09/22/14
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Let It Breathe

hafiz_quoteFor years now I’ve had a recurring dream. The details are never exactly the same, but I’m always lost someplace, trying desperately to get out because I MUST be somewhere else immediately. When my children were younger, it was usually that I was supposed to pick them up, and I knew they were waiting for me on the other side of a mall or city or office building that I couldn’t seem to navigate. Floors changed from gymnasiums to hospitals, hallways turned into mazes from which there was no escape, and city blocks seemed to morph before my eyes into an unrecognizable landscape. I’d end up wandering around, thinking, “But that corner was RIGHT HERE.”

Saturday night I dreamed that I was in a strange kind of dorm with my daughter. We were supposed to man a booth for charity at a flea market, but we’d both woken up late. She wanted to throw clothes on and go, but I preferred to take a quick shower first so I wasn’t so out of it. We were still negotiating when she decided to leave without me. So I tried to find my way there, but the harder I tried to escape the dorm building, the more lost I became. Eventually I decided to go to the first floor, reasoning there would at least be access to an exit, but when I got there it was a hospital with sick people in every room and no exits I could find. When I went back up to the second floor, it had become a sports arena, and in my dream, I wasn’t even sure I’d been on the second floor of the dorm to begin with.

And all the while, the minutes ticked by. I kept checking clocks on the walls only to find that it had become so late in the afternoon that there was hardly a point trying to get to the flea market at all. I woke up panicked, with a familiar knot of anxiety in my chest that told me how wound up I’d been even in my sleep.

After that, I thought a lot about why I keep having these dreams, and why they make me so anxious, and I realized it’s never the being LOST that freaks me out; it’s always the fact that I’M SUPPOSED TO BE SOMEWHERE ELSE. It’s that ticking clock telling me I’m late, that itinerary telling me I have somehow failed my responsibilities. Such an obvious connection to real life that “metaphor” hardly applies!

It seems there’s always someplace else I’m supposed to be, something else I should have done by now. I’m never where I believe I SHOULD be. Shouldn’t I be on some bestseller list somewhere by now? Shouldn’t I have won some kind of award? Shouldn’t there be a movie or TV show about ONE of my books? Shouldn’t I have more financial security? And this isn’t an entitlement thing. It’s a “what the hell have I been doing with myself?” thing.

But the answer is simple. I’m on the road. I’m working and raising kids and learning and growing and experimenting (when I have the luxury), and yes, making mistakes, too. I’m here because I need to be here, and because there is some purpose to this particular hallway, this particular floor. There is something important I haven’t yet seen or done on this city block, and I think I will be better off if I just stop looking at the clock and instead take a deep breath and look around.

<3

09/12/14
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Begin Again

Before Sunrise/Before Sunset/Before Midnight

After seeing Boyhood, we decided we HAD to watch the rest of Richard Linklater’s films. We were not disappointed with this trilogy of films about two strangers who spend one night walking around Austria, just talking and getting to know each other, followed by their interaction at two later dates. Simple and sweet. Streamed two of the movies from Amazon and rented one of them from Redbox.

 

Begin Again

We were super lucky a couple of weeks ago to get free passes to two different movies through AMC and their Stubs reward program. Begin Again was one of them, and I was totally blown away by how much I loved this movie. Witty and smart, it’s definitely one of the year’s best Indie dramas. If you’re looking to be uplifted in that authentic life-is-difficult-but-it-will-all-be-okay kind of way, this is your movie. Saw at AMC, courtesy of free passes from the AMC Independent Facebook page.

 

As Above/So Below

This was our other free movie from AMC, and as horror movie aficionados, we were super excited to see it. I wouldn’t say it was groundbreaking, but it was a fun ride, and the Paris catacombs as a setting was a nice touch. Saw at AMC courtesy of AMC Stubs and Fandango.

 

A Night in the Woods

Speaking of horror movies, we’re always on the lookout for good ones that flew under the radar. The Tribeca designation has begun to symbolize smart, innovative filmmaking in the genre, so we were anxious to give this one a try. It didn’t quite hold up to The Resolution, but it was a quality film that definitely gave us the creeps. The English moor setting was unique, and I think you’ll like this one if you’re a fan of movies like The Blair Witch. Streamed from Amazon.

 

09/9/14
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Why Are We Here Again?

We_are_here_to_healI love this quote so much. I think from now on, if I have a quandary, I’ll just look at this and ask myself; what will bring healing? What will bring love? What will allow me to create something beautiful? Or alternately, will this action or these words harm anyone? Will they destroy?

It’s a very human response to think about how our decisions will affect us. Will this contribute to my personal gain? Will it make me look good? But what if we put those concerns aside and thought only about this? What a relief!

And it kind of makes every decision seem simple, doesn’t it?

Sending you healing, love and creation, Sweet Friends!

