‘Paloma de Lorca y Tomy’

January 18th 2021. Around 18:30

I was wandering purposefully in the city. First stop, as usual, my favourite park. It is still covered in snow, or rather ice now, but still white and beautiful, reflecting the uniquely stunning atardeceres of Madrid; purple and creamy, rich and dreamy. Found a perfect bar and sat to have some wine. Just for an hour, I think… Maybe I’ll write something.

‘Naked I go under layers of wool,
naked I go under layers of you…
Skin exposed to the cruelty of your shocking indifference.’

‘What’s your story?’, I write.
‘Who are you, really???’, I repeat in my mind.
Everything I know about you is contradictory

This is ludicrously perfect. A crispy evening, vintage decor, jazzy tunes, big windows…

It’s just me here, a couple with their baby and a lonesome man in front of the framed sunset as it dissolves into twilight behind the naked winter trees, and then turns into the night.

An old man just came in, carrying his own wooden chair.
A couple enters now, knocking over the vintage lamp at the entrance. Everybody keeps hitting it upon entry, it was expected. Instead of a bell at the door to announce the new customers-usually regulars-there’s that lamp that everyone almost knocks over. This place requires a certain delicate touch. The regulars know, so they enter with reverence. That’s how you can tell who has been here before.

This is not the 1940s, this is not a movie, this is not a novel, I know. I don’t want to be writing as if I live in another era, honestly I don’t, but I just keep finding these places that just fit. I am an absolute cliché sitting here, sipping red wine, writing in my notebook, next to a red vespa and a lady with her dog. But what can one do? We are who we are, we do what we do, and if that isn’t hurting anyone, then it’s kinda cute.

Ok, I just made acquaintance with the dog. His name is Tommy (of course). He is a good boy. The lady is in her 30s. She is knitting. This is a movie, after all.

Play that song, barman, that song about a girl in a bar observing someone outside who is checking her reflection, wondering if she can be seen-to be seen, to be seen-as she anticipates some sort of meet-cute with a let’s presume handsome stranger that will save her from her lonesome walk home and the cold. Or was it a diner? Yes! Play ‘Tom’s Diner’, barman! The swing version by ‘The Lost Fingers’.

Literally, there is a red vespa next to me, and my handwriting is becoming increasingly unintelligible… We are inside and it’s warm. 
The window frames the twilight over the city, the lit fairytale-like cathedral of Almudena and the homes beyond the noise in the valley, as seen from the corner of a park hanging from a cliff; an eagle’s-nest-view. 

I really wish I could bring you here. I wonder if you’d appreciate it or waste yet another beautiful thing I show you.

I am a sitting cliché in this joint, but come to think of it, so is everyone else in here, and I love them for it. Typecasted. We typecast this place.

Sometimes things just fit. And it is perfect. Wholesome. Sometimes something is amiss and it leaves you with a gaping void and acute cognitive dissonance, like the ‘you and me’ thing…

(You have become a pivot around which things turn and take shape, like a pottery wheel, the handsome man behind me guiding my hand, aptly a Ghost. Maybe this is your function and the only justification for your entry into my life…)

I used to think it’s a bit pompous writing about locations in stories, like ‘Hey, look! Im a sophisticated expatriate living in a gorgeous European city’. And yet I can’t resist the urge of telling you about how flippin beautiful this place is; ‘Los Jardines de las Vistillas’. Or should it remain unnamed, a mysterious location in a storybook? When you are a foreigner at a place and you chose it to make it your home, it acquires a certain magical quality. Your presence in it almost feels like an achievement that you want to claim and baptise, claim it as a part of you and yourself as a part of it. This is my name, and I’m here. This is the name of the place and I am here. As if you broke through the pages of a book and found yourself at a place of your own creation that feels like home and yet will never feel real. You live in it fearing that someone might take it away or you out of it, or wake you up from it, and that makes you love and defend it all the more. You want to renew your bond to it, weld your joints to it. That’s the beauty and peril of living on your own terms and having been fortunate enough (if excruciating personal suffering and sacrifice and making insane decisions can be considered fortunate) to choose your own home.

There’s Tommy, again… Tommy – the name of that character I wrote before I met you that looks and sounds so much like you. Is the presence of this dog trying to tell me something? As he comes looking at me through his mopey hairdo and adorable eyes, with his enthusiastic love and eagerness to play, is it the universe’s way of compensating me for you infuriating apathy? Focus on Tommy! He might have the key. O es algo mas sensillo… Una casualidad. Todo ha sido una casualidad que se disfrazó como algo con significado. O quizá aun no he visto o escrito el final… Y por eso la historia no tiene sentido, todavía… The clumsy Spanish is kicking in along with the second glass of wine.

