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Oct 7, 2023·edited Oct 7, 2023Liked by Adam Nathan

I like to think of myself more as 'grasshopper' than cricket, though your point is taken. Many of my best memories are filled with the songs of crickets, sounds of fullness and life, on and on through the lonely hours, not emptiness and expectation of something better, something that isn't crickets that one hopes will arrive. Your storytelling is so tight and confident, so personal that commentary almost seems intrusive and beside the point, but then I'm pretty sure, given your keen awareness you already get that on some level. You've worked hard to polish and refine the exposed marrow and bones to the point that criticisms would, in many cases seem superfluous, just some ego trying to have something important sounding to say. The headshot story itself fleshed out so many other, earlier-told stories, answered small questions that had been hanging there in the air, unrecognized, unasked. I came away with glimpses of three wonderfully flawed souls, each feeling their way along a series of dark and light passages, looking for and loyal to connections, however tenuous, and in the end, quite liked each one of them because of, and in spite of their quirks, scars and failings. One of my favorites, thus far, sir. Thank you.

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David,

Thanks for this note. "So personal that commentary almost seems intrusive" really jumps out at me. It's a funny thing responding to something that is so personal, and it happens on the other side, too, as I'm sure you know. I would absolutely dread (shut down quickly) discussing any of this face to face with anyone unless it was the right kind of conversation somehow. I worry sometimes that I'll get a question where I want to say, "that's none of your business" even though that might be really confusing for someone reading this. I don't think I write for catharsis or more crudely but an expression I use in my head about writing sometimes -- prostituting my grief -- so it's not connection to "me" I want people to have, but what's on the page. I still think, probably incorrectly, that a reader still doesn't know who "I" am -- although I do think they might know, for example, who my mom and dad were. And I think they - you - do see them somehow. If I was them in heaven I would want to have some record of who I was in truth left behind, warts and all. (And, despite everything I just wrote, want a record of who "I" was in truth left behind.) And, frankly, I think it is a gift to others far beyond writing itself to share that with others. We are all, certainly I am, hungry for that in our lives.

Whoa.... I have gone way off road here.

I loved and admired my parents deeply as I hope you can see here, although being their child was enormously complex. Likely being anyone's child is enormously complex, although I think they were operating at the championship level. (that's not true, but they were definitely starters on the high school team.)

You have me read correctly, David, although as you put it "you already get that on some level."

❤️

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May your cup runneth over. We writers must connect and the vulnerable and often "unsayable" connect us through emotional truth ... and comments that show the reader has read, understood, related or objected ... to Adam Nathan, actor, author, speaker ...

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I know from reading your work, Mary, that you understand, relate or object(!). Thanks. Yes, we must connect or, honestly, what are we doing? Being "writers?" Ugh, anything but that.

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Oct 7, 2023Liked by Adam Nathan

I never met Barry: I once knew the hummingbird soul of Gail. She made me laugh she made me cry. So do you, Adam.

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She's still out there best case laughing and crying, worst case furious with me -- but we'll patch it up at some point. We always have. Dad might take a little more work, but that's solvable, too. I will bring a Hasselblad into the next world for him.

(And thank you. I'm glad I do. ❤️)

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But this sentence made me exclaim “oof!” I’d never thought about it before, but *of course there is a difference.*

“There’s a difference between courage and daring, and my parents lived across that gulf.”

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Yes. Maybe because we want to be daring, but we have to be courageous. I've thought a lot about this for the last 24 hours, and I think that's it.

There's a great saying -- no idea who- that said, "You know you're on an adventure when you want to go home." 🤣

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This is spectacular, Adam, you have the most engaging narrative voice, and the ability to turn short personal reminiscences into an epic. Some of your best work yet. And that picture!

Feel better...

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Yes, that picture. Oh my. And, absurdly gelled or not, I do like all that hair. If I had known how quickly I would lose it, I would have spent even more time in front of the mirror than I did. I think I would have just sat their and combed it with my 5 & 10 black, back-pocket Fonzi comb.

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Hey man, Deirdre Lewis turned me onto you. Strong piece. Really like the section about the Nikon. What it meant to your father and to you, the way these objects live in the boy mind. I'll keep reading.

