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Saturday, November 28, 2009

CHANGE: Inner and Outer Depression. Four quarters do not a dollar always make.


These are the worst of times and the best of times.
I drove into the very same parking spot I had left yesterday at 5PM this morning at 6AM. Being of a super stitious nature and a connosieur of the coincidence as well as a sucker for the serendipitous I pulled into the spot with a great deal of joy. Its Saturday and I will probably spend most of the day here writing. This I say with almost no undertow of resistance. Amazing considering where I have been most of my life.
The very act of writing has always been fraught with hellish doom and gloom and paralysis. Perhaps because it has always been my true love. Some might call it a calling. Other's a gift. I have felt it like a tease at best and a curse at my most depressed moment. I have turned my back to it, stuck my fingers in my ears to it. I have rejected it and beat myself up thoroughly for even ever imagining myself as a writer.
I joined in with others saying: writers write, if they are not writing then maybe they should stop calling themselves writers. Really made sense. Hurt like hell. But made sense. Sometimes it was momentarily liberating. No more facing the blank page or screen or scrolling through tedious lines of how much I want to write and cannot seem to get at what it is I really want to say.
Writing is a murky affair at best. When one is additionally tortured with depression it is worse. My therapist always believed in me as a writer. She said I spoke like a writer, dreamt like a writer. Even when I was angry with her I clung to that. Even when I searched the catalogs of law schools and 7 month radiation technologist trainings, her belief was plugged into my soul.
Depression needs work. It is not a cloud that wafts away. It is not the weather. It is a mess. Much like this economy is. A real mess requires real work, not pretty slogans and band aids. Not blind faith and trust. Not loyalty to anything other than honest assessment of the mess and commitment to change. For that I am grateful to my depression.
My depression has been a work in progress that has taught me how to work. How to live. How to problematize and solutionize.
Now the depression is over and I thank a combination cocktail of factorifiques: first of all there's my therapist; then there's Reiki, that is a spiritual exercise; finally there are the friends. Most importantly there is the synergy between those three elements. Perhaps we need to take a similar approach to the truly disfunctional sad state of affairs in this nation where 97 % of the people and perhaps 99% of children fall into the ditches.
Well, the writing and the rest of it is happening now, November 2009. And it is continuing herew and now in April 2011! Hurray!
Out in the streets there is an undeclared depression. Not the kind that kept me down for years, hiding under my covers and buying rat poison and placing ladders near hooks in ceilings, and scratching out words as soon as the ink hit the paper in a series of composition books that will never see the light of day. This depression is on the outside. Its all around me. People who have worked their entire lives are out of work.
It brings to focus the very tenuous nature of the very notion of economy. Change is more than four quarters for a dollar. That is all i know. Lets see. We have been living as destroyers of the planet earth for the four decades or so that i am directly involved with. When i was in grade school the pollution debate was vibrant; as was the question of prison versus rehabilitation; as was the whole notion of health care. Nothing ever moved. The clean air act that has the bite of a 80 year old in a coma was passed. Well hey yah we got gay rights and women's rights and civil rights and all that but the basic nature of the beast only got worse and worse.
Big block stores replaced enterpreneurs. K Mart and McD's became de rigeur across the land. Then came technology. The microchip did not measure our individual carbon foot print and offer suggestions to better maintain the earth. That would be ludicrous. It helped the banks take your money, helped turn the info media product pumping machine we live in go live 24 hour 7 day a week. So that the down time that came at the close of the business day, and the few hours of peace one expected, was gone.
Anyway, so all this has led me to be a lot more comfortable with FAILING at the whole game. I don't have the house and the garage and the 401 K but i got my time. I don't have the kids to have the legacy. So I am free to love all the kids that the others have and not have to be Slave Parent. What I have is the experience of owning my time. So I wield the skills that go with--what those that were corralled by their one and a half job lifestyles don't have. I know how to turn fifty cents into that dollar that i need. So, this is a time of relative well being for me.
I am a writer. I have found writing workshops have been great. Simply wonderful. I remember i took one last September at Gothams. It was the old boring tired structure. There was the teacher at the head of the class and we listened to why plot was so important. We were all assumed straight. There was the wonderful re-introduction of Bananafish by J.D.Salinger into my life. I'm sure that some good would have come of it. But it was a bore.
Luckily I found the Writer's Room at the LGBT center. With simple writing and sharing in an absolutely non aggressive round table of peers the muses woke back up. It was also lovely to be understood as queer a priori. There was no weirdness as to oh so you are like that. (Yes. That is still an issue. My group at Gotham could have been from the suburbs of Scranton circa 1979 in terms of their heterocentrism.)
The question of queerness as it relates to depression is important as well. While it has been integrated into popular culture on an individual level it is still an issue. Therefore when one is queer then one must be truly okay with it before being able to get out of the depression ditch. That in my case was outwardly never an issue. I have been pretty "out" all my life. However to be back in a truly gay friendly environment, and a queer writing group gave me that much more power to create my new world economy and society. Also more hidden and less defined was my essential polyamorous self. I am not monogomous in a monogomous world. I am a writer in a world where murky workings toward nebulous goals is generally frowned upon.
This nation is oil dependent still after all the information that tells us that there are better ways. We claim to be new and modern and we still cling to outdated modes of everything from transportation to civic decision making.
One unexpected wonderful thing from writing with queers is to see the vastness of our community, the butches and femmes; the FTMs and MTFs and the gender fluid; and the radicals and the mainstream social climbers; the queers of all cultures and colors and languages. Its like seeing the rainbow up close. Ah, this is who we are. And now I am even beginning to include some truly open minded straights as queer deemed by poonam. QDP. Then there are the straight queers that want the nucleus family and their version of the fairytale Disney and Madison Avenue and Mother Goose's fantasy life.
Writing is not about saying what you need to say. Thats a dump. Its about serving it up so others can sip or sup and feed their ownselves. It is about working it out with detail and form so insights that will surprise even the writer can emerge. Writing is an act of giving of your self, flesh and spirit. You need to find people that dig the taste of your language and rock to the beat of your blood. You need to see people actually grow happier and healthier having had read you.


