Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Opening Opining

I have always admired the word "opine," a verb for the opinionated; I just never saw a fit occasion to employ it.  At last, this morning, having lunch with a writer friend, I admitted that although I write poetry, and have finished one novel, and had a play produced in a rather spiffy venue --Plays in Progress at American Conservatory Theatre in San Francisco--I now, on the verge of "elderliness," want to write mostly OPINION.

Personal essays.  Sometimes motivated by the memoir form, but more often strictly and plainly "opining. "
Book reviews, most of which I will also post on  Movie reviews.  Reflections on types of poetry, on the novel as a form, on the realistic play and postmodernism.  Writing meditations on Buddhist philosophy and psychology.  Biography--which is always, of course, opinionated.  Once in awhile I'll blast out a diatribe or two when I fall completely off my Buddhist equanimity. 

A lifetime as a university professor in theater didn't leave much time for armchair criticism, so I retired early in order to reclaim the benefits of working for oneself.  In theatre everything is collegiality and cooperation and even coercion, but wildly interactive and social.  If a director thinks of herself as an artist, as I did, the artistic medium is human beings.  Visual design, music, oral poetry, dance...all made up of humans and their bodies. 

Opinionating is just as demanding, but it's blessedly solitary.  Solitude, I have learned,  however, is like Custard Pie:  there comes a point when too much is too much.  I am not looking for income, and although literary fame was once my one great desire, it's late in the day to cast my longing eyes down that road. (Or up the road, perhaps.)  I chose theatre and teaching as my best service to the world, and I served that goal bravely and with dedication for 30 years. 

Thus a Blog.  And the dare to keep it going.