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Thank you, Tommy. Deirdre's work has been a discovery for me. There is some insane talent on here. More than insane, though: brave. I find that what people share kicks me over the line to press the "Publish" button on some of the more personal stuff. This piece was definitely an "Am I going to write this?" one. Writers like Deirdre whisper in my ear with a "oh, yes, you are going to press that scary button about mom and dad." 😀

Sidebar: we came very, very close to meeting each other years ago in Hamburger Hill one of those career-ending, death by a thousand cuts multiple audition round flameouts. Your note here is the best thing to come out of it. Who knew?

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One day you're auditioning for Vietnam War movies and the next thing you know you're a couple of bald old Jews! "Death by a thousand paper cuts multiple audition round flame outs"-- Nice. A phrase you could only conjure if you'd experienced it! Think I read a piece of yours about being at Columbia when you decided to become an actor or am i delusional? If I'm right and you did spend some time on the west side check out the piece I have up now about when I worked at Zabar's. It'll bring back that time. We seem to be of the same vintage.

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Sigh, yes, although rereading the thousand cuts sentence that sounds like a mouthful of marbles to me this morning. Yes, on the Columbia story. I'm jumping over to your piece now. Anyone else if you're reading (it's funny), particularly if you're a bald old Jew who lived near 80-something and B'way. In my case, a bald old half-Jew, although, given that I look like my father, I'll let the complement stand:

https://tommyswerdlow.substack.com/p/ill-wait-for-that-guy

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Another beautiful piece full of feeling and longing (my word). I love getting to know you, Adam through these broken fragments loosely arranged over time within a window frame that you use as a device to wrangle them into a larger picture. I'm sorry you lost both of your parents so young. As someone recently divorced with parents who are still together, alive and in love, I find myself unmoored much of the time. When a gifted writer like you shares such an honest and richly detailed account of their life, it's really a gift on a number of levels.

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Thank you, Ben. That cannot be easy with the contrast of your folks and a recent divorce.

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My mind’s-eye sees the things your writing describes with the same clarity you saw through your father’s Nikon. Fabulous!!

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I just joked above, that I'll need to bring my father a Hasselblad into the next world. he might have been more Hasselblad than Nikon -- if not one of those mega, large-plate format cameras.

thanks for your note.

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Sometimes when you write something really good, no comments are needed. What would we add?

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That.

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This is beautiful and haunting and so raw. Loved it!

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🙏. Thank you, Troy.

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Oct 7, 2023Liked by Adam Nathan

I’m astonished at your way with words. Every. Time. Very grateful that you share your stories with so much heart.

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Thank you, Alison. And I'm grateful -- more than you can imagine -- that there are people with whom to share my stories that know that my heart is exactly what I'm trying to show them. ❤️ (And some other people's hearts, too -- even if they are complex ones, that sometimes I barely understood even when raised by them.)

🙏❤️

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I don’t know if there’s a word for painting something into someone else’s minds eye, but if there is, you’re an expert at that word. Hummingbird soul, what a way to be referred to...deeply moving. Seems like they did a fine job, those two ❤️

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Somehow I missed this. Thank you. 🙏

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This is so beautiful Adam. I envy the way that you write about your own life and the people in it. I only find myself able to write about other people, ones I didn't even know personally. It's a safeguard to only find vulnerability in the stories of others. It's freeing to read your stories.

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There is something so specific and unique to each of you - mom, dad, you - in this story. You tie it all together with a frame I am sure to use again and again that is so universal and painful but still kind. And this beautiful and expressive headshot was perfect to include.

“I had my successes, significant ones, but when I failed, I felt the gravity of their moons. I was tugged by my father’s “I can’t do it” and my mother’s ‘you shouldn’t try.’

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I hope that I've done the three of us justice, warts and all. The sentence you cited was one of those sentences where I paused and wonder, "Do I want to say this?" and then I remind myself that is why we're here, writer and reader both. They are not responsible for the entire ocean moving moving about, but they get credit for the tides. 🤣

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deletedOct 8, 2023Liked by Adam Nathan
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Thank you, David. ❤️

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