This is the end of this blog. If I haven't met all expectations, I humbly ask that you fill in the blanks as you best see fit. Poonam Srivastava 9:54 AM November 27 2009, revisited April 21st 2011.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Head Shots and Jeans In My Pockets




November 17th 2009

I am writing from my bed at 8:50 in the morning.

That is a professional shot of me you see. My country tis of dreams. I answered a call for actors and went through an audition.

Poonam needs money. She has a two bedroom. She is out of money.

Today i was gonna go to the MAN. the goverenMAN to see if i can get food stamps.

What i got is head shots and jeans. The jeans are for sale on ebay. Or will be today i hope. OUCH.

Its nine am and i got to go do that. DAMN. I'll go tomorrow.

I live on dreams. I had a dream last night that my legs were getting longer. Their lengthn got me stuff. I tried to get with this girl and she needed me to have longer legs.

I had this huge talk on sexuality and polyamory (Bevbev if you are reading this then please hon, know that i am seeing some women and i'm gonna talk about that now so don't go on if you are not ready) with ID. ID is someone i never would have guessed I'd have more than a drunken roll in the hay, or field rather. It all got started when I laid on some heavy metal. Literally. I was walking on the west side hway. I was hanging with ID just to companionably pass a Sunday. The ol' feet started their siren song of Charcot Marie Tooth and I needed to stop and get them up. (They sing horrible.)
So we found a black metal loading dock and had a lie down and watched the clouds.
The conversation flowed. There was laughing.
I had just told the holder of the hippo, Hippogirl, I would not see her again. I had not had sex in two weeks. Some cubbyhole one nighter after hippo girl. Man, i still think of hippo girl. I mean I might have burned that bridge. I get angry though. I mean and that anger is kinda okay cuz it shows me that i am in the wrong place. Hippo girl was a fine piece of marathon running woman. She had super long hair. Right off the bat though she talked the butch femme topic. So its just as well.

So what about the head shots and the jeeeans. i got the heead shots taken for this actor's rep company and need to print out the narrowed two choices/ two of a hundred. Ship them to the guyssand hpe for paid wrok.
i figure if i don't get rich at least i might pay some bills and meet some cool folks.
speaking of which bina is doing a notheer play.
the jeaens i bought 125 jeeans. they are Rag and Bone. apparently super expensivee and i can sell them on ebay for a fraction of what they would be in stores.
I've been writing for an hour.

love and love and love to y'all.
p.