Archive for the ‘love’ Category

Applause

One of the greatest lovemaking acts in the world is between an artist and his audience.

Therefore, the greatest place for an artist to be is on a stage. To stand in front of the people who love his work, his talent, his gift. To stand in front of them and share it with them. It must be the best high in the world. Musicians and other performance artists experience it in the most direct way. Music shows have people clapping and shouting and cheering with enthusiasm after each song, and during. Magicians, jugglers, acrobats, and other performers of the circus also experience the appreciation of the audience in the most immediate way, although there’s a difference between a performer who is a part of a show and a musician who people come especially to see. I think as far as audience feedback goes, nothing beats being a musician/singer on stage. Yes, it’s hard, doing shows one after the other. It demands energy and stamina. But there’s a reason why music legends such as Madonna and The Rolling Stones still perform while most of the people their age are rotting away in places with names such as “Green Fountains”. You see, it’s the love of the audience. It’s intoxicating. Is it an ego-trip? Partly, for sure. But as long you keep your ego in check, as long as it’s not too inflated, as long as you can enjoy the adoration and not get too caught up in it, it’s just an awesome feeling. For musicians, going on tour is the best thing there is. It is nothing like recording in the studio. It is connecting with the people who buy and enjoy and love their music. It’s seeing them, hearing them, feeling them.

As an artist, some fans will leave you, especially if you’ve been in some sort of creative decline, or “sold out” in their opinion. It’s hard, keeping the love of the audience. It’s hard to win it and it’s even harder to keep it. But, you will always have your core of fans, your little family, who travels along with you, metaphorically and literally, over the years. And even if you don’t have a fan base yet, even if it’s your first performance ever, even if it’s in a school talent show instead of in a stadium, you can still connect with an audience like no artist can. And it’s still magic.

Actors in the theater have it a little different. It really depends on the kind of show you’re making. If you’re making a comedy, you’ll be able to enjoy the crowd’s response during your performance, just like a rocker on stage (depending if it’s funny, of course). If it’s a drama, you’ll have to wait until the end to get your applause. That part, where the actors return to stage and take their bow, is the most magical part in theater, it’s the moment where the performer goes in front of his audience and says “there you go, I did my part, now it’s your turn”. It’s awesome being an actor in the theater if only for that moment, if only for that feeling, doing the same play each and every night, and when it’s over, feeling the love rising out of the seats in a roar of applause, and like a wave, washing over you, affirming your talent, your gift, telling you that you have found what you were brought to this Earth to do. Those applause, this love, they are the stamp of approval on the talent sheet you received from god.

A writer, on the other hand, cannot experience this immediacy, this connection with an audience. A writer performs his act on the page, adding words to words, creating a story or a poem. The closest a writer can get to feeling like a rock star is if he reads his work on stage. And that’s really more of a performance, only of the literary kind. The writer needs to be proficient with it, or he risks boring his audience to tears, just like a musician. But a writer cannot see or feel first hand how his work affects people. He cannot be in your living room with you while you read his book. He cannot hear you gasp, laugh, cry. Writing is the most intimate of artistic endeavors. The connection between the author and his reader is always done through the mind. Yes, a writer can receive letters from readers telling him how his work affected them, but it is certainly not as direct as hearing your crowd cheer and applaud your live performance as a fire-eater or as a Blues artist.

A playwright can hear his words spoken on stage and can take joy in the love of the audience. He is not necessarily on stage bowing, or even present at the theater every night, but he can experience it behind the scenes. Better than nothing, right?

And what about the screenwriter?

Screenwriting, that weird amalgamation of the playwright and the novelist. A script, unlike a novel or a play, is not an independent piece (barring some exceptions…). It is the blueprint for a motion picture. A screenwriter cannot experience a direct link with his audience unless he sits in a theater showing the film he wrote. And even then, it is anonymous. It is like the playwright behind the stage.

A writer is not a performer. Writers are usually shy and prefer it this way. But there’s something to be said about getting your applause. For me, showing my short film in the theater was a high point, and the closest I got to being a rock star. Of course, I cherished it with complete anonymity, and I was somewhat tense since when you’re making a comedy you always worry the audience won’t laugh. But when they do, and in the right spots, and when they gasp in the right spots, you can imagine yourself on the stage, a guitar in your hand, shredding it, or maybe sitting at a piano, hammering those tunes, your fingers dancing on the keyboard like drunk ballerinas.

