"We may not realize that the sight of a spider’s web glistening in the sun, the beads of morning dew catching the light to shine like diamonds on an intricate necklace, may carry a message for us. Their beauty belies their strength because though they are spun from thin strands of silk, they can hold the weight of the dew and capture nourishment in their nets as well. This paints an accurate picture of the traits of the weaver, the spider. Their feminine energy reminds us that we have the ability to weave our lives into strong, useful, and beautiful works of art. Though people may have an instinctive fear response to spiders, we can look beyond the physical instinct to understand the spiritual message they may be bringing us.
Among the various Native American traditions, spider medicine has been known to represent creativity. Her eight legs represent the four winds of change and the four directions on the medicine wheel, while her body is in the shape of the infinity symbol, which represents infinite possibilities. Spider was said to have woven the alphabet, creating the means for people to communicate and record their history through language. Just like the Greek myth of the Fates, three women who weave the tapestry of life, spiders are said to weave the creative forces that bring forth the intricately symmetrical patterns of our lives."
~ Madisyn Taylor
I often say on tv that Anger is the Most Misunderstood Emotion in the emotional rainbow. I have studied anger all of my life, deeply afraid of my own and others rage, wondered if it's genetic or environmental. It's a fascinating emotion to get close to, whether reaping or sowing anger; it's underground and needs to continuously be intellectually, emotionally and psychologically dissected and better understood by each of us.
I love how Rachel Neumann discusses this emotion. Here's an excerpt:
Shambhala Sun | March 2014
Empty Graves and Empty Boats
At her grandfather’s grave, RACHEL NEUMANN’s anger erupted, but who was there to yell at in those long-buried remains? There’s no one to blame when an empty boat rams into you, and in the end we are all just empty boats bumping against each other.
There are as many different kinds of anger as there are waves in the ocean. When my older daughter gets angry, there is a deluge of tears. As I watch, she goes limp and sobs into the floor with the unfairness of it all. My younger daughter’s anger is a tornado of hits, kicks, and screams. She can’t be comforted, reasoned, or carried out of the storm until it has run its course. My partner’s anger is quiet and sullen, thick as the southern Mississippi air. Only a slam of the door or a fist on the table occasionally punctuates the silence. Me? I shake with a blaming, seething anger, full of my own righteousness and ready to enumerate the faults of everyone around me.
I’ve always been a blamer. Sometimes, I blame World War II for this. Our family’s survival was tenuous, the exception rather than the expectation. If almost all of our relatives hadn’t been killed, then perhaps I wouldn’t feel so alone in the world. Sometimes, I blame Western culture, capitalism, sexism, and all of the institutions that keep us separated and thinking we have to go it alone. Sometimes, I blame myself.
Growing up, I was pretty sure the world would fall apart if I didn’t check that we had food, take care of my little sister, and make sure the front door was locked. Our whole family’s survival felt like my responsibility and mine alone. Even after I left home, whenever I got overwhelmed in relationships or at work, my mind would return to this well-worn path: “Why do I, alone, have to do everything?”
"When Loulou was born, I was in the delivery room watching the whole thing.
I remember two things: The sun, rising over the East River, filling the room with a shimmering gold light. And Loulou, being pulled out feet first, like a prize flounder.
I leaped to my feet and uttered a phrase of Churchillian heft: "Bloody hell, she's enormous!
It's odd. There's how you feel, and then there's how you think you should feel. In the movies, when people have kids, they're welcomed into the world with a cracking fusillade of manly backslapping and tears. It's one of life's BIG events. I just felt weird.
How could I be a father? Wasn't that something that happened to other people? To adults?
Was I overwhelmed in a tsunami of love? Not really...
I resented the cultural pressure that demanded only one response from me. When I told people I didn't like fatherhood very much, their faces would wrinkle like a walnut. They'd look at me as though I'd taken off all my clothes, and the results were slightly unpleasant.
It wasn't that I didn't feel responsible for Loulou. I was there to change diapers, to get up in the middle of the night, to do whatever needed to be done. But I felt no emotional connection. It was like trying to have a relationship with a sea sponge, or a single-cell protozoa. She didn't DO anything. Or at least, nothing I could understand."
What the Heart Cannot Forget
Everything remembers something. The rock, its fiery bed,
cooling and fissuring into cracked pieces, the rub
of watery fingers along its edge.
