Sunday, March 18, 2007

Hitting the limit on my Blogger picture bandwidth

Tonight’s blog entry will be illustrated by my feet, because they’re there, and they feel like they don’t quite get the credit they deserve for carrying me through the life I’ve had. (they also want a proper pedicure done by a professional, but I blew most of my money on the birthday trip, so they’re just gonna have to wait.)

So me and my tootsies had quite the birthday weekend! I’m telling you folks, I’m in love with The Surf And Sand Resort in Laguna. Yes, it’s pricey, but it’s worth it, and I’m definitely planning on making a yearly jaunt down there for future birthdays.

My feet walked on the sand.

They enjoyed the sunset the first night on my own private balcony with a margarita and a water chaser.

They dug the free champagne and chocolates with an Evian chaser that I got from the hotel for my birthday as they read about Angelina Jolie and the Darfur orphans.

They loved the whirlpool by the pool.

And they liked 9am yoga outside on the Catalina Deck.

The weekend was mostly overcast, only got some sun on the first day, but I am not only Amy The Writer, I am Amy The Moody Writer, so overcast suites me just fine. I still got plenty of awesome sand and water shots as I sat on the balcony or as I walked on the sand. (Bonus points to the hotel for putting an Ihome in every room, so all I had to do was stick my ipod in and I had my tunes ready to go.)

In keeping with my surroundings, I kept playing ocean songs, like Tidalwave, from Longwave

take me back to the other place
take me back when im alone
i can see all the little things that once could make me whole
i am everything you wanted
i am everything you wanted
i am everything you need

God? Is that you God? It’s Amy the Moody Writer on her birthday weekend, trying to sort out why I’m seven and haven’t sold a script yet and why I’m still alone and why the temp agency keeps trying to funnel me to jobs I don’t want.

Then it was onto Ocean Breathes Salty, by Modest Mouse.

Well that is that and this is this.
Will you tell me what you saw and I'll tell you what you missed,
when the ocean met the sky.
You missed when time and life shook hands and said goodbye.
When the earth folded on itself.
And said "Good luck, for your sake I hope heaven and hell
are really there, but I wouldn't hold my breath."
You wasted life, why wouldn't you waste death?

Dunno. Sometimes it’s best just to groove to the melody and keep walking, like with Sæglópur, by Sigur Ros

Sæglópur, á lífi
Kominn heim
Sæglópur, á lífi
Kominn heim
þaõ kemur kafari
Komin heim
þaõ kemur kafari
Komin heim


I haven’t been doing morning devotionals since I bid a fond farewell to Oswald The Annoying Devotionalist in December, but in my last minute flurry of grabbing stuff I thought I might need before getting on the road, I grabbed a three hold punch book given to the Act One students last year by Kris Young, one of the teachers. It’s called “Getting Through The First Draft Of Your Life: 40 Devotionals For Screenwriters.” And I had meant to start reading it in January, but was afraid that I’d burn through 40 in an instant and be left adrift for the rest of the year.

But no better time to start then on my PRIVATE BALCONY OVERLOOKING THE WAVES! (sorry, am I being obnoxious yet?)

The entry I choose is, appropriately enough, based around Psalm 46:10. Be still and know I am God. Kris goes on to talk about how you need to silence everything electronic around you and just listen to the silence. Just listen and know that God is God. That we need to be still and know. And then Kris says we need to step outside ourselves and “take a good look. Just who are you? What makes you “you”? Snap snapshots of the physical you, then think about and write down all the internal things that make you “you.”

Kris then gives a list of possible things, most of which do not apply to me, such as “I’m overweight….I hope to lose 40 lbs.” , “I’m losing my hair…I hope Rogain will grow back my hair.” “I’m poor…I dream of winning this $80 million dollar lottery.” (yes, my finances are not in the best of shape, but I never play the lottery.)

But then this little bon mot showed up, “I’m writing a screenplay...I dream of selling it for a million dollars. I expect it to get made into a hit film and win an Oscar. I hope to repeat this cycle until I die at 110,”

Oh dear. Well, it’s usually the dream of most screenwriters, so I can’t slam myself too hard.

