Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Those Who Are Of The Night

After Tennessee Williams' lover Frank died, he spent seven years in a deep depression, unable to write well or enjoy himself, overmedicating himself with a cocktail of alcohol and pills, a great tragedy for someone with such a brilliant and generous spirit, someone who manages to make both Truman Capote and Gore Vidal look lovely in his memoirs, someone who wrote the beautiful prayer for those who are wild at heart trapped in cages. Which damn near says it all, those beautiful spirits whose pictures adorn my walls, people who brought great joy to others while systematically destroying themselves in the process, exacting a huge psychic cost, a bill that ultimately would be paid in blood, both their own and the people they loved to the point of distraction and madness.

I once met a woman who had known Janis Joplin. She said, "Well, she was great when she was on, but you wouldn't want to live with her. She spent a lot of time either self-destructing or reading." We set on a course, but seldom count the cost. I come from a place far far away from where I am now, not geographically so much, but emotionally. And like anyone coming off a plane that has taken you somewhere so fast that you don't have time to catch your breath, I feel a little off-kilter, like I'm in two time zones at once. The Catholic Church got rid of purgatory or limbo last year, but I still believe it exists, that sad place where Tennessee Williams found himself trapped for so long, and where we all find ourselves every now and then, unable to shake the sadness of our heart and move onto the next thing, whatever that may be.

Michelle's Spell of the Day
"In my beginning is my end." T. S. Eliot

Cocktail Hour
Drinking literary journal suggestion: Gargoyle

Benedictions and Maledictions
Happy Wednesday!


Arnold Stang said...

Chunky! What a chunk of chocolate!

Bela L. said...

The cheeeldren of the night!

Freaky facts said...

Tennessee choked to death on a pill bottle cap after a night of heavy drinking. He was in the habit of putting aspirin in the pill bottle cap before swallowing. Unfortunately, he orally injested both the cap and the pill, only the cap didn't go down.

robthefob said...

just a theological clarification: the RC Church (finally, after 1,600 years) laid the assumption of limbo to rest, but the teachings on purgatory remain. the theology of limbo came from augustine, which was why he pushed so strongly for infant baptism (so as to protect against the dangers of babies dying before being baptized.) The RC belief in purgatory is professed in the Apostle's Creed as part of 'the communion of saints'--which includes those undergoing purification in preparation for entering heaven.

Brian in Mpls said...

It has been my residence of choice for the last 5 years

Ropinator said...

It is strange that depression paralised a writer's skills because for example Shelley wrote Frankeinstein about his bad experiences or I could mention Edgar Allen Poe as an example.

the walking man said...

It seems as if you hit the nail on the head again. I just had a two hour talk with a certain poet of our mutual acquaintance, one you heard in your office and they couldn't tell me why or how but the fire is gone.

How could I tell them where the matches were to fire it up again when I am at best a lump on the continuum of fucking time myself.

I've had a hell of a life so far, done more shit than just about anyone I know and lived to talk about and write stories about it all,but like you said..."where we all find ourselves every now and then, unable to shake the sadness of our heart and move onto the next thing"

How do you move on where there is no where left to go that is of any interest? Where is there to go but Plath City and the Braughtigan bar?


eric1313 said...

By your description, I'm the y chromosome Janice, sans the talent.

TWM--Lets not go there. I mean the Brautigan Bar or Plath PLace.

eric1313 said...

And not cloud city, pearly gates or rehab, either.

Charles Gramlich said...

Sometimes people who burn bright are tiring to live with.