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Moving To Philadelphia

Musical performance artist Cynthia Hopkins is moving to Philadelphia, accompanied by her husband and her three cats. This is the story of their journey.
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Moving To Philadelphia
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Now displaying: June, 2016
Jun 28, 2016
A link to this week's photos. This week’s title is also the title of the Song of the Week, an introspective folk autoharp cover of the hit by Asia, featuring phonetically interpreted (probably wildly inaccurate) lyrics. The title also refers to a creative impulse, an impulse that is not logical but driven by passion, even compulsive, such as the motivation compelling Cynthia to carefully illustrate every item of clothing (including accessories such as shoes, hats, and bags) in her wardrobe, ostensibly to serve as an antidote to emotionally-driven clothing shopping. Roz Chast serves as an inadvertent inspiration to Cynthia’s drawing “style” which is almost completely devoid of craft or skill, but rather emanating from a childish delight, an innocent and impractical singleness of purpose, a joy that is more challenging to access when professional (and by extension survival) concerns begin to overwhelm one’s creative practice. Jeff has evolved beyond such existential crises in his creative work for money; Cynthia not yet but there is hope. A similar dichotomy exists between Jeff’s relationship with New York (which has evolved from post-breakup “hatred” to “friendship”) versus Cynthia’s (which has evolved from “hatred” only as far as “tolerance seething with barely concealed resentment”) - but again, there is hope.
Jun 21, 2016
A link to this week's photos. This week the urge to self-destruct is deconstructed as a desire to never experience the fragility of having cherished objects, people, and or situations that can be destroyed, go away, become soiled or ill, or die. The root of conservative political urges, conversely, is speculated as arising from an anxiety over having cherished objects and or situations that one is terrified of being co-opted or destroyed by alien invaders such as people from any other race, religious preference, or location. All this speculation is triggered by the disorder that has naturally taken over the home of first-time home-owners Cynthia and Jeff during their recent absence: a fairly nice rug probably irreparably destroyed by cat urine from angry cats; a yard completely over-grown with weeds so that it is like a jungle outside the boundaries of human civilization… Is it possible to preserve one’s integrity while owning property? Can one care for a garden without resorting to chemical “weed”-killers that are, as Rachel Carson pointed out years ago in her pioneering work Silent Spring, steadily destroying the delicate balance of the environment on which we depend for nourishment and shelter and comfort and… happiness? Wouldn’t it bring greater peace and serenity and even productivity to build a very tiny house (after attending a Tiny House Workshop in Philadelphia in just a couple of weeks) and live in that instead? Well, the author of the song of the week certainly thought so when she wrote the song of the week at the age of 19 or 20, featuring a character (the antagonist of the first musical she ever wrote) who “burns his own house down” (a premonition? a prophecy? a fantasy?) There’s a reason spiritual seekers of many stripes shave their heads and forego all worldly possessions and dwell simply, clutter-free: “Mo’ money, mo’ problems.”
Jun 14, 2016

a link to the photos of the week...

Cynthia plunges even further into the depths of homesickness this week, her first complete week entirely away from Philadelphia since moving there. But inside every curse is a blessing and vice versa, the blessing in this case being she has decidedly fallen in love with her new home. So from a place of resources depleted by homesickness (and also extreme cardio fitness workouts at Row Zone in Philadelphia and then Warrior Boot Camp in Brooklyn) she offers a kind of love letter to her Philadelphia home, and additionally a remedy for warts is offered. In a somehow related fashion, the work and undaunted creativity of María Irene Fornés is discussed and used as a source of inspiration to continue to produce offerings even when constricted by afflictions, viewing those afflictions or restrictions as gateways to freedom rather than obstacles. Features of the missed home are described, such as a haunted bidet, the love of this home proving to be all-encompassing, taking particular delight in what might be considered by a non-lover “flaws” or “defects” or “broken things.” And in the spirit of love, the song of the week is in celebration of 10 years of marriage (thus far) to Jeff (otherwise known as the podcast engineer)...

Jun 7, 2016

A link to this week's photos.

This week’s podcast is in honor of the late great champion of the world Muhammad Ali. A boxing fitness class is attended and respect for all boxers increased due to the class’s extreme sweat-inducing difficulty. Much love is experienced in the form of pain: love for Ali, love for the boxing fitness gym Joltin’ Jabs, and love for Philadelphia (itself coincidentally the "city of brotherly love”) (and also coincidentally perhaps most famous for a fictional boxing champion.) The song of the week is about the moment of realization that one is in love because one is longing for the thing or person or place that is loved - in other words it’s about the initial pangs or pain of love, pain as a signal that love is happening. Cynthia forgets to mention that her very first public performance in Philadelphia since moving there has been scheduled for July 7th at Plays and Players Theater, part of an evening by Good Good Comedy indicating that it is to be a comedic version of new material… but she doesn’t forget to list it on her website so more information is there at http://cynthiahopkins.com/. Meanwhile, Cynthia will continue reporting on Philadelphia even as she is forced to be away from it during this month of June, feeling pangs of love. 

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