I am just realising what every single writer has been saying all along; the stories hide amidst the bullshit you write intoxicated by alcohol or ambition or despair, in your free time. No one spews out masterships-I meant to write ‘masterpieces’ but I’ll keep the error, it might have purpose. It’s all a lot of blue vomit that you might shape into a blue something.

—-

Sorry, dear reader, I got distracted…

I ended up having champagne with the older man who brought his own chair, his name is Jose, a former diplomat who knows the history of my country, the knitting Lady who is called Paloma, ‘Paloma de Lorca’ I call her, to remember, her dog Tommy, the old pal, and the barman, Rashid…. I ended up having drinks with the characters from my story! Woody Allen can eat my dust. Fucking beautiful people. Hey, now I’m writing swearwords in my prose… does this make me an accomplished and cool modern writer? Or is that distinction reserved just for men (and Zadie Smith?). Is that outdated already in Year 2021, let’s call it ‘Jahr Null’?

I don’t know if I paid for my drinks but Rash is politely shooing us all out, before he closes up and joins us outside. It’s ‘late’, after all…22.00! The new curfew kicks in an hour from now. We better rush home or stroll in a small, insignificant act of defiance. Did someone pay for my drinks or am I a criminal now?
Let the record state, that with my remaining faculties, I did ask for the bill….

P.S. None of the above events has been greatly exaggerated. Except, maybe, the champagne. It was probably just a nice Brut…
P.S. 2 This is how I made friends who gave me their numbers, at the back of bills I didn’t pay…

Horse Manure

Where do you start with all this?

Let’s begin with a description.

It’s a cafe, of course, in Madrid. I’m writing on a long wooden table. I’m not sure what the source of it is, but it smells a bit like horse shit. It’s not fresh and I didn’t bring it with me. I know, because it’s been here for over a year. The ghostly whiff of horse manure, accompanies my attempted trip into the source of words in the dungeons of my brain, which has been out of touch and out of order for a few months, due to, well, everything…

-Don’t get distracted by trying to actually write, get back to the description-

Ok. Well, it’s all quite organic in here and that’s why I like it and I guess that’s why the horse manure is sort of apt and fitting to the horse shit that’s coming up through my keyboard. It’s a gestalt of creative ineptitude. It helps, though. Nothing better to get your writing going but the reminder of its futility / of one’s incompetence and failure / of the comedy of the endeavour. Continuing to bang on the keys, like a drunken piano player, is the cry of stubbornness and refusal to give up, because we all know, or have no choice but to hope that under the manure, there can be some golden nuggets, or at least, at worst, a swallowed lost ring or a whole cranberry from the bushes, excreted too soon before it’s digested, which might save you from hunger or despair. Anyway, back to the decor… The lights are soft and amber-coloured, dim enough to allow absolute engrossment into never-worlds. Plants, of course, which might be growing in horse manure… Bricks on the walls, nice little red bricks that look just like the cover of the book that’s under my hand; ‘The Collected Stories’ of Grace Paley, with a foreword by George Saunders. I should probably credit her for allowing even this nonsense to come out for a change. Above me hang multi-coloured, fancy modern-retro lamps in pastel-coloured glass casings; my favourite. The ones on the walls are guarded by magnifying glasses. I never noticed them before and they are really cool. I should put something like that together in my room, in case it wasn’t a fire hazard enough with all the fairy lights hanging around to provide the illusion of warmth and home and hope of filling that room up with people when things-if things-would things-will things- get better and magical again? I will hope. This year, I will hope because last year I just expected -the worst- and it was double the suffering. So next year, I will hope, like a dumb idiot who’s just been born, I will hope. There are some impressive rusted iron structures that look like wood. I kinda wanna kiss whoever designed this place. By now, since I started writing this, I’ve grown used to the horse manure smell and don’t notice it anymore. There is a metaphor here somewhere. Do we need to talk about it?

Oh, by the way it’s Christmas Eve Eve. There is no going home, not for me, not for most people this Christmas, but that’s ok. I’ll enjoy the novelty. One good thing I’ve done this year has been enjoying the novelty. It’s kinda nice to know that you’re in the same city. It makes it feel warmer. Even if I don’t get to see you for a while, even if you don’t even care to see me, even if you’ll spend these celebrations and drinking games with others, your existence in the same city as me, provides the illusion -just like Santa Claus- that something magical could still happen. That the return of a person can give so much joy. Even if, like Santa Claus, it’s all lies we buy ourselves as gifts.

