I have lived through, and promptly forgotten, many an unmemorable day, but I distinctly remember my birthdays as if I were using up every bit of life.
‘Youth is not a time of life; it is a state of mind; it is not a matter of rosy cheeks, red lips and supple knees; it is a matter of the will, a quality of the imagination, a vigor of the emotions; it is the freshness of the deep springs of life.’
– Samuel Ullman
I could never understand how people wait to experience any part of life. As I see it, the trouble with saving life for later, is that neither is guaranteed. There is no reason to fear death; it is just the cost of life. The side effect we should fear is the loss of time. Insidiously, quietly, it catches us unaware as we peruse social media.
We could mourn the life we wasted, waiting for an occasion to live. Or we could do something different today.
I live life the fullest in October, my birthday month. But it’s also a month that offers me so much of what is important to me.
I see the color red with the leaves turning, cooler days, or at least in Southern California a cooler morning. On the international scene, there’s the announcement of the Nobel Laureates where my eye looks at who is listed under literature to get in some good reads. There’s the Frankfurt book fair. At the local level there’s Pasadena Art Night, and the Los Angeles Opera and the L.A. Philharmonic resume their seasons. And then, there are international film fests both from Spain, France and AFI. I attribute this as sun in Libra with so many arts and culture, and, the rich taste of pumpkin everywhere!
I began the month by going to a Nabucco talk sponsored by L.A. Opera where I was the lucky winner of a CD. Then I was off to the Annie Besant 170th birthday celebration (esoteric stuff). Then last Friday was the opening of Babylon Berlin at the Ace Hotel in downtown Los Angeles. I hadn’t been there since it was United Artists; a regal Gothic film house built in the 1920’s where Mary Pickford, who — together with Douglas Fairbanks, Charlie Chaplin and DW Griffith — formed an independent production house outside of the established Hollywood studio system.
As a child I went to the theater to see Gone with the Wind and was enthralled by its magnificence.
It was the perfect venue for the film premiere I attended over the weekend that indulged the audience with a tease- the first two episodes.
I found out that Germany is surging into the high-end international TV market, with its most ambitious project to date and unleashed, Babylon Berlin, a 16-part, two-season drama set in the steamy, scheming underworld of 1920s and ’30s Berlin.
Based on the novels by Volker Kutscher, the show follows police inspector Gereon Rath (played by the handsome Volker Bruch) into a tangled web of crime and intrigue in the wild days of the Weimar Republic.
Growing poverty and unemployment stand in stark contrast to the excesses and indulgence of the city’s night life and its overflowing creative energy. Gereon Rath, a young police inspector from Cologne, is transferred to Berlin in order to solve a criminal case – a porno ring run by the Berlin Mafia. What at first glance appears to be simply a matter of extortion soon may reveal itself to be a scandal that will change the lives of both Gereon and his associates. Together with steno typist Charlotte Ritter and his partner Bruno Wolter, Rath is confronted with a tangled web of corruption, drug dealing, and weapons trafficking, forcing him into an existential conflict. Will he lose his sense of truth? I was left wondering: …