And when it ends, you stand up, and take a bow, and thank them.

And then you are one with your audience.

And you love them for it.

Rehearsal

Your touch was a soft breeze
And the sea and the waves were a chorus of cheers
While we danced in the moonlight, giddy and slight
In a whirlwind of soulful lust and delight
And a thousand sunsets came and went
Making me feel like a tortured saint
And holding your hands and kissing your brow
I remembered how it was so long ago
That we danced in the moonlight, the sweetest moonlight
And our shadows were merging, forming a stain
And a tree up above was calling our name
In a cold night on a quiet road in an undiscovered land
Just the soft touch of a welting rose and the smell of its shame
‘Cause you know that it’s never enough
To say what we feel or do what we like
And you see right through me and I through you
No matter what comes and no matter who’s who
Just tell me this one thing and I’ll be on my way
Why did you forget about me at the end of a day?
Why did we rehearse for so long, dancing around each other,
If the music never started playing and it was all a clutter?
On the side of a road
Where owls call in vain
I cleaned up my glasses and sat in the rain

Shooting Stars

It was a particularly clear night, and the skies were filled with stars, like millions of flashlights in a dark cave.

He pulled at a blade of grass next to the blanket, tearing it out of the ground. Then he let it go, and the wind caught it.
It flew away like a green little bird.

The wind was picking up. It was a rather chilly night. Summer was coming to an end. He looked to his left, where she lay, her face upturned, bathed by the moonlight.
“A penny for your thoughts,” he said.
“I’m not thinking. I’m just lookin’.”
He smiled. “Beautiful, isn’t it?”
She nodded. “Yeah, it’s amazing.”
He propped himself up, his left elbow sinking into the blanket.
“Looking at all this magnificence, I feel insignificant and significant at the same time,” she added.
Then she took a deep breath and let it out slowly, closing her eyes, relishing the breath.
“Are you cold?” he asked.
“Just a little bit.”
“I’ll get the sweater from the car.”
“No. It’s okay.” she touched his arm. “Stay.”
“Alright.”
He sat cross-legged on the blanket.
“Hey!” he said in a tone to suggest he just discovered the wheel.
“What?”
“I have a question for you.”
She looked at him.
“What is it?”
“Well… do you love me?”
“What kind of a question is that?”
“Well, do you?”
“Of course I do”.
“Then why are you leaving?”
Now she sat up too.
“Didn’t we have that conversation already?”
“I don’t want you to leave.”
“It’s not my call.”
“You can stay at my place. I’m sure my parents won’t mind.”
“Tim…” She touched his thigh with manicured fingers. “Tim, I can’t. I have to be with my family.”
“Then you don’t love me.”
“Tim…”
“How can you say you love me and then leave? If you have no problem leaving, then you don’t really love me. If you loved me, you would’ve stayed.”
“Tim, it’s not forever. I’m not leaving you. I’m leaving this town.”
“Same thing. And don’t tell me you won’t meet another guy in the big city… come on, they’ll be all over you like flies. They don’t take no for an answer over there.”
She turned her face towards the stars again, saying:
“You don’t need to worry about it.”
“Oh, really?”
“Really. And you’re ruining this beautiful night for me. For us.”
“Well, you’re leaving in the morning.”
“Exactly, So I want this night to be special.”
He dropped on his back again, pouting. She shook her head.
Suddenly, her eyes caught something.
“Look!” she said, pointing up.
“What?”
“Up there! A shooting star!”
He followed her finger and saw it. Saw them, A group of shooting stars flying across the night sky from east to west, like streams of confetti.
“Oh, they’re beautiful! Go on, Tim, make a wish! I’ll make one too! Quickly, before they disappear!”
He looked up.
She looked up.
And then the shooting stars were gone, vanishing behind the horizon.