The cloud remembers being elephant, camel, giraffe,
remembers being a veil over the face of the sun,
gathering itself together for the fall.
The turtle remembers the sea, sliding over and under
its belly, remembers legs like wings, escaping down
the sand under the beaks of savage birds.
The tree remembers the story of each ring, the years
of drought, the floods, the way things came
walking slowly towards it long ago.
And the skin remembers its scars, and the bone aches
where it was broken. The feet remember the dance,
and the arms remember lifting up the child.
The heart remembers everything it loved and gave away,
everything it lost and found again, and everyone
it loved, the heart cannot forget.
~ Joyce Sutphen
(thank you Peg)
DYLAN + JENI are a husband and wife photography duo focusing on travel, food, portraiture, interiors and lifestyle. they met each other over food nearly seven years ago and to this day, are still pursuing the world's best food. although they are based in los angeles, they enjoy satisfying their wanderlust whenever possible and traveling for work.
As a species, we should never underestimate our low tolerance for discomfort. To be encouraged to stay with our vulnerability is news that we definitely can use. Sitting meditation is our support for learning how to do this. Sitting meditation, also known as mindfulness-awareness practice, is the foundation of bodhichitta training. It is the home ground of the warrior bodhisattva.
Sitting meditation cultivates loving-kindness and compassion, the relative qualities of bodhichitta, which could be defined as completely awakened heart and mind. It gives us a way to move closer to our thoughts and emotions and to get in touch with our bodies. It is a method of cultivating unconditional friendliness toward ourselves and for parting the curtain of indifference that distances us from the suffering of others. It is our vehicle for learning to be a truly loving person.
~ Pema Chodron
"It's 11 o'clock on a rainy night in New York, and Susan Sarandon is rocking out in Marty's Room, a live-music space within SPiN New York, a Ping-Pong nightclub she helped launch five years ago with a handful of partners. Among those partners is Jonathan Bricklin, 36, a film writer-editor linked romantically to Sarandon despite their three-decade age difference. On the stage singing her pipes out is an aspiring pop musician whom Sarandon hired a while back to staff SPiN's front desk. Sarandon, dressed in work-style boots, leggings, a polka-dot sweater and a beret, is feeling the vibe. She swings her arms over her head and moves with the groove, comfortable dancing alone in the crowd. It's not just the music that's got Sarandon juiced. It's the moment: After 67 years, the woman known as much for her social activism as for her acting understands what brings her joy. "It's the simple things," she says. Good food. Good friends. Sunsets and sunrises. "With age, you gain maybe not wisdom, but at least a bigger picture," she continues, wearing a safety pin in one ear and a silver ring on her thumb, "and you say, these are the important things. The rest is just details."
With offshoots in L.A., Milwaukee, Toronto and Dubai, United Arab Emirates, the club, located a few blocks from Sarandon's loft, has turned the actress into a self-described Ping-Pong propagandist. "Ping-Pong cuts across every demographic, age and body type," Sarandon says. "Girls can beat their fathers. And even if you're old, you can play it forever." The club has become a big part of the life Sarandon reinvented for herself when she and actor Tim Robbins, now 55, her partner of 23 years and the father of two of her three children, split in 2009. Though both have been vague about the reasons for the breakup, Sarandon points to an internal change launched by her performance in Exit The King on Broadway that spring. The play by Eugene Ionesco is about confronting mortality. "You can't do a meditation on death and stay in a situation that's not authentic," she says. "It made me examine where I was in my union and in my life, and to have discussions about making changes."
Susan Abigail Tomalin was born in Queens, N.Y., and raised mostly in suburban New Jersey. Her father was a big band singer, World War II vet and, eventually, advertising agency executive; her housewife mother, Sarandon notes, was "Catholic and incredibly fertile." The eldest of nine, Sarandon says coming from a large household had its advantages: "It makes you flexible; you're not used to privacy and can focus in the midst of chaos." She adds, "It's a primer for show business!" Though her father died in 1999, her mother is now 90 "and still kicking ass," Sarandon reports. Her mom is also a staunch Republican, and Sarandon's siblings' politics run the gamut. "I have come to believe firmly in nature," Sarandon says. "We had the same parents, but everyone's very different." She cannot pinpoint the reason for her social consciousness. "I was actually very shy," she says in her familiar throaty voice. "But I had a need for justice starting with playing with my dolls and making sure I rotated the best dresses so one doll didn't have all of them. I think everybody tries to find their voice and to shorten the distance between when the sound doesn't match the picture."
