“Though this be madness, yet there is method in ‘t.”.

Before I get into the post, I apologize in advance for the formatting. I’ve been having issues with WordPress recently and it making me exceedingly frustrated. Of course, my lack of tech savvy could be the real culprit (but GRRR either way). Happy Monday, beautiful people. Speaking of the beautiful…
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Just finished reading The Richard Burton Diaries. Oh my lands! What a journey it was. As usual, I’m late to the book signing, the diaries came out in 2012, In fairness though, by that time, RB had been dead for almost 30 years. Hopefully, he won’t hold it against me. May he rest in lavish, bookish, and superior peace.

My humble take on the inner wordings of flawed greatness, turns out Richard Burton was not just an accomplished actor, but also a gifted writer. The diaries are a superb read, magical and moving for their realism, and gut wrenching for Burton’s sometimes biting cynicism. If you’re not familiar with Richard Burton, he was an acclaimed Welsh actor of both film and stage, probably best known for movies like Cleopatra, Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf, (my favorite) Where Eagles Dare, and his renounced stage performances as Henry V, and Author of Camelot. One also can’t think of Burton without mentioning his turbulent romance and marriages to the legendary and glorious Elizabeth Taylor. The latter takes on a leading role in his diaries. In one passage he writes of Taylor:

“I have been inordinately lucky all my life but the greatest luck of all has been Elizabeth. She has turned me into a moral man but not a prig, she is a wildly exciting lover-mistress, she is shy and witty, she is nobody’s fool, she is a brilliant actress, she is beautiful beyond the dreams of pornography, she can be arrogant and wilful, she is clement and loving, Dulcis Imperatrix, she is Sunday’s child, she can tolerate my impossibilities and my drunkenness, she is an ache in the stomach when I am away from her, and she loves me!

Their relationship was one for the ages and fascinating in the way only tormented love can be. However, it’s not as intriguing as Burton himself, with his melodic voice, rugged good looks, and command of the English language (both written and spoken) Just look at how eloquently he described the wonders of traveling:

“Of the gladdest moments in human life, methinks, is the departure upon a distant journey into unknown lands. Shaking off with one mighty effort the fetters of Habit, the leaden weight of Routine, the cloak of many Cares, and the slavery of Home, man feels once more happy. The blood flows with the fast circulation of childhood. Excitement lends unwonted vigour to the muscle, and the sudden sense of freedom adds a cubit to the mental stature. Afresh dawns the morn of life. Again the bright world is beautiful to the eye, and the glorious face of nature gladdens the soul. A journey, in fact, appeals to Imagination, to Memory, to Hope-the sister graces of our mortal being.

Burton’s diaries begin in 1933, when he was just a young lad of 14. They conclude in 1983, the year of his untimely death at the age of 58. The journals provide an intimate glance into his private life and innermost thoughts. Thoughts that come across as lyrical, profound, self indulgent, deeply introspective, surprisingly scholarly, and always captivating. Like all of us, Burton had his demons, his vanities, his disappointments, his heartaches, his less than moments but also his successes and Mohammed mountaintop, (isn’t life a glamorous hoot) glimmer and glimpses. In some parts, the book reads like a Hollywood gossip column, in others, an erotic love story (always on the precipitate of becoming a Shakespearean tragedy), and in still others, a collection of Dylan poems with Yates’ Revolutionary Road thrown in to make you ponder the banality of even the most extraordinary of lives.

As an aside (and noteworthy, for all of us reading fiends), his love of books almost rivaled his love of Taylor. He consumed volume upon volumes of reading material. He read ferociously and obsessively from every genre. His knowledge of literature was extraordinary. He was very opinionated on the novels he read too. His summation of The Godfather and the Bond books made me chuckle. His knowledge of Shakespeare and Blake was astonishing. I’ve added a few of his suggestions to my reading list. Thanks RB! I think he’d probably hate that I’m calling him that. It beats Dick though.
The impression left upon completion of the book, Richard Burton was a multi dimensional, brilliant, curious, tender, sometimes lovable, other times unlikable man but a man who was always authentic, generous, and genuine in his assessment of himself and the world around him. Like most creative types, he did have periods of misanthropy and depression. At times he was full of self loathing and a natural born critic, both of himself and others, but he tempered his harshness with an engaging wit. He was wickedly funny. If I had to sum up Richard Burton, I would say in my pedestrian and utterly lacking way, he was a bit of a Dickens character, mixed with Oscar Wilde and King Lear.
Oh and in case you haven’t figured it out yet, I highly recommend The Richard Burton Diaries. It’s a stellar read for anyone who is a fan of old Hollywood, rags to riches tales, love stories, engaging writing, and tortured men with faces like a Greek God. Men who don’t mind getting deeply personal with their journals. Note, the writings really take off around his 1965 entries. You can see his progression as a writer. Richard Burton was more than apt with a turn of a phrase and danced his way through the pages with the grace of Baryshnikov. If you choose to read the diaries, you will come away with an intimate portrait of a wonderfully complex, indelibly flawed human. He may have been Hollywood royalty but his heart was just like ours, one that bent and broke on occasion. I wish I could do justice to his musings, but you’ll just have to read him for yourself.