After a while it started getting cold, so they went back to the car.
Tim turned on the heating, but it didn’t seem to work.
He punched the dashboard with frustration, shouting: “What a goddamn jalopy!”
“Relax,” she said.
He grabbed the wheel, pushed the gas pedal, and turned the car around, ready to leave the hill and descend down the path.
But before hitting the marked dirt road, he stopped the car, and turned his face to look at her, grabbing the steering wheel so hard his knuckles turned red.
She put her hand on his shoulder, and smiled a smile as soft as sunrise. The car was cramped and small, but he managed to put his arms around her, and hugged her fiercely. She, in turn, put her arms over his back, sliding up and down, up and down, comforting him.

When he let go of her, he felt that his cheeks were wet. There was also this buzzing anger inside of him when he saw that her cheeks were quite dry, but he decided to let it go.
“I’ll write to you every day,” he said, “or at least every two days.”
She laughed.
“I’ll come visit. I promise” she said. And after a pause, added: “I wish things were different, but that’s how it is.”
“It’s okay, I understand.”
“I’m sorry if you’re hurting.”
“I’m okay.”
She studied him.
“Okay,” she said finally.
They sat in silence for a few seconds.
“I don’t wanna drive back to town,” he said. “I just wanna stay here with you.”
“We can stay for a little while longer. Mom’s doing most of the packing anyway.”
He smiled and leaned back, opening the window, saying,
“I’m suddenly hot. Go figure.”
He looked out. The moon was hidden behind a cloud.
“Can I ask you what you wished for?” He said.
“You’re not supposed to tell.”
“I know. But you won’t even tell me?”
“Okay, I wished the heating in your car will work.”
“You’re lying.”
“You got me.” she laughed.
“Come on!”
“Nope.”
“Alright, then. I don’t mind telling you what I wished for.”
“You wished that I won’t leave.”
“Am I that obvious?”
“You are.”
“Hmm… And you?”
She took a deep breath.
“Well, it already came true,” she said.
He seemed confused. “What do you mean?”
She shrugged.
“I wished to stay up here with you for just a little while longer.”

And a tear rolled down her cheek, just like a shooting star.

Free Your Mind

Recently I came across a very interesting and profound book called The Power Of Now. It was written by a man named Ekhart Tolle and its basic premise lies in its straight-to-the-point title. If we seek peace, we must live in the present.

Many of the ideas I’ll be throwing out here are derived from this book, (which is highly recommended – the author, unlike other spiritual teachers, had an intense personal experience that is the beginning of a journey which led to this book), but also from my own experiences. One important thing to note is that I am far from mastering what I am about to describe – years of egoic pre-conditioning and mind chatter are hard to dissolve in a day – but just being aware of the possibility is a big step in the right direction.

I had my own personal wake-up call in the winter of 2008. Long story short, I had anxiety attacks. Scary stuff. After a few trips to the ER I was referred to a neurologist. She performed a neurological examination, then proceeded to pick up the phone and register me – without even asking, thank god – to something called the Mindfullness Stress Reduction Program.

In this program I first became aware of the basic concept of Mindfullness, which is just another word to describe the act of “being in the moment”. It can be done through formal meditation, but also during ordinary activities such as taking a shower, walking, listening to music, swimming, washing the dishes. Anything really. As long as your mind is not busy with constant thoughts, with mental noise, you’re doing it right. When we are busy with constant thoughts, we usually think about past and future. Past memories are fine, but the dysfunction sets in when we replay events from the past and find ourselves in it, identifying with it, letting it inform our present, usually in a negative way. We create a pre-conditioning which inhibits us and prevents us from tapping into the power of the present moment – from experiencing it fully and seeing it clearly for what it is. As far as future goes, we usually fantasize/worry about it. This is also irrelevant to the present moment, and creates anxiety.
A healthy use of past and future is when it is done for practical purposes: If we need to be somewhere tomorrow morning, we might need to think about setting the alarm clock. Or, let’s say a week ago we forgot to set the clock, so we might think about the past in practical terms: “A week ago I forgot to set the clock. I better not forget this time”.