She tried to find hers, but incongruity seemed all around her. "I was in trouble from the very beginning in school, not because I was a rebel but because I asked what were deemed to be inappropriate questions," Sarandon says. "I remember in third grade being told that the only people who were really married were those married in the Catholic Church. I said, 'Then, how were Joseph and Mary married, because Jesus didn't create the church till later?' Original sin didn't make any sense to me. Limbo didn't make any sense. And, as I got older, a wrathful God didn't make any sense, or a God that would condemn someone to hell for their sexual orientation."
Still, in 1963, at age 17, Sarandon enrolled at the Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C., and there she participated in protests against segregation in the South and the Vietnam War. "It was a time when the issues seemed so clear," she says. At the university, she was drawn to drama because it was another way of tapping into the compassion she had for others. "It does something wonderful for your soul to walk in another person's moccasins," she says. Also, acting suited her because it gave her freedom to try new things — though, in the end, somebody else was in charge. That, she liked: "To not have structure panics me. When I took art classes, color just overwhelmed me. That much choice! I can't go into huge department stores. It's just too much choice."
Her marriage during her senior year to graduate acting student Chris Sarandon was less a choice than a necessity, as the pair wanted to live together and Catholic University didn't allow male-female cohabitation. "Though it was a marriage and I took his name," Sarandon explains, "I never approached it like this is for the rest of our lives. We said, 'Every year we'll visit it and see if we want to renew.' " Eventually, the couple settled in New York, where Sarandon landed her first film role, in Joe (1970), followed by The Rocky Horror Picture Show (1975) and Pretty Baby (1978). She also got increasingly involved in social causes. "I didn't see myself as a flamethrower or a convention breaker," Sarandon reflects. "I felt as if I was just Zelig in that I was a baby boomer, and I held on to some of the things that were going on then that some people lost as they became landed gentry. I certainly wasn't more moral. I tried to do what my core said was right for me." Meanwhile, her acting career took flight. Sarandon's role in Atlantic City (1980) earned her the first of five Oscar nominations for Best Actress. By then, she and Chris Sarandon had divorced. ("He wasn't a mean person. It was about my choosing myself.") She then had a tumultuous two-year relationship with director Louis Malle. "And I crashed and burned," she says.
In a back room at SPiN, Sarandon holds up her right hand and points to a delicate bracelet made up of the letters A-N-D-A-N-D inked around her wrist. The letters, she says, stand for "A new day, a new dawn." Though she got the tattoo just a few years ago, she reveals that it hearkens back to that emotionally draining journey in her 30s. After that, "I completely rebooted everything," she says. "I think a lot of people at some point leave behind their conditioning and examine fundamental myths they've been taught." Sarandon next moved to a small town outside Rome with her then-boyfriend, the Italian filmmaker Franco Amurri, and their daughter, Eva Amurri Martino, now 28. While there, in 1987, Sarandon paid her own way to fly back to the U.S. to audition for — and land — the role of Annie Savoy in Bull Durham. "It was the first time that I had a part that was bigger than I was," she says. The hit movie established her sultry screen image to this day. " 'Sexy' is the word that comes up when you think of Susan Sarandon," says Mark Harris, columnist for Entertainment Weekly and author of two books about film history. "Even when she was young, her sexuality seemed mature. There's a self-confidence to her. She knows who her characters are, and her characters know who they are."
It was on Bull Durham that Sarandon met Tim Robbins. "Tim had a sense of morality that I hadn't found in any actor," Sarandon says. "And he was very good as an actor. I definitely thought that he was pretty special." Though they never married, Sarandon and Robbins became partners not just of the heart but on numerous film and social-activist projects. They had two sons together, Jack Henry, now 24, and Miles Guthrie, 21. Soon Sarandon was doing some of the best acting work of her career, in Thelma & Louise (1991) and Dead Man Walking (1996), on which Robbins served as screenwriter and director and for which Sarandon won the Oscar for her portrayal of anti-death penalty crusader Sister Helen Prejean.
