MOVING THINGS

or, gathered bits of life and art that inspired me this week.

I used to call this type of post the noteworthy links, but I think this may be a better format. I’m sad to say goodbye to the bullet points, I liked those. Regardless, here’s a few things I liked this week:

THIS QUOTE RESONATED

Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards.

Søren Kierkegaard

WIKIPEDIA RABBIT HOLE

I went on the good ol’ Wikipedia and learned about a near-threatened plant by the name of Boronia suberosa, a shrub with weeping branches, simple leaves, and flowers with four small, white petals. It grows on sandstone rocks and cliff faces and is only known from the Ja Ja formation in Kakadu National Park, which is a World Heritage Site. I found it curious this national park surrounded the Ranger Uranium Mine site, once one of the most productive uranium mines in the world. Of course, it didn’t take much scrolling through the article to find the list of egregious environmental infractions. This one stood out: “In May 2010, it was reported that a tailings dam may have released millions of litres of radioactive water into world heritage-listed wetlands in Kakadu National Park, home to about 500 Aboriginal people.[24]

I’m writing a short play about an environmental concern close to home, so this resonated tremendously.

A SMALL JOY

After 25 years, I saw The Matrix on the big screen again. My wife took me and it was an amazing day. I wrote about it at length in my new Formative series.

A BIG JOY

There’s no greater feeling than watching your child express themselves and have fun. I recently wrote and recorded a weird short play, and I got to act alongside my son. I am so proud of him, and so grateful that he gave it a shot. Our project is now available at the coalition.

A WORK OF ART

In college, I discovered and immediately became obsessed with Eugene O’Neill’s work. I was drawn to his autobiographic works, but particularly interested in how O’Neill reworked Greek Tragedy into an American setting and sensibility. I studied Desire Under the Elms closely and continue to experiment with ways to weave these tragic ancient threads into my dramatic writing. There is so much primal heartbreak throughout those texts, and the presentation may seem outdated at times, but the emotional truths never feel out of step with humanity.

This 1962 version of Long Day’s Journey into Night was particularly memorable to my younger self. Back then, I was obsessed with despair and bought into the lore of a tortured artist who mined every ounce of woe his life had to offer. This filmed adaptation pairing Sidney Lumet’s austere, honest vision and O’Neill’s lyrical intensity is one I often think about. It was shot on a shoestring budget, but it’s a towering work nonetheless. The heavyweight performances from the ensemble aren’t too shabby either. This one’s going to be my weekend rewatch.

That’s it. Go make a dent. Much love,

j


Friends, cruznotes newsletter 2.0 is relaunching: Help me start over! Sign up today to receive just ONE EMAIL a month from me! I hope we can stay in touch this way.

Oscar thinks you should totally sign up!