-Tosha Michelle


The best scene from “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf” The acting is mesmerizing.

https://youtu.be/g1IDWOtBDTg

The Power of Femininity and Tay.

I wonder if anyone but me realizes what goes on in that head back of your deceptively sweet face.

-Margaret Mitchell

Taylor Swift time. Loving her latest song

I’ve been the archer, I’ve been the prey
Who could ever leave me, darling
But who could stay?

Day by Day-Manganas Garden

A poem, lyrics and a wonderful tune. Happy Monday ❤️

“You used to hit and run
we put some records on
and let the music replace conversation
Unwise when you’re young
we are the sixteenth sons
of the lost and last generation
Oh we fight and run when you sing a song
About all we used to do until the break of dawn
Was born in the shade, (this will be our endless day.
On the top of the mountain, lead the way

Love. Love. Love

The love blog, soon we’ll be making another post. The love blog promises something for everyone or (whatever floats your “Love Boat”). Pretty sure only people of a certain age will get that dorky reference. Anyway, greetings y’all. How about some quotes on love to brighten our day? Happy 4th of July. We’re off to see the movie “Yesterday”. The reviews are fairly good so we’ll see. 💕 Here’s the trailer and then it about love.

“True love stories never have endings.”

-Richard Bach

“The best thing to hold onto in life is each other.”

Audrey Hepburn

If you keep giving up on people so quickly, you’re gonna miss out on something great.”

-Robin, from How I Met Your Mother

“Have enough courage to trust love one more time and always one more time.

Maya Angelou

“Souls tend to go back to who feels like home.”

-N. R. Heart

“Age does not protect you from love. But love, to some extent, protects you from age.”

Anais Nin 

“Happily ever after is not a fairytale, it’s a choice”

-Fawn Weaver

It was the time when they loved each other best, without hurry or excess, when both were most conscious of and grateful for their incredible victories over adversity. Life would still present them with other mortal trails, of course, but that no longer mattered: they were on the other shore.

Gabriel García Márquez, Love in the Time of Cholera

The Calling 


Aware of the weaving of
of days into years. I want
to live a justified life, one
where human is always
linked to rights, where I
don’t just notice suffering
but strive to change it
I want to live a life
of meaning not teether
to logins, tweets, and likes
Before the sun dips below
the shades, I want to be
covered in dust where
the ash falls, to not just
look to the sky for answers,
but to mind the
Earth, to stoke the fire
of change, to be a lexicon
of compassion while there
is still time to change the hour.

Tosha Michelle

On a sad note.

Luke Perry, my young heart is broken. You left us way too soom, I can only hope to be spoken of as highly when my time comes. You were loved by many and according to those who knew you, were a true gentleman and the kindest of souls. The outpouring of love is a testament to the goodness of your being. Sad to see you go. This world needs all the people like you we can get.

Forever the coolest. Rest easy, sir. 

The History of Love 


Quotes from one of my favorite books. If you’re a romantic like me “The History of Love” by Nicole Kraus will not disappoint. Thie novel has become a modern day classic and is loved all over the world. it’s just such a poignant, heart stirring read. Every chapter is  a true work of art and a testament to the enduring power of love. The writing is lyrical and stunning. Once I have fully recovered from eye surgery perhaps, I will write a full review of the novel. It’s one of those life changing books to be sure.  

Synopsis

A long-lost book reappears, mysteriously connecting an old man searching for his son and a girl seeking a cure for her widowed mother’s loneliness.

Leo Gursky taps his radiator each evening to let his upstairs neighbor know he’s still alive. But it wasn’t always like this: in the Polish village of his youth, he fell in love and wrote a book…Sixty years later and half a world away, fourteen-year-old Alma, who was named after a character in that book, undertakes an adventure to find her namesake and save her family. With virtuosic skill and soaring imaginative power, Nicole Krauss gradually draws these stories together toward a climax of “extraordinary depth and beauty” ( Newsday).

