Sister, Sister, Wherever You Have Gone

I remember when we bounced in the big chair to The Partridge Family and K-Tel’s Fantastic 22. tumblr_mjarkw5lm31r5yoejo1_r1_1280And I remember when we threw the little metal Santa Claus too high and it smashed through the window and we all ran. IMAG2188There were the trips to the cottage, the puzzles, the rain, the boat trips across the lake.

20140729_161648I remember your pained expressions too, you not wanting to be there, anywhere but with your dumb siblings, away with the crowd, all the excitement and things like that. weenAnd I remember not liking you so much for any of that. But it’s just kid’s stuff now, right? We move on, yes? 20140524_151436I mean, if you hold things too tight, they drive right into you and there’s nothing left, just petty agendas, seeing everything in the world, except where you came from. Dorothy's Red ShoesAnd that just goes on until you get to the end and then you wonder what happened.

New York City Subway Chronicles

I feel very differently about taking pictures of people in the New York subway. IMAG3263It is a document of where I live. And as distant and aloof as many are, the intimacy can be titillating.IMAG3779 It is like standing in the stranger’s house, massive and on wheels, and no one even notices if you’re there. 20140723_190142Unless of course they have a problem with an app.

“Say Peynir, Please.”

I don’t like taking pictures of people in public when I’m on vacation. IMG_3766It feels like I’m an anthropologist studying their habitat.

I made an exception on my recent visit to Istanbul. IMG_3624I gave this street musician a dollar, and he seemed happy to pose for the picture. IMG_3623Whatever the success of the image, it still feels like I molested him.

An Ominous Sound for an Ominous Future

Fripp & Eno started it with The Heavenly Music Corporation, not ambient music but ominous and terrifying sonic explorations, lovely too. (Click preceding link to listen.)fripp_pussybI heard the sound again, years later, at a Grateful Dead show in Miami in 1988; it was like being inside a jet engine, all-encompassing, so very loud.

GratefulDeadSpaceAnd then, in Steven Spielberg’s War of the Worlds (2006), a new version, low and distant, perhaps over-produced, arrived on screen. (Click preceding link to listen.)waroftheworldtripodIt arose again in the trailer for Chris Nolan’s Inception (2010), promising aural profundity; regrettably, the sound was brief and the movie was not.inceptionsoundThe sound became more realized in Gravity (2013), providing the soundscape for the impending doom of debris.gravity-debrisIt has now returned to the frontier of music, more than My Bloody Valentine’s sonic wall, in Sigur Ros’ latest work, Kveikur (2013).sigurros_kveikurLouder and deeper, back-filled by drums and wailing voices, the sound builds, just falling short of the next plateau. 20140703_052932As this sound continues in its evolution, getting deeper and fuller, it might even be a synchronistic backdrop for our promised apocalypse.

Ruins Throwdown: Termessos vs. Ephesus

I know nothing about antiquity. Let me start with that. I cannot distinguish between Hellenistic and Roman architecture, let alone Doric, Ionic and Corinthian columns. IMG_4203But I do know what I like about these ancient sites: the wonder of a place lived in so long ago and the time to imagine what the times might have been like to experience. IMG_4229Ephesus, on Turkey’s west coast, is heralded as second only to Pompeii in its magnificence as an entire city almost left intact; however instead of conveying wonder, it has been obscenely reconstructed and is awash with tourists. 20140711_093325Termessos, a ruin a few hundred miles to the east, is not so well tramped and is a place for the imagination to run wild. IMG_3942Straddling a low mountainous pass, the Pisidian city offers a remarkable necropolis complex, colonnade and theater, to say nothing of unparalleled views for miles around. IMG_4024Yes, it was hot –  almost 100 degrees – and steep, and our water ran short, but there was an abundance of solitude and silence, allowing this long gone world to almost open, even if just a crack.IMG_3964

Not Half There: Adrift in Turkey

My eyes were closed and I was in this narrow half gap between the back of one thing and the back of another. 20140710_162021I thought of the hard dirty sand at the far end and how it looked half round and half hard, each shape sticking out of the other. 20140710_110511I didn’t know what that meant, and I remembered this as if I had been here before, half asleep or completely in and then out, in this only the day before and years on. 20140703_170346I tried to turn my head out of that, remembering this secret half world that isn’t secret at all but a portal from one thing to the next, the jumping off point of the thing of me here and the thing of me there. 20140709_121019It seems that what I’m trying to do is take what I know from each, knowing that isn’t allowed, that it is probably illegal, indeed against the laws of thinking, the rules that keep me human, beyond being stupid, believing this is actually where my head might live. 20140711_090507I can only escape for so long and I know I will only come back to here and find that I never left. It seems like that anyway.

