Wednesday, November 24, 2010

'i get by with a little help from my friends'

Sitting in Booksa always compels me to write. Tomorrow is thanksgiving; I'm heading to Kosovo for the weekend to see some American friends living there and in the region. We're going to eat a lot of turkey and have our own American thanksgiving in the newest country in the world. I think there is something strange and interesting about that-celebrating the settling of the US in a place where people also decided they were tired of their government, just as the pilgrims, people wanted cultural freedom, who have different religions. Only, it became a country only in Feb. of 2008.

Today a guy in my Croatian class was telling me all about countries no one else recognizes as countries, except countries in the same boat. And the issue of crossing borders into and out of places people pretend aren’t places in their own right. Some how, you as an individual can disappear- well not disappear but magically reappear I suppose with out ever really disappearing. Borders and laws and international acceptance have the ability to create and define our physical location. Kind of mind-boggling, no?

Monday, November 22, 2010

and that of the essential events only the last echoes and reverberations arrive at him

When I think about the past two months I think about going on cultural overload. Traveling new places instigates a desire to consume everything, take it all in, eyes wide, bellies open, toes digging into new textures. It is stimulation overload and usually brought on by the always-present reality of this period of time having a bookend, a dead end, a brick wall waiting to be run into. I have to bring weave it in because time here is limited, it is not the time of an italo calvino book (although, it is) It is not the time spoken of in that class on existentialism I dropped, when he drew that timeline on the board in which you can't know the future because it hasn't happened yet (well, in situations like these you do know your future, it's not what it is now by any stretch of the imagination). Feeling the pressure of an end date (even if it is months away) changes things, just as placing a tape recorder on a table changes the way we speak to each other, even if the tape isn’t going anywhere. This conception of book-marked time is also very un-Croatian, because as I am thinking "Brzo Brzo!" (fast fast!) and everyone else is saying "polako polako" (slow slow).

Anyway, the point is, I see a lot of cultural events. Saturday was the theatre night in Zagreb and the end of the nu:write festival. I saw two plays already this week and was looking forward to the closing event of the nu:write, a midnight theatre extravaganza. From 12-3 am there were multiple theatre productions happening all over the student center, full on plays, poem readings, interactive improvisation, SHADOW PUPPETRY, Lego building...all sorts of things. We saw a full-length play and the shadow puppet play, which was perhaps the sweetest and most endearing thing I have seen. Afterwards was a shadow puppet workshop where you could make your own puppets and put on a show. Amela, Caitlin, Katie and I made puppets and played and left feeling warm and fuzzy inside only to find an even greater spectacular event occurring the courtyard. A group of people was passing out candles and there were giant paper balloons lying on the ground. They demonstrate- people lit this suspended piece of filament underneath the balloons and as the balloon filled with hot air they rose into the sky...I suppose carrying all of our worries and hopes with them, forming impromptu constellations and meandering paths towards the moon into some unknown distance. The three am sky was speckled with light and magic and it felt warm down on the ground, everyone's chins tilted up to the moon.

Its almost thanksgiving and I have so much to be thankful for, for seeing a hundred balloons float like jellyfish towards the moon... or having people to stand next to while watching these balloons.... knowing there are people at home thinking of me... that I have people to write to...about having the chance to live some place different, to be given the option to do what I want... having the ability to take risks.... of having an education and people who supported that education. The list is really endless!

On a side note, I can't really write about my interviews on my blog-basically because it’s unethical and things published here can't really be published afterwards in the academic world. So you'll just have to wait for that dry academic writing in order to get all the real juicy secrets.

Love, and love, and love


Check it out-highlights of the week:

NU:Write Festival-Young directors/playwriters