A few of my favorite quotes from the book

“That’s what I do. Watch movies and read. Sometimes I even pretend to write, but I’m not fooling anyone. Oh, and I go to the mailbox.”

“Once upon a time there was a boy who loved a girl, and her laughter was a question he wanted to spend his whole life answering.”

“Even now, all possible feelings do not yet exist, there are still those that lie beyond our capacity and our imagination. From time to time, when a piece of music no one has ever written or a painting no one has ever painted, or something else impossible to predict, fathom or yet describe takes place, a new feeling enters the world. And then, for the millionth time in the history of feeling, the heart surges and absorbs the impact.”

“For her I changed pebbles into diamonds, shoes into mirrors, I changed glass into water, I gave her wings and pulled birds from her ears and in her pockets she found the feathers, I asked a pear to become a pineapple, a pineapple to become a lightbulb, a lightbulb to become the moon, and the moon to become a coin I flipped for her love”

“She learned back and looked at him with something like hurt, and then he almost but didn’t say the two sentences he’d been meaning to say for years: Part of me is made of glass, and also, I love you.”

“At the end, all that’s left of you are your possessions. Perhaps that’s why I’ve never been able to throw anything away. Perhaps that’s why I hoarded the world: with the hope that when I died, the sum total of my things would suggest a life larger than the one I lived.”

“So many words get lost. They leave the mouth and lose their courage, wandering aimlessly until they are swept into the gutter like dead leaves. On rainy days you can hear their chorus rushing past.”

Tune of the day. I’d change it to Carolina dreaming of course. 💕

She Always 

She always wants to love
in small sane ways.
But as soon as she listens to
her heart, it lies in the open
mouth passionate kiss of
spring and rebirth.

She writes in the third person
to avoid the intimate tone.
But “I” slips in every time
I try to hide out
in metaphors, but come out
before the count of ten.

I always want to keep
at least part of myself
for me, to be reasonable
and clear headed.
To write the visible life
but remain invisible.

Instead my love is a wild
iris overgrown. My soul
meant to maintain clarity,
gets drunk on the elixir,
refuses to be tamed.
I try to mute my love
but the clasp won’t
stay closed.
My pen refuses
to still.

My love becomes large,
all encompassing, piercing,
a festering longing, a sea
of stuttering syntax.

She wants to love
in small, sane ways,
court reason without
gestures or signs, to write
with nothing to decipher,
but her heart lies every time.

-Tosha Michelle

My cover of “Time After Time”

Listen to Time After Time (a bit raw) by Tosha Michelle 2020 #np on #SoundCloud

The Remains 

image

The ones I love,
and have been
blessed to keep,
are sleeping
as night’s low
pitch hums slowly
fades.

I walk along the lake
with only the birds
to keep me company.
The clouds sticky,
but devoid
of cotton candy,
offer no sweetness.
I move through stony colors,
a stillness in my
soul.

The water churns,
dark froth travels
in its wake.
I cry for some
inexplicable reason.

Through my tears,
I stare out into
the silence,
and think of those
who make me the happiest.
And then I wonder
about those
who have come
and gone.
The ones I have lost,
lost loves, lost friends,
a litany of history.

Memories reclaim
me for a moment.
Has life carried
them where they
want to be?
Does the dusty world
ever taunt them, too?
Do they ever
wonder why time
offers no explanation
for grief and regret?
Do they ever weep
because whatever
we’re made of,
we can never alter
the ticking clock’s
hands.

I hope that there’s
a table set somewhere
for them, and morning kisses
to greet them.

The past opens quickly,
but recedes just as
fast.

I pick a dying
wild flower from its
sidewalk home,
just as a boat
heads off into the gray,
brushed stroke
of the mist.
A lone crow
plummets toward it,
like granite.
The first faint orange
spot appears in the
sky.

Lifting my chin to the sun,
to brightness.
I discard the unbreathable,
dizzy smell of nostalgia.

I bathe in the now,
and wash my soul
in today’s syllables

Thankful for what was,
but even more grateful
for those that remain 
I know without them,
the air would taste
like nothingness.

Standing on the bridge
in the space between
yesterday and today.
I walk back toward
the scent of nectar,
of happiness
Eating up the sunshine
while I still can.

-Tosha Michelle