Art to Heal Your Heart III
Life is really simple, but men insist on making it complicated. -- Confucius

Around here, the womenfolk are addicted to Guitar Hero III. Me, I'm reading poems and novels, like Sharon Olds and Clive Barker. It's Halloween! You have to read Clive Barker!

Guess what I found. I was busy posting my "Wastelander's Notebooks" from England in August, when my computers melted down. I never put up the last section. Wastelander UK III. (There are a lot of threes today--wonder why?) I stumbed across it and it made me smile, which is what the wastelander project is basically about--joy. Joy heals the heart. Joy is grace, for me. And I always come back to what Neal Cassady said: Grace Beats Karma. So I'll put up the UK III this week. Hope it makes you smile, too. The end of our English adventure.

You know, it seems that the Wasetlanders now have enough bulk to make a book. So I think I'll get a writing sketchbook together. That would really make me happy, since we're fishing for happiness on The Days of the Dead.

I trust you will soon treat yourself to Ted Kooser and to Robert Plant & Alison Krause. Talk about healing your heart! And Rickie Lee Jones, The Sermon on Exposition Boulevard. Though you'd have to be in a God mood for that one. You'd have to be in the mood for an eccentric woman-written Bible. I am.

The art I'm going to suggest to you today, dear bretheren, is a movie. Easy. I saw it at the Harvard Square theater, one afternoon when I had nothing to do. I usually had nothing to do. So I bought books, took the Red Line and the Green Line, went to museums, ate weird food, walked hundreds of miles, saw movie after movie after movie, poked in freaky little shops, wandered the Harvard library stacks, took train to Walden, went out with wild women. Wrote hundreds of pages. It was the happiest phase of my life--ever. Total freedom for the first time. First winters. First Fall colors. First hummus. First live wrestling matches. First REM concerts. First swim in Walden Pond. First money. Just--free.

I would go in the theater after a good bookstore basement crawl, and before an awesome early supper, and I'd see cheapo movies. I remember seeing "Koyanisqaatsi" and having my mind blown--a man behind me started sobbing and couldn't stop. But the great movie I will recommend to you is Local Hero.

I like guy movies, I'll admit. Gimme a car chase or a monster or some cowboys (or Chiunese gansters) shooting up a whole town--preferrably in slow-motion) and I am so there. However, I was unprepared for the astonishing grace of "Local Hero." The wry humor made me laugh, but the strange eccentricity and, somehow, innocence of it hooked me deeply and wouldn't let me leave the story. I have to say, the last shot of the movie, a scene almost too subtle, made me cry. I couldn't have been more suprised. A crazy comedy made me cry? But it did. Because I did not want to be cast out of the place of belonging that film represents.

It's some kind of magic. So see it. IF you haven't seen it, relax and forget the Guitar Hero and the exploding robots. 'Cause you won't get this movie otherwise. I haven't yet shown it to our 18 year old drummer boy--he's just not ready. But when you get to the age when you miss something or someone, when you tire of the ugliness, then the movie gets to you.

Make some popcorn, and call me. I'll be right over.

Until then, watch for the Wastelander. The previous ones are all in the archive. As my beloved London Beefeater said: YES!!!

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