Saturday, November 13, 2004

Late night after the show

I am in my kitchen with a planned splurge of food: two glasses of red wine and a lean cuisine. Oh! My life is so exciting. Actually, it makes me a little scared how excited I am for this and how I planned it so carefully.

I have been so high (I guess of adrenaline, as I gather from my reading) after the shows -- not because it went so well or something, even though, I have to say the show did go pretty well -- but because after any show, good or bad, I am just jacked up so high I cannot sleep for hours afterwards and I have been spending this excited time EATING. Which is not good because, because that is not healthy and not good. So I am trying to plan for how I'm going to feel after a show and what I will do and what I will eat. So, here I am with a very expensive bottle of pinot noir and a Lean Cuisine and frankly, I couldn't be happier.

It's weird to be an actress like the kind that I am, doing these monologues. I now have been through this three times and now I kind of know the drill. How spectacularly thrilling and exciting it is, and how completely lonely it is. I kept thinking I might go out with people after the show, but I am so wound up from the show I can't really concentrate on all that much except the show. And that means I am glazed over on any subjects that are not about MY SHOW. And that is a spectacularly ego-filled maniacal state to be in, one I'm sure that is not condusive to regular conversation. So to be polite, I make sure I am alone. But being alone means being with myself with all this energy! When I did God Said Ha! I thought I never knew such depths of aloneness and high off performing-ness. But then, back then, oh those eight years ago -- before all the travels and the big break up and the adopting of Mulan and all that changed, back then it was kind of romantic, this whole life I led -- so alone and so connected. But now, it's begining to feel routine. And that feels good, and not-so-good at the same time. I'm older. It's not so starkly beautiful now, and I don't have a God in my life to make me feel good or bad or anything about it. It's just

So here I am. Eating a Lean Cuisine and having a glass of pinot noir. And this is what I'm thinking about: I am reading this amazing book: "Don't Think Of An Elephant." by George Lakoff. It's a lot about how progressives need to deal with conservatives in our country. And to accomplish this, he describes the world view of many conservatives and I feel so enlightened. And I understand so much better now! And I'm not sure what I'm going to do with all this information, what I can do, but it's very fertile stuff. In any case, he talks a lot about how conservatives view the world in a frame of family (as do progressives, by the way) and the frame that conservatives use is the strict father frame of viewing the world. Their brand of Christianity is the strict father type and the progressive view is of the nurturing parent brand.

Well, first of all, if you haven't read this book, it means that you must read it immediately. Conservative or progressive, you must read it. It's really amazing.

But it has caused an explosion in my mind of re-examining who this God was in my life that I have now let go of. And I realize that the God I believed in was a compassionate god, a friendly god, a loving god -- not at all the strict father God that so many people believe in or have rejected. I began to notice this a few years ago as I workshopped my show -- that many people's Gods (that they rejected) were punative and judgemental. And I would say, "Wow, the God I believed in didn't do all that much but just love me." And still, I rejected him!

Then I thought about my own dad. My dad was never a strict diciplinarian in any way. In so many ways, he was like a friendly uncle who lived with us. My mom was the one in charge and my dad just went to work and tried to be friends with us. I know now how untraditional this type of family system is, and I can see what is not good about this -- it made my mother have to be the heavy and my dad clearly abdicated so much of parenting to her and I think she was not prepared for this in any way. But besides all that, the fact is that the God I had constructed in my imagination was very much like my father. Like a super-human version of my father. A confidant, a friend, an all-knowing daddy. Which, in some ways, made it harder to let him go. Because what is the downside? For me, it became the facts, the psychological and scientific facts that were so at odds with this imaginary friend. But I can see that people who have a "strict father" frame of the world may not at all be able to understand what I'm talking about when I talk about God. I mean, it doesn't mean God is any more or less real because of our fantasy about him, but it does mean that the people who would never be able to relate in any way to the experience I have had will probably never be albe to. Not that I thought they would. It's just all so...interesting. That's all.

When you can imagine whoever you want to be God, then God can be anything. So to talk about "God" is almost impossible. Everyone has such a different set of needs they bring to the table when it comes to talking about God.

In the end, it's just reality that is happening and not our ideas of abstract notions. People are dying in Fallujah tonight. Or barely not dying. Or thinking they might be dying.

There's so much pain in the world, so much excrutiating pain, sometimes I cannot bear it.


Anonymous said...

Hi Julia. I just want to comment on this old post because no one else ever did. There's a private honor in being the first to tell you this particular post you wrote almost 2 years ago contained some beautiful thoughts. Actually, if you are still in touch with that Julia from 2 years ago, please pass along this message to her.

I also am writing to extend you an invitation. For 22 years now, I have been a medium (in the John Edward sense, not the Sylvia Browne sense). Currently, I co-host an internet radio show that is part car talk, part Howard Stern and part crossing over. In other words, neither on radio nor in life am I a cliché spouting, incense burning, crystal wearing, touchy-feely New Age egomaniac.

Anyway, the radio show is called In Good Spirit (, and all told, we have a listenership between seven hundred and a thousand people. Mostly women, of course. Since we broadcast from Pasadena, CA (Midnight in New York), I would love it if after your show one night you would consider being interviewed for 15 minutes or so about your latest project.

Maybe your publicist would say that our listenership isn't a big enough audience for you, but I think you would really dig the format especially since our listeners are also floating somewhere between belief and bewilderment. think about it; it's an open invitation.

Marcel Cairo

Al Stewart said...

And I would say, "Wow, the God I believed in didn't do all that much but just love me." And still, I rejected him!

thanks for that honesty again!

I think that quote says a lot in context. There is a song by an Artist called Micheal Card, the song is "Could it be" Here's a verse: "could it be you've made your presence known, so often by your absense" Even Richard Dawkins recently in an interview w/ Ben Stien stated when Ben asked what he would say to God, "why did you go to such great pains to hide yourself"? Bertran Russell, a very sad Atheist figure bascially said the same thing. As much as I know & have studied, this I cannot explain & this is really a problem for so many who are losing & have lost their Faith, why does God seemingly remain silent? Part of it is certianly that He does not feel properly represented by many so called Clergy who admittedly say some crazy things, but the good news is that He is actively seeking our mankind & has been for over 2,000 years now, just not the way everyone seems to want Him to.

Al said...

Quite helpful piece of writing, thanks so much for your post.

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