I am in a fog. That’s because, for the second time this year, I have given up coffee. I like really strong coffee. And I have been able to, pretty easily, give it up when I felt like it. My boyfriend says that he already knows what he’d have to do to give up coffee. He would have to have nothing he needed to accomplish for five days and he would have constant headaches. And he would have to be lying down for most of the day. But not me, I told him. I can do it relatively painlessly and when I want to.
But then this morning, two days in, I woke up in this fog. I am walking around like I’m in water, no - under water and the water is thicker than water. It’s a soup. I can’t think very quickly and I want to sleep every minute. I just took Mulan to her violin class and I actually did fall asleep while she was playing, and I woke up with a jerk as she and her teacher shouted “Hurray!” because she had completed some string of notes without a mistake. I had drool on my cheek.
Oh god, is it coffee that has prevented me from early old-agehood???
This is probably not exactly the best state-of-mind to be in to begin writing my blog again. But here I am.
Well, the show was filmed and now I am getting it ready to submit to film festivals. My dream would be to go with it to Telluride and to Toronto, but – at least as far as Telluride goes, it’s a long shot. But I am feeling optimistic, in general, about the play as a film. I am also in a huge state of relief. I have two more shows I’ve committed to, in Chicago, in June. But after that, I’m not sure if I want to keep performing the show. I mean, maybe I’ll miss it and want to do a show or two in the fall, but we will see.
In the meantime, I am organizing my house and recovering from everything. At this moment, Mulan is seated next to me and she is doing her two-digit-subtraction homework.
Today I walked over to Jill Sobule’s house (she lives only a few blocks away) with my dog Arden, and we talked about our show. Now that I have “Letting Go of God” shot, I will concentrate on our show, “The Jill & Julia Show.” We also hope to film our show, possibly as early as December. In any case, we were goofing around and we started to write a song for “Letting Go of God” the movie, and it was so much fun. I could maybe use this song for the final credits or something. Jill came up with a great tune for the chorus and then I’m sort of Rex Harrison-ing it by talking about the whole religion quest. It was funny. She recorded it and we’re going to work on it. It might turn into something.
Yesterday I spent a half an hour talking to Roseanne Barr on her radio show that is recorded out of Las Vegas. She is very much against religion, but calls herself “spiritual.” (I think I do too – I go back and forth on that one, whether I should be using that name or not.) Anyway, I like Roseanne. She did an early Pat sketch with me on Saturday Night Live, so I’ve known her for a while. I like it when she comes on Bill Maher. I like how much she doesn’t care what people think about what she thinks. She always makes me laugh when she is on that show. Anyway, she mentioned in the radio show that she had had a religious type of experience at a very young age and that this made her believe in a supernatural type of god type something. And of course I also had these types of experiences. She said she didn’t need to debate over proof of God or not because this experience made it real for her. Even though she is very down on any type of organized religion, as I said. Anyway, we only touched on this topic for a moment, but I did ask her if she were interested in whether she wanted to know more about the experience she had. And she said, “If you can’t trust your personal experience, what can you trust?” Which I took for, “No.”
And this got me thinking and chewing on this idea for the rest of the day. And that is, one of the biggest upsets on my particular journey, is that I learned not to trust everything I had experienced. I guess it boils down to that old adage, the one I have seen on a bumper sticker. And that is: Don’t believe everything you think.
It’s hard to get people to second-guess their experiences. Or to look at them critically. And when the result is something that has only been perceived as beneficial to them (like in this case, believing in God) then why do I even want to get them to second guess it?
Well of course, I do want them to. Because that leads to one of the most startling discoveries, that our experiences are so… biased! And so… unreliable! And morphing!
And it is hard to get your bearings about yourself and what you even think after you realize this. Or at least this was true for me.
I just read “Stumbling on Happiness” by Daniel Gilbert. It’s funny and insightful and oh – all of you should read it right away! Actually it’s even better on audio. You can download it from audible.com or iTunes. He reads it himself. He deals a lot with this topic – not about religion, but how we sell ourselves to ourselves and how we construct narratives that make our experiences make sense – even when those narratives are probably wrong. The other book I’ve just finished is Carol Tavris’ “Mistakes Were Made, But Not By Me.” Also, fantastic.
And then, I’ve seen a couple of movies that I have liked very much. “The Year of the Dog” and “Once.” Molly Shannon is fantastic in “The Year of the Dog.” I think she should get an Academy Award nomination for it. To me, it’s a movie about learning how to find your place in the world. Plus, it’s hysterical. And then, “Once” – an Irish film about two musicians, made me want to move to Dublin immediately. In fact, when the movie ended, I wanted to jump up and object to the screen – I had moved myself into that movie and it was unfair to just dump me out into my seat at the theater just like that. No, no, no. I wanted it to go on and on.
That’s all. I am really going to try to write much more often.