Tuesday, December 20, 2011

I am not even the wind



…for I would rather be a sucker
than believe in lies
because once they were true
because once they were safe
because once I had it all figured out.



he thinks I am a fool
and full well I suppose I am
For loving?
Well worth it.
Or not. What care I?
because it is too late for me to do anything other than love.

(and in my mind’s eye,
I remember everything about that day.)
I would do anything, for you, anything
and no other man has that power, none,
for god speaks to me through you
and only you
and how I know that to be true?
I don’t know.
That is the only thing
that separates me from you:
your knowing yourself to be true.

I know myself to be:
a baby’s breath, sweet and warm, milk of her mother;
a flock of geese, the moon and dusk.
the warm, firm belly of my horse as I lean my head against him,
the coarseness of his hair and the softness of my skin.
I know myself to be a song,
and bells ringing, and phones ringing,
and ticks and tacks and clicks and clacks
and the whirring machinery of the human heart
of the human body of the universal speck of dust
that we believe is modernity
and I know myself to be your eyes,
and the light behind them.
I know myself to be a great roar from a stadium,
a dandelion, a snowflake, a crash, a stabbing wound,
a toothless, hapless smelly man
and the Queen.
And I am available to all of these,
and more,
to know themselves as me:
Here is where you sign your name.


And now my makeup’s smudged, and I’m late for a class,
and Christmas songs, and gifts, and dogs, and mailmen, and
all of the day to day distractions which I love
do beckon for my eyes upon them.

But know this:
in my secret time, within my heart, where
days exist as eons and lifetimes are a smile:
you will forever live.

I am nothing, not even the wind. And yet, I love you so.

Friday, December 2, 2011

...it lingers in the air here...

 
It lingers in the air here

by Erin Elizabeth Muir

It was a bright and cheerful morning, but cool. Very cool in running shorts, I discovered as I exited the building, skipping along the yellow and cream tiled corridor and down the marble steps to the busy street. Henry tugged at my leash more forecefully than usual.

            “Henry!”

            Ah…. there’s Doris and Mitzi further down the street!

            Henry led, but I ran to so that we could catch up to my neighbor lady and her young rescue pup, Mitzi. Henry loves Mitzi. Mitzi ignores Henry.

            “Good morning!” I shouted over the sound of cars and mowers and tree trimmers.

            “Good morning!” she returned. “Aren’t you cold!?”
           
            “Yes. I’m freezing!” We laughed.

            I smiled, looking over the dew on the clovers in the little courtyard where we led our pups, hip hop from a Honda Civic stopped in a line of traffic.
           
            “Did you know,” I began, in the hushed tones of gossip, “I read something on Yahoo today that I had never heard before, that Clark Gable and Loretta Young had a child, and no one ever told about it until the 90s, and that child only recently just died?”

            “Oh, yes!” Doris answered, letting Mitzi’s leash out a bit so she could continue to torture Henry by sometimes giving him a “come hither” look and usually rebuffing him. “I read that obituary in the paper the other day!”

            “I had no clue!” I erupted.

            “Neither did I,” Doris exclaimed, “And that was my generation! I’m 86, you know! And she only saw her father twice in her life, and at first, her mother adopted her out! Well, you know, that’s how it was done in those days.”

            “Yeah,” I said, “These days the rules of any kind of propriety don’t apply. And when it comes to this kind of thing, I’m thankful.”

            “Oh, it just wasn’t done back then. But that Clark Gable…” Doris trailed off….

            …I did too… I was remembering the first time I ever knew who Clark Gable even was. I was 12. My grandmother was living at our house, dying of emphysema. She was breathing through the respirator and every day she and I together watched an old black and white movie. I loved those old movies and wished that I had been born just 50 or 60 years earlier. I made us tomato soup with crackers and cheese, and we started watching the movie. Then came that moment, that first moment when Scarlett (Vivien Leigh) is coming down the steps and Rhett (Clark Gable) rests on his elbow and turns and looks up at her. I was STRUCK…. something my little 12 year old body had barely felt before… if ever…. suddenly, I heard heavy breathing coming from the tiny little body with tubes coming out of it everywhere…. my Grandmother was breathing verrrrrrry heavily. “Grandma,” I said, checking in on her. Her eyes were RAPT. “Grandma, who’s that?” She snapped out of HER reverie, surprised to see me. She smiled. She breathed in one long, heavy rasp: “Clark…” She breathed out, slowly, tasting the name… “Gaaaaaable.” “Ah,” I repeated. “Claaaaark… Gaaaaable.” And a femme fatale was born…..

            Both Doris and I shook our heads out of our respective daydreams and we both looked sharply at our dogs. Mitzi was poking around a tree and Henry was happily chewing on his leash, planning how he and Mitzi would run away and feast on the leftovers that the McDonald’s up the street threw in the dumpsters.

            “Well,” I said, “You know, I think Clark Gable was one of the most…” I put my thumbs up, winked and smiled… that… knowing…. Claaaark Gaaaaable…. kind of smile.

            “Oh yes,” she said, “Even better than George Clooney.”

            “Although,” I said, “George Clooney is pretty darn Clark Gable.”

            We laughed.

            “You know, I used to always want to be born in that era,” I confessed. “I romanticized it. But when I hear about the limitations on our choices… having to adopt out a child, or hush it up, I’m glad I live today, as a woman I’m grateful for my choices.” After all, I live alone, or sometimes with a roommate, I run my own businesses, I date freely whom I choose (well, if they choose back! LOL). I have traveled the world on my own and had an incredible life and it’s not even half over, God-willing.

            “Oh, yes,” Doris said. “When I graduated high school, your only choices were to get married, or go to college to be a nurse, or be a teacher. Well I didn’t go to college, because my parents couldn’t afford that, so I went and became a teacher. These days, my nephew’s son, he is in his third year of college and he has already traveled the world!”

            “I used to really romanticize Jane Austen, and the Bronte sisters, and Lucy Maud Montgomery,” I said. “I used to romanticize those eras.”

            “Well, sure, if you were lucky, it was probably an interesting time to be alive. If you were a girl from a well off family, you had very few responsibilities. Getting married and learning your manners. That sounds like a fairly nice life…” she trailed off, a look of doubt crossing her face.

            “Well, you know, my mother says, ‘Marry for money, and you earn EVERY penny.’ I guess the same was probably true back then.” I said.

            Doris laughed, as we headed back to her building, next door from mine. “Hello, John,” she called out to the handsome janitor. I smiled an waved. He was a total cutie, and he always was sweet to Henry. “And you’re still looking for the rich man, aren’t you?” She pointed a finger, almost accusatorily at me.

            “Oh, no,” I said, watching the look of surprise on her face with a secret smile in my heart. “I’ve dated the rich man, and I’ve dated the poor man, and deep down, it really doesn’t make much difference. I want a nice man.”

            She smiled and nodded, shaking her finger and her head in uniform approval. And with that, she turned and walked Mitzi into her building.

            Henry jumped up and put his little paws on my legs. I looked into his little Henry Fonda eyes. “Let’s race!” I said. And with that, we were off, sprinting the rest of the way back to my little 1950s era Hollywood apartment, full of leftover dreams and wishes from all the people who have come and gone. Those dreams linger in the walls here, in the poof of dust that escapes a closet door as you open it, in the little statue of the Chinese Lady plastered on the wall as you head out toward the pool. Those dreams never strike me as bitter, but hopeful, and sweetly innocent.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

The Love Song of E. Elizabeth Prufrock

 
The Love Song of E. Elizabeth Prufrock

by Erin Elizabeth Muir

Amidst my avocations, distraction and demons,
and music, strains from another room.
Today the metamorphose is incomplete, and I have awakened as J. Alfred.
I am falling, again and again I am falling, you see,
and willfully, and against my will, an ancient pain,
sweetly, sensually, unrootable:
vines from a mobius strip wrapping round my body,
chains made of a flesh eating green, like a venus fly trap,
a nature, a desire. I want it. I fear it. It is me. It is he. It is all of us at once.

and words and words and words
and the poet sings
in dreams the message is perfect
but waking, she becomes ineffectual in her babel tower.
beautiful, and desirous, and possibly quite mad.

