I’ve been tagged by the ever-talented James Maxey, a writer I know from Codex, to list five things few people know about me. This reminds me of my favorite question to ask people I’ve just met, which is, “Tell me something about yourself I’d never think to ask you.”
- 1. I sang back-up for Barry Manilow when I was in high school. He came to my hometown and requested local high-school talent for a show he was doing. He wasn’t a very nice man, at least to the back-up singers.
- 2. When I was 11, I decided that orange was a sadly neglected color and it didn’t get enough love from the world. So I decided that it would be my favorite color. It was my one small contribution to justice in the world. Actually, I didn’t really like orange. But I bought a lot of orange things, including fluorescent orange Converse shoes. I kept those shoes for 18 years, even though I grew another size and they no longer fit.
- 3. I was partly raised by my next-door neighbor, Jane Lyon. She was 76 years older than me. On Saturday afternoons, instead of playing outside like most kids, I’d go over to Jane’s house and talk to her all afternoon. Jane was a firebrand of a woman who’d run away in her youth to China. She had a garden and a barn, despite the fact that we lived in middle-suburbia. Her interior porch was also a garden room, filled with plants and exotic items from China. Many of my art projects ended up decorating her home. I never expected Jane to see me graduate high school, but in true firebrand fashion, she lived until I was well out of college. Her kids finally convinced her to go to a nursing home, where she passed away peacefully at age 98. I’m told she flirted with all the men in the home. Sounds like Jane.
- 4. I’m a modern-day temple dancer, also called meditation through movement. To put it another way, I like to listen to tribal or world-beat music and rock out. Sometimes I use recorded music, but sometimes I can find something live. When I dance myself to exhaustion, I find that quiet space at my center from which my creativity stems. This is how I worship the universe. I’m a pantheist or an atheist, or both–depending on how I feel when you ask me. I see no contradiction between the two philosophies–indeed, many don’t. Sometimes I dance with a group, most notably through the Temple Arts Institute.
- 5. I’m cautious about what I blog, because I’m convinced that within our lifetimes, the Internet will evolve so that we can read old posts as easily as we recall childhood memories. Possibly with technology implanted directly into our skulls. I’m hoping we start to clone replacement teeth too, but I’m less optimistic about that.