How is it that I'm just now learning about Litquake, which was born the same year I moved to San Francisco? I read, I'm into the written word, so how did I not know? Was my brain that preoccupied with numbing out that I had this much of not a clue for this long?
Thank God Liz Demi Green invited me to her show last night so that I could finally figure it out. She slams poetry like none other. And I was introduced to the work of Dawn Robinson, who smashes words together in new, wonderful ways. I couldn't stick around the Asterisk Gallery to learn more about Litquake though, on account of the Very Meaningful Onesie hanging on the wall, with miniature bicycles printed all over it. I just can't be around stuff like that any more. I'm an adult now. So I had to go home to read up on this Litquake thing. Holy shit! So much literary goodness in so many places. Their calendar was overwhelming in that "What do I want for brunch today, savory or sweet? Ah fuck it, I'll get both," kind of way.
But I missed Marc Maron! He was in one of my favorite venues, too. Damn it. I missed my chance again. And this time I wouldn't have been drinking bourbon, I would have been completely sober and able to carry a conversation, right to his furry fantastic face, right after having binge read his book, Attempting Normal. I would have. But he was here last week and I just found out about it tonight.
But I wouldn't have been there last Sunday anyway, because last Sunday I was experiencing a long awaited spiritual homecoming. I realized that the bird-in-a-cage panic I had been experiencing had nothing to do with the stresses of my day job or my longing to spend every day with my grandmother, or the incredible amount of change that keeps washing over my exhausted body. No. The panicking bird was simply spooked by the same old ancient fear that I don't deserve the life that I want. And as soon as I was able to feel that, all the way down to the bottom, and sit there and take care of that fear, the bird calmed down, and found that the cage door was open. And there was no more panic. So I didn't really miss Litquake. I had my moment, did my spiritual kung fu move to turn panic into love, and then I caught the last bite of the festival, just like I was supposed to, and be inspired by other writers turning their dreams into books and performances and poems and plays. There are fantastic things in the world right under our noses, like literary festivals, if we can just calm down long enough to realize that the cage door is always open. And also there is no need to look at a ridiculous onesie pinned to the wall if it makes you uncomfortable.
Sarah Elovich is a writer and performer based in Oakland, CA.