Thursday, August 26, 2010

Eyes Without A Face

Oh, the random joys of living in a digital world.  By the way, if you're over forty, think of how often you read, said or heard the word digital in the first two thirds of your life compared to the past third.
So anyway ... I was enjoying the morning today.  No reason to jump out of bed and take the day by storm for once.  The soft light was casting shadows on my walls and ceiling of the lovely patterns of the tree branches outside my window.  I was playing some Billie Holiday on my iTunes.  All was well in the world.
Then one Billie gave way to another and Billy Idol's Eyes Without a Face started.  It felt so out of place and remote.  Not in a bad way.  Maybe like a status update from someone that you don't know very well on Facebook -- mildly inappropriate and unwelcome somehow.  But there it was.  In between Billie Holiday and Billy Riley.  Just one song from some random 80s collection.
The song always reminds me of a message left on my answering machine in high school.  I was friends with a guy who later went on to become one of the founders of a major social networking site.  He had a very deep-toned and distinct way of speaking, very drawn out and bassy.  "Neal, what's up, power?  What would it be like if your girlfriend had eyes without a face?  Call me back, it's B____."  As if I didn't know that or could ever forget it.

Monday, August 23, 2010

The Perfect Gift

 Today is my birthday.  Several months ago I bought three Pendleton muchacho blankets commemorating Oregon's sesquicentennial.  They're beautiful blankets that come with a beautifully written letter from Oregon's current First Lady.  I'd been waiting for the right occasion to present them to my children.  I didn't want to give them to them for Christmas as they would get lost in the shuffle.  Nor for their birthdays or other special occasion as they would hardly be welcomed instead of a desired toy or video game.  This morning I decided that my birthday would be fitting. They opened their boxes as I read the First Lady's letter just after breakfast.  I could tell they got it, each according to their age, and that it was a gift joyfully and proudly received by all.  Throughout the day I noticed my son proudly laid his on his bunk bed.  My older daughter used hers as a cloak of invisibility.  My youngest as swaddling for her favorite doll.
After dinner and birthday cake, they presented their gift to me – the Pendleton robe pictured above.  It is described below.  As a long time collector of Pendleton and other trade blankets, this exchange of gifts was very touching.  I was especially proud that my children enjoyed the richness of their blankets and were able to keep it a secret all day that they too had a blanket for me.  Especially as I read the letter explaining the tradition of exchanging blankets to show respect.

Our Father’s Eyes is a tribute to the men who watch over and guide us as we journey through this earth. Diamonds represent the eyes of a father. They are symbols of the clarity and wisdom with which he watches over and guides his children. Within the diamonds, outstretched arms of the father reach to embrace his children. Arrowheads signify the unwavering protection a father provides for his family and the direction that he offers to his sons and daughters. In traditional Native American symbolism, arrows pointing to the right offer protection and those pointing left ward off evil. Feathers signify the spirit and creative force as well as honor. On the left the spirit feathers of the father await birth. On the right, feathers remind us that our father continues to watch over and send us his prayers after he passes on. The traditional step pattern echoes a father’s lifesteps from birth, to adulthood, to old age and finally to the spirit world. The wave design represents water and the ebb and flow of life’s ups and downs through which our father offers his love and support.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Big Sur

I can't tell you what I was doing there nor who I saw while there nor where I stayed nor anything specific at all aside from this:  after a few days up on those mountains and down on those shores, the back of my neck felt like jelly.  A magical place to let go of some tension.  An unforgettable few days.

Four Wheels in Big Sur

Friday, August 06, 2010

Live Fast

I'm temperamentally inclined to slow living, or so I'd like to think.  Yet I'm very impatient and impulsive.  So there are times that the stream of life is a rushing wall of water crashing through my normal existence.  The profferer of the Canada job called me two weeks ago with yet another job that I accepted and spent the following eight days completely absorbed by.  It went well.
Then I spent another week wrapping that job and recovering physically and organizationally.  So here I am, sitting quietly on a Friday night.  Thinking about old friends and more exciting, but not necessarily better, times of my life.
The motorcycle has proven to be a very good idea.  I'm enjoying that.
What else?  Not really sure.  I'm not writing or missing writing.  I'm trying to stay connected to finishing Dangerous Writing, but it feels like a chore for the most part.  I do want to see it finished, but the process is a trudge to say the least.
I just moved out of the office I've had for the past two and half years.  I had to go through all the detritus of making movies and teaching acting.  I tossed a lot of it.  Not most or anything drastic, but I let go of somethings that I've been hauling around for a decade or more.  Part of me would like to see all of it go.  I'm not very attached to it.  But some of it still makes me money through rentals and the occasional job, though the more photo jobs I do, the less I want to make movies for any amount of money.
The other reason I find it hard to let go of my film-related stuff is that it is stuff that has value, or so it would seem.  I had a collection of scripts from the 60s-80s that I offered to whoever on Facebook and to the NW Film Center.  You can get a lot of them online now, but these were copies from the studios and from the time when there was no internet.  There were no takers.  I tossed each of the one to three pound bricks into the recycling skip at my old office.  And that was that.  Times change within and without.
I have an old film camera that I need to sell as well.  Part of me wants to heft its heavy metal case up into a corner of my attic and see what the world thinks of it in twenty years.  But my attic is mostly empty and I'd like to keep it that way.  So I'll donate or sell my beautiful and trusty old Arriflex to someone that will find a use for it.
My father-in-law once reminded me that money is just an exchange for time. That holding onto stuff that you think you could sell or use again someday is really just shorting yourself time.
Since I tend to live faster than I often realize, I suppose I shouldn't short myself time by hanging onto possessions that no longer serve me.