One way to visualize this is to imagine a large room in our heads. Now, this room is pretty cluttered. There’s junk everywhere. Old stuff, from the past. Let’s call them “Old Magaiznes”. And then there’s those still empty, “plastic receptacles”, that for our purpose will represent the future. Other than those, there are the “pain-bodies”. Negative emotions stored in our bodies and in our psyche. Emotions we failed to face in the Now, i.e, in real time, and ever since then we’ve been harboring them inside, letting them fester. Let’s say the “pain-bodies” are represented by a green, icky mold covering the walls and the floor. Usually we don’t pay attention to it, because the clutter in the room obscures it from us. But once in a while, something happens in the outside world which triggers it, and then, the mold crawls out among the old magazines and empty receptacles and demands notice. It wants to take over the room. Sometimes it succeeds and covers everything. That means we get deeply depressed, agitated, sad, angry, afraid, jealous. You get the picture. Then this matter subsides, and the mold retreats, letting the magazines and the receptacles fill the room again.

Our real self has nothing to do with mind and constant thoughts – it is the room without all the clutter, or actually, the room with neat shelves which contains jars where we store practical, useful mind-objects. That way we can use the mind without it using us. If we could just do it, if we could get rid of all the mental and emotional excess and just see the room as it is, in its natural state, the way it was supposed to be, we would be free of negativity and fear, and we will know peace and joy. We will know what it truly means to be alive. No pre-conditions. No judgments. Just Being.

The best way to even having a small chance of achieving this state of higher consciousness is, apparently, to live in the present as much as possible. To be attentive and alert, to accept it, to yield to it. To respond rather than react. To leave all drama and conflict behind – especially conflict with ourselves, which is the most destructive – and is the catalyst for most external conflicts.

There’s nothing new in The Power of Now. The same fundamental truths were part of ancient eastern wisdom (the Tau is another word for Being), and were preached by Jesus and Buddha. It is the same spiritual principal that exists throughout human history.
These are all different words to describe the same thing. We cannot grasp it mentally, and we mustn’t attach too much importance to words. Words are just signposts to show the way. But in the end, this state of consciousness can be only felt, not understood and labeled mentally. I mean, it can, but then you’ll be missing the whole point.
I had a glimpse of this state of connectedness to the state of Being/Presence back when I was in New York. It was one of the most profound moments of my life. That is why I know it exists. That is why I know there is more than mental noise in the human experience.

Only a truly “enlightened” man/woman can get rid of all the clutter in the room. Most of us can’t do it, at least for now. But there is a way to maybe make it easier. Let’s imagine we can project a duplicate of ourselves into this room. It will look like us, but it will shine with white light, or blue light, or whatever light you wish. And this conscious personification of us will stand guard in the room, and watch and observe. And whenever our mind starts getting really entangled with all the riveting drama in those old magazines from the past, our little luminous angel in the corner will first cough politely, and if that doesn’t help, if our stalwart reader is still with his nose deep in the magazines, the luminous figure might say: “Hey, you. Yes, I’m talking to you. I see you there, sitting there, indulging in the past. You can go ahead and knock yourself out, but just know that you’re not allowed to be in this room anymore by yourself, I will always be here, watching you”. The idea is that the minute the pre-occupied past-reader hears the voice and sees the presence, it will wake up from its trance and vanish from the room, back to the present moment which is taking place right here, right now, outside of the room, outside of the head.
The same principal can be applied to thoughts about the future. Whenever our smarmy little ego is not happy with the present and sneaks out into the room to fill those receptacles with fine scenarios/fantasies/wishful thinking, all kinds of chocolates that are insubstantial because they are just a projection and can melt and transform in any moment, or if he’s just staring at those receptacles, worried what to fill them with, the guardian will be there, watching him, jerking him back to the present.
And perhaps more importantly, whenever the mold, or the pain-body, begins to crawl again all over the room to make us miserable, we will let it crawl but we will watch it. We will not leave the room unobserved. We will watch the mold crawl and say: “I see you. I feel you. I acknowledge you, but I will not let you take over my mind and my body and my behavior and my identity.” We accept the pain instead of resisting it. It is not for the faint of heart, but if you can master it, if you can face deep-seated pain, especially when triggered violently, you have transcended and escaped the vicious cycle of emotional pain.

All our pain and suffering stems from neediness. I want. I need. If I’ll have this or that or this person, then I will be happy. But those are powerful illusions, because all you need, all you desire, well, you already have it. And the rest is just a game. Life is a stage, and we’re all actors. The secret is to actually experience it. Consider: when you don’t identify mentally with anything, when there are no attachments. When there are no attachments borne out of need, how much more simple and easy life would be.
But then, where would the ego be without the drama?

