Hello People Of The Light, how are you? I am sitting in my New York apartment hearing sirens tweak the night and mufflers like didgereedoos charge down the open avenue. That’s how I know what time it is, by how fast a motorcycle can fly by. And that’s the time I’m finally still, my heart slipping into the locomotion of my dishwasher in the kitchen. My new old kitchen. My new old friend. My new old mother. New York.
“Do you know God is an Alien?” Dashiell said to me this Sunday morning from his rocket ship (bottom bunk fort) he calls the “Family Habitat”. “Who wants to come into the family habitat and go to the Pluto Cafe?” He calls. Who wouldn’t? He is thinking big thoughts, and I, surrounded by boxes, am comparing his voluminous statements to my voluminous crap. I join him in the Family Habitat, of course, as do the dogs, and when we get to the Pluto Cafe I order a star burger with a side of moon dust and a galaxy shake. Ah yes, if God is an Alien then this rocket ship is my church.
I remember walking west on 78 street to the Sounds Of Joy music studio when I was fourteen and looking down. “I love my feet and where they are taking me.” I said to myself. Well, I’ve come back to follow my feet again. And to follow Dashiell’s scooter.
Yes I am here to be worked, and the work I caress and knead and need. A special show, a marvelous conception I have to pursue from private dream to collaborative discovery to workshop to stage where you are invited to bring yourself. I am here for that. I am here to take out all my pieces and put them on the floor, hang them from the shower rod, toss them over the tub, strew them on the very grand piano, and make a new model out of which ever pieces still shine. Ballantine. What the B. stands for. Because.
I’ve written a story, I hope to read it to you soon. I’m under the illusion that I keep making it better. I’d like to get it published with illustrations.
Remember Room 105? We are looking for it’s shepherd, or launch pad. We had our first show a year ago on this day of Janis’ death. And yet being Janis was death defying. I miss her coming to me every night and putting her hands on my back, urging me through myself into her wild loneliness. It’s the layers of Janis I miss discovering. I am always here for that.
And how about the musical I spent three years of my life writing songs for? God, I love that musical. It’s at the base of a mountain. I pray that I write soon, “we are climbing the mountain together again!”
One month ago we jumped on a plane to New York, found an apartment, a great school for dash, jumped on a plane back to LA, packed in five days and moved here to catch the first day of school. For that I’m here.
We had almost three weeks of just two beds, two spoons, two forks, a good knife, one pot, one frying pan, dog dishes, a yoga mat and a scooter. It was heavenly. Now the furniture has arrived and it’s hell, for me, because he’s too young to unpack and feel the weight of space sacrificed for continuity and/or posterity. Even my paintings, which I truly love, have to sleep under the beds. I want blank walls right now. That’s how I’m seeing myself. The brush has not yet been laid on me. The curtain hasn’t even gone up yet.
Your faithful songwriter, Ballantine