Tuesday, February 27, 2007

The Heart of Me

Several friends of mine have offspring who want to pursue filmmaking. I find it very revealing that I'm thrilled with their decisions. Currently I'm writing novels because my filmmaking life went off the rails twelve years ago. But like any self-respecting director, I've never let the cold light of reality interfere with my creative plans. I can still see the tracks. I have a number of projects that are idling while my Inner Creative Spirit Crew works to get my film train rolling.

I sent an email this afternoon to one of my oldest friends, whose daughter is interested in going to the Vancouver Film School. One of the women in my writers' group remembered that I went to Ryerson, because her son is thinking of going there. And another longtime friend has a son who already posts his short films on YouTube. 'How wonderful', I think, when I should be warning them off of such a life choice.

If that's what beats in their hearts, of course, it's already too late. I can only hope the very best for them.

I did warn the woman from my writers' group about the financial extremism involved. My own personal experience won't happen to everyone but I feel it's only fair to mention it. My husband and I suffered a massive financial setback when he was diagnosed with bipolar disorder the same summer I graduated with my film degree.

Keeping myself employed and being there for him trumped any steps toward the life I'd started to build. Having job experience in low-paying customer service snagged us onto the poverty merry-go-round. I started writing novels because I could get my stories down without needing millions in financing.

But our personal odyssey - seeking my husband's wellness - took all the courage and unwavering faith that normally would go into the filmmaking process. Time well spent. Now we are maintaining health and finances both. We even managed to keep a tiny glowing ember of our creative ambition somewhere. At one point I was certain it had gone cold.

But the Atlantic breezes found their way into the true heart of me. One playful gust was all it took. Now the fire burns steady and unwavering. I write my novels and plan my shots, and in the meantime I work, give thanks for my paychecks and laugh with my partner in crime.


Unknown said...

Life has a funny way of throwing us curve balls, doesn't it? When we're young we think we have control over everything and then things happen and we realize the best we can do is survive and come out the other end. Hopefully we become stronger and more compassionate.

Glad you've come through the fire and the spark of creativity is still burning inside.