Monday, August 16, 2010

Astrology Wars

I got on Rob Brezsny's website to see if I could find that book of his that I read in 1983, and was embarrassed to discover that it actually wasn't him at all.

What I had completely forgotten in the intervening 25 years was the battle of astrologers going on in Santa Cruz at the time... one of them (I think it was Rob B) had his column in the weekly Good Times paper, and the other, whose name was ROBERT COLE, had his column in the Santa Cruz Daily Sentinel. The town was divided pretty evenly in their allegiance to one or the other of them, much as the world is split between Coke and Pepsi, though, unlike the soda partisans, the astrology factions were dogmatic snobs and witheringly critical of one another, not unlike Republicans and Democrats today.

The only thing I could remember this morning was Cole so I googled Santa Cruz/ astrology/ cole and discovered that he died in 1992 of AIDS. So I guess that whatever clarification we can get from him about his theories will have to be by seance.

There was a restaurant in SC that was open only for breakfast called Zachary's where everyone in town met on Sunday mornings, so that the wait outside was up to 2 1/2 hours. We used to sign in and then walk down to the Boardwalk and by the time we got back we were seated. Anyway it was the place to go if you wanted to catch sight of either of the astrology czars. We wanted to sponsor a Wizard's Duel down on the Seacliff Beach because it was a very dramatic setting with overarching cliffs for the audience. The beach was to be empty except for Rob and Robert doing, oh you know, transits in the sand with wild conjunctions and perilous trines, until some juncture in the action when suddenly everyone would storm down out of the poppies like a flood and enjoy a bloody melee. TBM

The Amphitheater

This summer I was at Kenyon for the afternoon reading on the quad, and strolled down to see the Bolton Theater. I once performed on that stage and as I entered from the lobby expected to whisk back to Shakespeare. My experience, however, was not that of the past at all... but of the latent and enthusiastically potent possible future.

When I was in Santa Cruz I used to ride my bike north of town along the coast to a secluded beach tucked into the cliffs along the Pacific, and wandering north from the most public part there was a hidden and very private enclosure that was just stone and sand and sea. It always seemed to me a perfect stage, the proscenium at water's edge. I guess it is actually backward because the rising walls that would be audience seating was at my back. It was the roaring approval of the waves in front of me.

Shizuo was practicing his ancient Japanese dance about Urashima-Taro, and I thought the perfect place to film the story would be on this beach.

Anyway as I stepped onto the Kenyon stage and looked up into the seats it was silent. No echo of the past. Only unlimited joy of what can be. When I was an actor I had not enough experience of life to have anything really of significance to say. I think young actors only have sex appeal. They draw from the audience a libido and, only by chance of a fortunate playwright, any sort of authentic inspiration.

I have a life to drawn on. I have unlimited creativity. What I can do today is so much more than I ever had to offer when I was on that stage.

When I was memorizing Ballad of the Good Cowboy 12 years ago I felt that I was not old enough to play the role because, no matter how excellent my acting might be, I would be a young man impersonating men of greater years. And that is always false. In this play of many characters it is easier for an older man to adopt the life of a younger man for those scenes.

Today I could do it. Today I can do it.