If ever I had known how to never
allow bitterness in my heart,
then I am child-like now, and so imagine my
shock at my own self-dismay,
as from all my shadows emerge, dusty, now dusting off the drapery,
the drudgery, engaging, on fire, a Demon.
like the brightest star that fell from the heavens,
plunging e’er deeper into the murky sludge, the far corners of paradise,
rising up now, the mists of eternity clearing way for that
truth greater than all facts and figures, the inhuman form
which whispering, places a single icicle of fear in my heart.

Oh, love! To be Juliet. To have died within moments of the first sweet lock,
to never know the other side of purity.
But I am not asleep, and nor am I awake.
I am breathless, I am all the breathing of the sky,
a billion stars shining in the heavens,
a single pebble on the sand.

No, I am no J. Alfred. Nor was meant to be.
And in the room, the girls giggle, talking of

nothing.

I am not walking on the beach, trousers rolled. I am not standing on the balcony, I am not sculpting David, I am not whimpering and I am not banging, I am singing-

I am singing!
 (Each to each.) Which means-
the mermaid-
is me.

ah, drawing breath again, do I dare to be a human?
Emerging from this sea of crystal thoughts, wearing a crown of anemone and kelp?
Do you see? These waves are you dreams,
and these pink shells are recompense for your hopes that washed away
where once you wrote them along the beach,
and these glistening pearls within are made rarer, truer, more valuable in your eyes.

If you say so, I will remove my fishy scales,
lay down my cerulean triton, and emerge
                                                           

a woman.

And if I say so, too, then the human voices waking us shall be our own.



(and it will have been worth it, and we will never know what we meant.)

Sunday, November 20, 2011

A Sonnet A Day Keeps The Hoardes Away

Reversal



Quite deep, surprised! E’en- mystified- and thrilled.
For who foretold the heart would dance, would build?
And shift forever the way one knows how to know
True love. That piece which cannot, will not be killed.

This mark’ed pain, so deep you’ve pierced your arrow.
Particular poison, an antidote to sorrow.
I crave... Withdrawing now the blade, to thee
I give my heart, a thousand times the morrow.

Yet wonder, did you mean to aim at me?
My seeking eyes so damn all fear to see-
Unfolding fortune’s plan, whither I willed
It so? No! I will not hide my dreams-

No self-taught lies of day can succeed to thwart
What you, in sweet of night, placed in my heart.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

I, Forgiver

 
I, Forgiver




A wisp of brunette hair, a shade of song,
Pacific in her slides, her curves, he saw
And looked away, he dare not speak, nor say,
If he, his mouth, opened wide? O! his heart-

He jack; then king! His queen, would leap away:
And that, he could not fear to let astray,
Asserts, in modern times, him-self he owns:
A Man- a boy- no King. No Jack. Ashamed.

A Solitude. A Study of Alone.
His angel, in his mind, at dawn, has flown.
If eyes, and light, and opening would come,
Her peace, so warm, would melt his mask of stone.

He cries: "Where dwells this sea-wreathed soul-mate who saves?!"
To keep from crying, she laughs, forgive her, dear knave.




Erin Elizabeth Muir

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

how to be magic

 
how to be magic

“that’s right,” she said, I asked, “how to be magic?
no, not magical, but magic itself?”

who brings this unsigned petition to the sun?
who carries the water, dying of thirst, to the moon?

‘tis you who read this, ‘tis you who seek the sky
yet knowing truth an unascertainable thing,

pursue with faith (like a dog), the love of your life
and finding it not, again the heavens you lap.

“so. lesson one. forget everything you know.
lesson two, learn to follow your heart.

section three begins with emptiness.
that’s all,” she said. “what do you mean?” I asked.

“The paper has been torn away after that,”
she said, laughing.
                        She laughed, damn star! at loss!

It was the end of my belief in rules.
If she could not tell me how to do it,

Then damn all four leaf clovers, damn them all.
And give me instead, the grass in which they grow.


Friday, October 7, 2011

Gemstones falling from my mouth

Today I awakened,
    words like gemstones
  falling from my mouth.

The morning duties,
   the birds, the cars.

Perhaps this gift of mine,
these thoughts that form
a constellation between
the recesses of my heart and mind

is to make up for all my lost years:
immortality? ha.
She, gate keeper of the soul's dictionary.

Bemused.

And you, my friend?

I suppose these lines,

be they in poems or in music,
these lines at once reveal my hidden truths,
those things I say only in times of death
or deep purity...

and at once they allow me
to circle my secrets
in an ecstasy
that erases the pain from where
and how long I have starved:

were my heart but fed by breath alone-

ah, but it is,
it must be,
for I dance upon a table
where no banquet ever showed.

...


And tell me, my dear one, my darling,
what is it like to be the beloved
in a world that tosses love out the window
like medieval trash?

Modern conveniences
become archaic in the
light of love's dawn

and every lover
becomes ancient,
knowing somehow
their city to be false.

...


Silence, you say?

(Deep, roaring laughter, the swell and groan

of love making between planets.)

....

Well. I will tell you,
my beloved muse,

what it is like to be creatrix
of so much nothingness
and so many pearls:

it is like swimming in this sea of stars
and feasting upon the light
never wanting for anything
except for a single human touch
where so few of us are truly human

for when we threw that love out the window
into the gutters and the plains
we threw ourselves.

Not me.

I am human.

I am stardust.

I am human.

...

(Planets, roaring with laughter again.)

These stars, these words, these diamonds, these pearls.


These stars... these words.... these-

Friday, September 30, 2011

Notes Upon Searching for a CarWash on a Friday Morning

Life is a prison and
a joyful one at that

You cannot break out of this prison of love
only through

There is no they
there is only we

So when you say,
be careful of them

You tell me you are fearful
of you

In your eyes, hush,
yes, and inside your whisper

Furtive, a preciousness,
a hopefulness.

You say you are waiting until
life begins and you are strong

I say
I have loved you from the start.

When I am alone in the car,
looking for carwashes,
I think of you and dream.

When I am in a hurry,
feeling the stress of the city,
I turn off the radio
and think of love.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

My Heart Opens When I Hear Your Voice


            Hey everyone! I haven’t written a blog in a while because I have been editing the third draft of my novel, “My Life as a Phone Psychic.” Those of you who have known me since 2004 remember the Fringe Festival play version of that same name. Those of you who know me from 12Listen.com have known the author version of that same name as well, differently, of course! This blog isn’t about the novel, but I wanted to explain where I have been!!

            Meanwhile…

            I’m preparing some arias for an audition…. I have some amazing projects in the works as a writer, as an actress, as a singer… and as I grow “up,” I am reviving some long lost dreams… dreams I had given up in the name of addiction, fear, bad relationships, good relationships, life. I mean, truly, I think I’ve made pretty much every bad decision I could have made with my life, and yet, they all led me here, and I love here so very much and I am so grateful to be me, so, who’s to say they weren’t the BEST decisions I could have made?

            I know that I cannot regret the “sins” (thinking of the archery term, sin, meaning, to “miss the mark!”) of my past but I CAN learn from them here. And I have! And I do not mean intellectually that I am saving myself but that

            HERE I LIVE

            I AM

            HERE

            IN MY HEART

            And I act from that heart space.

            So, trust me, I am still taking a lot of actions that aren’t “culturally” or “intellectually” wise. But I am risking my ideas of safety to speak my truth. I am risking my idea of getting hurt to love truly and passionately and purely. It’s like that great Norman Cousins quote: the tragedy of life is not death, but what dies in a man while he lives. [sic] (props to Candace Silvers for always quoting that.)

            Life is in session, that’s for sure.

            So back to my auditions. Among the interesting projects I have, one is an opera project…. more to be revealed but for now, I will just talk about the fun and glory of that kind of singing and experience of life!

            I have been singing since I was 5. My mother once told me that when I was little, she prayed that I would give up my dream of being a singer because I was so bad! haha!! Well, by the time I got to high school, I was becoming- if I do say so myself, for the sake of story telling, at least, not to be immodest but to further along my blog-tale) rather accomplished as a young mezzo. Of course, I had a few kinks to work out in my personal and emotional life, those of which I am not ashamed but speak of proudly to give hope to people who are suffering like I once did. I struggled with desperate eating disorders, which led to other emotional problems like depression, and then, other addictions and bad relationships. It took me a few years to recover from THOSE bad decisions, but I write this as a very healthy, joyful, grateful young woman who has been to hell and back. So, faithful readers and friends, strangers suffering in similar pain: you are NOT alone. And you are NOT doomed. Life is SO  SO SO possible for you, and I am LIVING proof. Someday, when I am older, I may write those stories of my life, about the recovery process. But for now, you got this blog. haha!

