Tuesday, March 16, 2021
Thursday, March 11, 2021
Saturday, December 19, 2020
- AUGEE VINE
Youngster body undeveloped by regimented sports.
- LISA VINE
Glasses, long hair, shapely body which she cares for without shaving or perfuming.
The only child brat grown up to take over his father's business, his father's father a shoemaker before him.
- MATTHEW VINE
The only child brat, until his parents gave birth to two more.
- FATHER VINE
All the charm and insecurity of the town assemblyman without hope (empathy) of ever becoming the town assemblyman, and frustrated by this.
- MOTHER VINE
Quiet as a ghost.
- MRS. CRAWDLES
An old spinster next door, who will play granny when given the chance.
- BABY CRAWDLES, MRS. CRAWDLES' OFFSPRING
Scampers, scurries, smells.
- SHERIFF MAYBERRY
- DEPUTY CHARLIE
- COBBLER CUSTOMERS
- AUGEE'S ORPHAN FRIENDS
- LISA'S SCHOLARSHIP FRIENDS
THE AUGUSTEIA, by Peter Dizozza
ACT I, FADING COLORS (the first day of September)
The Sentiments of Lisa
The Sentiments of Augee
Securing a Job
Dance of the Dolls
The Best of Intentions
The Passion of Matthew
The Police Station (Dialogue introducing Mrs. Crawdles)
The Police Station (Dialogue and Musical Conclusion)
ACT II, THE CRAWDLES (Friday, two months later)
Out of the Grave
Lisa Plans a Party
Augee and His Orphan Friends
Where's My Dearest (Augee Plans a Party)
Baby Crawdles. Mrs. Crawdles Gives Birth on the Floor
The Creeping Smell
Two Levels, Two Parties
Two Parties in the Basement
ACT III, ALMOST EVEN (the following morning).
Lisa Victimized and Victorious.
Malicious Answers to Leading Questions
News Bulletin: "Brother and Sister, Seventy-eight and
Dividing the Estate, Separating
Sabotaging Lisa's Departure
I easily go off on tangents, then doubt whether my mind-labyrinth is worthy of your time. On the one hand, the communication of information is indirect, on the other hand there is integrity in notating the thought process.
The sad thing on my end that I don't realize I have repeated this path many times here; and here it is again.
I'm wondering about expressing my thoughts of fatalism since they activate when facing respectable public health concerns, the most important currently being to wear a face mask in public.
Simply stated, our fates are sealed. There may have been a time, pre-Zeus, where we lived our lives by rising from the ground to return there in time as a seed, but here we are, post-Zeus. Death is still the latter bookend to our lives. Our awareness of it guides us to act, and to live! Attacks upon us by variant mutating viruses is a given. We assimilate them and either live or die and no one says much except, say Pneumonia.
He died of pneumonia.
That seems to simply answer the complicated question, of what did he die? Or maybe he died of the flu. What killed him? Well there were many terminal conditions, starting with life itself. We grow old and die. The reason we die is we've lived out our life to the extent that we can.
Look, I need all the time I can get. There is no reason to accelerate the inevitable. However, we're part of nature, and our ability to cope with scourges and plagues is part of nature as well. I've made this blanket statement before and the idea for the reader is that I provide examples instead of speaking from yon high. "The imposition of our will upon nature's will is part of nature's will. We dig!" (a lyric from Bulb)
I got sick when I first went to the gym but I got sick less often thereafter.
Yes I have herpes and understand it never goes away. I had chicken pox so now I'll get shingles. I've managed to create a cycle of bleeding from what is apparently hemerhoids although I feel some difficulty passing certain food from beginning to end, but still don't know what not to eat
I am reticent to avail myself of the invasive wonders of the medical profession. (no surgery, no medication) My personal health observations are self-monitored with the help of a doctor discussing my blood test results.
I lived with the awareness that there was surgical remediation for my heart palpitations, along with the fact that I was choosing to forgo them.
Thirty years ago I thought I was too old to undergo the strain of an external surgical invasion.
The recommendation was to burn out the ablution... There was talk of myocardial infarctions which I haven't heard of in the years of past EKG tests. All I have is the legend of the condition since it stopped affecting me, since I stopped taking medication.
I had a medication experience recently because of a finding of pre-diabetes which I have since resolved through diet. The medication, for cholesterol and sugar, was creating a discomfort that affected me when I went for a colonoscopy to examine for internal bleeding since I continually have bleeding hemorrhoids. That bleeding cycle continues somewhat unvaried to today. It seems there is swelling and then it drains and it's as if there is no inflammation for a time and then it returns.
Anyway, the colonoscopy was last done (2014) without anesthesia. I am almost completely against anesthesia because of a silly experience I had with removal of wisdom teeth. The anesthetized area became infected because my body was unable to address what was happening at the time, leaving it exposed and susceptible. The infection traveled back down my throat into the lungs to sit for a year as a walking pneumonia cloud in the lung. So the experiences thereafter up to the present day suggest that my body will address the illnesses I'm confronting and I have to allow that, to allow for continual body/mind awareness.
