Hold It All

Philosophy/Poetics/Politics

Category: Friends

IMG_3088

Wednesday 10 May: Share the Wealth with Magan Wiles — BECAUSE MY HEART IS HUNGRY FOR YOURS: My Torrid Love Affair With Argentine Tango

Argentine Tango developed in the late 19th century in the working-class neighborhoods of Buenos Aires, which were teeming with lonely young men from Italy and Spain who crossed the ocean to seek their fortune, never to see their families again.  From this solitude and heartbreak grew the Tango: an improvised social dance with a technique born from the need to create and hold a warm embrace between 2 people.  We’ll talk about the history of Tango; the fascinating particulars of Tango culture; and its practical applications for performers, feminists, practitioners of mindfulness, and anyone interested in becoming better at partnership.

Magan is an actress, tango dancer, and small business owner whose passions all dovetail in an obsession with human connection.  She attended Saint Louis University as a theater undergrad 2004, and begin her professional acting career in St. Louis after graduation.  After completing an MFA in acting at the University of Tennessee-Knoxville in 2012, she moved to New York City where she was miserable for 2 1/2 years.  There she started Hustle Creative, which provides bookkeeping and business management for creative entrepreneurs; booked some decent acting jobs; and began casually dating tango.  She didn’t really fall in love until she moved to Los Angeles in 2015 and began taking classes with Oxygen Tango School that fall.  She frequently visits St. Louis to do plays and will appear in Small Craft Warnings with the Tennessee Williams Festival St. Louis starting May 3.

Join us
Wednesday 10 May
Potluck supper begins at 6:00 p.m.
Magan begins sharing at 6:45
At the home of Jessie and Savannah
714 Limit Avenue
Apartment #1N
Saint Louis, M0 63130

Metta, 4.30.2017

May Neeta be happy.
May Neeta be peaceful.
May Neeta be liberated.

–Dr. Neeta Shenai has been my student,  friend, and teacher since 2005.

The Truly & Exceptionally Ecstasy-Inducing Good News, 4.29.2017

Last September, Brendan, and Jen, friends whom I had in Social Justice class years ago at SLU, told me that he had been diagnosed with malignant metastatic melanoma. The other day, Jen sent me the following text: “We just found out that Brendan’s full body CT scan done on Tuesday was normal—so no signs of cancer 12 weeks into treatment and 6 months after his surgery!”

¡Ray Pruitt, Presente!

I just found out that a classmate died last year in Japan. Ray Pruitt studied two years at Bellarmine (1978-80), then eventually finished his Bachelor’s at Harvard before doing law at Yale. Ray, Anne Walter and I had signed up for a US history class sophomore year. For the first quiz, Ray ignored what the teacher gave us and instead  wrote a short essay on the vices of indoctrination.  The professor  later called him into her office, and he proposed that he was ready for a serious, critical  look at U.S. history and he knew two other students (Anne and me)  who were also up for reading some of the classics of our nation.  She agreed, and we three stopped going to class and instead met with her every couple of weeks for discussion on a particular book.  Near the end of the spring term, one of Ray’s papers was on the Beats, which introduced me to the writings of Kerouac, Ginsberg, and Burroughs.

Thinking of Ray’s exuberance, I recall Harold Bloom’s commentary on The Book of J about Yahweh’s Blessing: “J’s vision of the charismatic is that its quality lets us envision a time without boundaries, a sense of something evermore about to be, a dream  that is no dream but rather a dynamic breaking through into a perpetually fresh vitalism…”

 

After Cheese Cake

You spoil me, Maestra
One visit with you in French patisserieland
And I want a weekly dose of your thirty-four-year-old company:

You tango philosopher
You kinesthetic sage
You brunette buddha

But I can’t …
Always get what I want
So carpe-svaha-diem!

Share the Wealth with Cami Kasmerchak: The Hidden World of Vivian Maier

Vivian Maier’s work was first discovered about 10 years ago when a man named John Maloof purchased a trunk full of negatives at a Chicago storage auction. Maloof did not know it then, but he had stumbled upon a small portion of Maier’s more than 100,000 film negatives. This previously unknown prolific body of Street Photography mostly captures life in Chicago and New York where Maier worked as a nanny. Her mastery of photography and the brilliance of her work have been recognized only recently. We will view some of Maier’s work, and discuss Maier, photography, and what our own “100,000 negatives no one knows about” might be.

Cami Kasmerchak is an amateur photographer fascinated by Maier’s near perfect exposure and focus in her work. Selfishly, she wants your take on some of her own questions about Street Photography and is excited to talk about one of her favorite photographers with others.

Join us
Sunday 30 April
Potluck dinner begins at 6:00
(please bring something to share!)
Cami begins sharing at 6:45

At the home of  Abigail Grado
5305 Delmar Boulevard
Apartment  401
Parking on  Savoy Court
Saint Louis 63112

The Good News of Publishing a Novel, 4.19.2017

At Amazon.com, I see that my friend Jason Makansi’s novel, The Moment Before, will be out in November. It’s about “a woman and her beloved Syrian father, separated forty years earlier when he is swept up in a geopolitical odyssey from hell, are almost reunited by a lawyer struggling to save his Illinois hometown from financial ruin.” I read a gripping draft of it this past summer, and I am pumped to facilitate a reading group of his book this fall.

 

The Good News of Pregnancy, 4.10.2017

Eileen McGrath Mosher responded to my out of the blue text with word that she is expecting her third child this September.

Adah, Eileen, Brent, Eamon

The Good News of Opening, 4.9.2017

I asked Kine and Puck if they’d be willing to open their home on campus to host Share the Wealth with Marilyn Vazquez, and they agreed;  warm hospitality was also extended by tennis teammates Bekah and Sarah.  They had the following response to Marilyn’s time with us: “We were very grateful to gather and listen to Marilyn (Maryville student) sharing her life story as an undocumented immigrant. Her compelling story had a huge impact on us and truly opened our eyes and minds towards adversities that people like Marilyn have to deal with every day! Tennis is a very mental sport, but hearing about such powerful life stories teaches us more about mental toughness than every tennis lesson ever could!”