Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Haiku

I read a book recently that was a rather good suspense novel, Death Match by Lincoln Child, a bit predictable, but a good ride nonetheless. However there was a piece of haiku poetry quoted in it, a piece by Kobayashi Issa, that struck me while I was reading it.
Insects on a bough
floating downriver,
still signing.

What an amazing and powerful image. As well as lovely, impactful, and serene. I can see the cicadas humming their midsummer night song as a tree branch floats lazily down the river, the heat of the summer and the cool of the water causing the songs to be more melodic than the regular hum associated with steamy nights.
I love finding little bits of beauty in unexpected places. Words have always held a strong sway over me, and poetry, good poetry mind you, can stir the senses in ways I can not replicate. Of course, poetry can be non-verbal and unwritten as well. A moment shared, a vision glimpsed, a memory unbidden, these can all be poetic and in their own right, poetry. But the written word. That holds itself separate. Haiku is so evocative, so simple, so full of the senses, it can stay with you for days. As this piece has with me.

Its that time of year.....

Little pieces of salvation, written in red ink on tiny pamphlets, handed out at the Harvard Square T stop by women speaking without pause about Christ and his ever lasting love and your ever lasting damnation. If only it were that easy, really. To read conflicting words of faith and persecution in a badly written, misspelled hand out where the expectation is that light will shine down, the error of your ways will be clear, and blind faith will spring forth and save your constantly wavering soul.
I wonder what people two thousand years from now will say when they are studying the old religions of the 20th century and the crude techniques employed by the patriarchal church to keep people in line.
But the sort of devotion that it takes to stand for hours during the morning commute, attempting to make contact with people who try desperately to avoid contact with you, all in the hopes of "saving" a soul or two... it boggles my mind. I don't know whether to be impressed or dismayed. I do know that it never ceases to amaze me that there are still people out there who believe so ardently that they are willing to pass out pieces of salvation to Boston commuters at the subway.

Monday, December 18, 2006

this, that, and the other...

Another year older. And hopefully at least a little bit wiser.... although that probably remains to be seen. I am just not sure how it is that I managed to achieve the age of 35 without feeling as though I got older. Curious..... Of course it is lovely that one of my dearest friends also turns 35 at the same time I do, well, I am one week older than she is, but it is nice to have someone who ages right along with you whom I can confer with and call up to say "I don't feel old, do you? I don't think that we are aging at all!"

But here I am, one week away from the holiday, and I can finally catch up on some rest and relaxing, considering that I was actually diagnosed with exhaustion last week (yup, Lindsay Lohan is not the only one with that diagnosis, although mine is not a cover), it might be a good idea to actually take some time for me and slow down. Plus hearing your doctor say to you "You need to slow down and chill for a bit!" helps with that decision. Of course, what with the holidays now upon me and barely any shopping done, I wonder how that will work out. Well, at least I bought presents for my goddaughter, so at least she is all set, but it is just everyone else I need to take care of. Ah well, it'll happen, or it won't. I am not going to stress myself over it and people will still love me (I hope!).
I am not exactly feeling any sort of holiday spirit this year, I am more exasperated at the masses. They all seem to be infected with holiday spirits. Drivers are more aggressive and short tempered, don't even start me about the long lines and grumpy shoppers in stores, incessant insipid Christmas music where ever I turn, and there was a stabbing outside of Symphony Hall, not 100 feet from where I work the other night! I believe that the Charlie Brown Christmas woe of the holidays being commercialized, marketed and packaged for the lowest common denominator of consumers is fully realized. Maybe next year I will go on a trip somewhere away from the insanity. Maybe somewhere quiet... south of France? West coast of Ireland? Scotland? Some island somewhere warm..... my family would not be happy, but I could be selfish and go during the crazy period and then come back and spend time with my family without all the hype, hoopla, and horror shows of the holiday season.

Sun flare..... new topic... ;-)
So, I learned something new last night. Presence. In tango. Damn difficult to do along with all the other things I need to remember. But I managed to finally get it, almost. But now along with "Don't walk like a duck!" I get to hear "More!" shouted at me as I try to keep my knees together, not move my feet into ballet positions, keep my posture, oh, yea, and move with rhythm. Right. But I am making tiny steps of improvement I think. And S has yet to tell me I am hopeless, so all in all, not too bad. In his words "Might make a tango dancer of you yet, eventually..." Can't wait to hear what the instructor says when I start classes in January. Should be interesting to merge S's teachings along with class. heh heh heh, I rather like having an edge when it comes to things like that!

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

calm descends....

