Hello friends and neighbors, I am pushing out the banks of my day to let the river of thought well up and twirl a little before spilling into dreamland, assuming sleep is down river. It’s funny what I’m thinking of writing about, considering I could be writing about the first reading of our musical with Kristin Chenoweth, Doug Sills, Kathleen Marshall, Gigi Gaston, Thomas Meehan, Mary Mitchell Campbell and a marvelous cast of seventeen well known and beyond talented Broadway performers. That was the most thrilling five days of my creative life as a songwriter and lover of musicians, theatre and performing artists. Although perhaps I don’t want to sully up the vibrations still humming inside of me, it was by all accounts a great success for a first reading, but we are still at the beginning of a long journey, and I don’t want to jinx it.
I could talk about standing in the rain for hours in Central Park, thanking God and my mamma New York, listening to the sounds of my childhood, the lamp light throwing itself on drops of soft, cool water, making leaves drip with gold, and running like mercury into the gutters after something too fleeting to behold. But then deep gratitude, like love, does not always come to the surface, rather it curls loyally around it’s roots. I could write about Provincetown, being stood up by the “nanny” at the airport at five a.m. with three dogs, a child and many instruments, not to mention two shows a night for four nights in a rowâ€¦and it was a great time, not necessarily in spite of her, but because of the revelation that false support keeps one from opening up to real support. Had the entitled sabotager suffered her commitment, the heroic Erin Duncan, uber nanny turned star medical student, would not have called out a flavor from a no nonsense Italian from Providence, who took Dash to the Lobster Pot every night where we met him in between shows for clam chowder. He has a fan club there now.
I could really go on about Ptown and Dash in the ocean, the Province lands and playing with just Ed and I, but that’s not what’s really on my mind. My friend Richard Grenell, the longest serving American spokesman in U.N. history, a true environmental activist (he’s the guy we went to the Gulf with), and important public relations person, invited me to sing the National Anthem at a lunch for Mattie Fein. I didn’t know a thing about her but I always learn from Richard, and I love the challenge of painting a picture with that profoundly relevant song. I walked in with my guitar and saw Ambassador John Bolton in the diverse crowd, including a soldier from Iraq and business people from Syria and many other countries.
It was a very soulful group; they listened intently as I set up the song in 1814 from the point of view of Francis Scott Key looking at Fort McHenry, as Washington burned. They joined in singing with their hands over their hearts, and I felt rather humbled by the moment. My first impression of Mattie Fein was that she was unconventional, and she is. A pro choice, pro Gay republican, focused on keeping business in her district of California, and she’s running against multi millionaire career politician Jane Harman, who can’t be doing much right ‘cause Cali’s in the pits.
John Bolton was as far from what I thought he’d be as I might have been to him. He was measured, humorous, poetic, insightful, unpredictable and at the core, a true humanitarian. I asked him his view on immigration and he said we need to return to the Melting Pot philosophy, meaning to let everyone in as long as everyone can be Americanized. He said we need more people from all over the globe to keep this country great, to keep our edge, but immigrants need to be 100% American AND 100% whatever their heritage is. He said make legalized immigration easier, and focus on integration so we have generations and generations of diverse people who love this country. He is in every sense worldly and he expresses his appreciation of global relationships in every sentence, yet he believes America, the place in the heart, the mind and the soil, is still worth protecting. He talked about mistakes made during the Bush era, not defensively, because he is looking ahead, and he does believe a nuclear Iran is the greatest threat to destabilizing world safety.
I used to cringe at the Ambassador because I was so angry at our pre-emptive attack on Iraq, and before that I protested Clinton and Gore about the WTO. Now I express opposition to the Obama administration over legislation and his do nothing approach to the Gulf. I guess I’m just not a party girl. I like the individual. My nickname in high school was WW for wild woman, I’d come to an apartment full of stoned teen-agers, dance in the strobe light and leave. My favorite part was walking home alone on the granite sidewalks. I don’t want to be liked, (of course I want to be loved madly), but most of all I can’t stand feeling controlled. Having to be a Democrat or a Republican is giving up my freedom of thought. I appreciate being able to meet politicians and ask them questions, like when I met Hillary and was inspired to work like heck for her, and then when I met Bill and “got it”. I loved being open to Ambassador John Bolton and feeling how much he wants to give not just to Americans but to all people, and Mattie Fein, I like how out of the box she is. I like walking away feeling connected but not indebted.
I don’t want any country to be sold out by it’s leaders, and you know where it starts? When the people sell out to a party, mind, body and soul, and then the party sells out to the elite. I believe that’s happened for the last twenty years, at least. Again, I’m not a party girl and I’ve certainly never been a sell out, and I have a feeling the time is getting ripe for, dare I say it, Mr. and Mrs. Smith to go to Washington.