Saturday, January 9, 2010

'A Pale Horse on the Horizon'

"Depression occurs when fantasy collapses in the face of reality..."

I think I've covered some of this before, but today, it is as relevant as its ever been. The end of my funding is nye, and I will have to do a lot of tap dancing this week to stay afloat. I have four shows in the next two weeks that I have been assured of good houses, but getting from here to there is going to take some doing. I think I told you that we have to be out of this apartment the day before we have tech rehearsal at the Salvage Van Guarde Theatre, and I don't know how I'm going to pay another three weeks of rent out of 'thin air'. Although I'm still not ready to give up on this show, it's looking a little like I may have to dismantle and regroup again. The wonderful and terrible thing about being 'funded' for a project is the 'fantasy' created out of all the years of struggling with reality. Shots of money, however, allow for a time, a period of allowing your focus to totally be on your art. It's a wonderful and heady time. However, it too is a test. As the chinese proverb says, "Be careful what you ask for..." For so many of us, a fantasy would be to be freed up to pursue dreams that we really would rather be doing, however, there is a 'reality' that goes with this dream. Once that fantasy collapses (after you have somewhat achieved it) the face of reality comes as a pale horse on the horizon. I'm not suggesting that it's a bad moment, in some ways, poverty is a motivator like no other.

More than the show of 'Bohemian Cowboy' that had its genesis with the disappearance of my father, is the story that has been created from its trajectory. The freedom has allowed me to write about what happens in these moments of our life when there is a gift of time that has been manifested through a struggle. I have been able to communicate and share my victories and defeats with impunity. With freedom, there is still responsibility, however, and of course the reality of that freedom ending. I think this is a good thing. Even though I don't want to wind up homeless and completely destitute, I'm being asked by the universe to cross yet another bridge to another kind of freedom. I hope that makes sense. In this wonderful and truthful quote, "Depression occurs when fantasy collapses in the face of reality," there is a wonderful balance that is created through the two orders, if one can have the wisdom to see it. (I'm not calling myself wise, I'm speculating) however, if we allowed ourselves to be weighed down completely by reality, we would refuse to live. Dreams are dreams because they do encompass a certain kind of fantasy, but once our expectations become jaded, we are asked to find solace in the variable of a creation or creator, (not apologetic to atheists) then we grow, then we really learn. Here is where I am:

"My fantasy was to make a living on my art, my reality is that except for small interludes, I'm still not really there yet..." (note: supplement income)
"My fantasy would be to stay here in Austin, my reality is that I may have to humble myself and return to a support system, (manuel labor)
"My fantasy is that I can one day drink like a normal person, my reality is I will never be able to drink successfully..." (this one hurts)
"My fantasy is that big break is just around the corner, my reality is that my timing for this has always been completely incongruous with my life."
"My fantasy is that I will have a normal life, my reality is that I am abnormal, and will probably never have a vision that has escaped me with a family of my own."
"My fantasy is that I will escape to the mountains and live off the 'fat of the land!' the reality is that its hard to grow food in the mountains and its cold." (Oh wait, this was from the sixties and seventies.)
"My fantasy is that I will eventually have a healthy relationship with a member of the opposite sex, my reality is that I have messed up every relationship I've had." (I still believe this can be accomplished though, I'm hopeful)
"My fantasy is that God will come down, pick me up, and take me into heaven without having to feel the sting of death, the reality is well... you know the reality to this one..."

So, here I stand on the brink of... something. I will probably be plucked from homelessness in the nick of time, and if not, I'll deal with that as well. Oh, the book! I received a message from someone I only knew when I was a teenager who said, he was excited about the book I'm writing. I don't even know how he knew I was writing a book. Be careful what you ask for. As I have said, I always had to have a production date to finish a play, now I have a book that must be written, for I have proclaimed it, the 'click' has occurred, on with the writing.

The moral of this story is that whatever your dream is, don't let reality break it into to many pieces, you can achieve what you aspire to, but it ain't gonna be easy... get to work!

"I have always depended on the kindness of strangers..." Blanche in, 'Streetcar Named Desire." (poor Blanche really did live in a fantasy world, didn't she...) the play by Tennessee Williams


Gerry said...

Now I find myself wishing you would, if you don't post every day as the drama of your life is addictive. But this is all good thinking, summing up where you are now. Not at all bad for the reader. A reality fix. Hope I am doing enough to provide some cheer.

Chuckh said...

A short while ago when I had a relapse in my health, reality hit me hard and I had a terrible few months, some of the worst times ever for me. The only thing that brought me out of my depression is the realization and the knowledge, and I say this with certainty, the knowledge that we are spiritual beings. That we count for more than the dirt our bodies dissolve into. That is what saved me from a terrible bout of depression, and since I know this to be a reality, it will not dissolve. Our knowledge of this spirit can conquer anything thrown at us.

DB said...

Fantasies become dreams, become goals. The pain of not achieving some of those fantasies is greater than the pain of not achieving others, The number one fist in the gut reality for me was always poverty. The world doesn't owe you a living, but it deserves you. Do what ever you have to do. I once stood for four hours from 11 p.m. to 3 a.m. stuffing cardboard cartoons into envelopes, sealing them, hundreds of them, and then hauling them to the 24 hour post office in NY. I wasn't a happy man but I was $50 less poor.


LaRena said...

Being poor when you are a child is easier than being poor as an adult. You don't have the responsibilities and everything in the world is of interest and wonderful. You don't feel any wrench in your gut because you are poor. You hardly recognize it as a reality. As we get adult dreams and expectations of ourselves it becomes a different story. You feel you MUST make these fantasies your reality. With this comes some pain and anxiety. You get through, and the dream stays intact, so you are okay.

Pamela said...

This was an interesting read. I want you to know you are in my thoughts and prayers. I wish you every success.