<3

09/5/14
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Courage, Writers. Courage.

Writing-What-Hurts-Hemingway-Quote

09/2/14
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Happy New Week!

charles-bukowski-quotes-drink-from-the-wellOne of the most amazing things about this beautiful, wonderful, crazy life is that there is no limit to the number of times you can begin again.

<3

 

08/27/14
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Be Vast

dont_be_delicate

08/23/14
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What If…?

Last week’s movies for you movie buffs!

What If

We saw What If as a matinee ($6!). It’s a garden variety Indie RomCom centered around a group of hipsters and their romantic dilemmas, primarily Wallace and his attraction to best friend, Chantry. Kind of an updated When Harry Met Sally. Entertaining but not groundbreaking.

 

Locke

This movie featuring Tom Hardy was one we hotly anticipated earlier in the year, but it never made it to our theater (I’m not sure it was ever taken out of limited release). The entire movie is set in a car while one man makes an hours-long drive that becomes a transition to a life-changing event. It might sound boring, but the intensity of the story illustrates that a movie (or book or whatever) doesn’t have to be high-concept to be gripping. Tom Hardy is awe-inspiring as the average man trying to keep hold of his tightly controlled emotions during a tumultuous event that is largely out of his control. Rented through Redbox.

 

Last Love

A lovely little movie about love, loss, family, and what it means to really be alive. Michael Caine is transcendent as an American widower living in Paris. He’s just kind of going through the motions of life until he meets a young woman who ignites a long lost spark in him. This is not a romantic movie in the way you might think, but it’s lovely and beautiful and a little sad. We loved it! Streamed on Netflix.

 

Final Destination

Watched this classic with the kids because they hadn’t seen it. Way better than the follow ups, and entertaining as scary movies go. It holds up pretty well for an older movie. I think we streamed this on Amazon. Couldn’t find the trailer for the original, but I’m sure you don’t need it!

;)

08/21/14
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Are You a Seeker?

What_you_seekWhat_you_seekI’ve always considered myself a Seeker, but I have an ongoing debate with myself about whether or not it’s a good thing. For a long time, I assumed everyone pondered life constantly, that everyone spent a large amount of time contemplating the universe, their place in it, whether or not there is a creator force, etc., etc., etc. It wasn’t until I married my second husband that I realized that isn’t true. I’d say, “Do you ever think about XYZ?” And he’d shrug and say, “No.” It was a shock to me. How can you not WONDER? Don’t you CARE?

But over time I also realized that those kinds of people seemed happier. Honestly, my ex just didn’t think that much about stuff. He took life as it came and adjusted as necessary. I envied him and others like him. Spared the angst of pondering life’s great questions, they seemed free to just BE. At the same time, I can’t imagine living absent the rich inner life that keep my mind occupied even in the most mundane of circumstances. I recognize that having this kind of heart and mind is what makes me who I am, and now that I’m older and I actually like myself, I wouldn’t want that to change. Still, I’m always trying to strike that elusive balance between letting my mind go where it will and not making myself crazy (which is probably why meditation has been such a lifesaver for me).

What about you? Are you a Seeker? Do you think it makes you happier or less happy? Would you change it if you could?

08/19/14
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Let’s Call it Life

Life_Adventure

;)

08/15/14
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You’re So Money

Time for this week’s movie update for all you fellow cinefiles.

;)

 

Saw BOYHOOD for our Friday matinee and it was every bit as wonderful and emotional and moving as I expected it to be. Filmed over twelve years using the same cast, the movie speaks to the universal struggle of growing up and growing older, and somehow you leave the theater feeling a little less alone on the journey. The film is in limited release (we had quite a few showings last week, only two this week, and I suspect it will be gone by next week), so jump at the chance to see it if you can.

 

Friday night we watched SWINGERS, a 90s movie featuring a young Vince Vaughn and John Favreaux. I’d seen it before, but it had been awhile and I’m glad I got to watch it with the kids. How else can we say, “You’re so money, and you don’t even know it,” to each other and get the reference? Streaming on Netflix.

 

Saturday the littlest Z and I watched DRINKING BUDDIES while everyone else was out. It was an entertaining look at the complexity of male/female friendships, although a bit slow on the pacing side. That said, it’s streaming on Netflix, and there’s something to be said for free movies.

 

We continued our late night Saturday tradition by watching the horror movie OCULUS. I was surprised by how good this one was. It was extremely well-written, with little of the gore that characterizes a lot of scary movies. Instead the film relies on psychological terror (my favorite!) and a tense round of flashbacks to the incident that shaped events in the modern day timeline. I was on the edge of my seat through most of the movie, and we all agreed that it was a win in terms of horror films. I think we might have streamed this one from Amazon for $2.99.

 

Happy Movie Watching, guys, and Happy Weekend!!

:)