            Now, I continue to sing through all my troubles and struggles. And I believe it has given my voice a richness, a texture, a wisdom. Oh. I think it’s called soul. Anyway. I have been working with an incredible vocal coach, overcoming some bad vocal habits and vocal damage and strain, and re-discovered my love of opera. While once we thought I was a Spinto Soprano, It turns out I’m really a mezzo with a big ol’ range. Anyway, it’s fun for me, because I am returning to a life I had turned my back on from fear and bad decisions. Who knows what’s in store career-wise? I don’t even care. I’m remembering why I sing: because I must. Because I am a singer. Because I am song. Because of joy, and because of love.

            So a few weeks back, my Dad sent me a HUGE BOX of high school artifacts, including, but not limited to, old h.s. newspapers, essays and sheet music! I was rifling through this box the other day and pulled out a very tattered copy of my old Schirmer’s Operatic Anthology….. for MEZZOS! haha!!!! I must have misremembered. And oh, the old thrills returned, just placing my hands upon this book…. the possibility of singing, the glory of these beautiful arias, the special opening in my heart every time I would sing…. Faites-Lui Mes Aveux…. Mon Coeur S’ouvre ta voix….. la HabaƱera from Carmen…. Voi, che sapete….. oh, man, oh, man. I was running late (of course) and so just dropped the tome in my bag to bring to my sessio with Calvin, my coach, later that afternoon.

            A few hours later, in a studio in Van Nuys, CA, surrounded by roses (he has a beautiful rose garden in his front yard and the studio looks out onto it!), Calvin and I discussed the arias I would prepare for an upcoming audition….. he suggested I leave the Soprano arias alone because the quality of my voice is darker, more mezzo, truly. He said, “Do you know Voi Che Sapete?” I said, indeed I did, I had sung it long ago in high school. He pulled out… his copy…. of the Schirmer Operatic Anthology. I smiled but he motioned for me to get right to singing, sight-reading over his shoulder, and so I didn’t get to tell him what I had pulled out (out of hundreds of books and pieces of music my Dad had sent!) earlier that morning….. then, we looked at the aria from Samson et Delilah, Mon Coeur S’ouvre ta voix….. perhaps the most ERIN song that ever was written after La Vie En Rose- my exact best vocal placement, my exact best kind of character, my subject, my language….. and I laughed and I said, “Calvin, guess what? My Dad sent me a box of hundreds of pieces of music left over from high school and out of all that music, do you know what I brought to today’s lesson?” I pulled out my copy, tattered, rebound, tagged with notes…. he put his hand to his cheek, smiled.

            It was… kismet…

            And as I continue to risk…. speaking truth…. living from my HEART instead of my fear, or my intellect, or my ideas….. I continue to have my heart opened by my voice, and my voice opened by my heart, and my listening deepened by yours, and my eyes smiling into your soul, and you, you, you, the witness to my joy, so increase my own.

Thank You.


http://youtu.be/E_TVys3zd64

Monday, August 29, 2011

somehow when i kiss you

somehow
when i kiss you,
it feels like an eternity in one breath:
i have been, always, here. right here.
this kiss, this heartbeat,
these eyelashes, your hand upon my back,
my arms around your neck
and
i lose myself in the
moment and
in you i see God.

i like that.

a lot.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Obsessive Compulsive Homeless Folks, Tapestries

Every morning, there is a homeless fellow who walks our in front of my house with an Obsessive need to say the same thing over and over again - changes by the day- and as my bedroom is just above the very busy street on which I live here in the City of Angels, when I leave the window slats open for air, which is most nights, he awakens me.

To calm my mother's fears: as she knows, I am not immediately at ground level but a floor above it, and the landscaping of trees and palms and ferns obscures my windows entirely, and the window slats are only slightly ajar and the curtains are drawn and so it is all just perfectly safe and fine.

Anyway.

Once he said, "St. John's Hospital, Cedars Sinai Medical." Last time he said over and over again, "The wrath of the Lord is upon us. The wrath of the Lord is upon us." A few times he has sung. I am so curious about him but I have never seen him.... until......

Today, I was up a bit earlier than usual. I took out the Henry Monster (my pup, for anyone who is brand new to my social media world and hasn't noticed the 234,897 [and counting] photos of Sir Henry) and.... who was following me but him!!! This Obsessive Compulsive Morning Dove!

He was definitely following me/ us, because every time Henry stopped to smell something, this fellow stopped where he was, 20-30 feet behind us. I noticed him a few doors down from my place so I'm not sure at which moment he started talking and at which moment I started noticing, etc., but suddenly, there he was!

He kept talking though. This morning he was hard to understand. After Henry did his thing at the other end of the block, and I cleaned up after (I am a good neighbor, after all!) I turned to walk Henry back toward home. This fellow had his hand to his ear as if he was a news correspondent. He was looking straight ahead but at me out of the corner of his eye, the way we can make it look like we're not really watching someone but we are. He was talking to (whomever) in a somewhat hushed tone but then when I looked right at him he talked MUCH louder. All I could really make out was that he was talking about the "weird stuff going down with the Republican Party."

Hmmm....

Henry and I walked on, but let me tell you, if I weren't slightly wary of engaging with someone who is mentally ill (and to a degree I do not know and therefore I just am worried potentially dangerous) on the street as a somewhat diminutive single woman, dog or no (Henry is about 11 lbs!) I would have wanted to talk to him for HOURS. Or minutes. I don't know why but I am always so intrigued by what he has to say!

Now as I type this: even my own mother says I look like Michelle Bachmann (she said I should be studying her, and I have! I have the mannerisms and surprised facial expressions down.) I wondered..... did he think I was?... nah, couldn't be. I'm a good 20-25 years younger than her......

Anyway. My own role in HIS personal drama aside, it really gets me wondering- this man is now a part of the interweaving of the tapestry of my life. Perhaps just one small corner, but he's a part of it. Just imagine how many people for whom we are parts of the delicate interweavings of the tapestries of THEIR lives.... and imagine our role therein! Of course we cannot necessarily see or control whether we are dark shadows or floral designs, but we can have awareness that we are all interconnected...

On my wall, in my room here where my little office is situated, I have a framed print of a piece of a tapestry from the Unicorn Tapestries hanging in the Cloisters at the MMA in NY. According to the website, "The Unicorn Tapestries display the medieval desire for interpreting in history and nature a vast interlocking network of symbols. The tapestries may be read as the popular tale of the hunt for the elusive magical unicorn."

http://www.metmuseum.org/explore/Unicorn/hunt_unicorn_transcript.htm

If you read the story, you will learn that a unicorn cannot be taken by ordinary means, but can be taken by cunning... only the maiden can attract the unicorn, who surrenders himself to her purity. (Well, these were medieval folks, after all, telling with a specific point of view... but still....) Look closely at this print. The symbolism is fascinating: what appears to be blood on the unicorn himself is actually pomegranate juice, dripping from the tree above him. Pomegranate trees symbolized children.... and there is a tiny frog hiding near the unicorn, a medieval symbol of the aphrodisiac. (Princesses kissing "frogs," eh?)

I am only bringing this up because this tapestry- which I think is beautiful and cool, and, heck, I'm a girl and one that always loved unicorns- is so richly laden with symbols we may subconsciously register and "get the feel for the intention" via our own well developed layers of mythology and upbringing and culture- or perhaps, we may know outright through learning of some kind or through a natural observation of the wheel of things- or we may be completely unaware of. And so I mention it because I think of this homeless guy's small patch in the tapestry of my life and think, I have noticed some of the meaning here. What millions of fibers and strands am I as of yet unaware? What beautiful flowers and leaves are hiding that I do not see? What profound allegories are all around me all the time, just waiting to be witnessed?