You know, I was in this cafe that time, that day I saw you, the day before lockdown. I sat at the same table and wrote on paper all that you woke up in me and all that you’ve made me feel and then I convinced myself to let you go. It was impossible for anything to happen, it seemed. It was the wrong time. Then as I went on my walk to contently cement my resolutions, I see you, on the road, by chance again, an oddly frequent event, which keeps occurring at all the wrong (or right?) moments.  Pointless synchronicity? A universal glitch? (Will someone ever explain those, please?). And from there, where it should have ended, it all begun. We did it all wrong and the other way around. There were all these obstacles and reasons why it shouldn’t be pursued, except the element of both of us wanting each other and our curiosity to see where it goes. All the maddening horse shit that brought me here now. Now in reverse, now more mature but less comfortable with my solitude. Now maybe you are not as lost but you’ve lost your curiosity.There are bigger mysteries out there, you think, and you are starving for them. You find your magic in the dark. Which is kinda cool, I guess. We got acquainted through the prince of darkness after all and fell for the destructive romance of his tragic love songs.

If only we met years from now, when you were no longer starving. If only I had met you at a different stage of your personal development. There we go again, as soon as I start writing about you, I go dumb.

Luna Llena, Ciudad Vacía

Fui a dar un paseo por el bosque del Recuerdo,
en el parque de una ciudad vacía,
la que he visto una vez en un sueño,
o una pesadilla, da igual.
A la que vine buscando una vida ruidosa, luminosa y vibrante,
como un conquistador que navegó miles de millas,
y desembarcó para encontrar la tierra ya quemada.
Una broma mala de un demonio que se arrepiente.
Hace viento esta noche de Agosto,
un respiro en medio de un verano infernal.
Y la luna está llena.
Tan vacía la ciudad,
tanto miedo que tienen los ciudadanos,
tan llena de luz está la luna.
Y los caminos oscuros están llenos de fantasmas,
fantasmas que caminan lentamente, lamentablemente, en luto para nada,
con máscaras que ocultan las bocas que se arquean al revés,
y atrapan las lágrimas antes de caer.
Uno de ellos ha perdido su mujer.
Su casa está más vacía que el camino nocturnal,
porque el camino tiene posibilidades,
los cuatros muros intimidantes de su cuarto, no.
Solo voces débiles de cuerpos que ya no están.
Otro ha perdido su trabajo.
Su mente es una bala puntiaguda de incertidumbre,
que puede destruir todo si la dispara.
Yo, he perdido una luciérnaga que atrapé en un frasco.
Esperaba que creciera e iluminara las noches, pero no lo hizo.
Se Escapó.
Tan llena la luna,
tan vacío todo.
Parece que hemos perdido el suelo,
y la tierra es barro que fluye mucho más rápido de lo que nuestras piernas pueden correr.
Tan vacío todo.
Tan llena la luna.
Cuando su luz alcanza los fantasmas,
se desaparecen.
Tan llena la luna, tan vacío todo.
Y duele. 

Madrid, Agosto, 2020

Faucet

We turned on the faucet and it spilled over everything,
a flood of pain and longing mixed with wine.
And as we bared our souls,
we covered up our naked bodies…
We laughed,
but then we looked at the mess we made and closed our eyes.
When we wanted to touch, we slept on different sides.
‘You’ve seen too much’, I said.
‘I’m still cold, come closer’, you answered.
For you it may be medicine,
but for me it’s a heroin shot and then the torture of constant withdrawal.
And we both want more.
We cross every line we put down until there’s nowhere left to go
but the cliff’s end.
And I keep giving away all the rations I’ve kept of myself,
until there’s none of me left.
I don’t know if this thing we all give sacrifice to in letters and rhymes,
and pay the price with our minds,
is the doing of the devil after all,
and not of a god.
But it sure goes deep enough to drown or drain it all…

Cliffhanger

For the first time, maybe, in my adult life, I am not plagued with nostalgia. This isolation, perhaps because of you, is all about yearning for things yet to be. For things ahead, suspended in uncertainty and in time, endings unknown. My whole being tells me that they might go on, that they will continue, that the story isn’t over yet, but what if one of the big surprises of the quarantine afterlife is that those things that we started will fall flat into the void, as things that would have happened, but in that other world, not the new one? Then again, weren’t we already in the act of burning ourselves down, imagining ourselves as mythical creatures that would emerge from the ashes? Does the new fire put out the one we had already started, or are we immune because we were already melting into something new? But if this new fire has joined our own, and is now beyond our control, what will it leave behind, if anything at all?

