Last night I finished watching the Netflix docu-series, “Wild Wild Country.” I have thoughts about it.
I think others do, too, because my little ranty post about Rajneesh has gotten a lot of views lately.
First of all, I thought this documentary was superbly done on all levels. The storytelling was fantastic. The visuals were stunning. It was very balanced and the story was presented from many sides, which I really appreciated.
This post will probably have spoilers, so if you haven’t watched the documentary series and you have no idea who this Rajneesh guy is or what this weird event that happened in Oregon in the Eighties is, then I highly recommend watching it first. After you watch it, I’d be very curious about what you think!
I have nothing original to share with you as it seems I’ve lost my writing mojo, but here is Sylvia Plath reading Lady Lazarus. It’s a brilliant poem. You can read the whole thing here.
I’m still in my Sylvia Path kick, still reading through her diaries and I just finished reading the poems in the restored version of Ariel. I am really blown away by it. I am currently reading the prologue written by her daughter, which is also very insightful. It’s interesting to read how defensive she is of her father and how protective she is of their relationship.
I want to turn around and read the whole thing again. I think is is the best collection of poetry I have ever read and it’s totally groundbreaking. It deserves all of the hype.
The journals are good, as well. I can’t just sit and read them all the way through, I have to take a break from the now and then. It feels a little weirdly voyeuristic and slightly uncomfortable to read them. But It’s really interesting to see the way her mind worked.
Here is a great video of John Greene talking about Plath and Lady Lazarus
I put aside the intense dive into Sylvia Plath for a bit and picked up a few other, more lighter reads. I was home sick a couple of days this week and reread “The Subtle Art Of Not Giving A Fuck,” by Mark Mason which I really liked a lot (both times). There is lots of wisdom imparted in a light-hearted, funny way.
Last week I was helping a patron with the Overdrive app, and in the process I downloaded a couple of books to demonstrate how it worked. I ended up downloading a couple of books that I wanted to read. One of them was a kid’s book called, “I Survived The Eruption of Mt St Helens.” I previously read “I survived the Shark Attacks of 1916” and loved it, and book talked it a lot last year. This one wasn’t a great as the shark attack one, but it was still pretty compelling. Especially so since St Helens is practically in our backyard and I remember the eruption like it was yesterday. I think the series in general is really great for reluctant readers, or kids who just like action adventure.
The other book I downloaded was the audio version of “Love In The Time Of Cholera.” I read this about 20 years ago and have been wanting to reread it for awhile. I am currently about a quarter of the way through it and so far I love it more than I loved it the first time.
Since this is such an interesting subject, I think I will make it a series. When I happen to hear a song that makes me cry I’ll post it. Perhaps you can make sense of why (because sometimes I really haven’t a clue).
Today a Facebook friend posted this video on his feed. I love this song, and the documentary, and so I clicked it. I got about half way through the song and I had to stop because I was full on crying and I didn’t want someone to walk in on me and ask why I was crying. Honestly, I have no idea why on earth this song is making me cry today but there is something about it that is hitting me right in the feels.
I recently watched “Stop Making Sense” for the very first time and really loved it. I became interested in watching it because I’m totally addicted to the television series “Documentary Now!” and the spoof on this particular documentary (“Final Transmission” is the name of that episode) is fucking hilarious. I highly recommend the series of you like satire.
When I posted about this a couple of weeks ago my buddy, Brendan, pointed me to a podcast he’d just listened to about this very subject. It is an episode of Malcolm Gladwell’s Revisionist History and the episode is called, “King Of Tears.” I recommend giving it a listen if this subject interests you. “Specificity meets melancholy” is what makes a song sad, according to Gladwell. Interesting food for thought.
I learned on Friday that Newspace Center For Photography closed permanently. It was all of a sudden with no warning at all. I am still gutted whenever I think about it. It was a big part of my routine when I went to Portland. Drop my husband off at work. go to Newspace and print for an hour. And now it’s gone. I still can hardly believe it. I had to drive by on Monday to see if it was true, and, alas, there is a big “For Lease” sign in the window. I didn’t have a heart to take a photo of that. It just made me too sad.
Newspace has played such an big role in my creative development. It was where I learned how to develop film. It was where I was introduced to pinhole photography. I have spent hours in their darkroom. I have used their studio and their high quality scanners. I have felt so much gratitude that I had access to all of this. I have bragged about them to others and taken out of town visitors there to show them around the place. I’ve taken classes there. I enjoyed the amazing artwork that graced the walls.
I am feeling at a loss and so very empty. It feels like a good friend has died. All of this can never be replaced. I think the community can cobble together things like a community darkroom, but to have all of these things in one place was an amazing treasure that I took for granted. And now it’s gone.
Here are some photos I took there over the years. Some are pinhole, some are iPhone snaps.