I'm going to leave my mind and observation open to a new story today. I can't wait to see what is woven in on August 26th, 2011.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

You Sing, Too

You Sing, Too

by erin elizabeth muir


Is it our humanity that frightens us?
Vulnerable and mostly unaware of the
silver fibers of love
(invisible but for the mind's eye)
that connect us ever

and

in reaction to our own blindness
we sigh and do not
knock on our neighbor's door

we do not shout,
"You who is me! Come out
come out wherever you are!"
(Ollie oxen free!)
We do not then open the door,
and see you as me,
and laugh at our folly
(some do)
or sing alongside out misfortunes
(well, I do), nor

Take off this mantle of
separateness and say
"Look!
here I am.
And you may receive me as you..."

What I wanted to write was a love poem
just for you but
you will not let me.
You will turn your ear away as I sing,
and I, fool that I am,
I just keep on singing anyway.

All these words, for you.
All these notes, tumbling out, just for you.
And only you can hear the inside out
of the music I sing,
and I sing so that one day
you may take you arms away from your chest
and we, one breath of god between us,
joining here now,

...

well,

then,


you, sing, too.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

DANCING WITH BOUGANVILLA


DANCING WITH BOUGANVILLA
by Erin Elizabeth Muir

dawn on Sunday
:
did you know that in the morning,
free of human urgency,
flowers of the city
have a different vibrancy?

I don’t know how to say it quite so
because we all know the
bloom is when the fragrance is
when the bloom is when the…
but in this quietude
the flowers are
brighter, sharper, clearer
(I’m not even wearing my glasses)

so I begin to look at all the

plantlife

and it’s not just the flowers!

the trees are deeper
and the palm fronds are at once
full of a certain
sorrow one might never notice
when the mad human traffic,
disconnected, hurried
is too busy ignoring the sway
forth and back
at one with the ways of nature
sweet, and joyfully sad

but not in a melodrama, no.
like most of us, not actually native to America,
brought here to pursue an ancestor’s dream of
manifest destiny,
the distinction is that, well,
my fellow, the palm tree,
he gets the way it is and
that the way it is
carries all things both happy and-
not so.

now I sit and look out my window.
a slight dew and a
new crop of pink flowers:
my own basil plant in the sill
has pressed his lucky few leaves up
against the pane and
seems to be dancing with the Bouganvilla

These things,
these and so many other things
I wish I could whisper in your ear,
and then pause, listen while you tell me,
in your arrhythmic way, and I will learn about
what you have seen.

but you are not here so
instead I
am
dancing with the Bouganvilla.

Monday, June 20, 2011

After Tree of Life

Tribal in the left ear, Schubert in the right,
The muir-tide rises as summer draws nigh.
All heads bow to one heart,
Voices carry from a far off room:

"I've always..."
she does not whisper,
and,

"I thought..."
he does not say,

but instead,

she responds to a deep hunger,
the fire in her blood,
a kind of language churning eternally within her limbs,
sung with her body.


Knowest thou, then, how to hear?

Oh, Oh. They've done it again.
They've done it again and the night has passed
and the grass is wet with renewal,
And the morning comes
and the wind has crushed the peony.
Her parting gift-
a sort of gratitude for the pressing
falling tearing of her petals:
she leaves behind a locket of her scent,
which, some day in the dust of sunlight,
heavy summer heat pressing against his body,
where some whiff of peony will rise up in some forgotten corner,
he will pause, just for a moment,
he will wonder,
before he returns to the shuddering, clanging, dying fall
of day by day.

by Erin Elizabeth Muir

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Walking Henry in the Afternoon


Slowly, along whispering lanes
Just blocks from the bees,
three by three, a shower of jacaranda.
The wind. A rustling.
Here, between the rush and tide
of leaves,
a symphony of petals.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Monday, April 25, 2011

The Passionate Ones

Inevitably? yes,

with passion and force, yes.

but for me, an allowance of my own vulnerability

is what makes so beautiful,

(all rosebud-like)

this taste of iron in the air,

a slip in the streetlights,

a secret sweetness just hidden from view.


you can take it,

if you know how.


The rose speaks:


"If you want me to take the risk to blossom,

you must take the time to

till the fertile soil,

grow this rose from seed to bud,

and- whether I grow

beneath urban lights or

the dawn streaming through your window...


take care. You sense me in the breeze

whether you crush me with your heel

or whether you resurrect me

from the trash or,

if you give me the chance

to bloom again and again

through your awareness

of my tender beauties,

you can smell me anytime you like."


There is one petal on the ground.

The rose is powerless to her blooming, her shuddering, her death.

Catch her now, this morning,

Quick! See?


She is opening her petals...

Monday, April 11, 2011

what a love

what a love like this

can do:


scattering not but remaining


as such true, deep and


there is no where to go anywhere but

deeper, deeper into this love


you see


as often as i can and have tried to escape as

(and i proclaim it so) i am like the wild horse running along the oceanside,

i still am upon this earth, running toward this love everso and everlong,

this wind my breath this fire my hair

this love this sun this joy

your heart

the echo

the beat

my legs

the music

an archaic undulating

a smile

life begetting life

a returning and


so, for all of that,

i bow in respect to

what a love

what a love

what a love like this can do.


this quiet deepening and all

metaphors for life on earth become

one metaphor for this love


and since i have stopped trying to

ignore you, deny you, escape you, flee you, my love

since always this mobius strip

of the lost space highway

we call life on earth

returns me to myself and

to

you, my love,


then i am here to receive

and here to give

and i will allow this love to tear me open

and expose my heart

and at once calm my fever

and soothe my wounds

erasing all lies of the mind

which take me from

what god (in the form of nature, apparently, and angels, and dreams) has joined together.


Does it frighten me?

I whisper yes to the silent stars.

They laugh

And the world turns again.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Strange Dreams of violins in the sea, and the waves and the hordes and the survival of joy:

Strange Dreams of violins in the sea, and the waves and the hordes and the survival of joy:



I just awakened from a strange dream. As I sit typing this, the sun is sprinkling through the palm fronds just outside my window. Crescent Heights Blvd, on which I live, is quiet on a Sunday morning. I am confused and interested all at once in the sweet sound of mild traffic that reminds me of a lolling beach. I know it is time to get back to the ocean.



But the dream- I was with a family of sorts- my family, but in a different configuration- on some island. We had gone to this island in the south Pacific to celebrate the New Year and New Life rolling in all around us. We were surfing and eating tropical fruits. I was with an ex boyfriend, but in the dream, he was not an ex. but we were bonded to each other in a sort of easy piece. He was very upset but wouldn't tell me why, and I never asked. In the dream life, I never asked. I didn't need to. He would take my hand and the energy would transfer between our hands, and I would look into his eyes and one of use could call upon a healing light that would cool the other like a sweet balm.



But this time, there was a sudden and great calamity outside. It was night now, just before dawn, and hot. He came to me and shook me quietly awake but I was already rousing because of the energy of a human alarm. The sun had begun to rise, almost taking over the entire sky, as he ran down with me to the beach. Crowds of people had run down to the sea as a great and giant wave was billowing up. A man ran out into the sea with his violin and began to play for us. I saw them, then, the tsunami and the hordes that the tsunami was bringing with it. Some people began to run. I turned to my love and asked him to go get his instrument to play, too. But he began to run and was lost. I called out his name- I ran to find him but I knew there was no running. So without him I returned to the sea as the tsunami swept in and swept away so many people. I was one of the few left but then the hordes came in with the tsunami, and although they wanted to commit acts of carnage, for some reason, when they saw me, they could not. They took only the fearful ones. I wished I could save the others but they were in too much fear. Those that remained were the musicians who had gone to get their instruments and play as their death was looming, and some children, and a few people in joy.



In my heart, I *knew* my love was still alive. But he was lost somewhere. I began work caring for all the children. I was the only singer left alive, and we were a small band of musicians, children, and a couple surfers. I was one of two women. Everyone knew that I could heal their wounds with my singing voice but that I was going to leave them to find my love. They begged me not to, swearing to me he was surely dead and gone with the rest of them, that there would be danger, that the hordes would find me.



I told them I had no fear. If he was lost, I had already lost him. I promised I would come back to them, with him, and care for them again. The children would lead the way, I said, as long as they were left in joy and nature and strength. We were not to indoctrinate them into fear, as what happened to those who had died in the great waves and the horde invasion that followed, but to teach them to play the instruments and to fish and forage for fruit, and honor the sea.



