Lightening strikes. At 5.30am I am awake. Same as it has been for the
entire two weeks of my visit here. I write my morning pages. Morning
Pages are an invention of Julia Cameron. Her book The Artists Way is
one that I can recommend to you whether you are an artist or not. The morning
are one cornerstone of Ms Cameron's teachings. Three pages a morning as
soon as you wake. The pages can be about everything and anything or
nothing. They are not to be re-read, not to be edited and not to be
improved upon. They set the tone of the day for the artist. Engage.
I do this blog too, right. But I do the blog for an entirely different reason.
Let me explain. As you may or may not know i have never had a family. At base all
family does is confirm the existence, therefore confirming the
relevance therefore the life of its members Birthdays marriages, funerals, all these are part of that
confirmation. But it happens on a macro level too, within the family
dynamics, negative or positive – all are confirmation of the others
existance. I have never had that. This means that each time I am
in the newspaper, like the article in The Independent a couple of weeks
ago and every time I am on the radio like the BBC World Service which I
was on today (the programme is called Network Africa), all I am doing –
bottom line –
is leaving digital artistic printed footprints that confirm I existed
at any given point in time. I was here. I was alive.
I have done this from as early as 20 years of age. It has been a
difficult concept to communicate to others. But it also
means I have no “fame complex”. I do what I do, write books
perform on stage etc, for reasons much much
bigger than that. I can now trace my life from 18 years old
with the first newspaper coverage to now. I was here. I was alive.
It’s morning time. Phoenix
is circled by mountains. They call it the valley of the sun. Kinda makes sense – it’s been the hottest place in America
this past two weeks. Looking out of my hotel room over swaying palms a
storm’s a comin’. I love storms in hot countries: Lightening striking the mountains over Cape
Town. Storms breaking
over the Atlantic sea off the coast of Senegal
where I stand in the old slave ports. Purple rain off the coast in the bay
of San Fransisco . And
right here right now in daytime Arizona.
I’m listening to the Gil Scott heron track “Storm music”. The
mountains are invisible. Its as if milk
has been spilled on the sky. The clouds. The sky is a sheet of electrified white. Thunder rumbles round
the mountains that surround us like a boulder has been thrown round a super sized
roulette wheel. and as the ball bounces The hotel shakes and lightning strikes.
Electric. From my 7th floor Balcony it makes the
hairs on the back of my neck stand up, and applaud. It’s been a great two weeks here at Phoenix,
Arizona. All events organised by ASU Public
Events. The lightening in the distance looks like it is striking the
roof of the The Gammage Theatre were I will be
performing on Saturday were I am going
to make my own electricity. It feels like a good omen. The final gig of this mini-residency is
Something Dark, my One man show. It
lasts ninety minutes. It’s either gonna
be electric or be electrified, either way, it’s all good. Preparation is the key to all spontaneity. I was here , I was alive.
All this lightening has got me thinking, maybe I could hold out a sausage on a fork on
my balcony in the hope that it might strike and cook the sausage for me.. But then the picture comes to mind of me burned entirely black, a wisp of smoke curling from each ear, holding a metal fork with
an uncooked sausage on it. Time for
breakfast I think.