It is funny, looking back at yesterday's post.... the photo I posted.... I really do like it, but it certainly was an appropriate image for the day I had. Coming out of the dark into the light. My descents into the darker side of life never last long, and usually are forgotten about very quickly, what can I say... I'm Sagittarius! But that picture struck me as curious, being the one I chose to post on a day when my patience ran away. However, today is another day. And I am fully in the light again. I managed to talk to the caterer this morning when they set up breakfast and discovered no one had told them about my specific dietary requirements, they just told him to have vegetarian dishes available. He was very concerned at my not being able to eat and promised me a good lunch. And boy! Did he deliver! I had a lovely salad, humus and pita bread, some sort of tomato, cucumber and vinegar salad, and some wonderful fruit. I was esctatic, and thanked him for being so good as to bring me a special meal and take care of my food issues. It was really lovely to be taken care of in that respect.

Monday, December 04, 2006

temper temper temper....


I almost never have temper tantrums. My mom has said that my sister and my personalities were defined from our births. I came out calm, quiet and asleep. My sister was screaming before she cleared the birth canal. It take a lot to ruffle my feathers, and my fuse is really long. But today, I reached the end of it. And over something really stupid, but also really essential. Lunch.
Sounds weird, doesn't it. But hear me out. My day stared at 4:15am, which, as you know, is not exactly an hour that I want to even think about prying my eyelids open, never mind getting up out of bed. But there you have film life. So, up at 4:15. The hotel, of course, does not serve breakfast at this hour, and naturally there are no 24 hour Dunkin Donuts in the area, so we have to wait for the caterers to arrive on set at 5:30. At which point the hoards of actors descend, whom we dress and get ready for set, so my first cup of coffee and morsel of food happens around 8 or 8:30, makes me somewhat growly, but I try to cover that as well as I can. Then, off to set, and today was brutually cold, and we are shooting summer scenes, naturally. Curious thing about film, they shoot summer scenes in 30 degree weather with a wind chill of nasty proportions, and shoot winter scenes in August. Back ass-wards is you ask me. But anyway, so there these poor guys are, wearing next to nothing, and freezing their toukuses off. So I am not only attending to costumes, but on blanket duty too, wrapping people in blankets in between takes, checking their costumes when I remove the blankets, all sorts of fun. We break for lunch at 1:00. Mind you, this is now almost 7 hours since I got up and so far I've had some coffee, a banana, and a granola bar. So we head back to the building for some heat and food, and when I get there what do I see? Absolutely nothing that I can eat. Shepard's pie, both meat and non-meat, but covered in creamy potatoes that would kill my day if I ate them and their buttery goodness. Now mind you, I had an in depth discussion with the production manager about my food restrictions and allergies so that catering could have food for me to eat. And not one day this entire shoot has their been a meal where I could actually eat well. There was always something I could eat, but rarely was it substantial enough to last me. Usually a roll and some iceberg lettuce salad, or some fruit, which lasts me about.... oh... an hour before I am hungry again. Well, today there was literaly nothing I could eat. Not one damn thing. And I pitched a fit. It was spectacular. All I knew was that I was tired, cold, and hungry and yet again, they forgot to accomodate my food restrictions and I was left without. And I was done being nice about it. The last thing I need to think about while working on set was what or how to eat. That should be taken care for me so that I can do my job. And my working a 14 hour day on an empty stomach was not the best of situations for anybody. So I had possibly the best temper tantrum I have had since I was 5. And although it might have been justified, I had an out of body moment, watching myself and thinking "Damn, you need to calm down!" But I could not. So I ended up storming out, driving to some horrible Chinese place, ordering some "interesting" asian food, driving back, and eating while people needed to get back to the set. And of course, I don't want to cause problems for the actors, I like them, so I inhale the bad chinese food, get everyone ready, send them on their way, and sit down feeling like I wanted to vomit and cry at the same time. I did neither, thank whatever powers that be, but I really wanted to. It is amazing that such a small thing can have such huge consequences!
Anyway, they paid for my lunch and promised me a food happy day tomorrow. We'll see. Attached is a picture from set. I rather liked it!

Saturday, December 02, 2006

stop. breathe. be.

"Live in each season as it passes;
breathe the air,
drink the drink,
taste the fruit,
and resign yourself to the influences of each."

Mister Henry David Thoreau


There is no better description of my outlook on life.

This hangs framed in my bedroom and I hope to remember to follow through every day that I live.

Working fourteen hour days on a movie shoot can often blur out your edges, insulate you from the world at large because you are so immersed in the work and the world of the movie, that remembering to stop, breathe, and be, if only for a moment every day, can be difficult. But today I had a carifying moment. Standing on set, scissors around my neck, garments draped across my arms, back sore from said garments and being on my 10th hour without sitting... I was feeling the exhaustion wash over me and my mind was dulling as the next shot was being set up and I had nothing to do but wait. So I stretched my neck back to release a kink that had been bothering me, and looked up into cerulean blue that was enhanced with tree branches raised up, eagerly reaching for the infinite blue of the sky, creating a gorgeous pattern that made me draw my breath in sharply at the beauty. I only had about half a minute of this vision until "Wardrobe!" invaded my ears and I was brought back down to earth to attend someone's breeches that were misbehaving. But it was a 30 seconds that I needed to remember to stop. breathe. and resign myself to the influences around me.