Still, Sarandon immersed herself in being a mom, the role she says she most loves. "I was very hands-on," she says. With three kids under age 7, she determinedly hauled them with her to work. "I might have been smarter to get more help," she says. "I was cleaning out the office the other day and found a list — Pampers, apple juice, Cheerios — all these things I had to have ready ahead of time when I went on location. I look back now and go, 'How did I do it?' But it was worth it." Sarandon's daughter, Eva, stands in awe at her mother's ability back then to balance work and parenting. "She made our Halloween costumes and was at our basketball and soccer games," Eva says. "And she exposed us to a lot of people and the idea of giving back." That was a choice Sarandon and Robbins made together. "Raising them in the city, being around so many different kinds of families, languages and religions — the whole thing has paid off, because my kids are very grounded, adaptable and not judgmental, which gives them a huge advantage," Sarandon says. "And they're funny, so funny." Perhaps that is why as her nest empties (only Miles still lives at home), Sarandon is struggling with the change. "It's been hard for me to let go of thinking of dinner at 6 o'clock," she says. She's going through her household items to give what she can to her kids to help them live better on their own. "I want to see them in places where they can pay the rent, and then I'll feel that's done." Meantime, she's trying to be comfortable with having unstructured quiet time for herself, something she's never been good at. She long ago gave up on organized religion, but she nurtures her spiritual self. "I can't say I meditate twice a day," she says, " but I definitely use meditation, because my mind is fast and full, and I fight that all the time."
It's approaching 12:30 a.m. at SPiN. The Dirty Dozen tournament, in which Ping-Pong pros compete, has wrapped up, and a dance-off is about to begin. "We invite the audience to get up," Sarandon says. "It's fun, like a wedding or something." She walks over to the bar, where her friend Jonathan Bricklin, wearing khakis and boat shoes, stands nursing a drink, looking collegiate. Sarandon puts her arm around his waist and whispers in his ear. She is coy when asked about the status of their relationship. "Jonathan and I collaborate on different things," she says. "That means a lot of things." When asked if that might mean romance, she says, "Yeah, I think so." Though she doesn't address their age difference, Sarandon admits she does worry "now and then" about getting older. "I'm getting that sagging thing," she says, pointing to the skin under her eyes, which, she confesses, she had suctioned 10 years ago to remove the fat. She says she's personally opposed to fillers — "they make everyone start to look alike" — and hasn't had Botox. She's maintained her good Italian (on her mother's side) skin tone by avoiding the sun — "not because I was thinking of my skin, but it bored me to lie there baking" — and eschews smoking, except for marijuana. "I would much rather my kids smoke weed than drink, except that it's illegal," she begins, launching into a discourse about cartels, victimless crimes and mandatory minimum drug laws that crowd our prisons.
Actress Melissa McCarthy, 43, who stars with Sarandon in the coming summer film Tammy, says her new friend's upbeat spirit and stamina are virtually unmatchable. "I do not have the energy to keep up with her," she says. "I was in New York, and we made plans. Susan's like, 'Dinner at 10:30! Then we're going to the club to play Ping-Pong, and then probably we'll go to another club afterwards.' I'm like, 'Are you serious? I can't even go to dinner with you. I'm too tired.' "
As the night grows longer, Sarandon becomes reflective. For all the romantic heartaches she's suffered — and backlash she's endured for her political activism — she says she has no regrets: "It's better to have made decisions that turned out badly and learn from them than to feel as if you had no choice and are resentful of the turns that your life takes." She believes the quest of her lifetime is still to be authentic and kind, and though Sarandon says that's never easy, she's better at both now " because I'm not as distracted." She's excited about the future. Thanks to some new management hires, Sarandon will soon dial back on her work duties at SPiN. "I've learned so much about business," she says, "but I don't like being the one who's policing the bathrooms."
Through the years, Sarandon has become braver. "The only thing I'm really afraid of is death," she says. "I still haven't gotten to the point where I think that's cool." She begins to laugh. "My life has been filled with happy accidents. The thing that's served me well is being able to change onto a different track when it's presented itself." With that, she makes her way toward the crowd gathering around SPiN's center court and cheerfully kicks off the dance contest."
~ Meg Grant
“We often hesitate to follow our intuition out of fear. Most usually, we are afraid of the changes in our own life that our actions will bring. Intuitive guidance, however, is all about change. It is energetic data ripe with the potential to influence the rest of the world. To fear change but to crave intuitive clarity is like fearing the cold, dark night while pouring water on the fire that lights your cave. An insight the size of a mustard seed is powerful enough to bring down a mountain-sized illusion that may be holding our lives together. Truth strikes without mercy. We fear our intuitions because we fear the transformational power within our revelations.”
