Cello Player

                                                          CELLO PLAYER

A diffuse glow appears on the orchestra pit.

The music begins softly;  a faint, lilting melody rises…

Light slowly illuminates a tall girl playing the cello.

 

She plays the cello in total harmony.

Her body rhythm flows smoothly through brown hair and slim arms,

blending beautifully with the cello and escaping through the strings.

 

While she plays, my heart swings along her bow.

Sighing, the strings gently free the melody.

 

Hearing notes dance and leap,

tonal patterns bursting into stars,

her brown eyes ignite the music into a cosmic cry…

 

The chords slowly drift into empty space.

Her cello idles lazily at her shoulder.

She reduces the room to stillness.

 

So, too, I am reminded of my own rhythm.

In time, my strings will grow slack.

And I, too, must approach silence.

 

 

 

Some Thoughts About Scrapbooks, The New Year And Writing

My baby scrapbook, published by Richard G. Krueger, Inc. and designed by Ditzy in 1946. It was a gift from my godparents Aunt Jackie and Uncle Ralph.

My baby scrapbook, published by Richard G. Krueger, Inc. and designed by Ditzy in 1946. It was a gift from my godparents Aunt Jackie and Uncle Ralph.  At that time my name was “Rodger” Weiss, but was soon changed to Robert Weiss.

“Life may be a stage, but I wish I didn’t have a reserved seat!”–Uncle John from Aunt Jane’s Nieces by L. Frank Baum

Usually in the month of January I peruse my many scrapbooks.  I begin by looking at my baby scrapbook with its satin sheen cover and remarks about me by my mother, Twyla.  It takes me back to my childhood days of the 1950s, when people left their doors open, kids had vacant lots and piles of sand to play in, and lemonade stands were plentiful with lemonade one cent a cup.

However, time goes on and memories begin to fade as new memories take their place.  The almost unbearable slowness of  early childhood is exchanged for the almost unbearable speed of late adulthood.  And New Year follows New Year.  I think of lines by Robert Clairmont from Forever X:

When wrinkles cut your brow

And love goes gaily by,

Sing:  Young, old, tiny, tall,

Whatever happens, happens to all

When we leave this Odd Old Ball.

Indeed, this earth truly is an “odd old ball”.  Events follow events, triggering other events.

Like any mathematical curve, life has points that mark a change of direction.  Some of these points are obvious:  marriage, the birth of children, the loss of a beloved family member.  However, other points are not so obvious and I must admit that I envy Truman Burbank for he is able to “rewind” his life from the time he escaped his set up world to his birth.  Thus, he can see how certain events changed his thinking and further actions.  I am not so fortunate.  And when I look through old scrapbooks only pieces of experiences remain, so I have to reflect and guess at events that might have caused my life to shift dramatically.  Such critical points mark the essence of theater, novels and other writings where an author can juggle them and insert them where s/he wills.  Perhaps, that sense of power and completeness is what attracts us to literature.  The writer plays God just as Christoff does with Truman.  However, the individual must depend on his/her own wavering memories to try to understand the meaning of his/her life.

Crystal Spirit

 

CRYSTAL SPIRIT

 

Blue eyes hide a myriad of worlds.                                                                                                                                                                  Indian artifacts flow from nimble hands.                                                                                                                                                     Proud spirits of ancient chiefs keep watch.

She is a lady:  tall, noble, elegant.                                                                                                                                                                 She loves words, the magic of their sounds.                                                                                                                                             Colors are her joy:  red, blue, green…

A crystal of light shimmers                                                                                                                                                                         and traverses space on a cloud of thought.

 

 

A Few Thoughts For The New Year

I began the New Year with a vision of a fence that extended infinitely in both directions.  Beyond the fence was a spacious green field filled with dandelions.  There was a gate in front of me with a latch, but I didn’t have the key.  This vision became an inspiration for a book about writing.

The Saga Of Sugar Penny And Boy Crusher: An Excerpt.

By now you’ve probably heard all about the adventures of Sugar Penny and Boy Crusher.  I mean you do read newspapers.  But I doubt you know anything about me and the major role I played.  My name’s Mike Johnson, and I’m a journalism major at Bronsen High.  My father’s a gardener, who works every day except Sunday.  Mom is what you call a stay-at-home mom.  Despite my modest upbringing, my parents want me to go to college and fulfill my dream of being a journalist.  And I take their words to heart, because I have a C+ average and only math gives me real trouble.  So, you see that I’m on top of things and I’m right where I should be.

I must admit that I have a passion for football.  I follow college games, and I love being in the stands.  Although one time my father did a great landscaping job for the coach, so he got us special seats down on the field.  But it was weird seeing these bodies bang into each other, and watch real dirt flying.  From then on I prefer to watch from a distance where the teams look more like bands going through formations.  But I’d give my soul for the Thundering Elks.  And when they lose, I feel that I’ve lost something in my life.  I hate to walk home after a loss, because I think that everyone is staring at me and thinking that I’m a loser.  School always seems empty the next day, and all I can think of are the last numbers of the team’s loss, which taunt me with their mocking shapes.  The fact is I just hate to lose.  Maybe that’s why I wasn’t against Sugar Penny and Boy Crusher entering my life…

–Let’s see.  You’re 5’1 and weigh 90 lbs.

–Well, really!

–I’m just doing my job.  This is an interview.

–I know that.  But does it have to be so personal?

Sugar Penny and I examined each other from across a long wooden table.  Sugar had just grabbed a large jug of Fuzzy Buzzy juice, and was drinking straight from the container.  I knew why the girls liked Fuzzy Buzzy juice.  In the girl’s mag, Feeling Fine, there was an ad for Fuzzy Buzzy juice.  It read:  Girls!  Drink plenty of Fuzzy Buzzy juice!  It will add color to your complexion, and make your breasts swell!  I looked at Sugar Penny’s flat chest, and thought “So much for truth in advertising!”

–What are you staring at?

–Nothing(which was really true!)

Sugar then shot me a smile, which I couldn’t dodge.  Her soft brown hair didn’t help matters.  I began to wonder if her creamy complexion was due to Fuzzy Buzzy juice.  While my thoughts were being tossed around, one stuck in my mind:  The guys called Sugar Penny the “but” girl.  There was a reason for that:  When a guy asked her for a date, she always had a “but”excuse:  “Sure I like you Bill, but…; “You’re real good looking Jim, but…”;  “You’re light on your feet, but…”;  “I know you’re real smart and all that, but..”  Sugar’s smile got stronger and stronger.  I’m not sure what it was made of, but I thought it was something special.  So, I had to take my chances.  After all, I was only twenty pounds overweight, as good a rock skimmer as anyone and I was well-liked.  This was my chance and I had to take it.

–Sugar?

–Did you say something?

–Would you like to go to the next baseball game with me?  It’s Friday night at 7.  I could pick you up at 6:30.

The smile began to change before my eyes and melt away into something I couldn’t touch.

–I think you did a good interview, and I’m real pleased, but..

That was it!  I went into the “but” basket with all the other guys.  I excused myself, jumped into my old chevy, and headed for home.