by Ann Faison
At the start of 2013 I made a promise to myself to post something here every week. I stuck to that commitment until August when I was feeling overwhelmed and ungrounded by the move back to L.A. Somehow, amidst all the upheaval, a weekly blog post became too much. I reasoned that it was better to focus my limited amount of writing time on the third draft of my book, which I am hoping to finish by the end of this year. And since I tend to be hard on myself, I decided it was okay to let the blog lapse.
But the blog is important too. It’s a place to let the process of writing sift through all the thoughts and feelings that have been brewing and spill the froth out onto the page. Publishing it here, as opposed to putting it into a notebook like I did for many years, forces me to work a little harder to formulate and communicate that froth.
Usually it’s stuff that has a little to do with Art and Grief, but more to do with an outlook on life. Just my singular outlook, recorded as it changes with time. And my perspective seems to be changing profoundly these days. I don’t know if it was the year away, or the move back, the half-marathon or turning fifty in a few months, but I have a feeling the looming birthday is 90% to blame. I am starting to truly understand just how short my life is. The goals I have always held seem to be down-shifting as I begin to accept the old cliche that I am not young anymore.
I just finished Frank Langella’s book, “Dropped Names.” At the outset it seems like just a fun way to write a memoir, by recounting the relationships he had with famous people, most of them dead. Langella is a Broadway and Hollywood actor who came up in the 1960′s and 70′s and has enjoyed sustained success. Through good luck, talent and an undoubtedly winning personality, he met a lot of interesting people and had many extraordinary relationships. At times he seems quite critical of the way different people choose to survive the shark-infested waters that actors inhabit. He analyzes his friends and acquaintances and shares his theories behind their drinking or poor choices through a very specific set of glasses. Langella is not a psychologist, just a keen observer who presumes to see through people’s behavior to their deepest fears and weaknesses. Sometimes I was uncomfortable with his version of things, preferring to think of George C. Scott, for example, as a great and powerful actor instead of a man who had no grip on his own anger and self-loathing. Nevertheless, the book is a good read and a great reminder of how singular each pair of glasses we look through is, as we watch our own lives and the lives of those who fascinate us, our loved ones, our enemies, and famous people.
So out of respect and admiration to the glasses I look through each day, and the pleasure I take in writing, I am going to commit to getting back to weekly posts. To jump start the habit, this week I will post every day to make up for the lost weeks in August and September. Here’s to me.