Monday, June 21, 2021

In a Flash Its Gone: On Fellini and the End of High School, 8 and a 1/2 and Langston Hughes and "a land of sun..."



After school ended, we went to celebrate in the East Village

A few pierogies at Little Poland,

Sisters celebrating done with school.

Looking at clothes at Trash and Vaudeville on East 7th.

Punk rock now and forever.

The Damned is touring.

Another curtain call.


And sat in the park,

“Do you want a free joint?” a man says to us.

“No thanks”

And make our way West to the Film Forum for our first film in a year.

Its something we’ve always done, gone to the movies, to anime, black and white.

Fellini with my friends. 8 and a ½

 Its like the history of cinema and literature in one small movie...

Marcello then and now.

In a film about making a film and by extension, making sense of a life and its and faith and ourselves.

An older man looking back at the blur of the burlesque, and what it all meant, where it leaves him.

Like Day for Night, Truffaut’s 1973 homage to cinema.

Four years ago we were in Paris looking at the Mona Lisa... before hiking.

A lifetime ago and all has changed..

Trips to Sardignia and Japan and roller derby and a Pandemic and high school on line, trying not to lose our minds, all of us together for a year and a half.

And now everyone is going their own ways, making their own paths.


A flash for a moment.

Its over.

Through the difficulties, the struggles, into something else.

A parade of the absurd to lead Marcello toward his epiphany:

"What is this flash of joy that's giving me new life? Please forgive me sweet creatures; I didn't realize, I didn't know. How right it is to accept you, to love, you.. everything's going back to what it was. Everything's confused again, but that confusion is me; how I am, not how I'd like to be. And I'm not afraid to tell the truth now, what I don't know, what I'm seeking… Life is a party, let's live it together. I can't say anything else, to you or others. Take me as I am, if you can... it's the only way we can try to find each other." 8 and ½


Out onto 6th Ave in the magic light and back to a rooftop party in Park Slope.

And friends.

And then a trip gone bad to Brussels the next day.

Still not quite open.

Back to Brooklyn where the sun was shining.

Glad to be here.

Watching it all grow and change, the roof garden thriving.

The whole city opening.

Writing every morning.

And out to see friends.

Live music all over Brooklyn... happy juneteenth!!!@

A beer a barbes and stoop jam on 6th Street.

Day drinking with Mom... perfect...

To see Mel and Tim on Charles Street.

Holding onto life, ALS taking it away.

A laugh for a moment.

Don’t count on 94 says his doctor.

And beach rides and waves.

Out to lush Fort Tilden,

Past the Honeydew.

The water crashes into the beach.

Most everyone is topless and no one cares, progress, perhaps progress.

Perhaps its changing.

Perhaps we’re changing.

God knows it all is.

The kids learning about the world, the good, the painful, the good parents and cruel parents, all of it. 


Body surfing and boogey boarding.

And a gumbo on the roof and a date with My Neighborhood Totoro.


There’s a lot to embrace here in this land of the sun, a lot.

As Langston Hughes reminds us:


“We should have a land of sun, 
Of gorgeous sun, 
And a land of fragrant water
Where the twilight is a soft bandanna handkerchief
Of rose and gold, 

We should have a land of trees,
Of tall thick trees,
Bowed down with chattering parrots
Brilliant as the day…”

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