Today on the bus …

There was a woman on the bus this morning—the first morning of Trump’s days as president-elect. She was on a tear. Not yelling, but she couldn’t seem to stop talking. (Turns out she’s a preacher’s daughter, so once she started testifying …)

She had a lot of justifiable fear and anger:

  • “This ain’t our home. We built it, you know what I’m saying? But it ain’t our home. We were stolen.”
  • “They paid the Indians for what was done to them. When they going to pay us for what was done to us?”

And an interesting perspective on bibilical literacy:

  • “You know, in order to be a pastor, you have to read the whole bible, and the bible says ‘bronze skin and hair of wool.’ So why I go into a church and there’s a picture of Jesus with fair skin and flowing hair? Hair of wool don’t flow, you know what I’m saying? Now the pastor knows the truth, so why’s he gonna have that picture on his wall? That’s a lie. I’m never coming to your church again.”
  • She also cited Deuteronomy 28 in some context. I looked it up. This is what she lives with: Blessing for Obedience, Curses for Disobedience.

She had a steady patter of inclusion, as well: “of course, that’s just me. I respect all people. I love all people, because the maker loves all people, I love like the creator. Of course, that’s just what I believe. You can believe what you want, I’ll still love you.”

Interspersed with a string of “us vs. them” and “right way” rhetoric: “The fact is. And that’s the truth. I’ve read the bible I know the truth. I’ll still love you, but the truth is …”

And some rather outlandish beliefs about world history:

  • “Why you think they had us breast-feed their babies? They saw there was something in our milk that made their children strong and dominant.”
  • “Who are the chosen ones? Us. It’s a fact. You know the Jews, with the noses, they that claim to be the chosen ones, but the real Hebrews migrated to Africa before the trans-Atlantic slave trade. They rounded up everyone—you know there’s all sorts of people in Africa—and called them all Africans. Some were and some were the Hebrews. We suffered because we fell away from God and started worshipping idols and false gods.”

And some poignant thoughts on the future:

  • “We all need to come together. They call us minorities, I don’t believe it. I don’t think of myself as a minority. I’m made perfect in the image of my creator. If we all come together, we’d outnumber them all.”
  • “I don’t care what you think of me. I’m not afraid of anything. You can go and get a gun right now and I’d just stand here. I’d lay this body down for my Lord.”

She engaged with one woman at the front of the bus (also African-American), who nodded and smiled.

Then the preacher’s daughter got off the bus with her two children.

The other woman turned to her friend across the aisle: “I agree with her, but …” And then something I missed and then “Like Michelle Obama said, if she can’t control her husband, how’s she gonna control the White House?”

My bus ride did not make this day one jot less painful.

NOTE: The quotes above are not direct quotes (I didn’t not tape my bus ride), but preserve as much as I could remember of her tone and vocabulary when I wrote this upon arriving at work.


Individual text work – Step 2 – The Givens

I was going to call this “understanding the text,” but Patsy Rodenberg’s term, “The Givens,” is much more all-inclusive, so I’ve kept it here. Now that you’ve gotten the text into your body somewhat, and noticed what it does, it’s time to think about it a little. Please don’t put on your analysis hat before doing step 1. Really. Continue reading

Individual text work – Step 1 – Embodying the text

First, read Patsy Rodenburg’s book Speaking Shakespeare. It is the excellent material on which this sequence is based. I have used shorthand and reference … for the detail, read Patsy.

The text work each actor must do has three steps: the physical, the intellectual, the emotional/imaginative. I think it’s a genius concept of Patsy’s to build the work in that order. Most actors I’ve run across easily slip into the intellectual and the emotional, and can build bad habits from the get-go if the work starts there Continue reading

Crowd-sourcing the truth

Hello friends … I’m working (very slowly) on a novel that involves a religion I’m inventing. One of the pillars of this religion is the concept of a “true saying.”

True sayings are born when a master/priest/rabbi/teacher (the term is still undetermined, but you get the idea) imparts his/her wisdom to a student. That is a personal truth (1 degree). If the student finds this thing to be true, he/she passes it on as a truth of the second generation. If the truth is passed down to the seventh generation, it can then be passed on as a “true saying” or a “true thing.”

Obviously, this system is fraught with dangers, which I plan to explore and exploit in the story … but for now …

If you were a spiritual teacher, what would you pass on as a tested truth? If this is something that your mother or your grandfather told you, have you tested it and would pass it on? And on a related note, what received “truths” of society do you find to be false?

I’m interested in everything from the proverbial (“a stitch in time, saves nine”) to the philosophical (“I think, therefore I am”) to the spiritual (“Love is stronger than fear”).

What are your truths?

My new blog

Well, I’ve finally taken the plunge and started a blog. This step was specifically motivated by my second entry, but I feel it necessary to start with a disclaimer. I am NOT planning to be a regular blogger. I just thought it would be a useful method for jotting down some of my musings. One that wouldn’t take up any space in my home.

If anyone other than me ever reads this, I hope you enjoy!