My recent aborted partial colonoscopy found topical internal hemorrhoid bleeding but the serpentine camera couldn't examine the upper large intestine because its head couldn't negotiate the amazing upper rectangular curve that exists in us.
The pain was abdominal and was also existing independent of the test. I stopped taking the diabetes/cholesterol medication and the abdominal pain has mostly disappeared.
Dear All, I present for you my 1976 opera;
The Augusteia is an opera named after Augee, one of its two main characters. I began writing it in April of 1976 after completing a piano score for "Hasty Recovery," a performance piece for a male and a female vocalist. Because I was comfortable with the approach in "Hasty Recovery," in which two voices represent shades of one person, I invented two closely related characters, Augee and Lisa, brother and sister, to feature in the main roles for a three-act opera.
The opera begins with Lisa, an intense young lady, exclaiming, "Kin's dead! Money's gone! Kin's dead. We must go on." She and Augee, her even younger, autistic brother, are left to care for themselves. While Augee, who is tense and disturbed, lays upon Lisa's lap, Lisa calms him. Once sure he's asleep, she reveals her own insecurity, asking,
How can I bear such an earthquake of change,
An alteration of all that I hold so dear?
So like a dress that I'm expected to knit,
It is I it must fit;
It is I who must change.
Rather than fight circumstance, she adjusts to it, on one condition concerning Augee:
That young boy, he won't be lost
What e'er the pain, what e'er the cost.
For him the future will unpage the same
Despite these several lines of change!
After declaring her uncompromising stand on her brother's future well-being, she falls asleep. Augee awakens.
Augee applies creative analysis to his condition. So, too, did Lisa, but unlike her, Augee sees his life as ruled by fate (which includes magic).
He sings, "Someday when the clouds rub up against the moon, several charms will shower upon this life of gloom."
Augee's words invoke tensions which he hopes will snap. He can not stand "Atmospheric Stillness," -- the subtitle of the song. What he denies, and what the audience will not know until the climax of this act, is that a tense situation has snapped and, at this point, both he and Lisa are its leftovers.
By contemplating suicide, Augee expects to bring to world attention the confusing life of a boy unsure of whether he is a dominant or passive (sub-dominant) personality (I wrote an essay which considers this phenomenon as a choice between being an outlet and a socket, called "Horse and Man".). In Augee's longings he has:
Seen some lovely boys
And heard them make soundless noises.
As the pendulum swings. It wrecks their
Quite frankly they really don't know
If they want to be on
Top or on bottom,
Poke or be poked at.
In conclusion, he decides that, unlike anyone, masculine, feminine or otherwise, his preference is "to walk through life like a Frankenstein." He sees himself as an adolescent monster, befriending whoever will tolerate him.
Lisa, her sleep disturbed by the increasing noise of Augee's soliloquy, yells, "That's quite right. You can't help but be stupidly insulting." She announces a real course of action. In order to support them, she is willing to get a job.
In scene 2, "... Lisa secures herself a job." The pride she takes in having a skill (she makes dolls) is expressed as follows: "Give me stuffin', socks and buttons. The results are rather nice."
She visits the town shoemaker and offers to set up shop with him. He is reluctant but, with the assistance of a small chorus of customers, she persuades him. He employs her as a cleaning lady who, if she has time, can make all the dolls she wants.
A ballet sequence parallels Lisa's outing with her family's outings of the past.
Having accomplished the day's purpose, Lisa retreats home. Scene 3 opens with her return. She is bushed, and she treats this unique day not as a first, but rather as though it is part of an already intolerable routine. However, Augee makes it all worthwhile because, through her efforts, he will become her "professional dear," i.e., a doctor or a lawyer.
Augee is silently enraged. To upset Lisa's plans, he mentions their father and their elder brother, Matthew. Lisa cries out and a flashback begins. Matthew appears as an invalid resting in a giant easy chair.
The flashback answers the following:
1) How did Augee and Lisa come to live in a hole?
It is the burnt out cellar of their parents home,
2) How did they become orphans?
Their brother burned down the house the night before,
3) Why did they survive?
Matthew ordered them to leave before he torched the living room.
An elderly next door neighbor, Mrs. Crawdles, hears commotion and reports it to the police. The police visit the ruins and find Augee and Lisa. At the police station Mrs. Crawdles offers them her home while they await adoption.
End of Act One
Mrs. Crawdles is bursting with love for Augee and Lisa, because she is bursting from within with a child which she has carried for 20 years and to which she refuses to give birth. When Mrs. Crawdles finally does gives birth (Augee falls on her.) she loves her offspring and snarls at Augee and Lisa.
Meanwhile, Augee and Lisa plan concurrent parties at Mrs. Crawdles house, Lisa, to return the invitations of her many scholarship friends, Augee, to exclude one of his many orphan friends, the one who never returned his call.
