Robin Hawke


Daphne
June 15, 2011, 1:15 PM
Filed under: Quotations

Her prayer was scarcely finished when she feels

a torpor take possession of her limbs —

her supple trunk is girdled with a thin

layer of fine bark over her smooth skin;

her hair turns into foliage, her arms

grow into branches, sluggish roots adhere

to feet that were recently so swift,

her head becomes the summit of a tree;

all that remains of her is a warm glow.

   Loving her still, the god puts his right hand

against the trunk, and even now can feel

her heart as it beats under the new bark…

—Ovid



June 13, 2011, 4:05 PM
Filed under: Quotations

I often come across a phrase or quote that will last in my head for more than a couple of days. This one has kept me company for years:

The cure for anything is salt water—sweat, tears, or the sea.

—Isak Dinesen

I’m not sure if I read the following, or if I heard it on television; these ordinary words passed me by when I was not quite a stranger to them, but, surreptitiously, they followed me and now they stake-out my thoughts.

What are you waiting for?

 

Added note:

It turns out that the words that I wrote to memory have been paraphrased:

“Do you know a cure for me?” “Why yes,” he said, “I know a cure for everything. Salt water.” “Salt water?” I asked him. “Yes,” he said, “in one way or the other. Sweat, or tears, or the salt sea.”  The Deluge of Nordenay, one of Seven Gothic Tales by Isak Dinesen



Need
June 12, 2011, 12:24 PM
Filed under: Love and Romance | Tags: , , ,

Many years ago, a then-friend and I had an argument; it may have forecast our future split. We disagreed about need.

Artists (I’m including writers) often feel a desperate need to work. My friend was a dancer; she wouldn’t be able to live if she couldn’t dance—I love it that much.

Nonsense. If a car ran over your legs, you’d find something else to do. I was practical and hopeful. But the argument stretched into the night. I advocated transferring skills and she insisted her genius was bound to a wooden or marley floor. Romantic and desperate, I hoped she was never forced to change her identity. Our meal together was awkward and silent. I didn’t understand her restraints.

I wonder why her identity was so rigid and why this attitude chokes up great lovers and great artists. If he dies, I can’t live. Desperate and romantic, singular love is deceptively pure. Artists are greater than their craft. They must be—to deliver worth. People are greater than one love. They must be—to love one person so deeply.



Las Vegas Week—So You Think You Can Dance
June 10, 2011, 3:36 PM
Filed under: Emotions, Life and Stuff | Tags: , , ,

This week must be more grueling for the participants than I can even imagine. Each day there are cut-throat auditions and new material. And each dancer must notice the other 150+ contestants to see a huge quantity of quality. The stress is extraordinary. How do you measure your worth against so many excellent others?

As the versatility of the dancers is measured by the judges, the numbers of contestants dwindle. Dancers who thrill me are let go in favor of other dancers. I understand the reasoning. As soon as I see a bent arm by a ballroom dancer in contemporary, or a beat missed by a jazzer in hip-hop, I know their chances slim to nothing. My heart aches for all of those hours they have perfected their craft, the devotion that brought them to Las Vegas.

Value is placed on those most adaptable. This creates a difficulty for some truly great dancers. As artistry matures it often becomes less supple. These dancers should not question their musicality, their coordination or their ability. To cloak themselves in an entirely new style in the time it takes to learn choreography–that’s the skill of chameleons, no less wonderful, but perhaps more promiscuous with their time.



Good or Bad
June 8, 2011, 3:52 PM
Filed under: Quotations | Tags:

Nothing beats the love of a good woman, but the affections of a naughty one are a close second.

I couldn’t find a source for this quotation on google–if anyone knows where it came from, drop me a line! And what is the love of a bad woman like?



Emotional Intelligence
June 7, 2011, 7:21 PM
Filed under: Love and Romance | Tags:

When we are in the midst of overwhelming feelings, intense grief for example, we seek peace, a restful state. So, why is it that men and women abandon one another to search for love, intense and overwhelming love, when their relationship settles into a blissful peace?



When We Have Loved…
June 6, 2011, 9:16 PM
Filed under: Quotations | Tags:

When we have loved, my love,
Panting and pale from love,
Then from your cheeks, my love,
Scent of the sweat I love:
And when our bodies love
Now to relax in love
After the stress of love,
Ever still more I love
Our mingled breath of love.

