42/52 RED ROVER
Brooke Goldfinch is an Australian writer/director who made this short film exploring the last day before the end of the world. A cult has gathered to “drink the Kool-Aid” so to speak but two young members refuse to believe in or cooperate with the end of days. Goldfinch was fascinated by how people might spend their final moments on earth and her film is a transcendent meditation on faith, love and hope.
Goldfinch is currently writing her first feature, which I eagerly anticipate, and you can WATCH RED ROVER HERE.
I’m one of those people who gets really depressed in December as the years draws to an end and I think of all the things I wanted to accomplish, but didn’t, though not for a lack of trying. Sometimes I feel like a hamster on the wheel; I can see where I want to go but not always how to get there. Most of the time I deal with it and stay positive. Other times, like on my birthday or throughout the holiday season, I start getting mean about my progress or lack thereof. I hate the feeling of standing still. I hate knowing that I want to be working full-throttle when nothing – absolutely nothing – seems to be moving. I want to throw off the blanket of stillness that seems to wrap itself around the whole world; the things that die or get lost or move on without us. The season of hibernation and cocooning before the spring.
Finally, and usually around the Winter Solstice, I give in. I stop resisting nature’s rhythm and I surrender to the fact that what will be, will be. And then it will change and grow and move and evolve, just as everything always does. Last night I read this passage by my beloved Henry David Thoreau:
Live in each season as it passes; breathe the air, drink the drink, taste the fruit, and resign yourself to the influences of each. Let them be your only diet drink and botanical medicines.
Resign yourself to the influences of each… that hit me hard. Whatever season you find yourself in – whether it be aching grief or ecstatic joy or uncertain transition – resign yourself and drink it in. Be present. Only by experiencing our present circumstances fully can we move through them with grace. And notice that Thoreau advises us not to numb ourselves out during the process. Be fully awake, fully alive, fully immersed in whatever life is flowing through you right here, right now. Each season arrives with its own gifts. Sometimes we don’t recognize or understand the gift that life offers but I believe that it is always, unfailingly, the opportunity for transformation into something more than we have been until now. Someone new.
Well, hello, my long-lost blog. Haven’t seen you in ages. It’s been a heck of a couple o’ months. I reached complete burnout with the status quo … six years trying to juggle a full-time day job and a full-time acting pursuit finally got to me and I just couldn’t take it any more. The choice to leave my job made me; I was experiencing mini nervous breakdowns every day and enough was enough. My Scorpio loyalty becomes too much at times; I stay with questionable situations or relationships well past their expiration date. It takes acts of god to make me throw in the towel. Or stress-related chest pains and panic attacks, which had come back years after I thought I was rid of them.
At any rate, I was not living; I was truly just surviving and I was miserable. I’ve struggled though enough lean times to want to hang on to a decent, steady paycheck when I have one, but I had to let it go. I realized that I was merely treading water and that I couldn’t do all the things I dreamed of doing if I was chained to a desk for the major portion of my day. I needed some big changes which included being able to see the sun and get outside every day; being able to set my own schedule; not having to answer phones ever again because I really, really hate it; doing something different every day instead of the same mind-numbing routine; and working in a quiet environment with more solitude or at least more creativity.
So I took a risk and made the leap. At first it was utterly surreal. My first Monday of freedom I was swimming in the ocean instead of swimming in paperwork. I couldn’t get enough of the sun or of morning tea on my patio or of writing in a new journal or of hard exercise or of quiet. I haven’t had a vacation since college and I could feel every bone in my body thanking me profusely for just being DONE. I haven’t wanted to pick up the phone. I haven’t wanted to go anywhere near an office for any reason whatsoever. I haven’t wanted to chatter on Facebook or Twitter. I just wanted to drink in quiet, space, solitude, nature, culture, books, meditation and exercise.
Then the whole thing turned out to be a bigger leap than it was supposed to be. The new day job I’d put into place didn’t pan out the way I was expecting. It still might, but it’s taking much longer and I’ve had to hustle to find other sources of income in the meantime. And those were contingencies I’d put into place as well but it’s been an anxious time as well as a happy one. I know without a doubt that I made the right decision; change was long overdue and that alone feels amazing. I just don’t know how it’s all going to work out. I’m really being challenged to practice my preaching and stay in the present moment – to embrace the unknown as a delightful adventure instead of something to fear. But I will say this: the artist/little girl/exercising nature-lover inside of me is SO FREAKING THRILLED TO BE FREE!