Wednesday, January 23, 2008

... act close to your center.

Joe Samberg's photos of life on Telegraph are spread over the floor like empty bottles that use to contain the finest elixir. David W. Teske, Star mapmaker and self proclaimed, "idiot savant" said, "All memories reside in something." In fact, that statement also defined what he called "media" ... all stuff.

"Nostalgia is the worse form of depression." I said that.

So digging through the old media was meaningful to me but depressing.

Looking at Berkeley California at that time is very difficult and even harder to know where to begin talking about it. And it is impossible to describe the glory and the guilt of those days.

So how can one be honest as Earnest Hemmingway who felt that you start writing with one honest thought? One honest sentence. For me it is what I learned from the most illusionary of all my life's endeavors, acting. And that lesson learned is... act close to you center.

The flash of Kathy Soliah and I behind the flimsy backdrop of the small stage in church meeting room where we were putting on "Midsummer's Night Dream" came rushing back. A nothing second of our lives that was burned into my head.

I can't exactly remember but somehow a flirtatious look turned into a stolen kiss behind the set while we waited for our entrance. Another split second look at each other and she said "It's too late for us Cove."

Although I had no clue to the details although I knew what she meant … "too late" because her world had gotten far too serious for romance. My world as well but I hadn't realized it yet. She left the acting group abruptly soon after that play's run.

I didn't see much of Kathy Soliah again except when the I was looking for a doctor to pull a bullet out of a black guy's leg who had jumped over my backyard fence in the tough area I live between Berkeley and Oakland. I knew she had connections with the Free Clinic doctors and would help no matter what the circumstance around the shooting. The absolute last time I saw her in real life was at the SLA rally where she spoke.

I thought it was insanely courageous of Kathy to speak at a public rally to honor the members of the most notorious home grown revolutionary group in modern American history.

Spacely and I were in the crowd that day trying to count the cops and agents. There were a couple of teams of them with big old video cameras with fake numbers on them to try and fool the audience into thinking they, the gumshoes, were really TV crews.

We would bump into them or stand in front of the cameras ... but these guys were serious and heavy. Any more fucking around than we did and we would have had our asses busted as well as our heads.

Twenty-Five years later I watched on TV when the story broke about her capture as Sara Jane Olson. I thought about the sweet character of Helena that Shakespeare had seem to write for Kathy Soliah. I thought about the "too late" comment she made to me behind that backdrop in a Berkeley pacifist church where Country Joe McDonald's mother was a leader ... and I cried. I cried for Kathy's family and I cried for our generation.


At 5:14 AM, Anonymous Rachelle said...

Keep up the good work.


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