Then I woke up.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Married to the world.....

I am in love with the world, it's true. I know sometimes when I talk this way *certain* people think it's weird, but I point out, hey! Isn't it more fun to be alive and in love with the open sky and the stars at night and the cooing of doves and the blooming of flowers than to be a suffering heap of complaints and anger? Which sounds like more fun to you? Misery? Cool. Have at it. As for me, I'm in love with the cosmos, because the cosmos is in love with me........

So, I have excavated my love life to do my one woman show, and accordingly, all the exes have been coming out of the woodworks... in VERY surprising and charming and delightful and heartbreaking ways. Sometimes I wish camera crews would follow me around and make a TV show of my life, because it is so amazing, and fun, and sad, and all things in a way you couldn't write...

But the biggest thing that is of curiosity and joy and pride for me, personally, is my strength and dedication to the service of love and peace and integrity in the face of temptation.

In the past, I have always let myself get swept off my feet..... and in recent history, I have thought of myself as sort of romantically anorexic, un-allowing and sorrowful but NOT allowing the sweeping off of the feet to mess up my heart again.

However, now, I see myself rising into a different platform of strength, so to speak. One in which I'm not letting myself get talked into things that are bad for me for the sake of the idea of romance. Trust me, I don't need help with fantasy and romance and attraction. I've been swept off my feet by the best of them: revolutionary poets, melancholic painters, ranters and ravers, motorcycle crashing wounded sexy baddd boys, international business cavaliers, foreign royalties, etc. And all those men were amazing, truly. I loved them. But they were not sustainable. Why? because IIIIII was not sustainable. I needed always that quickening, instead of seeing that what I was yearning for was inside the yearning itself..... more Rumi, less Rimbaud......

And so, in the face of these beautiful darling dangerous men....

Something has happened to me.

I'm not buying it anymore.

I want the real stuff.

I don't want to be gotten. I want something deeper, less speakable, more breathable. What that is, I have no idea, but I feel it, like the expansion of my heart, like the clearing in the night air as the night doves coo, like the earth beneath my feet even as it rumbles. And I don't care if I never find it, because it isn't to be found. It's here. And I don't care if I find it again and again and again in every man I date from here on out, because it simply isn't up to me.

I have so many friends who take these classes and read these books- for girls, it's about getting the guy and keeping him; for guys it's about seduction. Look, I've even dated a seduction coach. (It was NOT happening for me with him, because his techniques were brilliant in the initial approach but failed in that deeper connection of which I speak. And I love bullshit but mostly only in the moment.) And I say, why? Why not just be you and let them be them and stop trying so hard?

But then again, what do I know? I know how to hook someone in, get them to propose, and THEN decide. Screw that.

I'm interested in:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O6I7ls7iQBk&NR=1

Grow old along with me, the best is yet to be.
When our time has come, we will be as one.
God bless our love- god bless our love.

And what does that mean?

Again, I do not know intellectually, but I know it has little or nothing to do with the presentation of outsides, and everything to do with faith. We are all part of the two branches of that tree, for that tree is the tree of life, and the deeper down you get to the roots, the more connected we ALL are.

So I guess I'm saying I'm am married to the world.

Goodie! Because I love you all.

Spending our lives, together!

World without end.... world without end...........

Thursday, March 31, 2011

To sleep, perchance to dream....

Wow! What started on a whim one Sunday night when this workaholic had a fried brain and was disinterested in CNN's special magazine story on "porn" (really, nothing has changed much in thousands of years other than its generalized acceptance and proliferation via the internet. Good for you, porn! Now, if only it would actually serve to honor the value of sex, instead of present a shallow definition..... i.e., sexy, for me, is so much more than the veneer of porno-sheen that seems to be taking the country by Hiltonian storm..... and the pendulum swings.) has turned into a strange commitment, an exercise in writing and creativity that I have actually started setting aside time to do!!!


And, not, today's challenge is not about porn. While I can't say I'm for or against it, (depends on my mood. hahaha. What!? I'm just saying what everybody thinks.) it doesn't mean as much to me as the following!!!.....


Day 26 - A picture of something that means a lot to you


....... I have a bipolar relationship with sleep.


You see, don't hate me for my Aries moon, but I have boundless energy. And when I get excited about a project.... well.... I just can't sleep. Last night I was so excited about something I've discovered, I had to put myself to bed, finally, at 2 am. And then I relied upon my discipline in meditation to get myself to sleep.


And quite honestly, there are only two reasons I really understand WHY I need to sleep as much as possible every day:


1. As a singer, it makes ALL the difference in the world with my voice. I have overcome so pretty nasty vocal nodes and bad habits and am just NOT uncovering some of the habits I developed early on in singing that have really caused mis-health (I cannot quite say dis-ease) in my voice. But that said, it's a sensitive instrument and proper rest makes a BILLION times difference.


But.


Reason Number Two....


2. To sleep, perchance to dream.....


I mean this singularly here, not the way Hamlet meant it... although, that, too.


You see, my dreams are magical, fantastical, vivid, healing. They are not separate from my waking life but like two sides of the mobius strip, they turn out to actually be one continuous highway of life experience.


And I Love Them.


I have long had some amazing dreams. I have serial dreams... I have one -offs that are incredible. I often blog about my dreams because they are amazing adventures. My favorites are the serial dreams about the pirate ship (In one dream life, I am a pirate Queen who, urged by Sting [it's my dream life. Shush.] stopped pirating souls for selling in Tripoli and started healing dolphins.) How that informs my waking [sic] life? a. Sting, in my dreams, gives me lots of advice as a singer and songwriter. b. I have had a number of song ideas and story ideas from these pirate dreams. c. they're AMAZING fun not just for me but to share at dinner parties, etc. I mean, come ON! Pirate Queen!


My favorite dreams are usually about my grandmothers, who have both LONG since passed from this earth. These days they come rarely to my dreams, but sometimes. Always they are guides for me, generally towards wisdom. With my mother's Mother, Grandma Winnick, she guides me also in the direction of FUN.


My friend Rebecca, renowned psychic, told me that whenever I see dimes on the street or randomly anywhere, it's a sign from that Grandmother that she's with me, she's supporting me. Well, I just realized last week, two years after she said that, in conversation with a friend abut the Game Show Wheel of Fortune, that when I was a little girl, Grandma and I used to play Wheel of Fortune and we'd place bets, of course. We'd play for DIMES.


p.s. I never did beat her. She was tough.


One of my all time favorite dreams is about my sister. I had this dream when I was probably about 21, I think....


Laura and I were walking through an endless desert. We were at once in ancient dunes as well as we were in modern times, i.e., we were in timelessness. The sun was high above our heads and before us lay the ebbs and tides of sand in various shades of camel and ecru.


Deep silence, only the resounding ring between our ears, and a strange wind that would pick up from our feet and bend the wave of sand from tidal to valley.


Then, from nowhere, a BOOM and a screech. A shadow just to our right, coming from behind. We turned to look.


A trail of six dragons, connected nose to tail, flew in a line in the sky, at first bending and waving like a squiggle but once they smelled our blood, they became focused as one system. Some were strictly dragons, and some where gryphons. They were not benign creatures. They were headed straight for us, hawk-eyed and fast.


I turned to Laura but suddenly she was far, far away from me. I looked back to the creatures in the sky, hungry for our hearts, and I knew I had to get to her before they did. With all the might I could muster, I ran as fast as I could and just as they were about to devour Laura, I reached her. I threw myself in front of her and threw my arms out wide to my sides. As each dragon hit my heart, he turned into a beautiful man in a suit, and, smiling toward heaven, ascended to the deep blue sky. One, two, three, four, five, six.


Then I awoke.


That is one of my favorite dreams of all time and I remember every moment, every grain of sand, every whisper beneath the earth.


That is why sleep means so much to me, even if it's a discipline for me, even if, at times, it is hard to come by.........


I'll leave you with a few lines from a new song.


Nighttime dreaming, softly we... I awakened from a dream-

to a shade of moonlight drawn on your face.

Gently, your eyes opening.

"Oh, I was just dreaming...


