OCCUPY AQUARIUS


the other day I was going to an art museum with two brilliant teen girl artists and on the way there we stopped to see the tent city that is occupy miami. my sister was wearing a long gray chiffon skirt and a polka-dot leotard and red lipstick and looked a bit like botticelli’s venus and interviewed a man from the tent city who didn’t tell her anything, really, except that he wanted to occupy the public space so that he could stop the human race from dying.

many years ago now I watched a movie called zeitgeist which is primarily about conspiracy theories but was also a little bit about astrology. I watched the movie in an old victorian house in virginia which had an incredible energy and in which I have had many cosmic experiences including the viewing of this movie, which I did and do not necessarily like, as well as a conversation with the night sky one fall.

before I continue it is important to note that I have a complicated relationship both with the sun and with the nighttime sky. being as I am astrologically ruled by the sun I have always wanted to be a poet of the sun but I have never been one. all summer long I waited for the sun even though I spent almost all of daytime in an office where there was not sun and when I went out into the city at night the moon was there and it spoke to me, we conversed or monologued concurrently, and it was very lovely but I was not satisfied because it was not the sun.

anyway I have thought a lot about the occupy phenomenon, how people of my generation in general but writers and artists specifically seem to be obsessed with the taking up of space, which is a thing in which I have never been interested. I left new york just before occupy wall street and never felt the urge to make a pilgrimage to occupy anything other than my own self, which I find difficult enough without having to pitch a tent in order to do it. nevertheless one of the most defining experiences of my life occured during an occupation of public space, the public theatre to be exact, when they were putting on HAIR and jonathan groff was in it and the great sadness among musical theatre girls and gay boys who owned jazz shoes (these were the sorts of people with whom I associated almost exclusively that summer) was that jonathan groff was the only member of the cast who didn’t get completely naked during the naked scene.

before the beginning of the play the sun was setting and the director came out and spoke to the audience but what he really did was deliver unto us a prophecy predicting not only this phenomenon of occupation but the reasoning behind it, how the first whispers of the echoes of vietnam were upon us, how the young artists who were in the play were affected by them and how soon all of america would be as well. while the beginning and the end of the musical are “happy” or at least filled with non-melancholic drug experiences and catchy upbeat songs, the middle of the play, which deals very intensely with war and youth and cost, sort of turns you into a red handkerchief and then rips you out of yourself. at the end of the play there is a be-in in which the audience can go onstage and dance with the cast while they play percussion instruments and sing LET THE SUNSHINE IN. I danced with a man in a fur vest underneath the moon and sang about the sun in a public space and I knew at the time that it was monumental but I did not know how it would change my life except that it did.

of course the anthem of HAIR is the one about the dawning of THE AGE OF AQUARIUS, which would happen forty-five years after the play’s initial off-broadway run. in the song the aquarian age is all about occupying love but in popular culture it is mostly about the end of the mayan calendar and the apocalypse and humanity dying, which is not the kind of thing I am interested in just as I am not interested in living in a tent city. I am more interested in occupying love than I am in any of those things but mostly I would like to prepare. aquarius is a water-carrier and water is a substance which we need not only for living but for making things new or different.

 

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