Monday, January 25, 2010

'Crime and Punishment'

Its Monday afternoon, and I finally have a little time to write. The show, 'Bohemian Cowboy' opened in the Frontera Fest last Thursday to a small but enthusiastic audience, (where have I heard that before?). Last night, the second show, was more of the same. I really am enjoying doing the show in this space because it is larger, but feel the directors of the 'Festival' mislead me in telling me the shows 'often' sell out. They don't. Most of the audience I've had--has once again come from me giving out free tickets, hustling, and just short of tying people up to bring them to the theatre. I have two more shows left, and then I am left to my own devices as to where to go from here. I can assure you, there is nothing 'festive' about it, in fact, I haven't seen any of the directors or people I heard from for months through e-mail to sell me on how wonderful this festival would be. Don't you ever wonder with technology the way it is we no longer have to 'directly communicate' with one another? I've noticed as people continue to disengage with each other, that even a telephone call is becoming 'to confrontational' for people to manage. Perhaps I'm sounding like the guy getting older who is lamenting how 'it used to be'.

Immediately after the shows, I am electrified and feel like anything is still possible. The next day when I have come down and look at the practical, I am discouraged, and trying not to whine. I hope I never get to the 'whining' stage, even though I know I have at times. Sometimes, with public journaling, its hard to discern what should be shared and what would be better left to another form.

I've been reading just this morning the introduction to 'Crime and Punishment' by Dostoyevsky, and the idea of self preservation verses self-destruction. I suppose its taking the idea of 'good and evil' one step further. It's interesting to examine the conditions in his life at the time he wrote 'Crime and Punishment'. Talk about dire, he was trying to live of tea, for God's sake! He had rags for clothes, and was frantically trying to find some kind of advance for his work. My God, what persistence! It is inspiring to read people who 'really' suffer for their art. Not only suffer, but create for mere survival. The need for self-preservation through creativity is certainly a minimal odds course of action, however, if you have spent your life pursuing this endeavor, it doesn't seem so strange. Of course, one must also examine the condition of Russia in his time, suffering is relative I suppose, still, if you were dressed in rags, three months behind on your rent, not answering your door for fear of imprisonment for what little debt you have incurred, and trying to live on a diet of tea, it certainly throws the 'suffering is relative' theory in a light that can certainly be argued. Of course, the argument can also be said that these kind of circumstances create the possibility of great art. Then again, those who create in dire poverty are a miniscule minority in relative to those who simply die of it. I think I'm chasing a rabbit. The moral here is don't try to 'live off tea' unless it is the only thing you have. Brilliant, or not.

Saturday, I met with a grizzled bass guitar player to set up the conditions in which I will 'audition' for singing in a band. He was an interesting guy, has been around the Austin music scene all of his life. He has seen it all, you can 'see' that on his face. I still believe I can break into this town, but as in all things, it takes a persistent kind of patience. Just as there aren't really any 'get rich in a week' schemes, the same is true of everything with one exception, you are allowed to use your experience to 'move things along'. I am learning that 'paying your dues' is a universal theme most everywhere, and it's fairly easy to read it on someone else, no matter the length of the relationship. I would bet that this man I met will be able to tell in one song (or five notes for that matter) whether there is a possibility of us working together. I do have, however, a good feeling about it.

Well, once again I'm finding myself facing the realities of life, love, work, and art, lifting their eyes to look at me. I will have to decide whether I will look at one eye and then the other, or try to just look at the bridge of the nose to catch both eyes, or whether I will attempt to divide my eyes mysteriously and look directly in both eyes simultaneously. Don't worry, I can't wrap my mind around what I've just said either, but it stays... have a great day, but don't 'have a good one'. Can we rid that phrase from the english language?


Gerry said...

A lot to think about here. I am thinking back to your Dad paying his child support for close to 3 years after the divorce, because I raised hell if he didn't, and since it was only $60 a month, I did not see why he should have any reason not to pay it since I could not take care of the boys with just what I made. Then when my dad died, he stopped, because he knew I would inherit. I had seen women trying to fight men who did not want to pay their child support and decided the battle was not worth it. I would tell him from time to time that if he paid it as the other ex-husbands did, despite their wives inheriting also, he would feel better because he was contributing to his kids' welfare, but he still didn't do it, so owed $7,000 by the time you were 18 which I added up but did not try to extract. So more battles must be fought to get what is owed to you as legal heir from your dad's 'estate'. I think the money is just as important as the principle, since that is what people seem to have such a hard time coming up with, the money. I know it is upsetting, but hang in there. said...

Your dad lived with you in the winter. Why would Crissie think she deserved more than you? I don't think it would hurt to fight her, but I don't know about Renon. She has been generous to both you and your dad. She is probably sentimental about the truck as well as practical. I think you have been around them enough that you can fight for your right to be his son. Whatever it takes.

david said...

Raymond- i wish you the best my friend. you are a poetic beast who pushes relentlessly forward through the slime of our world's emotional detachment from the artist's desire to reinterpret reality; ironically to improve the world! i feel for ya brotha! psalm 27: check it out.