April 28, 2012
April 20, 2012
March 17, 2012
Those who do deny are dense like stone. They block the flow of energy, and that is fine—for them. But for me, it is like being stuck in a castle, or a prison, or simply behind a wall. And the more I tear down my own, the more open my soul becomes.
Ever since that fateful day that I told Mr. Brown, “You inspire me to find the divine and bring it to life,” everything has changed. It is normal, even admirable, to speak the words, “I found God,” although it took me some time to let go of my own prejudices. But opening my heart to God brought me to something else. For years and years, I have had psychic abilities. But I dismissed them, because I feared… that life was like a movie and I would see bad things.
But life is nothing like a movie. And there are no bad things. And this was proved to me the day I knew two people had been hit by my subway train. And nothing about it scared me, because I was told to watch and to listen very carefully. And because I did, I was given the understanding that the spirits will not harm me. But other people, they are not listening and insularity can be a painful and anxious thing. I was on the train and, other than the police and the conductor and the dead, no one else knew what had happened. But, as typical New Yorkers, eighty five percent of them grew irate with having to wait five—ten—fifteen minutes to go on with their lives. But God has blessed them because they have lives to go on. And I said a silent prayer because I knew the dead were at peace but that so many others would feel left behind, that two families would be in shock and mourning in a matter of moments.
In writing this today, I know that no longer shall I judge those who deny in order to protect, imprisoned by their own (demons) (fears) (lies) (self absorption). And because of their walls, they refuse the beauty that awaits them at every moment they walk this earth. I don’t fault them for any of this because I am no better. I am no worse. I am perfectly flawed, just like you are.
Only now I try to be conscious, because I have removed the greatest walls from my life, and on doing so, the spirits have returned to my side ten fold. I was laughing the other day, saying it is okay for me to say I have found God but when I talk about spirits, I know people want to look at me sideways. Only, here’s the thing. I reached out to God. I called to Him. And in doing so, He appeared. And that is easy to understand. But I never call to the spirits. The spirits come to me. And I have learned things I never asked to know, and I have seen death in many ways.
I never ever seek them out. That is why I trust them. Why I believe. Because they know I am a writer, a publicist, and something of an iconoclast. And for being this, they know I will speak on their behalf. Without fear. With love. And humility. Because I know that the spirits speaking to me does not make me special. In fact, it does just the opposite. It reminds me that I am exactly like everyone else. That we all possess this gift. Some of us just… deny it.
It is funny, as in sad, that I had to learn what would happen when a spirit was denied. I was told to tell someone something, and it was flat out rejected, and the result was the spirits stopped talking to me as long as I allowed this person into my heart. Not that they took it personal, or were punishing me. I think they understood that I was dealing with a nonbeliever, and they wanted to leave me in peace.
But the thing that is sad is that I had a message for he who does not believe. And he didn’t want to hear it, and that is okay. Because the spirits didn’t fault me or fault him. There is no judgment among the dead.
March 15, 2012
March 13, 2012
Rain is the most beautiful thing. It washes away all that is unclean. It nourishes the earth and all the creatures that walk upon it with all that is fresh and pure. I had a small epiphany. Seventy percent of the earth is water. Sixty percent of the human body is water. We are one with the earth, ruled by things we may not realize. The moon rules the tides. The moon rules my life. My body is fully in sync with the phases of the moon. And thus there are times when I am pushed and pulled by forces I do not understand. That is to say once a month, something happens to my brain.
But all that is affected are the lies. They are dredged up from my depths and roll in like waves, and if the lies are bad enough, they take me under in the most violent way. They awake me in the middle of the night and won’t let me sleep. They demand I take responsibility. But until I had the courage to speak my truth, I could do no such thing. Instead, I suffered, and I made others suffer along with me. Because fear ruled my life like the moon rules the tides, and I was drowning in a terror that closes my throat as I type. It won’t let me speak it’s name.
