Order of the Good Write

That Magic Feeling When the Words Flow. A Blog by Debi Rotmil

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For the Writer, Art is the Motivator

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Palm Trees. Los Angeles County Museum of Art.

(I wrote this post this morning on MarieForleo.com in reply to a discussion about the importance of art in our lives.  This comment felt like a blog post. I’d like to share it here. I hope you find some good in its message.)

Art is essential in allowing humanity to connect spiritually.

I use art to motivate my writing and the writing of others. Each facet of art, especially painting and sculpture (for me), can ignite a bevvy of stories for the world to see. It can inspires other and can change lives. It can shift a mind.

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Street Art/Berlin Wall. Wende Museum. Los Angeles.

Music is also a profound inspiration. Artists who write life affirming and soul searching lyrics have made me the writer I am today. They connect feelings into words. Music and art makes us feel less alone in this world.

I think the one piece of art that changed my life (other than music), was Georges Seurat’s painting “Sunday on the Island of Grande Jatte” and the musical play it inspired. James Lapine wrote the book for “Sunday in the Park with George” and Stephen Sondheim created the most glorious, heart wrenching, moving score to reflect the concept of how a painting can tell a story. How each visage, each person painted were really humans with beating hearts and broken lives painted in dabs of light. The way the painting comes to life with humanity and the love story woven in – showed me how art can be a powerful reflection of our lives. In fact, the entire show has specific lyrics that support this entire theme.

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‘Sunday in the Park with George’


Add the wonderful musical ‘Fun Home’ – which shows painful, universal themes in a beautiful, touching way – and we have continued proof that the arts tell the story of our lives.

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Cast of ‘Fun Home’. Photo by Christaan Felber. The New Yorker.

Don’t let anybody, or any negative voice in your head tell you otherwise. We need more art. We need creation.

As good ol’ Steve wrote in “Sunday…”

“Look at what you want,
Not at where you are,
Not at what you’ll be-
Look at all the things you’ve done for me
Opened up my eyes,
Taught me how to see,
Notice every tree…”

Just keep moving on. 🙂


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A Crispy Realization…

balloonheartbwThis is the sound of the unlocking and lift away.+

I guess I wanted more. I wanted to speak with him, tell him things without the crush of a crowd waiting to talk to him. I can’t compete with the love and adulation of fans, their hearts aching from the show, waiting to tell him and the smiling cast what stirred in their hearts. They stand with anticipation outside the lobby, iPhones, selfie sticks, waiting with creased Playbills and markers, ready for an autograph or a photo cheek to cheek – so well deserved as the good people they are.

But I didn’t want an autograph or photo. I didn’t know what I wanted.

I walked around the theater, hoping to gain the courage to say something…anything. “Say something! Talk to him. Say something! Anything! … This can’t be our last…”*

And it was. I couldn’t connect. Why? He doesn’t bite. He’s human. He’s nice. What did I want?

Me, a little lost right now, clinging to anything wonderful to keep me going as I try to find the juice again. Just wanted to tell him how I’ve admired him since he played drag years before, how we have a mutual friend, how when I finally saw – after so many years of knowing him on the peripheral of actors and projects that swirl around me – that one interview he did that captivated me, where I saw his energy – a light – a gentleness and a lurking darkness. I saw a person beyond a role. At least a scratch of someone I don’t know at all. But something there seemed familiar.

I tried to write him a note on social media – only to delete it before he could see it. I tweeted, but wiped it clean.  He doesn’t need to see my obsession. I’m noise.

Unhinged and Uninhibited. Those words come to mind. Maybe the unhinging of the heart unburdens the soul and allows this stuck writer to create, to build something new. Let go of the fear that builds the wall.

Maybe Unhinged and Uninhibited make a good team.

So, I file him away with Bruce and Helen and with my Samuel French books. I imagine him reading this, but he will likely never come across it, never know this. But just the fantasy make things a little easier.

I make room on my iPhone playlist for new music, put away the singing pleas of Alison speaking of floating cars and telephone wires as her pained father tries to find her face yet looks away, unable to connect. Unable to say something…anything.

My summer on Maple Avenue has ended.  A virtual visit to Beech Creek with hills and valleys below. So much damage, broken windows…I didn’t realize I would end up like Bruce in that car ride. But maybe there will be other chances, more opportunities. Perhaps this wasn’t the right time. Yes, next time.

My stay made me want to come home to New York and face the memories – to build something new.

I’ll always remember moments with my dad when nothing went unsaid. There were grades and piano, television, screaming parents and me hiding, imagining pop songs that made things happy. And there was music, baseball, books and boys. The ever present actual Quixote my own dad sculpted out of clay and bronze that sat on the mantel. And my mother at the Steinway, playing perfect pitch, who let her days go by.

Either way, their love will be safe with me.