Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Jasper Deeter on The Most Important Lesson

"...The wilderness, the mountains and valleys, and the pitfalls and the enemies which confront us on our adventures require the faith of Galahad, the sweetness of Gawain, the love of Launcelot, the emboldened strength of Tristram and the comforting Self-Assurance that we are pursuing beauty. How can anyone have in himself these four kinds of chivalry and still find nourishment for his self-assuring self without becoming, at times, embroiled, entangled, and unwisely engaged? When men have answered this question, Beauty will be the Handmaiden of Mankind and she will bring to artists what they desire in little things, and she will guide them unfailingly in their quest for the Larger Beauties and the Better Life. Be assured! That is my frequent blessing and to share it with both hands is the most important lesson of  my life."

from p. 144 of Barry Witham's book "A Sustainable Theatre: Jasper Deeter At Hedgerow"
Palgrave Macmillan Publishers

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Wayne McEvilly at Hedgerow Theatre

I arrived at Hedgerow having travelled from Santa Fe New Mexico, riding zig-zag across the country on this Kawasaki motorcycle - riding zig-zag and solo - for a performance of solo piano music composed by Mozart, Beethoven, Chopin, and a spoken tribute to the great man of Hedgerow, Jasper Deeter, founder, teacher, mentor, actor, director, who imparted to me so much which must be left unsaid except by the perfect vehicle of music. I count the day in 1949 that I came upon the Hedgerow House while selling daffodils door to door and heard Jasper playing Beethoven from inside the house, and his later saying to me: "I love you, boy. You remember that! You may need that some day!" I count that day as blessed among all the days of my now long life.
And now I am going back to Hedgerow, May 24th 2016, at two o:clock in the afternoon, to do another tribute to Jasper in music -
but this time, I think I'm going to fly...

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Bessy Kitzelman, from The Ward Street Chronicles

...for all their voices rose into the air in a mighty chorus singing - "Remember me, Remember me, 'til thou send thee to the land beyond the land, Remember, Remember, Remember me...
...and the one I heard above the rest was the voice of Bessy Kitzelman. Yes, young Bess Kitzelman, just out of the loony bin up in Norristown.
She dwelt in a Spinozistic frenzy under a species of eternity where the rest merely resided in a shared common space with its roof and its limits. Dancing on the grass of her parents' tiny yard she was boundless, knew an exhaltation not felt by any princess or potentate. Her's was an expression beyond the public appetite - they understood her not. Her presence was an irritant to their sensibility. Her enthusiasms exceeded the boundaries of their minds. At a later date, they would have drugged her and made of her a vacant robot. As it was they froze her in ice baths and administered their electronic treatments, pronounced her sane and sent her home, inevitably inviting a further frenzy, and so it went, back and forth, in and out of the loony bin like a yoyo on a string...
while just across the street lived the Kirkprides with their precious little dog Oogie, and their Parrot, Polly...but for  Bessy, as the moment arose it dissolved, seemingly never having been, the world had been constituted of a series of disappearing moments, not ever having, perhaps, appeared at all. And had they appeared, what was it that they had been had they been at all? These were questions that haunted her mind, and there had been none to whom she might speak of these matter or no matters. It was, she had often said, her dilemma, no one else's dilemma. And yet the past continued to increase, she would note, even as the future decreased, so there must be something to it, she reasoned, something more than a figment in the mind of God.

...to be continued...

Mary Holdsworth, Elephant Lady from "The Ward Street Chronicles"

Bursting in now is Mary Holdsworth - she is in her living room, receiving the neighborhood urchin boys for their lessons and rewards - Could we recite the Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag of The United States of America? Yes? Good! - a prize piece of Fleers Double Bubble Gum to each and every scruffy one of you! - What now of the Lord's Prayer? Surely we received assistance in demonstrating our religious prowess by the presence of a large wall-hanging of Jesus atop a mountain, painted on black velvet. Another sweet treat for the lot of you then, while out front in the yard her husband Dick, just arrived home from his work, stepped from his Hudson still wearing his uniform as company gaurd, with its belt supporting a large gun, holstered, hanging at his side. He was a quiet man, perhaps to balance his wife's garrulous enthusiastic nature and...but she asserts herself here with an insistence I note a favorite summer pastime - she dons a large green blanket, more a rug, having gotten down on all fours, she lumbers not about the front yard with a garden hose, in imitation of a trunk,  emerging from this rug-like blanket. Spouting water now as Dick has turned the faucet on, hidden from our sight in the basement. We believed this charade, so great was Mary's girth and enthusiasm, as she gave us all a dousing we would not forget...Ah, Mary, I remember it still.

The Ward Street Chronicles ... continued

The distance between Ward Street and Bombay would have seemed impossibly infinite, and the meeting with Anais some mythological phantasmagoria had it been projected in those early years, yet in that vast stretch which proved to be my life, these and other stranger marvels did indeed occur.

To consider the details had always seemed to be impossibly tedious, and their teeming number enormously daunting, yet there came finally a sense that a beginning must be made, even in face of the fact, impossible to deny, that one simply had not so much as a clue where to begin, or what direction to take...

It was strange to realize that the only detail that rung out with any certainty was itself shrouded in utter baffling mystery - and that was the certainty of the beheading. Incomprehensible as it was undeniable - why did this single act exert its truth, even when nothing was known about it, neither why, nor whether...nothing...nothing, quite simply, at all.

and where the source for all the emergent personalities' need of a sudden to be memorialized? Certainly not from themselves, for they were modest beyond calculation - yet they are here at this moment. I allow it, allow their energies to have their life...

...to be continued...

Saturday, February 8, 2014

The vast impenetrable

Was the vast impenetrable an absolute unknowable?  The thing itself in itself was it never known?  It was to be sure not a question on the minds of many.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

The Piper by William Blake

Thanks to Tina Reynolds of Indiana for sending this to me.
"The Piper" by William Blake: