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Dorien Grey

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Blogs by Dorien Grey

Ophelia
11/14/2011 9:14:54 AM    [ Flag as Inappropriate ]

There are certain things that cannot be done: keeping your eyes open when you sneeze, seeing the back of your neck without a mirror, trying to force yourself to go to sleep, remembering the exact moment when you pass from waking to sleeping, trying to remember a name when you really, really have to, and thinking of a topic for a blog entry when your mind is wandering around like Ophelia by the stream, staring off into space and singing little snatches of song.

A friend recently suggested, when I mentioned that I do have trouble at times coming up with a blog topic, making a list of my most favorite and least favorite things, of things I love and things I hate. I’m not quite sure what it says about me that a list of the things I hate would be very easy to do, but could not possibly be covered in one blog.

As a writer, I’m often asked who my favorite books and authors are, and I simply cannot…other than Robert Lewis Taylor’s “Adrift in a Boneyard”…come up with a single specific name or title. I know I love most of the poetry of Emily Dickenson for the sheer bittersweet simplicity with which she puts words and thoughts together. I know I like James Thurber and O. Henry and Dorothy Parker and individual works of countless other poets and authors.

I’m a little better with music. Tchaikovsky is my hands-down favorite. Nearly everything the man wrote has the power to transport the soul. I like lot of Wagner, DeBussy, Grieg, Dvorjak, Sibelius—anything, as I’ve mentioned before, full-orchestra with all stops pulled. John Philip Sousa, Cole Porter, Irving Berlin, George Gershwin, Rogers & Hammerstein, Glen Miller, the Mormon Tabernacle Choir or any large choir or chorus.

Oh, my, my mind is loose and running away. Let me go with it for a moment. Ethel Merman, Liza Minelli—don’t bother me with spelling, I’m on a roll—, Bette Midler, Edith Piaf, Barbara Streisand, and the queen of them all, Judy Garland: singers who put 150 percent of themselves into a song, who have the power to reach out and grab the audience.

Why do gays so identify with Judy Garland and Liza Minelli? Because they don’t sing a song: they are the song, and you know they have felt or experienced every single word of it. Their lives weren’t pretty,, but they sang their hearts out in spite of it, and just about every gay man identifies with what they went through—what they conquered: that’s us up there; those are our words they’re singing. “Over the Rainbow” and “Maybe This Time,” are us. And I and all gays owe a deep debt to Jerry Hermann who, in “La Cage aux Folles” gave us our new anthem: “I Am What I Am.”

And back to books and authors: I stand in awe of those whose words take us out of ourselves, show us new worlds, create wondrous mental images out of a combination of the 26 letters in the English language, and open our minds and our hearts. The best books, for me, are those which pick me up at the first sentence and carry me along smoothly, willingly and almost unknowingly, to the last page. Any good writer can do this for me, which is why I find it so very hard to even try to pin down which specific books are my favorites. I have often responded truthfully to the question: “What’s your favorite book (or author)” by saying: “The last one I read.”

Perhaps I am just easy to please. Unquestionably I must be far from discerning, since I like so many things. If I start reading a book I don’t enjoy, I simply stop reading it. Ergo, if I reached the last page, I liked it. Some of course I like far better than others, but to say (other, again, than I have said so often about “Adrift in a Boneyard”) I still can’t choose one book or ten from the hundreds and hundreds I have read.

And, hey…lookee here! I’ve run out of space for today’s blog. I guess I could think of something, after all. I hope you didn’t have too much trouble following along. Thanks for being here.

*****
You're cordially invited to visit my website (http://www.doriengrey.com) to learn more about just who this Dorien Grey fellow is.


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Curse of the Covenant by J.S. Bradford

A beautiful CIA officer hacks a vast cache of digital files documenting years of unreported clergy abuse. ..  
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