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Archive for December, 2009

Searching for That Sense of Place

December 28, 2009 By: admin Category: Abandonment Journal, Coal, Family, Filmmaking, Going Home, Happiness, Health, House, Living, Love, Molly, Mom

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I’m so tired of being unemployed. I keep trying to take it lightly and think of the future when, from the comfort of my job, I can look back to this time and say with grace: “Wow, that was fuckin’ hard.” It’s amazing to me that I was able to edit one film and conduct serious interviews for another during this time. Maybe that speaks to the resilience taught me by my parents, but I don’t know. I just constantly feel like crying about it all won’t do any good, and so I keep working at the films… It’s still odd, though, that during the scariest financial time of my life I am a first-time homeowner, and a filmmaker who keeps getting great ideas thrown at her. Odd & wonderful & curious & terrifying.

“By the way, I’m going to wake you up in the middle of the night because I won’t think you’re real.”

My needs are emerging. It’s been difficult seeing everything I was missing in my day-to-day life with Molly. The neglect, the coldness. She was such a sweetheart, but how did I live so long without touch? She wouldn’t touch me in public. She would barely even stand next to me. She frequently didn’t introduce me, and when she did it was as her “friend.” It makes me sick to my stomach. How did I stand for that??? Anyway, looking back on it all now makes the emotions I buried then come out. It’s sooooooo painful. It’s like I’m reliving it, and for what? Hopefully to feel these things for the last time and finally get the whole hellish experience out of my soul.

And then, in the midst of all of this, comes this new person. All bright and shiny and sooooo loving. We can’t keep our hands off each other and that touch, for me, is food. It is the nourishment I lacked and longed for four years. Her touch makes me aware of how love-anemic I’ve been. Sometimes when she touches me my heart breaks a little and I’m afraid of how she’ll feel about my reaction. Will it be too much? Am I just not letting go? Am I dwelling? Or is this the past in it’s death throes?

These holidays have been very hard. Harder than others since Mom died. I didn’t feel “in my place.” I need to find it–my place. I’m looking…

The Christmas Crazies

December 27, 2009 By: admin Category: Coal, Cooking, Filmmaking, Food, The Film, Video

Ever since arriving on the Vineyard for this year’s holiday I’ve been transcribing interviews for my coal film, The Dirty Truth About Coal. The only interruptions have been meals, walks, and occasional readings of “The Sum of Our Days” by Isabel Allende. It is Isabel, in fact, who will write this post. Or, well, who’s writing I will copy here for your enjoyment.

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The scene in the book takes places in Isabel’s house in northern California. A camera crew and two chefs arrive with 14 boxes of material in order to film the preparation of a meal described in one of Isabel’s books, “Aphrodite.” Isabel’s designer daughter-in-law, Lori, oversees the event, while Isabel and her husband Willie, wait impatiently to eat the fruits of the chefs labor.

“The dishes were produced with mind-numbing slowness; they (the chefs) placed each lettuce leaf as if it were the feather on a hat, precisely in the angle between the tomato and the asparagus. Willie got so nervous he had to leave, but Lori seemed to comprehend the importance of the damned lettuce. In the meantime the artistic director replaced the flowers in the garden, which Willie had planted with his own hands, with others more colorful. None of this appeared in the magazine, the photos they used were all close shots: half a clam and a lemon slice. I asked why they had brought the Japanese napkins, the tortoise-shell serving spoons, the Venetian lanterns, but Lori shot me a look that said I should keep quiet. This lasted the entire day, and since we couldn’t attack the meal before it was photographed, we put away five bottles of white wine, and three red, on empty stomachs. By the end, even the artistic director was stumbling. Lori, who had drunk nothing but green tea, had to carry the fourteen boxes back to the van.”

MERRY CHRISTMAS, everyone. 😉

Thinking In Fiction

December 20, 2009 By: admin Category: Filmmaking, Molly

I just downloaded the most badass app for the iPhone ever. Or, well, most badass for filmmakers anyway. :) It’s called “Hitchcock” and is a storyboard composer. You take pictures with your iPhone, manipulate them–zoom, reframe, etc.–and then place them in sequence. You can also… wait for it… print the whole fuckin’ thing out as a PDF!!!!! FROM IPHONE TO PAPER!!!!!!! I definitely wanna have sex with this thing. Oh holy shit… Just watch this video be blown away… :)

I’ve been thinking about fiction, and how pictures can represent reality. They are, in fact, more representations of reality than reality itself. While most of the time pictures are used as memory, even in that role they are mimicking what REALLY happened. As such, I’m trying to get my mind around busting that concept out a bit and rethinking some of my realities so I can make stories out of them. There’s a lot of rich material in everyone’s life, it’s time I started mining mine. 😉

I don’t think about image naturally, I have to be conscious of it and have to labor a lot to “see” a story through images. But this coming year is different. I’m ready to jump off the Image Bridge and

On Wisdom

December 16, 2009 By: admin Category: Abandonment Journal, Aperture, Faith, Happiness, Health, House, Living, Love, Lumix Pix, Molly, Valet Battleship Parking

Is it her overnight stuff lying lovingly on the floor in my bedroom, her shampoo and face wash bottles at home in my shower, or the way I felt compelled to get up with her before sunrise just to be able to see her again that’s having such an effect on me? Or is it the impossible consistency of her respect and attention, the way she sees everything I do and still wants to come back, saying: “You’re really good for me”? Is it her joie de vivre? Her eyes wide open? Her level of understanding? Or is it that when she kisses me my whole body responds as it never has before? Everything about her astonishes me. Today couldn’t get any better because I woke up with her beside me, and yet it will get better because when I go to bed tonight… she’ll be there again.

