Monday, November 30, 2009

self-identified crazy person

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I know. I know. I'm totally nuts. That's usually what I tell guys on a first date, just so there are no surprises later.

Jess and I had to keep our senses of humor throughout the production of our film. This clip was taken after a looooong day in the studio, when I found a CD of Brazilian drumming and felt inspired to document how it made me feel like dancin'!

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Identity Thunder Storms

I have been recently reminded of how it feels to be knocked off center and to temporarily loose the knowledge of my rooted, steady, core self. What makes that happen? Why do certain events or people leave us feeling strip-mined and exposed? Do we permit our secure identities to be rattled by others or do they steal it? When we have felt that someone has violated our personal sense of self by being disrespectful or selfish, how long does it take for us to settle back in to our intrinsic sense of empowerment and groundedness? This is an important question to weigh, because really, even when truly wronged, I think we are all somewhat responsible for any power we give away to others. Sometimes it takes a thunder storm to clear to clear the air though.

There is a whole succession of stages we often go through to right ourselves or recalibrate our internal compass – sometimes taking minutes, sometimes taking years. It is much like the water cycle: evaporation, condensation, precipitation, and collection. First the individual molecules of emotion (anger, hurt, shame, expectation, hope, attachment) are evaporated by our internal sun and become vapor in our stomachs; then they condense into powerful arrows that we want to aim and shoot. Once the vapor has transformed to liquid and the air claps together from the lightning’s void, our feelings release with heavy precipitation. Finally, after the rain has fallen, we are able to recollect ourselves and become intimate again with the deep blue body of water that is our true self. I guess the goal is to honor this cycle and to try to move as quickly through the sequence as we can so we are able rightfully claim our authentic existence, unabashedly real and powerful.

Monday, November 16, 2009

living in the forcefield of love

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Shot just after our last location shoot, at Cronkhite Beach in the Marin Headlands.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Cultural Identity

How much does a particular culture influence one's core identity? Certainly we all have a culture that we grew up in and identify with, the differences between global, regional or even neighborhood cultures varying widely, but do we even realize just how deeply our internal drives and characteristics are shaped by environmental stimuli, relational customs, language, and ritual? Consider the author Malcom Gladwell's thoughts, as expressed in his latest book, Outliers:

"Cultural legacies are powerful forces. They have deep roots and long lives. They persist, generation after generation, virtually intact, even as the economic and social and demographic conditions that spawned them have vanished, and they play such a role in directing attitudes and behavior that we cannot make sense of our world without them. How are attitudes passed down from generation to generation? Through social heritance. Think of the way accents persist over time....Whatever mechanism passes on speech patterns probably passes on behavioral and emotional patterns as well."

We like to think that we are each extraordinarily unique individuals, and we are, but some of what we might consider to be personal idiosyncrasies, beliefs or inclinations may very well be informed by our culture and all the subcultures we take part in. It is comforting to realize that our overlapping and shared experiences are grounds for identifying commonalities and relating to each other. And when we can't relate to someone very easily, I like that we can understand so much more about that someone if we put them in context.