched the players of St Joan last night, and of Hamlet earlier this week. They work the authors’ stories as if they are working them out of their own imagination in the moment. The fascination of the audience, engaged on the precipice of each breath, heightens the immediacy of the drama. The way the players believe what they are creating moment by moment is volleyed back by the disbelief, or awe, that we are privy to the unveiling of these dramatic, historical and tragic human events. Isn’t this like Hamlet’s relationship to the players in his castle, how he needs to have them act out his father’s murder, not only to reveal Claudius’ guilt, but to believe it himself? Hamlet needs to see his own drama acted out with the truth of conviction, with the guiless presentation and simplicity of children playing, to know what he knows and feel what he feels.

Sophie With Cast Members

Sophie With Cast Members

I can say with confidence that I was there at the trial of Saint Joan; I experienced the thoughts with Ophelia that led her to drown herself. How often do we get this privilege in our lives, and do we trust our senses even when these real dramas are happening right in front of us. This is why we need theatre. And the less artifice the more art, the more art the less distractions from the story, the more story from the mind of the author, the more we get to learn, understand, feel and process our own tragic comedies. I mean lives.

And would you believe that only four players, Edmund Lewis, Andrus Nichols, Tom O’keefe and Eric Tucker play all the roles in both Hamlet and Saint Joan? And they are so relaxed, charming, engaging, nurturing…why is that? Because they are THAT GOOD. They know they have it in their loins, their auras, and their essences. No pomp and circumstance, I bet you could wake each one any time after midnight and get a Tony award winning performance of any character in their half sleep.

Sophie Painting the Set

Sophie Painting the Set

Be aware, you will be used in the set, spoken to in the play, and perhaps called upon to read an official church document about Saint Joan, which brings everyone to tears. Oh, to relive that moment. I have to go again. Will you please go experience Bedlam’s Hamlet and Saint Joan? You’ll be in the center of the “The Know”. Changed forever. But don’t bring too much crap and wear comfortable clothes, they move you around http://tadacipbycipla.com/.

 

 

 

hatsoffThe Place is the Lynn Redgrave Theatre on Bleeker street. The inspiring Meredith Lucio produced it with Sarah Hancock, Ron Simons and others, and the extraordinary director is also an actor in both plays, Eric Tucker.

Sophie B. Hawkins


Birthday Blog

sophieanddashYou know when people say about childhood, “it goes by so fast”? And when they say that I think, ‘I’m sitting at the table of this child’s life until there’s no place set for me, and then I’ll never pass up an invitation to come back and feast.’

We celebrated Dashiell’s fifth birthday and I remembered the day he came out of my body, how I felt when I saw him for the first time. I was delirious, yes, and I said, “I love you so much” over and over again, crying, and I understood Gd, Willa Cather, the plow, the bible, all religion, I understood without knowing what I understood Divinity, human beings like tendrils of the divine. When I met Dashiell in the flesh I saw his destiny. It was a presence that filled the room. It had a color, a deep violet, blue hue that shone from inside of him.

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I feel we are all born with something. We are not Tabula Rasas, blank slates, but rather new trucks with an old load. Perhaps the surface of our slate has been wiped clean before we enter the earth experience, but our destiny is a code within us. The information cannot be erased. Orlando journeyed lifetime after lifetime until his/her destiny to be a writer at one with “the spirit of the age” was fulfilled.

 

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We need bodies, we need landmarks to tell out tale, to struggle with other souls, we need friction, we need darkness and sorrow to create light, and joy. In waiting for Godot, which I saw last night, Gogo didn’t want to leave his pit, or getting beat up, he wanted his carrot and to forget. He reminded me so much of my father, and he was perfectly charming about it all. He was existence without meaning super imposed. Then Vladimir wanted hope, change, to find meaning however depressed it might make him, in the little moments. He also reminded me of my father. And he was waiting for death, but then it scared him. And all through the play there was that tree, a landmark in no-man’s land of cialis canada.

They were old men because the very young and the very old don’t have to be bothered with values and morals or even beliefs. Existence is the purpose and the question and the reason. Or not. Like in Hamlet, which I saw a few nights ago, Hamlet acts like a five year old. He struggles with every value and moral, destroys them all, and is left with the question of his existence.

sophie-paintingTo be, or not to be. That is the question. When we are born the effort is to be. When we are dying the effort is not to be. To let go, to accept the not being. And this simple breakdown of existence exists in every endeavor, in every relationship. There is a time when we have to be in it, around it, above it, beneath it, of it…and a time when it’s not to be, anymore. And then one might ask, “what did that mean, that existence?”

Is it more important to stay on track, or off the beaten path? Ask your destiny.
Ballentine