The answer is that it wouldn’t be. Just Imagine. A world without ego. No wars. No violence. No destruction of nature. Just us, Human Beings, not separate of the world and the universe but a part of it, connected to it, feeling the pulse of the cosmos inside us.

Once you are aware of this principal, you start noticing it around you where you didn’t see it before. I am currently reading a book called The History of Western Philosophy and find that many philosophers of ancient times incorporated these ideas into their teaching. You also begin seeing it in art, in certain movies (I hope to have a post soon about movies which include these ideas), and elsewhere.
If you want to have a perfect example of stillness in the present, all you need to do is watch animals. Animals always live in the Now. I actually recognized it in my (then) cat a few years ago, although I couldn’t really explain why I envied her so much. Or why I felt at this moment to in tune with her, and why all I wanted to do is pick her up and hug her. It was because she showed me presence, while I was sitting there, sulking, she showed me the way out.

And if I can turn mushy for a second, this is actually what Love is. “What the world needs now is love sweet love”. Remember that song? Truer words were never spoken. This is not the “love” that is created by the ego: a love that can turn into hate and jealousy and despair and un-love when things aren’t going right or when we feel threatened. This is the true love that has no opposite. To know that we are not adrift in an uncaring universe, but a part of it, a part of the same energy source that created everything around us, plants and animals and even rocks. Yes, one of the best ways to experience this state to some degree is to go out to nature, with no distractions (leave the i-pod at home), and just pay attention.

And by the way, the person writing this words is a great cynic who used to stay far away from anything that smacked of “universal love”. I just came to a point in my life where I recognized the truth in it.

Perfect Day

This was it. It was now or never (well, probably not, but he always had a flair for the dramatic).

She was sitting at her desk, her eyes glued to the computer, her hand moving the mouse left and right, up and down.
She paid no attention to him.
Her hair was dark and long and curly, strands of it falling and covering her left eye.
She twisted her lip and puffed some air up and the renegade curl flew away.
His heart skipped a bit.
He said:
“Hey”.
She tilted her head and saw him. Her eyes were brown and large. How he loved those eyes of hers.
“Hey!” She replied, leaning back and stretching her fingers. “God, this report is a pain in the ass”.
“So take a break”.
“Yeah, I guess I should. What’re you up to? Still with the fall paperwork?”
“Yeah”. He said.
“Poor guy”.
“Oh, that’s alright”.
Ok, enough with the damn small talk.
“Listen, there’s something I’ve been meaning to ask you”.
“Hmm..?
“Would you like to… you know… go out and do something togeter? Maybe this Saturday?”
She looked at him with her big eyes. His heart sank for a minute.
This can’t be a surprise to her, he thought. The way he’s been talking to her, the way he’s been trying to be close to her, she must know that he likes her more than just a friend. She must.
“Sure” she said.
He felt a smile appear on his face, widening and widening. He felt himself turn into the Cheshire Cat.
“Great!” He said.
“What did you have in mind?” She asked.
“Mini Golf? At The Grover Grounds? On Saturday”
“Yeah, sure”.
“Then we can go to Kiki’s”.
She smiled again.
“Listen” she said, “Lets talk later. I have to get back to this damn report”.
“Yes” he said, “Yes. Okay, so… thanks. I mean, good.”
She laughed.
“You’re funny”.
He went back to his cubicle, but there was no chance he could focus on his work today.
No chance in hell.

Saturday morning was beautiful and sunny. They met at the entrance to the Grounds and played till 11:30. He won, but it wasn’t really important. He helped her choose her clubs and aim. She let him hold her arms and guide her. It was wonderful to touch her, to smell her. His whole body and mind were on a natural high.
Then they went into town and he bought her ice cream. She laughed at his jokes. At some point she held his hand.
They talked about all kinds of stuff, sitting in the park eating their ice cream. They talked about what movies they last saw, about the wonderful weather in this April day – as if god arranged it just for them after a week of rains. They talked about his family and her family, about life in a small town and their dreams of getting out. They talked about books and music and cats. They both loved cats.

