Workout Log 20 September 2012: un Cygne d’Autrefois

Un cygne d’autrefois se souvient que c’est lui
Magnifique mais qui sans espoir se délivre
Pour n’avoir pas chanté la region ou vivre
Quand du stérile hiver a resplendi l’ennui.


A swan from the distant past
Discovers that it is he
Magnificent, resplendent, white on white,
But without hope, he who shattered,
With a blow of enraptured wing
The sterilized winter of boredom,
And Lorca saw the shards of crystal at dawn.

(Very inaccurate translation of Stephane Mallarme’s poem La Vierge, le Vivace, et le Bel Aujour d’hui)

Just 20 minutes since I have to cut back and rest from the operation per the good Doctor Chan, a real Guan Yin. I cannot eliminate the workout but promised to slow down the movements. Weight training, then, to the last movement of Beethoven’s Piano Sonata #29 (Hammerklavier) and free dancing to the last movement of his Third Symphony (Eroica).

Restful morning, slept in, woke up with a little butt pain but not last night’s more general malaise. Going to bed at eight tonight since I gotta go to work tomorrow.

Will probably be able to make the lovely and talented Nicole Garbellini, my co-star in Glengarry Glen Ross, and her production, Champagne and Cigarettes; unable to write more than a fragment without enough resolution for this play because of La Debacle, so my words aren’t in this one although they were in Coffee and Cigarettes last year.

I auditioned for a role in Champagne and Cigarettes but this was during La Debacle in June or early July. I was in pain and confused East and West which is easy to do on the Queen’s Road, showed up late, was immediately thrown into a scene with one of my fellow actors from Glengarry who thinks I’m creative but strange, and at this point I weighed little more than 150 pounds and did the scene cold, open book, like a bat outa hell. Probably gave people who didn’t know me the willies.

Moral is show up calm and collected for auditions and don’t take anything personally. It’s so late in my life that acting, for me, is just fun and there’s probably no chance of my acting career going anywhere although you never know. And I have met some wonderful people through acting.

For me, Hong Kong English theater represents a pathway into the magic wood of the British subconscious.

Betcha didn’t know that Brits have a subconscious but they do, it’s the magic wood in which the transformed man with the head of an ass wanders, it’s of course in Shakespeare. And although I’ve never lived in England and know only this ember of Empire (the fading British community of Hong Kong) my mere reading gives me a pathway into the magic wood.

“How many of them danced ‘Fading’ under the German Barrage?” – Aldous Huxley, Those Barren Leaves

Also hope to see Meaghan McGurgan, Hong Kong art geek and blogger extraordinaire, at Sunday’s production of Champagne and Cigarettes.

No, these lovely ladies do not pay me to plug them. We have an active English and arts community in Hong Kong and I have many “young friends” in this community. That’s a a real gay phrase, “young friends”, but nothing coarse is intended of course, only I am always aware of who I am, an aging and disobliging but affable old gentleman and scholar-warrior, etc. I get to use phrases like “lovely ladies” without sexism being implied and advise young men on la travail d’amour.


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