Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Back In The Saddle

I haven't been paying attention to my blog - or others - recently, but that's not what I'm kvetching about this evening. There's a script over in the corner that's been in need of a rewrite for about two months now, and is going to have to wait a little longer. My house is gradually caving in around me as I write and I'm doing nothing to brace against chaos. I, like some of you, have a precarious relationship to the things I should be doing. I could devote an entire series of posts to procrastination, but I can't seem to get started.

Every now and then, though, I get off my ass and do something. It's been a long time since I've been behind a camera, but last weekend I started a new documentary project.

It just so happens that it was an outdoor shoot and this past weekend seemed to mark the opening of hell's gates in Philadelphia, with April temps soaring into the 90s. Apparently, I am so stooopid as to go out in the blazing sun in the heat of the day and lug camera equipment around... without sunscreen. That wouldn't have been much of a problem when I was in my early 20s and had a god-like head of hair, but now? It was like I dipped my head into a barrel of pickled beets.

Aside from that charming image and the sore muscles (it's a lot of physical work to do this stuff on your own), I had a ball. Incidentally, or maybe accidentally, I got some great footage as well. I don't know how the doc itself will end up, since it's a summer-long project, but what I do know is this: if there's something you love, and feel passionate about, that's what you should be doing. Right now. Not when it's convenient, not when you have the time, not when someone asks you to, but right now.

I got back in the saddle this weekend, and it made everything else I did, or had to do, seem less daunting.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Winter's Toll

As the buds break and spring slips soggily over the landscape this year, I looked back over the past month and tried to figure out just what the hell happened. I feel like I've been disconnected from just about everything; this blog is the least of things I've let slip. There's no big mystery, really, it's just that I had the end-of-winter brush with sickness. It wasn't all mine, but around casa Scriptking, when one member is down, you can't help but feel it.

Being sick is a funny thing, and it affects everyone a bit differently. Let's be clear, though, I'm talking about lowercase s sickness. Nothing serious, just pernicious. It's amazing how annoying a cold can be. A stomach virus can cast a long shadow. When you have four people living under the same roof, and two types of sick, the combinations are seemingly endless. For most of the month I managed to avoid the stuff myself, which is amazing considering I had been puked on, snotted on, and someone actually sneezed into my open mouth. The moment everyone else became ambulatory, it finally caught up with me.

But, like I said, it's only a cold, or a little extra toilet-time. I feel like a world-champ puss to complain about any of it, but still, it's the collateral effects that catch up with you. First, there's the tunnel vision. When a loved one is ill, you focus on their well-being, and all extraneous thought gets pushed into the background. Second, there's the time-suck factor. I lost count of how many times I had to visit the CVS over the past couple of weeks. Third, there's the total loss of discretionary time, which is a result of the time-suck factor. If I'm spending all that time at the CVS, that's minutes adding up to hours I don't have available to be working, relaxing, or just being human. Hence, the blog lies fallow. I'm not even going to mention the script I should be re-writing.

Weirdly, and probably because I've been watching a documentary about the space program, having a house of sick people reminds me of the process of re-entry into earth atmosphere from space. You lose communication for a time, and everything extraneous gets burned away.

Even though I acknowledge I don't have much to complain about, because everyone is relatively healthy now, it got me to thinking about how it must be for people struggling with chronic illnesses. The way I felt for the last month simply never ends for them. I really need to be more compassionate.

Having the kind of month I did also made me look back over the winter and realize that the toll for passing to the other end of the seasons was more brutal this year than last: one of my best friends died, other good friends lost a daughter, another friend suffered a near-fatal stroke. The economy isn't pinching Charon's purse at all.

I'm looking for the sun, and the warmth. I need a recharge.