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It’s sad the way some things, like old love, fall away. I watch them go and feel almost nothing. I never wanted to feel that way. In fact I tried my hardest to keep it from happening because… I have no idea why… Fear of abandonment? It feels bigger than that. It feels like I was with Molly in part in order to do something good for the world. I felt a sense of responsibility that’s still with me, but is fading fast. Molly has a tremendous gift that should be shared, but there’s no one who can do anything about that except her. It’s taken falling out of love with her, finally, for me to see that. Sadly, her gift is in terrible hands so I can only sit back and mourn something that might never be.

By contrast, this new person is all Aliveness. She twitches with awareness. In her eyes I can see what she sees. She calls herself an open book and that’s how I see it manifested: when she’s watching and listening. I don’t know if she knows it yet, but she might be a painter–but one who paints with the heart. Almost nothing she touches is frivolous, and everything she touches bears her mark afterward. I found that out first hand. She is HERE and she has an IMPACT and, moreover, she wants to.

It’s amazing the things we let some people get away with. There should be MUUUUUUUCH more person-to-person, healthy confrontation in the world. Our society has fucked us all up so much it takes us being hurt badly before we realize something is just not right. So when something comes into your life that flies in the face of all that–that’s so GOOD–at first it feels like a complete surprise, then is perceived as a threat, and then, finally, settles into something we can trust… and love. It’s worth hoping against all hope that it’s out there, and working hard as hell to be ready for it’s eventual arrival.

So much heartache. We don’t need to work so hard all the time to get others to like us. All we need to do is what she does: look, listen, and be respectful. I am her latest student. :)

Intimacy

December 11, 2009 By: admin Category: Abandonment Journal, Body, Happiness, Love, Meditation, Uncategorized

“I live a hundred lifetimes in day, but I die just a little with every breath I take.” –Ben Harper

I’ve had a rough week. Lost my meditation practice and been flailing a bit. Tonight, in class, it all came back to me. I knew it would, but was waiting kind of anxiously for something to happen. I’ve been so solid with the practice and it’s effect that it’s been shocking and scary that the “old mind” ways were going on for a while. It wasn’t until tonight’s teacher, Jim, said that if something is going wrong “you can change it” that I finally come back to myself.

I’ve been struggling with my feelings for Molly–what they were and how they’ve evolved, if they have at all. I’ve been conflicted because I didn’t want to give my new squeeze cause to worry about my where my desires were drawn to (they are drawn to her), so I’ve been doing the one thing I vowed I would never do in my life: I bottled up my feelings. TOTAL DISASTER ENSUED. :) Not too many people recognized that anything was up, but I sure did. Felt all knotted up and like I was chasing a ghost. I felt very out of control, and as the week went on it just got worse.

What I’ve been struggling with was the questions of whether Molly and I really loved each other, or if there was something else holding us together. I know for each of us there were ideas about the other that were at the heart of initial attraction, but then what was it that kept us together after so many incompatibilities were discovered? Well, tonight I figured the out answer for myself: I did love Molly. Very, very much. And I know she loved me. I think she may have even loved me as long as I loved her, but I won’t ever be sure unless she tells me, and she may never do that.

What we had, and what is the reason it’s been so hard for me to let go of her, was a certain intimacy. We were very, very close physically. Trusted each other in that way. For instance, I used to press on her stomach to help her fart when she had bad gas. Seriously. Some of you are cringing and some of you are falling off your chair laughing because you’ve done the same thing with your partner. :) But that was something so body intimate that we did. The sex, of course, was intimate, but not as much as you’d think. There were pockets, moments of genuinness that made the experience full, but it was almost never constant. By contrast, sex with my new squeeze is pregnant with intimacy and love and trust in the slightest touch, from beginning to end. I’ve never had longer love-making sessions than with this new person. We go on and on and on because we go so slowly. We are each amazed at how the other feels to the simplest touch and take a loooooooooong time to explore one little part. It’s one of the most liberating experiences of my life. I let go completely and am free to do that because I trust her 100%. I’ve never felt that before–100% trust–so this is awesome and amazing and humbling and beautiful.

Molly and I had moments of deep tenderness a fair amount, but as the years wore on, the moments became less frequent. I don’t know if it was trust leaving or what, but it hurt like a bitch. I never ever lose that feeling of intimacy-borne connection once it’s made, and so breaking up seems harder for me than it does for others I’ve seen. The hardest part is letting go in my MIND, not in my heart. My heart, oddly enough, is smarter than my mind. It saw this new girl the moment she appeared and jumped right for her. :) Thank god.

