Friday, August 23, 2013


Not a complaint, just an assessment, the latest batch of pluots, mispelled in my last Report, as pointed out by the smart and observant Toby Rafelson, has also failed to set after a busy night of batching.  But I am hopeful, and slightly prayerful, my prayers for Amber having been answered(she's out of the hospital, where, my dear Dr. Agre had said to me when I was in: "Let's get you out of here before you catch something,") that if I give it a shot heavenward, when I come back, the pluot jam, probably the last of the season, will have gelled.
      When I speak of coming back, it will be from All Saints church in Beverly hills, where I go today for my training in teaching children 'Godly Play.'  As friends know, I love little children, and there has been a great absence of them in my life of late for reasons I will not go into right now but might write a novel about, having completed(I think) my musical, prior to going back to New York to infuse it with (let us pray) Life.  I am not complete without a project to work on, so am chewing on writing the book I have long avoided, or, at least, avoided since THE MOTHERLAND, my Family saga that came out at exactly the wrong time(Watergate, and Woodward and Bernstein's ALL THE PRESIDENT's MEN was on the same list, so guess which started to sell?)  But having been through a few familial agonies since which I said I wouldn't write about, I am thinking thinking thinking, and maybe maybe maybe.  Philip Roth said "Nothing bad can ever happen to a writer," and I said "That's because he never had children."  But maybe the time has come to deal with my own, and others' pain, in Styronesque fashion, albeit missing the Deep South, and fair-haired women.  I share all this because some of you have expressed interest in the creative process, as am I.  So maybe the unfoldment, a Biblical word or maybe it was in the Spiritual Diary of Yogananda I read every morning, of these unexpected agonies will be of resonance to others, and if not, I will have tried, as with the pluots. I just have to find the creative equivalent of pectin to make it all jell.
    I found my way to All Saints because of beautiful Heidi, the daughter of my best friend at Bryn Mawr, Muggy-- they did have those kinds of names-- the Prettiest Girl in the Class.  I have known and loved Heidi since infancy, since she howled with agony at Don's disappearing as he dove into her parents' pool, probably thinking he was gone, which of course he actually was to be a while later, and for a long time now.  But she grew straight and strong and smart and gifted, becoming an actress of considerable talents I was fortunate to observe both professionally on TV and in my own play, The Women Upstairs, about what the ladies were doing during Plato's Symposium, not exactly light fare but they did it in Beverly Hills when there was a theatre there on Canon, and she was wonderful, eventually setting career to the rear to forge a family of her own.
    But when I came back to LA, I went to her church of a Sunday, and she looked so transcendent and translucent lighting the candles on the altar that I was moved.  So on a recent Sunday, I went to church, sort of the Hippie service that comes later than the rigid one, this one with song(guitars) and art projections on the screen.  And they are having a training for those who want to work with children, so why not?
     That's where I go at 1.  So I must bring this to a speedy close, but not so speedy that the pluots of thought will not jell.  Or is spelled gel?
    I love you all, whoever you are-- I remember a movie with Kim Stanley, where a lonely little girl cried out into the night "Whoever you are, I love you." I feel the same way, I think, about God.  Like many I am not sure, and like almost everyone I know, I can be skeptical.  But there is no reason, knowing for CERTAIN as I do that there has to be something benign behind this whole design, as the astronauts saw when they stood on the moon-- I knew a few of them-- in spite of how messed up the world seems to be.  Even Einstein, (pretty bright, wouldn't you say?) had to concede there was something masterful and inexplicable.
     And as long as you don't allow the idea that it's all pointless, you have to give God a chance.  After all, She may have needs, too.