This morning I awoke. I barely slept. But I did something different. I spoke my truth. I did my best to own everything I could, while avoiding putting anything on the person with whom I spoke. I only wanted to be heard. To be understood. I didn’t even realize I could ask for something as simple as understanding. But if not me, why not?
And as I spoke, tears fell from my eyes and splashed upon my cheeks and washed away everything that was unclean in me. And though I was in pain, I maintained my control. And then Joe Conzo called me and he said, “Has anyone told you they love you today?” And I said, “No.” And he said, “I love you.” And I am so grateful. Who could be as lucky as me to have a love so beautiful?
He told me to go outside. And he was right. It is the most beautiful spring day and the sky is blue and the sun shines down upon my face. But before I set out the door, I decided to do something different.
Last night, when speaking with Ms. Fitts, I was talking about friendship. I’m trying to understand it, because I realize now, I don’t know what it is. To be a friend. To have a friend. To accept people on their own terms. To love unconditionally. To ask for nothing in return. To have boundaries. To act without expectation. To give with kindness and to receive with grace. To respect and cherish and honor those to whom I most deeply relate.
And then it hit me. “A friend is someone I can call when I am crying,” I said. And I realized how few people I could trust like this. And there was one person in particular I wanted to trust. So I reached out. I left him a message. I asked for help. And he did not acknowledge me. And so I let go.
And when I let go, I began to smile. And once I started smiling, I could not stop myself. I walked through Brooklyn, my home. Yea, I just realized, I wouldn’t be anywhere else in the world. And as I walked towards Smith Street for a glass of green lemonade, I found myself the object of admiration. This is nothing new, but something has changed. I receive it graciously. I appreciate the compliments being paid. Because they are respectful. And, well, they are better than that. They are genuine, friendly, and they don’t want anything from me except my thanks.
And I am thankful. To them for what they give me, and for me finally able to receive their honor. And some of them are so sweet, saying things like, “Keep up the good work.” And it’s funny to me, to see how afraid I had once been. And to no longer have this fear. And to be without the wall between myself and them.
I cannot stop smiling. I died today. One of my nine lives is gone, returned to from whence it came. And death, death is the most beautiful thing. And I don’t mean this in a morbid way. It is as Loucious Broadway wrote, and so I quote, “Death is freedom.” And finally, I understand his words.
March 12, 2012
She is blessed with an ancestral curse, with the dark spirit that travels through words. It becomes so intense, the cancer that spreads, that her energy is spent feeding it, sucking the life out of her in order to live. Like water it seeks its own level and drags her down as far as she can go. And it is here that Hades beckons from the underworld.
Words are the tools of torture and despair. Words have powers that we do not understand. That is why the Bible states that in the beginning, the Word was God. But the Word isn’t God, it is just a manifestation of the strength of His power. How careless we are with the power we have been given.
She, too, she is careless. She believes that the thoughts in her head are real, but she does not realize that the thoughts she thinks are not even her own. She was indoctrinated by the dark spirit that causes the slowest suicides. She inherited a very simple lie: A good girl is one who knows she is bad and must be destroyed.
She is so good, she is going mad. With each passing day, her dreams of death grow stronger but she does not have the will to kill… anyone, not even herself. Instead she lives in the long shadow, comforted by a soft, satiny pall while aching that somehow, in ways she does not understand, she has failed.
It could be said that anguish extinguishes the life force. It is death by despair, or in common parlance, she is dying of a broken heart. Each step she takes on the pathless path brings a new lie, and this lie must be big enough to consume the previous one whole. There is one end to this path, and it is the same for us all. Six million ways to die. Choose one.