Holly Golightly Speaks Amongst the Lycian Ruins

Of course I like dykes themselves. They don’t scare me a bit. But stories about dykes bore the bejesus out of me. I just can’t put myself in their shoes. Well really, darling. 20140710_153528I knew damn well I’d never be a movie actor. It’s too hard; and if you’re intelligent, it’s too embarrassing. 20140710_101432The mean reds are horrible.You’re afraid and you feel like hell, but you don’t know what you’re afraid of. Except something bad is going to happen, only you don’t know what it is. 20140710_093913Of course I haven’t anything against whores. Except this: some of them may have an honest tongue, but they all have dishonest hearts. 20140710_110524(All quotes excerpted from Truman Capote’s Breakfast at Tiffany’s, Vintage Publishing, pages 21, 38, 40 & 82; images from the ancient Lycian cities of Aphrodisias & Priene in Turkey)

Opening scene from “Baller”

Opening scene from screenplay, Baller:

The land is empty and vast. The road continues up into the mountains, winding past small towns and lakes, the distant colors and light entrancing and forbidding. Crown8BAZ drives the van. EMILY is in the passenger seat. MAX is still asleep, curled up, with DAVIS beside him, the comforter balled up around his head, and POPO, the cat, on top of that, staring out the window. BLAIR sits at the end of the bed, his feet propped across the can on a pile of bags and gear; he is reading Joseph Campbell’s The Power of Myth. The music of The Grateful Dead’s Wharf Rat plays on the stereo.

MAX (Moaning): Turn the music down, man.

EMILY turns the music down halfway.

MAX: No more Dead!

EMILY lowers the volume further. POPO can now be heard moaning over the sounds of the music and the road.

MAX: The cat too, man.

BLAIR (Reciting from The Power of Myth): The adventure is its own reward – but it’s necessarily dangerous, having both negative and positive possibilities, all of them beyond our control. We are beyond protection in a field of higher powers than we know.Crown15EMILY: Who is that? Nietzsche?

BLAIR (Ignoring her, continuing to recite): If we have been impudent and altogether ineligible for the role into which we have cast ourselves, it is going to be a demon marriage and a real mess.

EMILY: I like that. Demon marriage.

BLAIR: Joseph Campbell is a genius.

Both MAX and POPO moan, almost as if in agreement, and the van rattles on into the hinterland of British Columbia.

Writing in Adrasan, Turkey

We have arrived in Adrasan, Turkey. 20140706_104424It is a place of slow-moving rivers, cicadas and ducks everywhere, in short Nirvana. 20140705_220949I have a perfect view of the idyll from our little balcony. 20140706_104415There could be no better time to finish the first draft of Baller, my script chronicling tree-planters finding their way in the northern wilds of British Columbia.

Not Sleeping in Side

Side, Turkey is hot at this time of year, 104 in the day, down to the low 90’s by midnight. 20140705_085713That’s how our problem starts.

Our ’boutique hotel’ charges 5 euros extra for air conditioning; on principle, we don’t pay. 20140705_072809A cold shower followed by a good read, and we are almost asleep, in spite of the toilet running on and on and the Germans chattering outside our window about their World Cup win. FBL-WC-2014-MATCH58-FRA-GERI flush the toilet to get it to stop, which doesn’t work, and then just close the bathroom door. 20140705_072629I dream that I am by a dirty old river.

And then the music starts – pumping, endlessly repetitive – from a row of nearby clubs. side discoBut we can’t close the windows – it’s just too hot and must listen to the bass go on and on. By the time we finally get used to the pounding drops, the call for prayer comes from the mosque. Side-turkeyThe club music continues on after that, the same, until finally it is no longer.

It is late now – early in the morning – and the birds are suddenly awake, the worst the pigeons whose call sounds like an annoying person who keeps saying the same thing again and again. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI dream about my brother doing that.

And then the cats are moaning and yowling. 20140629_143942And it is light, the sun directly back in our room. 20140705_072720Today, we will start early.