>I “love” that dog wherever he is

>“For some reason I’ve just remembered how I lost the script of Rublyov (when I had no rough draft). I left it in a taxi at the corner of Gorky Street (opposite the National). The taxi drove off. I was so miserable I went and got drunk. An hour later I came out of the National and went towards the All-Union Theatre Society. Two hours after that, as I came down again to the corner where I had lost the manuscript, a taxi stopped (breaking the law) and the driver handed me my manuscript through the window. It was miraculous.”

6 April 1973

I’m looking over at a copy of Tarkovsky’s diaries (Martyrology), or what’s left of it. Years ago I purchased a used hardbound version of the book. Reading it was a kind of revelation for me. Although Tarkovsky complains mostly throughout the book, something I related to being a frustrated artist myself, I found the book to be a delight. Like any collection of journal entries the book is frustratingly incomplete regarding the kinds of information one might want to know, like insight into the directing or editing processes of specific films, etc. But one gets something better. [If one wants to know the process of making a work of art then one needs to make a work of art, and then do it again, and then again. The knowledge comes with doing because making art is like a spiritual practice in that sense.] What Tarkovsky gave us in his diaries is a view into his humanity. He was a remarkable man, but just a man like me. That kind of perspective is infinitely more valuable than “what were you thinking when you made that shot?”

father and son

So the book. Well (and this was a few years ago), I had not read the book in quite a while so I decided to pull it off the shelf, dust it off, and put it on the coffee table to remind myself to pick it up when I came home from class. I was gone for only about a hour, came back and the book was not on the coffee table any longer. Hhhmmmm. Then I saw it. Across the room was the book, but now missing its cover. Remember, it was a hardbound book. After I began to investigate and put 2 and 2 together, I realized that the dog, a Labrador of course, had ripped off the cover and completely consumed it – later to end up in the yard (I’ll save you the description). Boy was I mad. And yet, how fitting. In a small way I was subjected to a “Tarkovsky moment” that is, a moment where all is not lost, but the path one is on has just taken a turn for the worse and one has to look inside to find the deeper value of the moment.
Now the book, coverless and a little tattered, lies on the bookshelf, the dog really belonged to some friends after all and is now somewhere I don’t know, and I’m thinking of pulling that book off the shelf and putting it on the coffee table to remind myself to pick it up again. And this time we have a Pug, so it’ll be alright. Then again, that little dog does get a sneaky gleam in his eye from time to time.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s