Lucas (Excerpt)

Neither the numbers nor the names or the year carried any significance for him any longer. He had been inhabiting a loop; imprisoned in time or lack thereof. At moments, and there were more than a few, when the silence was too intolerable for any human soul, he would put his father’s watch to his ear to listen to the hands moving and its cogs turning…
Humans gave time a sound to warn us of its passing: Tick-tock, tick-tock. Its presence otherwise eluding us, always ticking past, sculpting our faces with lines, slyly and without consent. But for Lucas, the ticking was a comfort. The only other indication he really had of time passing was the length by which his trousers got shorter and his sleeves smaller, the days and nights elongated or shortened by the amount of times he fell asleep. When the watch showed ‘4’ or ‘11’ there was no way of knowing whether it was too late or too early for bed, unless he went over-ground, something he knew he shouldn’t do. And still, it would be hard to know, since the mist kept the landscape outside unchanged, making it impossible to distinguish dusk from dawn unless you waited around to witness either darkness or light. He was thankful that he could now restore some sense of time. He needed it, to safeguard his sanity.

Holidays had lost all meaning. They only carried memories, reminders of his losses. They turned absences into terrifying entities of unbearable gravity, which filled and confined his dwellings, sucking all the air out. He had refused to acknowledge them. Yet, he now marks the calendar with a ‘P.S.’ on today for ‘Palm Sunday’, ‘H.S.’ on the following Saturday (that used to be a Thursday) and a week from now as ‘Easter’.

With an Irish father and a Greek mother, Easter was always a big deal at the O’Neil’s. It had been his mother’s favorite holiday. She cherished the warmth and sense of community in the spectacle and rituals of the Holy Week: the waving of palm and olive branches on Sunday, the moving hymns, the way it always rained on cue on the Thursday of the crucifixion when they dressed all the icons in black. She loved Good Friday the most; the procession of the epitaph, led by the priest and the marching band, who would beat their drums in a slow hum, as a chorus of old and young voices sang the elegiac ‘E Geneh Paseh’ in the cool Spring night, before the triumphant celebrations of Saturday morning, when all the women would cry and the black cloths would fall to the ground. It elated her. She would become totally immersed in the ceremonies and traditions, and she had instilled that enthusiasm into Lucas as a child, but no more…

Regardless, the markings and the dates would have meant a lot to her and they seemed to have meant something to the Old Man on the radio. Wanting to inhabit the same space, to be under the same umbrella of synchronicity with another person, he attempts to participate, or pretends to at least. Suddenly, he isn’t the only person in the world and his thoughts aren’t the only existing reality. The same timeline is shared with another soul again so his existence is validated. He allows himself to mark this coming week with some sort of exceptionality. He thinks he might even allow himself to feel excitement…
NO. He wouldn’t dare. He knows the risks and perils of such sentiments.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WpnZNd2_WhI
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DkIFVGsHPt0

Knowing

I couldn’t weep for you in front of the others.
Grief is something done in private.
I couldn’t explain to them why.
How we both knew it was time.
How I knew you wanted to go, because you told me, kind of.

They didn’t know that we got to know each other in a single afternoon,
While we waited for the test results in the hospital room.
That you told me how you took antidepressants when I was four
but threw them out the night you started crying,
when you saw me on stage at the school Christmas show.
You didn’t know that it was ok to cry.
That it was good to cry.
That you needed it.
Nobody told you that daddies are allowed to cry for their babies.
And that it was ok for sons to cry for their daddies, too.
(Did you get there in the end? Did you cry for him?)
Then I told you about the boy who broke my heart,
And you told me about the girl who broke yours.
And I told you about how I kneeled in a field one night and prayed to be taken out of the game.
And you almost told me about the different ways you thought of dying,
but I knew, anyway,
and I read it later, in your diary.
I didn’t tell you that I knew about your secret.
And I wish I could have let you know that it was ok.
That I forgive you and I wish you would forgive yourself.
That I understood more than you know.
I wish we had done it sooner.

