The past week I've been on my own with three kids. One of whom has been ill, as I have been. We are managing, but it takes a tremendous amount of energy to simply keep up with the day to day without losing my mind. The fickle desires of a three year old girl taken literally will break one's spirit. Staying light and loving isn't my strong suit under the best conditions.
I did see some films this week. Paul Blart Mall Cop and The Wrestler on the big screen. The latter was phenomenal. Bleak, but beautifully so. I don't have much else to say. The film met my every expectation.
I also watched the first season of Mad Men again. I think I liked it better the second/third time through. The subtlety of Pete Cambell and Draper's wife really came through. All of the writing revealed its density with another look. The acting is excellent as well. And the art direction and photography. Is this really television? Can't wait for season two.
Also saw Fassbinder's Gods of the Plague. An early, raw effort that confirms my adoration for the true master of independent film. I think part of the reason I haven't been writing is I have been telling myself I need to write more commercially. It's a result of working so many years without compensation. Seeing a Fassbinder film reminds me of the appeal of telling stories from within my purview. The seduction of the New Orleans project has lost its allure for various reasons. Perhaps I need to step away from that one and try my hand at another script for now. I have so little desire to rewrite the NOLA script. It makes me not want to write at all. It seems that if I think about am idea too much it becomes oppressive rather than ingenious. I've written enough at this point of my life to trust what works for me more. There's no doubt that working more by schedule than inspiration is something I need to explore, but there's no sense in mounting a campaign of misery at the same time. What a relief! Forget the NO project for now. Just like that 70s poster with the soft focus blonde chick on the beach tossing a bird up into the sky - If you love something, let it go. If it comes back ...
One thing that continues to be very positive in my life is fitness. I haven't missed a day on '09 of getting at least 45 minutes of exercise. Even when I've been ill or injured I've found some way of getting my body moving. It feels really good. I do have to remind myself of the incredible task it's been to adopt this new habit and acknowledge that some of the energy I would like to me putting into writing is still being sapped by confirming my daily commitment to training my body. Before long those energies will likely synergize, but I don't think I'm there just yet.
Not only am I changing a habit, which is extremely tough for a middle aged man, but I'm learning and relearning a lot of skills such as mountain biking and swimming. Both skills require a combination of physical strength and stamina with patient technique. Charging up a dirt trail, heart rate maxxing, only to come to a tricky portion of the trail that requires balance and concentration is a good thing for me. Just like the key to swimming laps for 45 minutes comes down to steady breathing. Sure my shoulders and legs are burning, but all I have to do is take the next breath in such a way that allows for the following breath without altering my stroke and before you know it my time in the pool is over for the day. Very chi.