(okay, can I just say that reading this makes me laugh? This is a passage from a chapter that was excised from my novel, darkness incarnate it is. and it’s funny today because I no longer feel this way. I smile because I can finally laugh, and maybe, just maybe, that makes everything worthwhile)
February 13, 2012
February 11, 2012
I would only be in your way
So I’ll go
But I know
I’ll think of you every step of
Love you, oohh
My darling you
That is all I’m taking with me
Please don’t cry
We both know I’m not what you
Will always love you
Will always love you
life treats you kind
And I hope
you have all you’ve dreamed of
And I wish you joy
But above all this
I wish you love
Will always love youuu
Will always love youuu
February 10, 2012
The great Age of Exploration lead man around the globe, to explore the most remote parts of the earth seeking knowledge of Nature and of Self. Man is only limited by his imagination, and that’s what makes his work spellbinding: the possibility of going places we’ve never dreamed, of seeing the unseen.
What makes the Age of Exploration amazing is that cameras were available to document the adventures in details never before seen. The camera’s ability to provide a sense of not just fact but also of feeling is what makes the photographs featured in South Pole an extraordinary experience.
South Pole by Christine Dell’Amore (Assouline) is an extraordinary piece of history, documenting the Terra Nova Expedition of 1910-1913. Although it is a piece of history learned by every British student, to the rest of the globe, the adventures of Robert F. Scott and his five-man team are here to, for the first time, unfold….
February 8, 2012
As my files grew,
I realized that many of the dogs whose pictures I had in my archives,
never made it out alive.
February 2, 2012
from Tupac to Rihanna to Josie Dimples
“I’m 80yrs old living the THUG LIFE! I love my dear Rihanna!
NA NA NA COME ON”
Today is my grandfather‘s 97th birthday.
I always thought he was fly
poppin off emails from his Mac laptop
up until two weeks before his died.
happy birthday & many more
(you know ima stay countinn i’m sure)
February 1, 2012
And You Can Bet Your Last Money, It’s Gonna Be A Stone Gas, Honey!
I figured as long as the music stayed hot and important and good,
that there would always be a reason for Soul Train.
We can’t make it important to anybody else. … But it’s important to us.
It’s always a pleasure to find something that matters.
We wish you love, peace, and soul!
January 29, 2012
The measure of the moral worth of a man is his happiness.
The better the man, the more happiness.
Happiness is the synonym of well-bring.
Do not have an attitude; open yourself and focus yourself and express yourself.
Reject external form that fails to express internal reality.
We can see through others only when we see through ourselves.
To understand your fear is the beginning of really seeing.
The question: I’m loved?
All quotes from Striking Thoughts by Bruce Lee
January 17, 2012
It was early 2000. Sometime in the spring. The phone rang and I answered it. “Hello, powerHouse,” I said. I used to be a receptionist, so I played my part. Besides, we only had one line. I was new and I realized the best way to find out what was going down was to pick up the phone. Find out who was talking to who.
A voice grizzled and growled on the other line. “Who’s this?” a man asked. Well, well now, I wasn’t expecting that.
“It’s Sara,” I said.
“Hello Sara,” the man said, now sweetness and light. “You’re new there. What are you, an intern?”
Aww hell no, I seethed to myself, full of pride. Ahem. “I am the Marketing Director,” I replied, though I really didn’t know what that meant at all.
“Just the person I want to speak to,” the man went on. “I am Nat Finkelstein. Author of The Factory Years.”
Yea, I knew who he was. I had written catalogue copy for his book. In fact, it was his book that I used for sample copy to request permission to write all entries for the catalogue. You see, I wanted to write. More than anything else. So on a Friday I asked, “Can I write the catalogue?” I was bold.
“Can you?” I was asked.
I considered that. “I’ll write an entry over the weekend and if you like it, I will do the rest.”
I was so excited. I can’t even tell you. It was my shot at the big time, to be the voice of the company. I looked at the list and I felt lost. Until I came across The Factory Years. Then I was home. I sat in my apartment and the first sentence came to me: New York City, the 1960s: Inside a ramshackle studio known as The Factory, the post-war art world encountered the industrial revolution.
I loved that line. That’s the kind of writer I wanted to be. I submitted the copy, and it had passed muster. I was given the assignment for writing all copy from there forward.