...I was stranded on the beach, yet here on bed within your reach-

somehow I was in both places at once:

The World of Dreams,

an this sweet moment here

you and me.


...And at the sea:

the sea tide was low and the water was warm

like that day last year in Carlsbad- do you recall?

A thousand miles away you were,

and I couldn't get to you,

yet I felt your heart.


...In a flash, you were here:


Your eyes! The light-

Your lips On mine...

...breathing you in me....


...."


Morning dreaming, softly me.

All alone but for the dream,

and a ray of sunlight upon my face.

Gently, my eyes opening-

awakening

from the dream.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

On Love, and LIVING while you're alive....

Day 24 - A picture of something you wish you could change



Okay...... getting a little personal.... I wrote this morning's journal before I knew what today's challenge was!!!! But it's perfect. Here it is (with a few edits made to protect the.... can't say innocent.... but those who did not sign a disclosure on being my friend! hahahaha.)



I have spent a lot of time considering this man woman relationship thing. A lot of people ask me why I'm STILL SINGLE. Oh my god, I'm an old maid. And for a while this question bugged me, because, really, why am I? Mostly, I cite the need for extreme freedom to run around and do my thing. Guys can be... so... needy. None of the ones I've dated (insert sarcastic laugh here) and since like attracts like, I know I resemble that comment. I mean, let's check out my dating history and we know, my best relationships seem to be the ones that were clandestine, forbidden, secret, boundary crossing.... god. My life is like a Russian novel. And so, since I no longer want "crazy" as a way of life, and since I am a recovered Drama Queen, answer part two about why I'm not married is because I don't know, or haven't known yet, how to get into relationships with men who are creative AND independent AND smart AND fun AND also not possessive and not obsessive and not nuts. So, the following logical answer is: I don't want to be in a relationship. I'd say this is pretty spot on. They take a lot of work and it takes a very strong man to be able to stand next to a very strong woman. And a lot of the time I'm too busy having fun to notice the great guys all around me. So, a combination of rotten luck historically (bad picker), being fiercely independent, and, oh!



The really important one:



not really buying into our cultural concept of "dating," "hanging out," "relationships," "marriage," etc.



It seems like so much of the time, whether you are male or female, straight or gay, it seems to not matter gender or orientation on this one: dating is a series of needs and fears covered over by "getting the other person to like me" whether or not "I actually like them" and then suddenly one or both has been talked into a relationship by the other and no one really is sure it's a good idea, but damnit, I guess it's better than being alone.



Then, there is the Erin style, wait until you meet some crazy amazing prince who sweeps you off your feet and then notice they are a drug cartel leader, not a revolutionary poet. Dang CIA is STILL calling me about that one.



Okay, then there are the inspirational ones. My parents have been together 40 years. My brother and sister in law have been together for, um, ever, I guess, and I see them in love, and then working with each other, and dedicated to each other and their lives together. That's amazing.



But mostly.... mostly..... I see..... a bunch of expectations so high they can never be met based on an idea that has nothing to do with who the person actually is in his or her heart, because..... he or she doesn't actually even know who he or she is.....



Lots of hope and fear.



I am done with fear. I am done with people who hold me back. I am done with ideas that suck me dry. I am done with hope and I am on to faith.



And so, until then......



What I wish I could change, and what I am changing about me, is my relationship to SELF and, specifically, to SELF AS WOMAN. I am changing my attitude about glorious womanhood, so that I may change my relationship to YUMMY MANHOOD.



Interestingly, I spent a little time with an old guy friend yesterday. He's lonely, and I know he'd like girls either for getting laid and maybe more (no judgment, I feel the same way) and.... he has no problem "getting" girls, but does he actually want them the WAY he can get them? I share his dilemma..... but on the opposite side of the gender coin.... apparently, we are Artemis and Apollo here.... he doesn't actually want to get into a relationship for whatever reason, just as I'm not sure I want to either......



And, I think so much of it has to do with how much we, as a society, as a culture, have been perverting and deviating our faith in our masculine and feminine energies...... Just as women are taught to be thinner, to be more perfect, to be the sexiest according to an IDEA outside of self, instead of WITHIN..... These guys just don't believe in their manhood. And why should they? They have not been celebrated for it. They have had to buy into a series of cultural rules and laws that are conflicting and yet stoic patterns and methods of behavior that are mean, unjust, unmanly, fucked up, and so they saw the bullshit but were born into this society just like I was, and, having no tools and no way in and no way out, decided to start drinking or drugging or TV-ing or eating or smoking or work-aholicking or lying or cheating or prolong the intimacy game or cutting off or masking or lying to self or distracting self from the no choice wallowing of modern society--- at the urging of their fellows who were receiving, at least, some relief from the ordeal of being alive--- and suddenly they were sucked into a game of treachery, lies and deceit- against the self- with little chance of freedom.



....Now, they have been given a glimpse of a diamond, and they know they can crawl out of the dirt to grasp that diamond, but the path is full of old regrets and lost chances and pain and sorrow and misery, until they see the opportunity of possibility, the chance at "me" and then.... then........ when they can be okay with the worms and the fungus and the dirt and the muck, be in joy because they be, then they can be men. But how do you say that to a man? You don't.... I don't..... Because guess what?



I'm going through the same thing as a woman.



So, I write this instead..... I celebrate them in moments and instances for being men. I let them take care of me. I let them hold me. I champion them not just as a friend but as a mother, as a lover, as whatever woman figure is needed in this moment. Kwan Yin, Mother Mary.... Lakshmi, Aphrodite, Freya..... Athena, Hera, Maeve.... Durga, Kali...... Venus, Isis... Tara..... I become that with which you need, as you need, to be of service to you, and no with disregard for me, but with the highest integrity of my being, the highest integrity of my soul, for I am a woman, and I know that ONLY against the backdrop of your manhood. i.e., I'm not turning my back on feminism. I know what those women did for me, for us. I would not be writing this today if it weren't for my ladies of history who FOUGHT for this right.



Only, I wish to invite a sort of balancing of the energies into our world. As we begin to see that we need to tend and turn more and more to our mother, earth.... I aspire to practice my own behaviors as such. I wish to BE NATURAL, not mimic nature. Why? Because I'm part of the natural world, too. I'm a monkey, I'm a rose, I'm a river.



And when, in this parceled out, sanitized modern society, when do we truly get to be women, truly receiving our men? And I am not talking about gender roles, I hope we all know I am meaning also the true center of self and energy feminine or masculine, be you man, woman, or something else. I mean, when does feminine TRULY get heard, allowed, received, given to in this society in which we mostly just make jokes about women drivers while emasculating our men? My god. How many more women need to have eating disorders through their dying day? How many more instances of rape and pillage must we pretend are happening to some person OVER THERE? How long will we allow this game to continue until we crumble, a species that could have been? The Holy Grail is right here! Take it. Drink from it. Be here.



Well, for me, the time is now. Done. I was born. I made it onto earth. I'm alive. So I'm here and let's play!



I'm into life. Not my idea of life. Not my philosophy of life. Not any rules or laws "I'd" like to see about life.



But being alive while I'm living.







What would I like to change?



I want for every person, man, woman, child, otherwise (why not!?) To have the freedom to be ALIVE while they are living.





xxoxxoxxoxxoxoxoxoxooxoxoxoxoxooxoxoxoxox



with love of the deepest sort,





Erin

Monday, March 28, 2011

Chapter One.... My Life as a Phone Psychic.... Sneak Peak.....

Chapter One.... My Life as a Phone Psychic.... Sneak Peak.....


Lily

“Lily.” I am being very stern with myself, talking to myself in the mirror again. Mirror me is my best friend. I play this game of searching, admonishing, pleading, cajoling… I’m looking for some shift, some change, some correction in my behavior, through my mirror tete-a-self. I look into my eyes. I like them. I’ve always liked them, even if I didn’t like other things about my appearance. People always remark upon them, so quite honestly, that might be a part of the reason why. It doesn’t matter what I do, I’m still me living in this Los Angeles in this time and I’m still a woman and I still carry certain of these vanities and… anyway. I seek out the tiny flecks of yellow near the pupils. Then. Once I have a hold of myself, whoever that is, anyway, I say, “You have to stop this.”