They didn’t talk about work at all. Not even one bit.

After the ice cream they didn’t feel like lunch so they went to the Gladstone Theater instead to catch the 4:30 show.
He couldn’t beleive his luck. They showed Casablanca.
When they went back out into the street (part of them still in the black and white wonder), they needed a few seconds to adjust. He felt like he’s hovering a few feet above the ground.
But it was getting dark.
And they were tired.

Her place was just a few blocks away and he walked her there.
When they got to the walkway in front of her house, she turned to him and kissed him lightly on the cheek.
“Thank you” she said. “I had  a wonderful, wonderful time”.
“It’s me who should thank you” he said. “thank you for a perfect day”.
“It was great, wasn’t it?” She said.
The sun was setting, making their shadows growing longer and thinner on the pavement.
Then he leaned and kissed her. She let him.
He held her tight.
“Yes, it was wonderful” he said. “Let’s do it again soon”.
“No” she said.
He let her go and looked at her, befuddled.

“I’d have to say no” she said from behind her desk. She wasn’t really smiling anymore. And she did act surprised, for some reason.
“Ah, okay”. He blurted.
She went back to her computer.
“I just thought I’d try, you know. You only live once”.
“Yeah, I know” she said. This time she smiled, but it wasn’t the smile he was looking for. “But it’s still no, okay?”
“Okay” he said. He kept standing there for a few seconds as if someone poured concrete on his shoes, but she didn’t look at him.

It was as if he wasn’t there.

He turned and slowly went back to his cubicle.
It was longest walk of his life.
He felt eyes looking at him. But they couldn’t have heard the conversation, could they? Could they?
He sat back on his chair ans stared at his computer.
He would keep staring at it until it was time to go home.

Home.

The weatherman on TV said that the rains will be over by the weekend.

He said Saturday will be sunny and warm.

He said it’s going to be a perfect day.

Life as a Montage

There is a tendency in me to picture my life in scenes, as if they were part of a movie. I don’t know if that’s good or bad. I think it’s neutral, depending on what I do with it. If I expect life to be this way, I am bound to be disappointed. If I just see it as an amusing flight of fancy, I might get a kick out of it, or even an inspiration.

Regrettably, I think I tend to be more disappointed than inspired.

I once was in love with a girl. I pictured us in different scenes. In some of them, we strolled at night, I gently stroked her cheek, she smiled and knew what I wanted to say without me even saying it.
And then we kissed. And laughed. And it was magical. And pretty ridiculous.
In another scene, we sat on the couch at my apartment, watching a movie. Then suddenly, she put her head on my shoulder, leaning against me. I put my arms around her and we just sat there, holding each other, without saying a word.
There were more “scenes” like these, all of them framed with the exact appropriate shots in my mind. Some of them even had background music. I derived great joy from these imaginings, but I also knew they were dangerous, I knew that if she doesn’t feel as I do, I am in for a great big huge fall. A thundering disappointment.
At the end, I didn’t really find the perfect moment or the perfect timing to be with her alone. I guess I was afraid to actually cross the Imaginary Zone and step into reality. I thought she felt the same way, but I wasn’t sure.

One night, while we were casually talking, she mentioned that she has a date with some guy. I guess the disappointment showed clearly on my face, although I didn’t say anything. The next day she apologized for hurting my feelings and said she only sees me as a Good Friend. Or in other words, a male girlfriend. How sweet.

That scene wasn’t even close to what I imagined. The dialogue was awkward, I stumbled and mumbled. We weren’t standing in a street corner with soft light on our faces, but sitting on the grass in broad daylight. And not long after that it just ended. Our friendship, I mean.

There were no big speeches, no emotional, heart-breaking moments. We kept in touch for a while and then we just didn’t anymore. It was over. I was heart-broken and lost. It was confusing, pointless, drawn-out.

It was real life.

A movie scene is a carefully structured slice of heightened reality. It usually has some kind of conflict at its core, because conflict is drama and drama is interesting to watch (that’s actually something not very positive in real life. We wouldn’t want to be in conflict all the time, would we? On the other hand, in movies as in life, conflict usually breeds a progress of some sort).
It usually has a to-the-point dialogue. People in movies say the exact, appropriate words, even if they mumble them. They don’t go home thinking: “Yes! That’s what I should’ve said!” as it is in real life. In movies, timing is almost always perfect. It has to be.