We had our spears at each other’s throat most of our lives,
Because my rage reflected yours,
because our faces looked alike.
You yelled at me yelling at you, yelling at me.
You thought I’d make the same mistakes.
I yelled at you because I knew you could have fixed them.

Noone knew that we had finally reached a truce.
That we struck an alliance in that room,
before we knew that it was too late, perhaps,
or just in time.

I can’t weep for you, ‘pa, ‘cause I understand.
Instead I laugh awkwardly
when someone brings you up,
though there is a nuisance of a tear stuck on the corner of my left eye.
But no one notices, thankfully.
They get caught up with how much my smile reminds them of yours.
I have your eyes.
And when my hands come into view I get confused.
They are your hands.
The crooked bridge of my nose, that’s yours too.
Even the thinness of my skin,
And, the thickness of my skull…

I can’t weep for you dad, when you’re still there.
You’re still looking back at me through shop windows.
I don’t look in the mirror much anymore.
Maybe I’m scared,
That I’ll see you pleading with me from the hospital bed,
saying without saying:
‘I’m sorry. I’m scared.’ And ‘Do you love me?’
Is it OK?
Is it OK to say that I love you more now that you’re gone?
That I can love you properly now that neither of us can get in the way?
Is it still worth something?
Does it still matter?
Did we really fuck it up, or did we fix it in the end?

Is it ok for daughters to cry for their dad,
When they feel they have no right to?
Is it ok for daughters, who don’t feel they were good enough daughters,
to cry for their fathers, who didn’t think they were good enough fathers?

The tears on the corner of my left eye are yours, too.
They keep slipping through the laughing lines,
that get deeper every year.

Moods in Madrid, at the End of the World…

You think you are passing through a place,
But it’s the place itself that passes through you, leaving a trace…
Just like the way Hydra never left Leonard Cohen by way of the mandolin.
Evidence of time spent, time served.
A poet retraces his steps, and places the traces of places he never left…

This place is already tracing me.
It’s got me figured out.

**

Madrid is purple in the winter.
Its moods resemble mine.
It seems to fit just right,
for now.

Madrid is pink in Spring.
You don’t notice how it is full of almond trees
until they blossom.
We only had but hours to see.
Maybe that was an early hint,
That it is pertinent to always pay attention.
They were blown away the next day
by a violent March’s wind,
and white petals were floating through Madrid, on Monday.
They looked like snow. A double negative.
Winter wasn’t ready to let go. (Maybe he knew we’d be needing him)

Are we meant to start again, now, or move on?
Are we supposed to accept that Spring lasts but two weeks?
Or are we to expect the almond trees to bloom again
before they are burnt to a crisp
by another unforgiving summer?

**

There is a danger when you are always moving through places…
Every move is a small death.
Chipping away pieces of yourself,
and then trying to find them somewhere else.
Self-harmed and self-made…
You are always touching everything with your fingertips but fail to catch a grip.
You know some unexpected wind will blow them away,
or you expect it to, so you don’t even try.
The world is at your fingertips but never in your grasp.

But every afternoon the rooftops are golden in Madrid
No matter how many leaves on its trees
Or neon lights in its streets.
Something tells me I want to hold on to this.

Yet everything feels terminal.
More than fear of failure, is it fear of the ephemeral, or an endless fascination with it?
Is always passing through a place, really a race against endings?
I’ll say goodbye before you do?
I’ll quit before you quit me?
I’ll run before you can take me for granted?
Pretend that while I reach for you, something is pulling me away?
Is that what Michelangelo was painting in ‘The Creation of Adam’?
Abandoning your creation / Abandoning yourself?
Reaching for but not touching the divine/ the mortal?
Pretending that something is holding you back,
be it cherub or demon?
A ‘greater cause’ holding you back from the living?
The envy and wrath of God, or his indifference?
The envy and wrath of Man or his fear of the indifference?
Was Adam mocking God, or was God fooling himself?

**

It is now two weeks later,
And the streets are empty in Madrid.
The streets are empty in every ancient city.
It’s the day after Pompeii.
“Feliz pandemia!”
yelled the boy in the street…
‘Todo va a salir bien!”
yelled someone from their balcony.
No one knows what to make of this.
We feel dread and relief.
We feel love
and fear of abandonment.
We feel closeness because we can’t touch each other…
‘Que bonito!’,
yelled someone else when everyone started clapping,
surprised by his own capacity for generosity and craving for contact.
As am I. Right now,
I want to hold, to touch, to reach out, to hug, to kiss, to feel, to grab,
to never let go again.