Anyway, so what I remembered tonight in class was the intimacy Molly and I shared. The quiet, quiet moments before we really knew each other, and before all the obstacles that would eventually break us apart became the norm. Those quiet moments were beautiful because they were the only times in 5 years that I had Molly all to myself, and as those of us who have felt that can tell you, having Molly all to yourself for even a split second is a wonderful thing. :) I enjoyed taking care of her. Enjoyed it very much, actually. And I’m sad that I can’t do any of it anymore, but it will be the intimacy, and the trust that came with it, that I’ll miss the most. Maybe that’s what I’m mourning…

Turning A Corner

December 08, 2009 By: admin Category: Abandonment Journal, Faith, Family, Happiness, Health, Love, Molly

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Today is Molly’s 30th birthday and the first, since I’ve known her, that I didn’t send her a gift. But that’s not why it has meaning for me. It has meaning because I know how much she’s been dreading it and, still sensitive to her, I wonder if she’s weathering it okay.

For all of you who would tell me not to care, save your breath. :) I do care and hope that whoever is around her today is taking the edge off some of the stress I imagine she’s feeling. See, Molly is one of those people that judges themselves by the accomplishments they’ve achieved by a certain age. No one else cares, but these folks do. When I tried to tell her over the years that three record albums was a damned good showing, she’d just wave her hands as if to say “Oh, you don’t get it…” She knew that I loved her and was just trying to make her feel better, but couldn’t fight her frustration or get past the feelings of shame.

I’ve dreaded this day and this post for a while. Haven’t been able to figure out what to write and don’t think I’m doing any kind of a great job at the moment, but I wanted to put something down so I’d remember. Soooooo much has changed since we broke up that I’m starting, truly, to let her go, and am amazed that it’s getting easier every day. What helps is envisioning her with her new girlfriend and being full in her life and just not thinking about me at all. I have no idea whether that’s what’s happening or not, but it’s a good image none-the-less. I want Molly to be happy. I want that so much. It’s the one thing that’s kept me hanging onto her in my heart for this long because I worry that she isn’t being treated well enough, which is to say, not being treated to MY glorious standards. 😉 Suffice it to say that I’ve figured out that my standards were silly and caused both of us a lot of pain. I can see now that by giving her so much I might have taken a lot away. Like her parents, I rarely gave her the opportunity to figure things out on her own. All I wanted to do was solve her problems so she’d go into the studio and make more music. I should have guessed that if everything I was doing wasn’t working after one year I should probably try a different tack. Oh well… “learning experience.”

Today I turn a corner because there’s something in my life that makes me so happy and balanced that I have the emotional strength to look at what I did in my relationship with Molly that actively didn’t serve her. I want to look at that stuff so I don’t repeat it, even though my new squeeze has a way of seeing my generosity coming and heads me off at the pass in a beautiful, soft way by saying simply: “YOU are enough.”

Molly was enough and my mistake was that I didn’t realize it in a way I could communicate. Plus, I was scared out of my mind. Here was this gorgeous, creative, funny creature who’s music I adored–how was I possibly going to keep her? Okay, that was my insecurity, but we all know it takes two to tango. She brought her shit with her–her apathy, selfishness, and lack of motivation–but it was the combination that killed us. Truly, though, we were doomed to begin with. Our “stuff” just couldn’t work itself out. We did teach each other a lot, though, and for that I’m grateful. I wouldn’t be as present or peaceful in this new liaison if it wasn’t for my relationship with Molly.

And so, thanks Molly. And Happy Birthday. On this day you have given me a great gift which I hope one day to reciprocate in friendship. I hope this day is one of the best of your life.

The Bearable Heaviness of Being

December 01, 2009 By: admin Category: Abandonment Journal, Molly, Uncategorized, Valet Battleship Parking

this morning i had a powerful meditation experience. my body is holding on to a few fears: money/job, India. December hasn’t been fun or good for me for years and so as it approaches i feel myself tighten up. that’s why i’m increasing my meditation time to 30 minutes, 40 if i can do it. this morning while i sat i had images of myself boxing my fears. there was a profound sadness that enveloped us as we fought, as if we were both so exhausted and didn’t really have our hearts in the exchange. when i came out of the meditation i didn’t feel much better than when i started. December is always a battle. the closer Christmas gets, the more i miss my mother; add to that the fears of flying to India, being in Kolkata but this time without Molly, money woes… it’s a tough time for me at the moment.

there was an odd romance to southern California in winter. it was so anomalous to have warm weather, but in December it felt a bit relieving. the cold is hard so any break from it is welcome. when i lived out there i’d get up earlier than usual in December to walk the dog in the early morning warmth. early morning is the time when there’s moisture in southern California, and i craved that amid all the constant dry heat and sunshine. truly, i don’t know how the Californians stand the sun all the time. it felt like everyone was stuck in time, and happy about it. but during the early mornings things were different. the day felt like real life for an hour or so.

so, i write all that and then i sit back and think that i should go back to the cushion because what i’m feeling is sorry for myself and that is not what makes the fucking world go around.