If we are to create drama, we must condense life, we must take a situation and dramatize it. For example: Three different phone calls between estranged lovers, each phone call by its own is drawn out, too long, too full of fat. We take it and condense it into one heated, dramatic conversation. We cut to the chase. We mine the conflict. We unveil the dramatic core. A dramatic scene is a clean, efficient, stylized facsimile of life. Storytelling, or drama, as Hitchcock once said, is life without the boring, pointless bits.

Of course, people do have experiences and life journeys as depicted in the movies, it’s just not happening the same way. For example, during the pre-production for my short film, I ran to and fro, been in this location and in that location, did this and did that, sat in front of the computer for hours, sending and answering e-mails… at some point, when I was nearly exhausted, I had a comforting thought: Hey, this is a montage!

You know how in the movies, when someone is going through a long, result-oriented process over a period of a few days or weeks or even hours, we get to see a montage? (The best example is of course the training montages in all those Rocky films). Well, this is exactly what I was experiencing. I was having My Montage. If this was a movie, all these past few weeks would have been condensed into a carefully edited reel of 3-5 minutes, with some cool song or music in the background. Maybe even “Eye of the Tiger”!

Real life is messy, arbitrary. It seldom has closure or catharsis. We, as humans, usually want closure and catharsis in our stories. Heck, we need them. It comforts us, it gives us a sense of order, of meaning. It lets us experience life in a more controlled manner. It gives us a sort of hope. Although there is some excellent drama out there which doesn’t obey these classic paradigms (The Sopranos, for example, which makes up for it in spades with its psychological and philosophical depth), those are the exception to the “rule”.
Even my dreams sometimes have a soundtrack and shot-compositions. I don’t know if I should be comforted or disturbed by this, though. I just know that for me, movies are a big psychological outlet in dealing with life. I love movies with all my heart. They’re the greatest thing in the world. Good movies, and good stories in general, help us make sense of things, they aim a spotlight onto a theme and let us see it clearly, away from the clutter and chaos and contradictions of the reality outside. They are the magnifying glass of the human condition.

They tell us who we really are.

A Valentine’s Day special

Rejoice, lovers! Valentine’s Day is upon us, and I decided to celebrate it here at “As blog as it gets” with a heartbreaking, beautiful love song. So grab your Kleenex, and enjoy!

Oh, here’s the original.

All you need is love

It’s funny how sometimes you stumble upon the most poignant things in the most unexpected places. The other day I surfed the channels on my TV and came upon a show about mafia guys in New York. As a big fan of The Sopranos(another post in the making), I was obviously interested to see the “real story”.

Nevertheless, it was the end of the program (Ironically, I missed it because I watched a rerun of The Sopranos), so there wasn’t much left.

Anyway, they interviewd a guy who was a soldier in the mafia back in the 80’s or something, who is now a family man. and he talked about how he decided to quit after he fell in love with a woman and they decided to marry.

Sure, it all sounds like a bad movie. But he was sincere, and then he started to say that this woman managed to do what years of intimidations and incarcerations didn’t. She cleansed his soul. She made him want to pull himself together and be a decent guy. He told how this woman, who was non judgmental and only wanted the best for him, made him change his ways in the most profound way.

Her love literaly saved his life.

And then he said: “It’s great to have someone who loves you. It’s really great”. And maybe it was the way he said it, truly sincere, from the bottom of his heart, or maybe it was just those simple words, but it brought a tear to my eye.

Because, you see, the moral of this story is that love is the most powerful force on earth.

That’s right, not the hydrogen bomb, but love. Love lifts us up where we belong. All you need is love. Love is a many splendored things. You get the picture.

Sure, love isn’t always that great. Nobody can guarantee it will last. People get divorced all the time. Love is often a source for pain and misery (I should know. But that’s another story).

Love makes people mad, elated, frustrated, overjoyed, ecstatic, frantic, and down right peculiar. But the thing is, there’s a reason why so many songs are written about love, why so many stories have love at their core in one way or another. Money may make the world go around, but love gives us a hell of a reason to be here in the first place.