~ Caroline Myss
Photograph by Duane Michals. Published in Vogue, December 1974.
Even Andy Warhol was nonplussed: “I never saw so many people before,” the king of Pop art said at the mobbed launch of Elsa Peretti’s jewelry collection at Tiffany's. Vogue was similarly taken aback, breathlessly reporting, “They’re queuing up to buy diamonds (diamonds!) by the yard and silver minaudières sculptured to the grasp of a hand, and her little 18-carat beans are moving so fast you’d think they were 49 cents a dozen.”
“Ripeness,” as Shakespeare said, “is all.” And Peretti’s essential, organic, and tactile designs, which she debuted on the runways at Giorgio Sant’Angelo and Halston in 1969, were a perfect complement to the earthy fashions of the day, not to mention the slinkier, disco-night styles of the coming decade. As the fashion critic Bernadine Morris put it in 1974, “An array of precious stones in elaborate settings is simply out of place with the prevailing shirt-and-skirt or sweater-and-pants way of dressing. What women are trying to achieve, in addition to comfort, with their mingling of separates, is a certain amount of individuality.”
Individuality is something that Peretti—a well-born Roman who scandalized her family by leaving home to teach, and eventually model—has in spades. She came to New York in 1968 via Spain and quickly made her mark. “Elsa’s the only woman who can arrive at a dinner party dressed in a black cashmere jumpsuit with a rope of diamonds around her neck and look terrific carrying a brown paper bag as her evening purse,”Vogue noted approvingly. Her signature look was a Halston blouse worn with cropped hair, pants, and oversize glasses.
It was Halston who introduced Peretti to Tiffany & Co. In 1974, the company’s top brass were looking for “someone who could make jewelry that women could wear with jeans and sweaters as well as their ball gowns” (as People reported at the time), and she fit the bill perfectly. The classic American jeweler hadn’t sold silver pieces for some 25 years, but less than two years after the launch of Peretti’s line Vogue would write that her creations were “so simple and so sensuous and so right for our times, that to own an ‘Elsa Peretti’ has become a goal.”
“You don’t need a rich sugar daddy to afford Elsa’s jewelry,” Tiffany’s president, Henry Piatt, said, not mincing words. By using relatively affordable silver, bamboo, and lacquer, Peretti made it possible for middle-class working women to buy themselves something smashing in a little blue box. A slithering snake, a bone, a Henry Moore sculpture, a fit of depression, a flea-market find . . . these are some of the things that have inspired Elsa Peretti’s designs. (The Henry Moore sculpture became her perennially popular open heart; her sadness translated into a teardrop.)
“All my work comes out of my life. I’m gifted and see lines and shapes where no one else does,” she once told The New York Times. With this gift Peretti has not only created timeless pieces, but helped usher in a sea change in the industry. “She was the one who brought a totally new concept into the jewelry field,” said Diane Von Furstenberg, another paragon of chic designing for the woman on the street, “making things you want to touch and hold.”
I feel the love of our growing community and it makes me so happy and grateful! Many of you have written to ask about the Renewal Workshops. Each workshop is different, however the common goal is to provide you with an opportunity to grow. I have chosen an amazing group of experts to offer you self-education at an affordable price. Yes, these Renewal Workshops are every month on the first Saturday of the month, from 1:00 - 4:30 pm ~ on these first Saturdays, I teach Stretch Appeal ~ soft from 11:30 - 12:30, offering you a full day of pure renewal. You can either sign up for the whole day or just Stretch Appeal or just the Renewal Workshop.
You do not want to miss our next Renewal Workshop ~ back by popular demand ~ Improv For Life with Barb Tint:
Exploring Dynamics of Status and Power
This workshop will explore the difference and connection between Status and Power in social and organizational dynamics. These concepts are intertwined, yet distinct, and there is often confusion about what is meant and how they are used. They are always present in human interaction and often out of our awareness. These constructs are further influenced by cultural and gender based norms and values, which will also be explored as a dimension of status expression. We will play with a range of combinations of these forces and examine how they impact relational behavior. Participants will become more aware of and have a greater understanding of these dynamics and learn strategies for engaging effectively and compassionately with themselves and others around them. This workshop will also provide participants with tools for making conscious and intentional choices in their interactions. Come play, explore, learn, transform.