So it came to pass that the first author I had spoken to was the one who inspired me to go for what I wanted most. Ahh, Nat, he loved the ladies and he loved to talk. He could not or would not be stopped. He loved it so much he suggested we meet up. Sure, sounds great.
And so we met. I don’t remember what it is we did. All I remember was this one moment in a taxi cab. “So what was Warhol like,” I asked curiously, only to be met with a howl from hell that I did not expect.
“DON’T ASK ME ABOUT WARHOL!”
I know he said more but when his yelled, I went into shock. I didn’t understand at that time what I did wrong. But as I came to know Nat, as the years went by and we established a friendship that transcended the author/publisher vibe, I discovered that the issue was more complex. First, there was the way everyone had been feeding off The Factory.
It’s a strange thing, to have your life’s work defined by someone else’s success. I can imagine that for someone like Nat, there was absolutely no appeal—other than the cash—to that. Then there was the truth about The Factory, which Nat had written in the book, a dark place of vampirical energy, evidenced by the corpses it spit up. And lastly, there was Nat, his life so much greater than the time he spent with Warhol, though I always wondered about that—what was this Coney Island original doing in that vortex of gay males?
As I got to know Nat, I understood what it was. “You know why Warhol had you around?” I asked Nat one night, having that stoned revelation.
Nat looked at me with a mixture of doubt and curiosity, wanting to know what I would say, yet thinking, What the fuck is she talking about?
With the utmost confidence, I continued. “He had you around because you were that powerful, strong, heterosexual male energy. You were the straight guy, the No man, so to speak. You were the only one who would call him on his bullshit.”
Nat said nothing. I knew he liked this. Silence was agreement, that much I learned.
And so in honor of this, Nat’s 79th birthday, I want to send all of my love to the old man from the sea. There’s so much more I could say, ha, I could write a book. Nat is (I can’t say was, because even though he is dead, he is not gone) the real thing. He is strong, powerful, reliable. He is smart, funny, sensitive. He is deep, sophisticated, vulgar. He is the man I love. He is the man who taught me that life is for the fearless. He is the spirit that has taught me death is not the end but a new beginning. Nat Finkelstein is eternal. His magic lives forever.
oh yea, and you can thank Nat for the Fifteen Minutes line.
It was his.
Read the book and find out.
January 14, 2012
The don’t make ‘em like Claire de Rouen. They only made one. Never has publishing known such a woman. The thing about this industry is, everyone in it loves books. They love them so much they’re choking on them, corners caught in their throat. I’ve watched from the inside and the outside for well over a decade, gotten to know a few people here and there. But few have left an impression like that of Miss de Rouen. If only because there was never a bookseller quite so distinctive.
I’d only met Miss de Rouen a couple of times, at BEA and in London when Zwemmer’s was the finest spot for art books. I was immediately impressed by her knowledge, her verve, her intuitive understanding for the the medium, and her love. Love. It’s everything. It’s the only thing. It’s what makes the world go round. It is the reason people make books, sell books, buy books—especially now. Just looking at these photographs I feel a sense of comfort and joy. There is nothing quite as soothing as reading spines, flipping through pages, and thinking, “Which one of you will I be taking home?”
A great bookseller is one who reads on every level and understands how to translate the message to their audience. Because so much about books is a singular experience. We gravitate towards what we know, resistant to discovering the unknown. What is not understood is easily dismissed, and as I have learned during my years literacy is a precious gift. It is not merely the ability to read words, read pictures, read design. It is the expansion of our vocabulary and the exposure to new syntax that allows us to access ideas previously unconsidered.
The more fluent we become, the higher our standards, the greater our desire for that which challenges. We grow weary of the easy, bored by the obvious, numb to the masses. We want to feel something new, think something fresh, be inspired, enlightened, entertained, informed. A tall order that is not so easily filled, not unless there is a woman like Miss de Rouen to help guide the way. For the time she was here, the world was blessed for a true bookseller is slowly becoming a thing of the past…