September 06, 2001

It's my 38th birthday. Severe blues and pms made the last two weeks distressing, but I feel optimistic. Today I told the medical encyclopedia publisher that I could only do a thorough job on 12 pages a day, thus extending an imminent deadline I'd only been told about Tuesday. Heather W has asked me to be in next week's performance, to be directed by Patricia, a mutual friend whom I worked with way back in '88 briefly in Reza Adboh's company. Looking forward to performing. Large piles of papers and unpaid bills still daunt me, but it's really displaced anxiety. It's only paper. Some day I'll conquer my phobia about letting go of paper clutter without needing to flog myself with it. Went through the usual list-o'-life choice regrets. Going to try to just let things be new. Yoga was great tonight. I have roses and wine and candles. I met a wonderful, inspirational woman at Heather's performance last week -- Beverly Donofrio. She lives in Mexico, is 50 (vibe is 30's), was easy to talk to, alive, engaged, grounded. I went out immediately and put her book on reserve at the library and read it yesterday. I highly recommend it; moving, resonant. Called "Looking for Mary," it weaves autobiography, specifically her ambivalence about being a mother, with ambivalence about Catholocism and her pilgrimmage to sites of Mary apparition. I guess she did an NPR series on this, but I missed that. I've not liked anyone so immediately in a long time, and I loved and identified with her writing. We talked about living/not living in New York. The book reminded me a bit of the impetus for my own performance work, a bit of a memoir I loved called "I Love Dick," a bit of Texier's "Breakup" and a bit of a long essay by Ann Carson about her pilgrimmage following the journey of El Cid which appeared in Grand Street maybe 10 yrs ago but may be in a book by now. I also love Ann, who's nothing like Beverly but has somewhat the same affect on my sense of possibility.

I've always been superstitious about the way you spend your birthday as a homologue to the coming year, and I was upset that icky for-money-only work, being broke, and a flat, eventless summer infused this time. But I think it's going to be okay. So my house (literal and mataphorical) isn't entirely in order. So I'm not the it girl. So I've gone down a few dead ends, blind alleys, thrown away some golden, kismet moments, and ceded too many precious days to inertia and despair or fairly atrocious books. So I'm not ms. meditation, affirmation, essential oils and rare teas, and the discrepancy between my taste and what I wear/own is entirely disjunct. I have some wonderful and rare friends. Beautiful cats. A tiny toehold in Manhattan. And a stubborn, residual belief in magic.

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