Saturday, March 1, 2014
11:30 - 12:30 Stretch Appeal ~ soft $15
1:00 - 4:30 Improv $55
Full Day Special $65
(only a few spots left)
Clear mind is like the full moon in the sky. Sometimes clouds come and cover it, but
the moon is always behind them. Clouds go away, then the moon shines brightly. So
don't worry about clear mind: it is always there. When thinking comes, behind it is
clear mind. When thinking goes, there is only clear mind. Thinking comes and goes,
comes and goes. You must not be attached to the coming or the going.
~ Seung Sahn
(photo by: Anne Marie Moquin)
Scott Raab asks the questions for Esquire Magazine
SR: Last time I talked to my mother, she asks, "Who are you interviewing next?" I say, "Philip Seymour Hoffman," and she says, "Who?" I invoke Capote. "He won the fking Oscar," I say. She's in her 80s and lives in Cleveland, but she does watch movies. It's amazing that you've been able to have this body of work and maintain some anonymity.
PSH: I think about that a lot. I feel it cracking lately, the older I'm getting. I think I'm less anonymous than I was. And I think nowadays it's so easy for people to watch things. In the past five years, our images — yours, everyone's — are everywhere. No one's watching more movies. It's just that the images are being seen more. It's going to be more difficult for the young actors coming up today to keep a low profile. No one can.
SR: I don't know how many young actors want to keep a low profile.
PSH: I think some people don't, but I think some people do. And it's going to be very hard for those young people who do, because there's no way around it. It's not just actors. It's people in general. Everyone's being Twittered about.
SR: Do you read reviews?
PSH: Sometimes I take a temperature of things just because everyone else does. Especially when I'm doing a play. I want to know what people are thinking, positive or negative. So I take a temperature and then I stop. I'll read a couple and then skim a couple more and then, all of a sudden, that's it. Then I don't have the desire anymore. And that's true whether the response is good or bad. Mixed, bad, good — they all make you feel the same way. That's why you have to stop. Because none of them ultimately make you feel okay. But I think you're asking a lot of other people to be responsible for your feelings when you don't read anything. I don't know what you mean, I didn't read it. I don't know. It's like, C'mon, really? There's too many people I have to interact with, and I don't want them to have to worry about hurting my feelings.
SR: You said about Magnolia, "It's one of the best films I've ever seen and I will fight to the death with anyone who says otherwise."
PSH: It's true. It's a smorgasbord of pleasure, that movie. Filmed pleasures.
SR: Especially Jason Robards. He lived hard. He drank hard. And that was really the end for him.
PSH: That was the end. That was his last thing. That speech he has is like three times longer on the page. It's like an eight-page monologue. It's massively long. I remember he came in and they needed a 20-minute mag [film-camera magazine] to shoot it, because that's how long it's going to take for them to do it. And he did the whole thing. He didn't call for a line. Boom. I looked at Paul and he was gobsmacked. Wow, not only was that really well done, but he wasn't well at the time.
SR: Paul has an amazing eye for talent. I can understand recognizing talent, but to assemble it and let it rise and have its way, how many people can do that?
PSH: People who are honest about their humanity can do that. I think Paul's honest about who humans are. I think you gotta have an honesty and a humility about human nature and that it's not about you at the end of the day. He knows what he's good at. That's the thing about Paul. And what he's good at he's better at than probably anybody.
SR: Are you aware of [former Oakland A's manager] Art Howe's reaction to your portrayal of him in Moneyball?
PSH: Yeah. He's not very happy. I kind of hope I get to meet Art Howe one day and tell him, Listen, Art. I actively did not play you, okay? You should've taken your name off it.
SR: They did that with Jonah Hill's character, [Paul] DePodesta.
PSH: This wasn't enough of a part that it was gonna represent Art Howe at all. So I had to do a job. I was a tool. I had to play him a certain way to create a problem. But I knew there's no way I could fill out who Art Howe was with what was written there. And so he has every right. He needs to know. Art, I know that was not a fair representation of you as a person whatsoever. The story was about something else.
SR: I've read that you hate the thought of singing. But in both Magnolia and The Master, you sing.
PSH: It's a very nerve-racking thing for me to sing, though it's perfect for that scene in The Master. It was a very nerve-racking scene. I remember practicing that song just to learn how to sing it and not thinking about the scene at all. It's such anxiety. I can hold a note, but I have admiration and respect for the people who can actually do that in front of 2,000 people. It just blows me away. It's a vulnerable thing to do.
SR: Does working on a film like The Master create the same kind of vulnerability even though you're not on a stage?