Their friends intermingle like oil and vinegar, so they occupy separate levels of the house -- Lisa uses the living room; Augee, the basement -- but the friends are forced to mix when the smell from Mrs. Crawdles "nursery" drives Lisa's friends downstairs, and one by one, drives everyone from the house. Augee and Lisa do damage to their reputations by guiltily refusing to acknowledge any problem in the house.
Lisa leads Augee to the shoe store. They enter using her keys and sleep till morning when the shoemaker arrives.
The shoe maker advises Augee and Lisa to think for themselves, settle their estate and depart. He is teaching them a lesson and, at the same time, doing them the favor of denying them his company, because he likes them and fears the horror in store for them as a result of his liking them. Augee loves the shoemaker (He loves anyone with the patience to instruct him) and grows dependent. Lisa wants to leave and asks Augee to join her. He supports her plan but says no to joining her. Sensing her anticipation of a free, unhindered life, he easily persuades the shoemaker to help cripple her upon the moment of her departure. Augee continues his actions, i.e., tripping and kicking Lisa, even after they achieve his purpose and soon they strengthen her. She sprouts jet engines and fins and departs on schedule.
The shoemaker warned that he was a bad influence, and that Augee and Lisa must leave for their own good. Augee, lazy and weakened by his desire to break Lisa, stays.
At the end of the first two acts, external forces uprooted the growth of Augee and Lisa. In Act Three, Lisa grows and Augee is uprooted.
Monday, March 23, 2020
Engaging in luxurious brain dumps, I support the natural order of our universe.
Beyond saying I want order I am at work to achieve it in our micro-world.
As usual I address this need for order when I am in the process of looking for something that I cannot find.
Oh yes, I'll get those. I know exactly where they are. Oh, I moved them.
In this case I have tossed my collection of Briarwood Smoking Pipes... Who needs them, other than as props? I've had some since childhood, some thirty years ago, some fifty years ago. Lost. So what?
In my pipe search, which would have taken a second had I left them where I knew them to be, I embark upon a lengthy and otherwise un-taken path of discovery. Through this minute concern I accidentally chance upon other forgotten items in my catalog of massive and greater neglect. The "as yet undone" is impossibly pervasive in my life since I have taken on way more than I can ever accomplish. I am a speck in the universe? I am The Speck.
We, here at the apartment, address this ordering of the universe as a family.
Through discussion I confront my deference to the church of the unknown,which becomes synonymous with religion and magic, and to chance, which translates into fate.
There is the rational world, restricted by natural laws. Somewhere in there I discover serendipity. My memory of events, a precious few of them may be noteworthy, are my examples to prove the results of serendipity at play. (I give no such examples here. None come to mind.)
I'm connecting one prepositional phrase to the other here. Everything is nebulous and inexplicable, and I live with this.
Since we're currently concerned about curbing the spread of a Corona Virus (#19) I begin here to offer my history of illness. I will promptly become discouraged from doing so.
It's basically that I have been exposed to illness and have become ill for an extended time thereafter. I began having a flu shot when our daughter was born, which means twice in my lifetime. I became very sick in 2011 after I visited a friend who was dying of cancer. We had a fantastic time together but he was very sick and nobody stopped us from sitting with him in his cramped and inexplicably sealed and stuffy intensive care room.
Influenza is a viral infection that attacks your respiratory system. We can't visit people who have it because their influenza becomes ours. We become lost in three months of influenza, and then forget about it. Three months disappear.
I'm writing this essay to apply my general feeling that we are always exposed to illness and our conditions are terminal, but why shall I discourage this opportunity for us to work together as a planet to address a natural occurrence? We are preparing to collectively prevent climate change. This is a momentous occasion in our collective development. As I lose my illusive savings I confront opportunity, inspired by others confronting it more rapidly, more productively.
Anyway, my periods of illness, specifically respiratory, used to extend for months, and I suppose they will happen again. If at some point it gets too impossible to breath I will die but though I have felt the webbing in the lungs and I've coughed up a storm, it appears that the coughing is a way of opening the breathing and my otherwise shallow breathing habit is forced out of practice.
As I child I would have palpitations, mostly alone after it became obvious no one else could do anything about them. They would extend for hours, perhaps days. I would lose consciousness regularly when I changed altitudes by, say, standing, and the more I addressed the problem the more I prolonged it. Being inconsolable, I confronted death alone. At some point my heart would just give out. I imagined the irreparable damage to the heart walls.
At some point I discovered that deep breathing simply forced the heart into a normal full-cycle pump pattern. I pulled in a deep breath which was the ultimate opposite of what it felt like I could do while palpitating. It broke the tachycardia.
What has happened since I turned 46 is that the whole thing stopped.
The medication I took up to that point both caused and controlled my palpitations and apparently reduced my libido, which was probably just as well.
I'm currently of the opinion that we just have to get through this. I don't want to discourage preventative measures as it is an opportunity to forge new ways of connecting with another, in addition to realizing the possibility of connection.
We are experiencing such a wide range of events in our single lifetimes!
There's so much to do and not doing requires the same amount of effort as doing so...
(Update: I was concerned about finding those pipes and found them by looking deeper into a drawer I had already checked.)