Friday, November 23, 2007

Remembering, Regretting, Releasing

For a number of reasons -some of which are no doubt obvious- I've been thinking about gratitude a lot for the past three days. I've also been thinking about my strange reluctance to accept gifts. Steven at Sooo-this-is-Me has me thinking about regret, self-recrimination, time and opportunity lost -and the dangers of losing myself in them. He also has me noticing how easily I still step out of life sometimes, in the mistaken belief that it will make things easier, if not better. Somewhere Joe and Cooper have me thinking about the ways in which remembered blessings can trigger present gratitude.


As these thoughts roil around in my head, I find myself looking again at a piece I wrote and performed a number of years ago. I performed it several times, sometimes by itself, sometimes as part of a larger piece. For at least four years however, I've felt no connection to it, or the character who performed it. Sometimes that just means the piece has served its purpose, and needs to be put aside. That certainly may be true with this piece. I think though that my lack of connection with the piece reflects a deep disconnection from simple yet significant truths in my life. So I'm re-examining the piece today. Maybe I'll find my way back to it, and the character, maybe not. I don't really know where any of these ideas are taking me. I'm not worried about that right now. Today I'm just remembering.


The Toasts of Bromios
I'd like to propose a toast... For cheese and chocolate, and good red wine, for fresh hot bread and garlic in olive oil, for sour apples and sweet grapes and the salt of a lover’s skin, for these tastes and more, praise, all praise.

I'd like to propose a toast...For lilac and roses, and fresh brewed coffee, for the air near a waterfall, or after a storm, for cedar, and cinnamon, and the first cut of a lemon, for these scents and more, praise, all praise.

I'd like to propose a toast...
For the wind through pine trees, and the crashing of water, for thunder and hailstorms and the silence that follows, for crickets and cellos, and the purring of cats, for cheering and birdsong and really hot dance music, for a lover’s moans and sigh of contentment, for these sounds and more, praise, all praise.

I'd like to propose a toast...
For violets and fireflies and windblown pasture, for horses and dogs and all creatures who dance, for lightening and ice storms and Spring-thaw rivers, for the light of a candle reflected in eyes, for the sprawl of a body sleeping tangled in sheets, for these sights and more, praise, all praise.

I'd like to propose a toast...
For the caress of silk and soft summer breezes, for dry towels after a hot bath or cold rain, for strong hands cradling your head and pulling your hair, for the crash of a wave that makes you gasp with cold, for the lover who knows where, when and just how hard to bite, for these touches and more, praise, all praise.

I'd like to propose a toast... For hard work and dancing and the good sleep that follows, for solitude and companionship and the shoulders of friends, for new sights and old homes, and the travel between them, for being surprised still, every once in a while, for growing old gracefully - or kicking and screaming every step of the way, for all of you here, each of you luscious as grapes, I give you praise, all praise.

13 comments:

Cooper said...

As I commented to Joe, you and he have a remarkable synchronicity going on today. Thank you for the gift of these words, Patrick.

I'd like to propose a toast ... To these words, to the beauty of your heart and mind which fill me with love and grace and delight today.

Thank you.

Java said...

Wonderful! I like this a lot.

I am new to your blog. I've seen your comments in lots of the other blogs, so I decided to check out yours. You have been added to my list of favorites, Patrick!

somewhere joe said...

Damn, Patrick, that was gorgeous. I think you've been reading my memoirs... and I haven't written them yet.

Sue said...

Hi, I just wandered in... you write so beautifully. Happy belated Thanksgiving!

Sooo-this-is-me said...

I'll drink to that! Very well done Patrick. I'm so glad I could help you feel down and gloomy! Well that is when an artist/actor does his best work correct? Anytime you need to feel like a tortured soul, come on over and I'll suck the happiness right out of you! Hahaha!

Steven

Melissa said...

Sweet Patrick... THANK you for putting those beautiful words in print...perhaps because I wish I could have held on to a few of the sensations longer, or perhaps because I know how few of them I've allowed myself recently...I found tears approaching....To you, my sweet, and to a belly full of berries, port and chocolate on an even fuller moon, praise, all praise... ;-)

Patrick said...

Cooper, I was tickled when I went to read Hooky Beach too. Clearly there is something in the air. And thank you for your loving words, here and at the Corridor.

Java and Sue, nice to meet you both. I look forward to getting to know you better on your blogs.

Joe, I can't wait to read your memoirs, I think you'll have some things to teach me about enjoying the world. Keep me apprised of the publication date. I agree with your comment over at H.B. I may not always be surprised by synchronicity (though this time I was), but I'm always delighted by it.

Steven, no no friend, you didn't suck anything anything out of me- um, er... I mean you didn't bring me down at all, you helped remind me of how easily (and often) I choose to be unhappy, or rather, forget the things that make me happy... and I don't need to do that. You did me a favor, most definitely.

My Darling Melissa, one of my "creatures who dance" it was a joy as always to have you here, warming my house with your joyful, beautiful radiance. It is strangely undimmed, despite your present sadness. Friends who see the equal merits in deep conversation, good food, and goofiness are priceless.

I too haven't been allowing myself to experience a lot (most) of these things. We'll both have to remedy that, won't we. I certainly got a good start on Friday, with you.

Jeff Wills said...

Thank you, Patrick.

Brian said...

I think you did this the first time we met (well, the first time we both remember, anyway). It was definitely this character, as I remember the semi-nudity. (Is it bad that I remember that, and not exactly what piece you did?) In any event, I'm glad you're beginning, or at least attempting, to reconnect with him.

Patrick said...

Actually, this is the piece that I did about two years after you and I started dating. I did it at two separate Searchlights (the second right after got back from that god-awful tour), and another time was at Excavations, the festival at Chashama where you ran lights for us. And, um, er, I got completely naked for this piece. So I'm wondering if I should be offended that you can't remember the piece OR the fact that I was naked... though I guess by that point it was old hat for you. How quickly we get jaded...

Brian said...

Sorry, I was unclear. I couldn't remember which piece you did that first night, I just remembered that you didn't get fully naked THAT night. You later told me you were thinking about it, but just went down to your underwear instead.

What pieces were performed when I can't remember clearly. The amount of nudity I remember perfectly. My priorities are in order.

Patrick said...

All right then, good to have that clear. I had intended to strip the night we met, but remember that whack job who also performed with us that night? The one who looked like he was going to attack the audience, or slit his own throat? After him, I felt like the audience had been traumatized enough, so I kept it PG.

Frisael said...

Patrick,
Thank you.
-Homer

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