PSH: What you go through with another actor in a good play or film, something that's well-written and that means something deeply to both of you, is a very intimate thing. It's like, I'm here for you, you're here for me. And you're silently pushing each other forward and up. You'll never look at those people the same way again for the rest of your life. I can go ten years and not see Joaquin Phoenix or John Reilly [Hoffman's costar in the play True West] or Andrew Garfield [his costar in Death of a Salesman], and then when I see them, the connection's immediate — and that connection might be awkward — but it's definitely going to be informed by the fact that we did something together that I'm not going to do with pretty much 99.99999 percent of people. Even people in my family. The really good actors go there — and Joaquin's definitely one of those people.
SR: He seemed older, thinner. He looked like a different human being.
PSH: He was something else while we were shooting. His commitment was unparalleled.
SR: Hope you don't mind if I look at my notes. I just want to make sure that I'm not leaving out anything important.
PSH: Oh, no. Definitely. I'm going to leave in five if that's cool.
SR: Oh, here's my favorite quote of yours. "It isn't easy to love something as much as you love a child."
PSH: The thing I realized when I became a father is why parents stay and why they take off. The love you feel and the responsibilities you feel, I can see why some people go. They think, I'm never going to make this. Because it puts all of the heartbreaks you've had in your life in perspective. You're like, Oh, I thought that was a broken heart. That's been my experience. Now I'm sure there are some people whose relationships with kids are different. My kids are just, uh, they're good. They're just good kids, man.
SR: Will they be able to see The Hunger Games, you think?
PSH: I don't know. Maybe.
SR: Boogie Nights?
PSH: No, no. Oh, God, no. You can't let them watch Little Bill blow his head off. That movie's so upsetting in that way. It surprises you every time. Oh, I forgot! You forget how upsetting that movie really is.
SR: Go, go. I don't want to keep you.
PSH: Let's, uh...
SR: No, the magazine pays. Thank you so much, sir. It was nice to meet you.
PSH: Thank you, sir. It was my pleasure.
SR: Keep on keepin'.
PSH: I'll try.
DATE OF BIRTH: July 23, 1967
BORN AND GREW UP IN: Fairport, New York, outside Rochester
PARTNER: Mimi O'Donnell (2002 to present)
WHEN THEY CAN SEE HIS WORK: "I don't think I've made anything my kids can watch until they're like 40.... It's funny, because I did a voice in an animated movie called Mary and Max.... And a guy like kills himself in it.... The one animated movie I make is for adults."
FAVORITE MOVIE: Bad News Bears
FORMER OAKLAND A'S MANAGER ART HOWE'S THOUGHTS ON HOFFMAN'S DEPICTION OF HIM IN MONEYBALL: "Philip Seymour Hoffman physically didn't resemble me in any way. He was a little on the heavy side. And just the way he portrayed me was very disappointing and probably 180 degrees from what I really am."
HOFFMAN'S TAKE: Agreed. (See interview.)
BASEBALL ALLEGIANCE: Yankees; grew up watching them at his grandparents' house.
DESCRIPTIONS OF HIS PHYSICAL APPEARANCE BY REPORTERS: "He came dressed as though he may have slept in the park." "Unshaven, nicotine-stained." "His demeanor and appearance are so fundamentally regular that it seems impossible that he has played such a vast array of anything-but-regular characters."
NUMBER OF PAUL THOMAS ANDERSON FILMS IN WHICH HE'S FEATURED: Five
TWISTER, HUH? "I was living in L. A. at the time.... and I knew if I took that job, I'd be able to move back to New York."
When you have moved past the apprehension associated with expressing your distressing feelings out loud, you may be surprised to discover that you feel liberated and lightened. This is because the act of making a clear connection between your circumstances and your feelings unravels the mystery that previously kept you from being in complete control of your emotional state. To give voice to your feelings, you must necessarily let them go. In the process, you naturally relax and rediscover your emotional equilibrium.
~ Madisyn Taylor
"When I was a mama of three very tiny, very messy, very beautiful rug rats, we had DAYS THAT WENT ON FOR LIFETIMES. Craig left at 6:00 a.m. every morning and as I watched his showered, ironed self leave the house I felt incredibly blessed and thrilled to have so much time alone with my babies and incredibly terrified and bitter to have so much time alone with my babies. If you don't believe that all of those feelings can exist at once -- well, you've never been a parent to many tiny, messy, beautiful rug rats.