—From the Sanskrit



Aphrodite
June 5, 2011, 3:42 PM
Filed under: Love and Romance | Tags: , , ,

Aphrodite, the goddess of love, beauty and sexuality, figures importantly in my thoughts.  I wonder how much sex the characters in my books should have, how stunning they are and whether their love is as pure as the smell of honeysuckle. How much desire, lust, do these characters feel? Will my hero worship stretch marks? Will she mind his thinning hair?  Will their love have the maturity of a fully formed goddess rising from the sea?

I punch Aphrodite’s soft belly. My thumb is tucked in; my knuckles make a flat plain of force.  I pull out handfuls of Aphrodite’s long tresses. I ignore her creamy, lovely breasts. I kick her feet with vehemence—a fast, roundhouse kick that topples her back into salty foam. I’m violent with anger. Love, Beauty, Sexuality flounder; Aphrodite begs for immortality.

She can’t swim.

I watch, troubled. I don’t speak Greek, so don’t understand her pleas. Reluctantly, I curl my fist. Aphrodite, go back from whence you came.  Quit seducing me with your perfections and your promises of constant euphoria.



Ugly Sentence
June 4, 2011, 11:25 AM
Filed under: Emotions, Life and Stuff

Yesterday, I wrote an ugly sentence:
I know something is beautiful when I fall in love with the means it takes to grow me—the ways it opens me up to passionate living.

I can delete the word up:
I know something is beautiful when I fall in love with the means it takes to grow me—the ways it opens me to passionate living.

I can delete something is:
I know beautiful when I fall in love with the means it takes to grow me—the ways it opens me to passionate living.

Delete fall in and with:
I know beautiful when I love the means it takes to grow me—the ways it opens me to passionate living.

Still ugly. Try way instead of means, though it seems less technique-y:
I know beautiful when I love the way it takes to grow me—the ways it opens me to passionate living.

Delete takes to:
I know beautiful when I love the way it grows me—the ways it opens me to passionate living.

Oops, two ways. Try manner:
I know beautiful when I love the manner it takes to grow me—the ways it opens me to passionate living.

Delete it takes to grow me:
I know beautiful when I love its manner—the ways it opens me to passionate living.

Still ugly and I’m not sure it’s any clearer. Come back to it another day. Start fresh, with a whole paragraph. (I itch to return fall and up to the lineup.)



Irregular
June 3, 2011, 8:58 PM
Filed under: Quotations

We must overcome the notion that we must be regular… it robs you of the chance to be extraordinary and leads you to the mediocre.

—Uta Hagen



An Eye for Beauty
June 3, 2011, 2:04 PM
Filed under: Emotions, Life and Stuff | Tags: ,

I’ve been trained in the arts and have an eye for beauty. This does not make me special. We all know beauty. What is beautiful can look sordid, childish, quick, painstaking, redemptive; it can nod to truth or fantasy; uncomfortable or comfortable, it can flow through us or catch us unawares.

I know something is beautiful when I fall in love with the means it takes to grow me—the ways it opens me up to passionate living.



Auditions—So You Think You Can Dance
June 2, 2011, 6:58 PM
Filed under: Emotions, Life and Stuff | Tags:

These early auditions—the judges are judging more than technique. The stage interview probably determines whether a contestant has an interesting-for-television personality; performance determines entertainment value; personal history dictates whether the viewers get a taste or a dollop of the audition; the judges guess who will create buzz and provoke votes.

The personal stories are fascinating. So many dancers have overcome hardships, are affected by the deaths of supportive family and friends, have sordid or wacky tales to tell. Even Ringo Starr’s alleged daughter dances with heart, if not technique. I wish that every fifteen minutes I would be allowed to see one amazing person, notable for nothing but dancing. I’d be delighted to support a dancer who will not find fame through biography or personality but through movement and expression. A few of these dancers will rise through the ranks–I will get to meet them in later shows. Until then, the producers and editors determine who guests my living room.



Growing Numbers
June 1, 2011, 12:49 PM
Filed under: Emotions, Life and Stuff | Tags:

I didn’t have a facebook page until a few weeks ago. I made a few posts and abandoned it. It will live in virtual isolation, friendless.

The computer world did friends a disservice when it streamlined the process of making them. So many friends—numbers camouflage the sincerity of those relationships. Don’t get me wrong, I have many people I enjoy getting to know on-line and value those relationships. They are meaningful and important.  I simply wish to reserve my friendship for those who have signed up for more than a chat or a number.