ChatterLog March 2011


Pisces, the Fish

Greetings everyone and welcome to the March ChatterBulletin! We have moved from the independent and freedom-loving sign of Aquarius into the dreamy and spiritual sign of Pisces, represented by the symbol of the 2 Fishes. And as our 12th and final sign of the zodiac, it is now Pisces’ job to take the “Spiritual Knowledge” that Aquarius poured down to earth from the heavens, and complete the life cycle by ascending once more back up to the heavenly master, and the ultimate goal of a life of “love and beauty.” Pisces are very sensitive and “feel” everything. In fact, they want to identify with everything they feel, and if that means actually doing it for themselves, whether it be dancing the tango, sky-diving or being a drug addict, they’ll do it, just to see what it “feels” like. So this month our theme is“Imagination” – something that Pisces has plenty of! Water signs are all about fantasy and imagination, and Pisces are very creative creatures that are passionately dedicated to their art, whatever form it might take.

So not surprisingly, the list of famous Pisceans contains a large number of actors, musicians and writers. Who better to investigate the vast world of our imaginations than a writer? For starters we have the diary-writing Samuel Pepys, followed by author of “Les Misérables” Victor Hugo, along with Henrik Ibsen, Tom Wolfe, Jack Kerouac, John Updike, John Steinbeck, John Irving, Edward Albee, Anais Nin, Erma Bombeck, and “Cat in the Hat” children’s writer, Dr. Seuss. And then we have poets including W. H. Auden, Wilfred Owen, Elizabeth Browning and Richard Wilbur. And while we’re at it, how about media magnate and publisher Rupert Murdoch? Then we have dancers Cyd Charisse, Rudolph Nureyev and Nijinsky, classical composers Chopin and Handel, and recording industry icon Quincy Jones.

Rudolph Nureyev, 1967 © Richard Avedon

Moving on to the long list of musicians and actors, consider as you read the list how many of them might or may have had a certain propensity for alcohol and drugs, something a Pisces very much enjoys as it takes them further into their world of fantasy. Let’s start with Kurt Cobain and Karen Carpenter (neither of whom made it to see their old age), Liza Minnelli, Harry Belafonte, Nat King Cole, Fats Domino, Charlotte Church who is said to have the “voice of an Angel” but also boasted a serious binge-drinking problem back in the day! George Harrison, Roger Daltrey, Lou Reed who had a hit record called ‘heroin’ (so plenty of drugs there), James Taylor, rocker Jon Bon Jovi, and long-time drug-abusing country singer Johnny Cash. Let’s face it – they were all pretty much drinking and doing drugs, even if they did manage to clean their act up at some point! Moving on, we have directors Spike Lee, Ron Howard and Sam Peckinpah (years of alcohol & drug abuse), followed by actors including the very classy Sidney Poitier, Michael Caine, David Niven, Rex Harrison, Peter Graves, Peter Fonda, Billy Crystal, Bruce Willis, William Hurt, Kurt Russell, Rob Lowe, Jean Harlow, Ursula Andress, Elizabeth Taylor, Joanne Woodward, Lynn Redgrave, Glenda Jackson, Glenn Close, Vanessa Williams, Holly Hunter and Drew Barrymore. For real! And to round out this group of imaginative creators, how about photographers Ansel Adams, Diane Arbus, Ernst Haas and Robert Altman.

Not all famous Pisces are in the arts though, some have applied their imaginative powers to politics and world leadership including George Washington, Edward Kennedy, Ralph Nader, Mikail Gorbachev, religious leaders Jimmy Swaggart and Tammy Faye Bakker, and let’s not forget the infamous former Mayor of D.C., Marion Barry who was also known to be quite partial to his crack-cocaine? Pisceans could easily be labeled “space cases” so along with an astronaut or two we have Polish Renaissance astronomer Nicolaus Copernicus, eccentric British astronomer Patrick Moore, and Italian Renaissance painter, sculptor and engineer Michelangelo who gave us the Statue of David and The Last Judgment, let alone the the scenes from Genesis on the incredible Sistine Chapel ceiling, all very fitting for our Pisces theme. And consider these inventors who surely had to employ their imaginative powers to come up with their creations, including Albert Einstein, Alexander Graham Bell, inventor of the “Fosbury Flop” high-jumper Dick Fosbury, founder & CEO of Dell computers Michael Dell, and co-founder & CEO of Apple computers, Steve Jobs. Enough said.

Sistine Chapel Ceiling, Michelangelo

So let’s consider this idea of “Imagination” and what that really means?

From the Merriam-Webster dictionary, it says the definition of imagination is, “the act or power of forming a mental image of something not present to the senses or never before wholly perceived in reality.” Think about that and then consider the Pisces personality and their abundant use of their imaginations again! I have worked with many photographers over the years, and that is what they do all the time. They take the mental idea, either their own when creating something personal, or the art director’s when working for a client, and they bring that vision into reality. My mum used to say she wished she was “creative” like me, (I was always drawing or writing or dressing up and playing characters, busy creating something…) but her creativity surfaced in her love of gardening, which is where she was happiest, planting and growing and pottering around in the earth.

In closing let’s return to the notion that Pisces is concerned not only with imagination but also with identity. They need to identify. But here is a funny story a friend told me about a case of “mistaken identity!” Many years ago he was married to a woman called Anita Bryant. Every time they traveled and someone read her name on the airline ticket, or her credit card, they immediately “assumed” that she was “the” Anita Bryant, the former singer, beauty queen and spokesperson who became best known for her work in favor of bigotry against gays and lesbians! He said they experienced many filthy looks and nasty comments, a lot of soup spilled in their laps and even spit in their drinks, people were so disgusted when they learned her name. However, once she explained to them that she was not “that” Anita Bryant, and how likely was it anyway, seeing as she was sitting next to her husband, who happened to be a rather large black man! At that point, apologies would be offered and the mistaken identity cleared up. And finally, Happy Birthday to all of you Pisces out there, including Patrick, my water-loving, scuba-diving old buddy down in Charleston, my English dancer friend Beverley, my college friend Richard Barnes, fellow Attic Theatre performer Paul Henry, and my photographer pal Frank Siteman, to name but a few of you…

Just today, Frank sent me this hilarious clip on YouTube; it’s a must see! If you’ve ever wondered what all those strange modes on your camera do, this may answer your questions…  Be sure to check it out!