A storm roared yesterday through Madrid,
And we watched it flash by, washing away our sins, or,
maybe it was stripping them bare.
No-one knows what will happen tomorrow, or the next day, or the next day.
We have that in common.
But the trees, have blossomed again, in Madrid,
and there is no other place I’d rather be,
at the end of the world…

P.S. Todo va a salir bien

Todo va a salir bien

You, Wonderful You

Why Gene Kelly stands the test of time and continues to inspire.

A classic is something that never goes out of style, something whose quality and aesthetic appeal are indisputable and unaffected by trends. It is a work of art, which has the ability to endure and affect culture, years or eons after its creation, because it speaks of, as well as adds to the human experience.

I only truly discovered Gene Kelly and his work a couple of years ago, but I discovered him at just the right time. As I was beginning a new chapter in my life on both a personal and professional level, Kelly and his films gave me a second wind. As a writer/director myself, I found inspiration and mentorship in the life and work of this spectacular, unapologetically romantic, courageous creative genius.

As an artist, he taught me to be bold and brave, and that you don’t need extravagant effects to dazzle an audience… That when the words fail or become redundant, you can make magic out of a newspaper and a creaking floorboard on an empty stage, like he did in ‘Summer Stock’.

As a person, he taught me to stand up straight; shoulders out, with feet steady on the ground before attempting flight. He taught me to fall and rise gracefully, because when you do, then the fall becomes part of the dance.

In every dance number, he makes you chirp and gleam like the children in ‘I Got Rhythm’, watching in awe as this magical, every-day man with a child’s soul, incorporates his surroundings to tell stories, and breathe life into items and locations, revealing the magic of art, of simplicity and of life’s little joys. He makes you feel like a participant, a part of the whole, as he seemingly extends to you a generous ‘Invitation to the Dance’ he danced almost seven decades ago. His mission was to make people feel joy through his talents and he achieved just that.

The way he handles his body makes us, the viewers, think that our physical existence is a glorious thing and we are more capable than we think. He expected that of people as he expected it of himself… always striving to be more, to do more, to innovate, to astound.

If he wasn’t the best at something, he would work tirelessly on improving or excelling. He was a polymath who devoured books and wanted to know everything about the world. If people around him spoke a different language, he would learn it, or he would dance it…

‘So we give up, huh?’, says a timid Clarence, played by Frank Sinatra in ‘Anchors Aweigh’ when he faces a setback on his mission.
‘So we DON’T give up, huh!’ reassures a bright and fraternal Joe Brady, played by Kelly.

In those words, you hear Kelly himself. He would not give up, never the defeatist. He would ‘Dig, dig, dig,dig’ and work with dedication and perseverance, both as a director and a performer, always attempting the fresh, the new and the groundbreaking, no matter how the landscape changed unfavourably for musical stars.

When it came to the shortcomings he could do nothing about, he used his creativity and choreography to mask them. You’d never realize that Cyd Charisse was that much taller than him in heels in the ‘Broadway Melody’, or Kay Kendall in ‘You’re just too too’. Sure, there is something there to be said about insecurities and ego but you can’t help but applaud his ingenuity.

When Gene Kelly passed away, Liza Minelli said: “For the rest of my life, whenever it rains, I will think of him and smile.”
I believe that is true for many people around the globe. Every time it rains, even those not so familiar with his work, hear Gene Kelly in their mind, and smile. Perhaps, even, when they see a puddle in the road, they don’t walk around it, but instead splash into it with an amateur time-step splattering mud all over their clothes, like the children that they are. And it’s worth it.

That’s a classic!

I was about 5 years old when Gene Kelly passed away on this day, in 1996, yet he has had an immense effect on my life and my work. If he was worried about his legacy, he can rest easy that it safely lives on, through his art and through the work of countless performers and creators he has inspired. Great art bleeds into other art and lives on endlessly. That’s a classic!

We call certain people ‘legends’ because they are singular and their influence on lives and culture far exceeds their lifespan. One can even say that they have earned their immortality.

It makes me think that maybe this way, through the things we create and the people we touch, there is no past or present, and that life doesn’t end, that we all exist simultaneously, in a wonderful universe bursting of pastel colours and music and dreams and stories of joys, sorrows and love, our souls interacting and intertwining infinitely.

Kelly emits energy when he dances and I do speak in the present tense. Energy is a palpable, living thing that transcends time and space. When Gene Kelly is on screen, he is ‘Like a breath of Spring’, and we have yet to grow tired of Spring…