When Craig returned each day at 6:00 p.m. (he actually returned at 5:50 but took a stunningly long time to get the mail), he'd walk through the door, smile and say -- "So! How was your day?"
This question was like a spotlight pointed directly at the chasm between his experience of a "DAY" and my experience of a "DAY." How was my day?
The question would linger in the air for a moment while I stared at Craig and the baby shoved her hand in my mouth like they do -- while the oldest screamed MOMMY I NEED HELP POOING from the bathroom and the middle one cried in the corner because I NEVER EVER EVER let her drink the dishwasher detergent. NOT EVER EVEN ONCE, MOMMY!!! And I'd look down at my spaghetti-stained pajama top, unwashed hair, and gorgeous baby on my hip -- and my eyes would wander around the room, pausing to notice the toys peppering the floor and the kids' stunning new art on the fridge...
And I'd want to say:
How was my day? Today has been a lifetime. It was the best of times and the worst of times. There were moments when my heart was so full I thought I might explode, and there were other moments when my senses were under such intense assault that I was CERTAIN I'd explode. I was both lonely and absolutely desperate to be alone. I was saturated -- just BOMBARDED with touch and then the second I put down this baby I yearned to smell her sweet skin again. I was simultaneously bored out of my skull and completely overwhelmed with so much to do. Today was too much and not enough. It was loud and silent. It was brutal and beautiful. I was at my very best today and then, just a moment later, at my very worst. At 3:30 today I decided that we should adopt four more children, and then at 3:35 I decided that we should give up the kids we already have for adoption. Husband -- when your day is completely and totally dependent upon the moods and needs and schedules of tiny, messy, beautiful rug rats your day is ALL OF THE THINGS and NONE OF THE THINGS, sometimes within the same three minute period. But I'm not complaining. This is not a complaint, so don't try to FIX IT. I wouldn't have my day Any.Other.Way. I'm just saying -- it's a hell of a hard thing to explain -- an entire day with lots of babies.
But I'd be too tired to say all of that. So I'd just cry, or yell, or smile and say "fine," and then hand the baby over and run to Target to wander aisles aimlessly, because that's all I ever really wanted. But I'd be a little sad because love is about really being seen and known and I wasn't being seen or known then. Everything was really hard to explain. It made me lonely.
So we went went to therapy, like we do.
Through therapy, we learned to ask each other better questions. We learned that if we really want to know our people, if we really care to know them -- we need to ask them better questions and then really listen to their answers. We need to ask questions that carry along with them this message: "I'm not just checking the box here. I really care what you have to say and how you feel. I really want to know you." If we don't want throwaway answers, we can't ask throwaway questions. A caring question is a key that will unlock a room inside the person you love.
So Craig and I don't ask "How was your day?" anymore. After a few years of practicing increasingly intimate question asking, now we find ourselves asking each other questions like these:
When did you feel loved today?
When did you feel lonely?
What did I do today that made you feel appreciated?
What did I say that made you feel unnoticed?
What can I do to help you right now?
I know. WEEEEEIRRD at first. But not after a while. Not any weirder than asking the same damn empty questions you've always asked that elicit the same damn empty answers you've always gotten.
And so now when our kids get home from school, we don't say: "How was your day?" Because they don't know. Their day was lots of things.
Instead we ask:
How did you feel during your spelling test?
What did you say to the new girl when you all went out to recess?
Did you feel lonely at all today?
Were there any times you felt proud of yourself today?
And I never ask my friends: "How are you?" Because they don't know either.
Instead I ask:
How is your mom's chemo going?
How'd that conference with Ben's teacher turn out?
What's going really well with work right now?
Questions are like gifts -- it's the thought behind them that the receiver really FEELS. We have to know the receiver to give the right gift and to ask the right question. Generic gifts and questions are all right, but personal gifts and questions feel better. Love is specific, I think. It's an art. The more attention and time you give to your questions, the more beautiful the answers become.
Life is a conversation. Make it a good one."
~ Glennon Melton
"Today’s snag in the plans or today’s major misfortune will be seen for what it is later – Grace. So instead of waiting for later to see this as Grace, step into the understanding and mindset that what is happening – even though it wasn’t planned and it might seem scary – is awesome Grace from The Uni-verse. Let go of the need to know how things END and enjoy the ride. ‘Cuz when life ends, it’s over!"
~ Mastin Kipp