“This” is my crush on Jones, my boss. Okay. He isn’t just my boss. He is also my other best friend. Yup, me and my boss. The three of us get along great.
Who am I kidding? We get along… weird… all three of us. And it doesn’t matter what conjunction, it’s weird. Me and Jones? Weird. Me and me? Weird. Jones and… me? Ugh. I won’t split off further if I can help it. If, operative word.

I wonder if I can count my mother as a friend, or any of my clients, or the homeless guy who takes my empty cans and bottles from my trash. These are the people I speak to on a regular basis. If by regular, I mean, sometimes.

But Jones. No, I can’t call our relationship friendship, exactly. But Jones is it. He is the only person I go to see movies with, and he is the only person who notices if I’m gone for more than a few days. In a city like Los Angeles, millions of transient strangers pretend to know everything about each other, and yet go home empty. I feel grateful to have one friend.

And so in relation to the fact that my existence is somewhat owing to Jones… i.e., my job, my rent, my social life, my survival…. my crush can be considered… dangerous.

I had just come home from his house. I had gone over there to “discuss some changes in our business,” and stayed to watch a video, during which I had pretended to fall asleep so that I could cuddle into his arms. I loved feeling the sexual tension build as his hand drifted slowly, almost like a virginal teenager’s, searching, searching, searching… aha… down along my breast. At that moment, wanting so badly to call “check” and maybe “mate,” I had inhaled briefly and bolted up, pretending instead to awaken suddenly, my face two inches from his. He pulled back and I felt my energy surge as I wished he would push me down on the sofa.
He froze. So I stood up.

“Better get going,” I had said.

“Yeah,” he answered, walking me to the door.

“Did I miss anything?” I had asked, cocking my head to the TV screen, long passed over into neon blue fuzz.

He smiled strangely at me.

“Not yet.”

So now, here I stand in front of the mirror, looking myself in the eye, feeling my hormones swell with the fullness of the low, golden moon slung low in the sky.

“Stop it.” I turn out the light and go to bed.

I climb under the covers, still tingling. I want to do something about it, touch myself, call him, anything. Craigslist. Something. But I have never been able to be one to give myself randomly. Just fully. So I sigh.

“Stop it,” I say again, louder this time, rolling onto one side. I peek out the window at the fat, laughing moon.

“Yeah, you too,” I say.

.......................................................................................

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

» No one is going to play Elizabeth Taylor, but Elizabeth Taylor herself.

Liz Taylor died .... and at first, reading her bio, I was so jealous. I always wanted to move here when I was a little girl. I wanted to be a child movie star who moved into becoming a screen icon. Look, I might as well admit it. I'm a grown up woman now, but it took me years to find the courage to truly begin following my dreams and heart. And when I was little, my parents and family lovingly thought that I was just being a kid with a kid's fantasies. Of course these dreams of being an artist would pass. Of course they would. Right?

Nope.

Flash forward to high school, and I wanted to be a performer. I was offered scholarships to NYU and USC. I was ready to go. And what happened? I chickened out.

Oh, I went to a very, very fine school. And then another and another and another, always choosing majors that were one or two steps away from what I actually wanted. I dropped out, joined a rock band, went to massage school. EVERYTHING BUT my dreams: I wanted to be a singing Liz Taylor. I wanted to be Bette Midler an Lily Tomlin an Barbra. mostly I wanted to be Barbra because she also wrote and directed her own movies. But I kept choosing something one step away....

And then I started getting bold. I started writing my own plays, directing my own films, touring with my own music. I had finally started stepping into my own life. And, like any good artist human person, famous or not, I began finding fulfillment, followed by fear, followed by desire, followed by action or non action in response to fear, followed by fulfillment and let down and.... the cycle of creation: creation, maintenance, destruction. The circle of life.

And travel, and love, and it all entered my life as an artist.... just like, if I had been a teacher, or a minister, or a chiropractor.... whether or not it would have been totally expressed to the public, it would have informed that life.

Well, flash forward years later, I am pursuing my dreams whole-heartedly. I don't care if I'm famous or not famous. I love my life and I use my abilities to be of service to the world around me. But I still sometimes pine... I pine.... and then I remind myself that I have an amazing life I love, and that all artists become dissatisfied because it is part of being an artist. You can always make the line more poetic, the note more pure, and then there are those times the world goes white and you're soaring. And THAT is what my life is all about....

THAT

And

SERVICE.

So back to Liz Taylor.

I love her Piscean ways. I have long been a fan of hers, not just for her work as an actress who had many men (so very Pisces) but also for her courage in standing up to a world full of opinions that may or may not have been appropriate, true, loving or correct. She stood up and did activist work for AIDS... she worked for many humanitarian efforts... she defended her friends in a time of mass hysteria and confusion an spoke "her" truth about it. (Michael Jackson.)

And this morning I began reading an article about her final tweets:

Here are a flurry from July 22:

» Every breath you take today should be with someone else in mind. I love you.

» Because then it becomes about yourself...which is wrong. Giving is to give to God. Helping is to help others.

» That is the thing that will give back to you all the rewards that there are. Don't do it for yourself, because then it becomes selfish.

» Give. Remember always to give. That is the thing that will make you grow.

» You are who you are. All you can do in this world is help others to be who they are and better themselves and those around them.

» Never let yourself think beyond your means...mental, emotional or any otherwise.

» I would like to add something to my earlier tweet. Always keep love and humility in your heart.

» Hold your horses world. I've been hearing all kinds of rumours about someone being cast to play me in a film about Richard and myself.

» No one is going to play Elizabeth Taylor, but Elizabeth Taylor herself.

» Not at least until I'm dead, and at the moment I'm having too much fun being alive...and I plan on staying that way. Happiness to all.

ALL IN ONE DAY!?!?!?

I like it also because she reminds me of who IIIII am, then. Or, rather, who I aspire to be. A woman who, no matter what, lives her life to the fullest with a goal of helping others toward happiness and joy.... bliss...

Of course, she has just died, so we are talking about the glory and the beauty...... as we should. We should more often focus on the positive, I believe.....To the end, she was a woman of service. I find it so amazing. And inspiring to me to want to continue my life committing acts of kindness every time possible...

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

by way of the phoenix

Recently.... possibly always.....


Let's face it. I'm doing a one woman show here in Los Angeles that I will tour around the country and for which I am writing a companion book about this-

this thing that has made a huge impact on my life....

http://www.facebook.com/note.php?created&¬e_id=10150464534310122#!/notes/erin-elizabeth-muir/thirty-day-challenge-day-17/10150464534310122

What has truly made the hugest impact on my life?


For what have I traveled the mountains and skies and seas, in search of, in escape of, in ignorance of, in hopes of? Running away from, forgetting that our globe, at this time, is, well, a globe, so I just come back to the beginning time and time again?


And in what have I finally begun discovering my own secret true self?


But I grow old.... I grow old....


You see, I am beginning to see so much deeper (than all roses, yes, and than my own ideas, and than my own experiences that drop me even deeper through the tectonic shifting of human magnetic reverberation expanding heart energy throughout each others' worlds and the intracellular response and the outer waves of recognition of something so much more than all that I just implied suggested incepted in a run on poetic sentence that to some makes no sense but to Joyce and the crow and the seed are obvious no words words....)


We have just gotten it wrong for so long


but not because the opposite of what we


(me) (I) (you?)


have been doing is right.


But because we have been using the mask to indicate the emotion instead of

allowing

something

more powerful than

that to take us


and not in a way like what we mean in the 20th century addicted way


but by way of the phoenix.


You see, I can only speak in poetry and images to tell you all what I want to say!


Confounding, this language,


exciting, this puzzle.


My teacher Candace says that the greatest love stories, the true true true truest love stories, in THIS world, THIS world NOW, almost never happen because the stakes are too high.


I see that. I see where I have blown things with my own stakes.


But I forgive myself, because, you see, I'm still standing, and I am still here, Erin with her heart, with her love, with her offerings.


And, well, the funny parts are all in my show, and a soon to come accompanying book. And this 30 day challenge is not for me to reveal your own love story, or mine, or where it has been amazing and worked, and where it has not.... I have no wisdom to offer other than my own experiences and observations. But I have my own revelation...... that....


....the idea of "THE ONE"


is so much more different than what we thought it would be.....