The devotional continues on and says “You = the sum of all this information. But if we hit the delete button on your past and future, so that you only exist in the present, then guess what? The “you” you thought you knew no longer exists.”

Meaning live in the present. Live for today. Kris says, “Jesus says… die to time. ” (It’s Kris’s interpretation. I don’t think Jesus literally said that.) He goes on to say that “Awareness of Time hurts. We can spend the rest of our time trying to kill time by keeping busy busy, or we can turn 180 degrees and Be still. Die to time and self.” Be still and know that I am God.

Which jibes with my worldview of Living For Today. I don’t remember when exactly I figured that little thing out, but it’s pretty simple. You either live for Today, or you live for Someday. I choose to live for Today, because it’s the things that you do Today that affect your future, ergo Someday. To most people, it probably appears shortsighted, and it’s not as though I don’t have any plans for the future, because I have a whole Excel sheets of multiple writing projects with goals, and steps to take to get to the goal. But it makes life easier to handle, if all you focus on is what you have to get done today. This is my list of things to do today. Step by step, towards your ultimate goal.

So Kris says you need to hit the delete button on your past and future, and exist in the present. I WISH my past and future would die. Well, I wish my past would die, so I wouldn’t keep remembering it, which I think is the single biggest chain on my head that I try so hard, every single day, to overcome, to break. These constant thoughts of well, it didn’t work before, so why would it work now batter me relentlessly. If I could silence them once and for all, and what would do that more than success at something? Like selling a script? Starting the rounds again of contacting my peeps in the industry and begging them to read something and hoping, wishing, praying that THIS time, THIS script is the one that’s gonna sell, despite the fact it hasn’t worked before, but it’ll work now. Oh yes, little one, it’ll work NOW.

It seems impossible. It seems stupidly naïve and wishful pie in the sky thinking. But I have to keep hammering myself with the idea that nothing is impossible with God. And it’s not like I’m sitting around doing nothing. I’m doing everything I can. And clinging to the hope that this time THIS time, by the grace of God and a huge dose of His favor, it’s gonna work.

The thing that stuck with me the most is when Kris says, “Moses asks God His name. God replies: “I AM.” Not “I was” or “I will be” but “I AM.”

“I AM is eternally present. Not defined by past or future…I AM is the guy in the Goodyear blimp who sees the beginning, middle and end of the Rose Parade all at once. I AM sees our lives all at once.”

And all I can think of is thank GOD someone knows that, ‘cause I sure as hell don’t. It’s a comforting thought, that God knows my whole life, that if I’m a book, He knows the last page, even if my book happens to be in the Horror Section, as I suspect it is. And my particular bitching and groaning must be highly amusing to Him if he knows that the next mile marker is going to bring something pretty awesome.

And I choose to believe that something pretty awesome is coming. I deliberately declare it. And yet at the same time it’s making me sound like I’m living for Someday, doesn’t it? Damn. Okay, okay, do I sound like a hypocrite if I say I believe in something awesome coming someday, but I’m living for today? Aw hell.

Okay, so here’s my favorite picture of the weekend. Mr. Surfer Dude is standing on his surfboard and paddling with a pole. He actually didn’t go “into the light” like it looks like he’s going to, he skirted around the edge.

But I totally would’ve.


Susan said...

Great insights, sweetie. Glad the weekend brought that to you. Being still is sometimes the hardest thing for those of us crazy creatives out there but it's also the most rewarding when you can do it. Glad it was a happy birthday, particularly for your feet!

Richard T said...

Big dif between living in the now and hoping for tomorrow. Living in the now and ONLY the now negates the existence of hope, as hope is purely based in the future, right?

T'ain't nothing wrong with enjoying the present with an eye to the future. And if we could see the whole, big picture...well, we wouldn't be mortal, then, would we? And where's the fun in that?


Carlen said...

I TOTALLY get what you're saying here. My epiphany recently was that I will always be YEARNING for something more - something different - whatever. I just need to LIVE. Like what you're saying - today. And I have been a completely different person. It's a good thing. And I am excited about your job interview Monday - girl. I'll be praying. Thanks for the inspiration - and happy belated birthday!!! Way to celebrate it in a kick-ass way.