And for me, it is not about this idea of THE ONE. It is the act of loving in and of itself that is the gift. And true love applies to everybody, it does, it does.


I offer you a few suggestions......


And an invitation to your own heart.


And a love deeper than your ideas of romance.


And a life greater than you ever dreamed possible.


And I wish you much, much more than luck.


I wish you Life.


I love you.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Magicians Do Not Exist and Comedy is No Laughing Matter

Magicians Do Not Exist
and
Comedy is No Laughing Matter

Last night, I went with my friend Alison to see L'Illusionniste (The Illusionist) at the Los Feliz 3 movie theater. This was made by the people who did "The Triplets of Belleville." I LOVE this particular aesthetic, and so I was so excited when Alison said she'd go see the film with me.

It was a rainy night here in the city of Angels. I love when it rains in LA, the city takes on, for me, a more cautious, thoughtful tone. No one knows how to drive in the rain or get wet, it seems, and so the poetry rises up from the streets as the lights shine down upon the pools of water where once there were potholes and cracks from an ever churning city of transience.

Vermont and the Los Feliz neighborhood is an area of town I LOVE when it rains because it becomes like New York, or like Uptown in my hometown city of Minneapolis: artsy, urban in a strange bohemian sophistique, almost literary.

We got there so early (Alison's influence, trust me, not mine!! LOL) and bought our tickets. They wouldn't let us hang inside the theater so we walked across to Fred 62 for a cappucino and cup of coffee, (me and Alison, respectively). There was a CUTE guy sitting at the other end of the counter eating soup. He looked like an ex-boyfriend of mine and I just quietly checked in for a moment to make sure it wasn't him. I don't think it was, but he certainly was listening to everything Alison and I were saying. Isn't it interesting how that amends your speech? Like, I knew he was listening and I continued my conversation with A and yet I sort of amended my own speech- why? I didn't even know this person and would probably never see him again, but he reminded me of someone that I know and so....

Well.

We walked back to catch our movie and entered the sweet little theater on the left. I love this little movie theater where they have a curtain they pull up and down like the gathers of a petticoat. The cute guy from Fred 62 was sitting just in front of me. I sat in the one strange aisle that darts across the entire theater (almost) in the middle and therefore sat in the very best seat in the house, halfway back (there are only about 20 rows) and smack dab in the center.

As the film began, a family consisting of about 6 children ran in, shouting "Maman! Maman!" They couldn't decide if they would sit way up front or way in back, and after testing all the seats decided upon way in front.

"COMEDY IS NO LAUGHING MATTER."

My acting coach, Candace, is the daughter of one of the American Comedic geniuses, Phil Silvers. He coined that phrase, and the more I work with her and study with her, the more deeply I see the truth of that statement. Now, first of all, I am a comedic actress, and I am performing a one woman comedic cabaret about my love life. I decided to do this because whenever I tell people about my dating experiences and love life, they laugh and laugh and laugh! The more painful the experience for me, the more deeply people laugh and must think I'm kidding. In all honesty, I'm funniest when I am not trying but am merely being my sensitive little melancholy self. yes, I do have a very positive attitude, but it is a muscle i have developed and continue to develop to overcome my shyness, my nerdiness, my awkwardness, my sorrow. It's like running, for me. I don't actually like it until after I have done it, but I know what it does for me, and so I keep, well, trying, anyway.


So I recall once watching "The Pink Panther" at the Aero in Santa Monica with Alison and our mutual friend Chris. Everyone howled and HOWLED at Peter Sellers and his antics, but all I could see was how desperately he longed to hold his wife, make love to her, have her return his love in truth and reality instead of in presentation and lies and fakeness, and the pain of that caused him to cover with oafishness. I saw that CLEARLY. I suggested it to someone after the fact and they said, "No! He's just being funny." But I saw it.

A TRIBUTE TO JACQUES TATI

The film, L'Illusionniste,is based on a screenplay that the French actor and comedic great, Jacques Tati, wrote, apparently intending it to be a love letter from father to daughter.The film becomes increasingly self-referential (as it should), even featuring a live action sequence from "Mon Oncle." Wonderful. I love that sort of thing, and, one thing I believe about animators (having once dated one for a few years) is that they LOVE to hide more and more and more and more secrets and references and homages in everything they do. I bet I could see this film time and time again and just begin to see the world of the filmmakers.

Now.

About L'ILLUSIONNISTE.

This film would have broken my heart
if it weren't already broken.
Me heart, yes, it has been
Broken open-
but broken.

Thank god because the piercing sadness
set against the whimsy and beauty of the film-

a series of stunning moments (potentially family-phagic rabbit stew, useless clowns committing suicide, alcoholic ventriloquists left rotting in alley-ways after devoting their lives to a dying art)-

I watched the film and instead of slinking slowly into my usual Piscean wallow over the sorrow and pain that the world of the losing live in,
I looked instead for the life and the recovery and the forward movement,
so as to not render the lives of the dying pointless,
but meaningful.

In the tale, the magician and the performers of his era- vaudeville performers, acrobats, ventriloquists, clowns- are being replaced by pop singers and rock bands and TVs and Radios (it is set in the 1950s and 60s in France and Scotland......) He is forced to find work performing in remote villages for small crowds and in one small village in Scotland, he meets a simple village girl who is dazed by his magic. He knows they are mere sleight of hand tricks, but she begins to believe that he can magically create anything and make all her dreams come true. So, without asking, she follows him to Edinburgh and he runs himself into the ground continuing to try and create magic for her as her desires grow more and more worldly. At the same time, she is blossoming into womanhood and is beginning to notice young men her own age. Of course.....

Her innocence dooms the Illusionist, wounds him at the heart, when her actions seem to run right over his tenderness. At the same time, I began to see how her unknowing, pigheaded demands for more things, more, more..... actually save him from the fate of so many of his fellow performers of the dying ilk. While his peers are drinking themselves to death, he is having to reinvent himself and move with the energy of the world instead of insist that it should be different than it is.

Of course, eventually, she grows into a woman, and naturally, falls in love with a young man who can give her the next portion of her life.

And so, the magician has nothing left to give her, but his truth.

SPOILER
SPOILER
SPOILER











He leaves her, in secret, and leaves Edinburgh, to return to Paris (one assumes), having renounced all tools of his trade- his top hat, his scarves, and even setting his rabbit free- and leaves her with the last of his cash and a cookbook and some trinkets and a note that says, simply,

"Magicians Do Not Exist."



Neither do we, do we?
No, not really.

I suppose magicians do exist, but only in the moment of the act of committing magic.

I am only a singer when I am singing.

I am only a human being, when I am being.

Eventually, my body will die, and my ashes scattered, and those who remember me, will keep their idea of me and the energy of Erin alive, until eventually, they no longer need it..... and I was just some long forgotten memory of an energy that once lived, and loved, and blogged, and drank coffee, and got teary-eyed over aging vaudeville performers as I sat in a dark theater one night as the rain beat hard against the brick and mortar of a town built on fault lines, disrupted by earthquakes, over a planet filled with lava, circling some ball of fire in the sky, twisting and turning and spinning throughout some idea I might have and energy may carry of a universe of countless countless stars falling like my tears.

And even the legends, eventually, die out.

And although I am sad that the Magician ceased to exist as a magician-

For I do not believe him, that MAGICIANS DO NOT EXIST

For right now, right now, right here, right now,

I EXIST


I AM
I CRIED
I AM
SAID I.

But only in the moment.
Only in the moment.


The beauty- deep deep beauty-

is that he did not hold on to his idea of


I AM.




Rather than take it personally,
(as he watched his friend the ventriloquist take it personally, whither and die without his dummy, drunk on the street, forgotten, eventually, even by the Illusionist himself....)
instead, he
lets life continue
tells the truth
and takes the journey to some next step in his life.

As he rides the train, and still remembers his habits- contemplating performing a small bit of magic so as to charm a child, but then deciding not to-
there is a continuing glimpse at the beauty
of the sun rise and set over a lush earth, alive with movement,
and he settles into himself, heartbroken, but having lived.

And through the city and over the hills,
the wind sweeps away the debris.

Let it sweep away your pain, and your tears, and let the sun find you fresh and full of life, no matter who or where or what you are in this moment.