The day is here. The hour is upon us. The moment has arrived. It is time.
I’m leaving for England! And next week, I’ll be in Paris. Bye!
Okay, I’m not going right now, but I will be in a few hours. And it comes at a good time, but then again, any time is a good time for such an adventure. Not only will I be seeing my girlfriend, but I’ll be writing quite a bit over there as I’m bringing my screenplay with me. And thanks to some free, downloadable software, it won’t be a problem picking up where I left off. Writing in Cambridge––I find there are rarely more wonderful things. That is to say, once all the other wonderful things to be done have been done and for a time won’t be done until something else is done first. You follow?
This trip in particular, coming on the heels of some emotionally challenging times in a long, cold winter, has shaken out some unique inspiration like a hidden fruit at the top of an old tree. Instead of digging into another scary book, the story I am writing, called Shelf Life, concerns a group of thirty-something rock musicians living and playing in a small seashore town. Local legends unable to break out, they find themselves facing the ends of their careers before they’ve even begun. As life’s persistent tendrils work their way into their delusions like roots of that old tree into a porous and weathered cellar, they’re forced to confront the future with a naked eye. Naturally, sacrifices loom, ones they’re not yet ready to make, and when tragedy strikes, each is forced to take stock in what they’ve accomplished and either move on, or risk losing it all. The questions I ask are universal ones: “When do dreams die?”, “Do they die or do they just change?”, and possibly, “Is there one last chance to make them happen, even in the smallest of ways?”. It’s a dark little dramedy that I think is funny in a real way. It’s pretty much one of the stories I’m meant to write given my own life experiences, and so far, the going’s been good.
I suppose I like the idea that the very pursuit of a dream is in itself the reward, because what you might find along the way may not have been what you were seeking but also may be more than you expected. If you honestly strive, you’ll honestly receive––something like that. In SL, there’s projection, reflection, rejection, introspection and at least one car ejection. It’s the kind of stuff I’ve seen in my little Jersey bubble, and it’s been tons of fun playing with characters that are basically amalgams of all those good people I’ve both shared the stage with and known off of it. Even some of the names are the same, albeit in most cases switched around. In fact, I may have to ask for forgiveness from some of them, but as they say, it’s better than asking permission, right? Mostly, I think they’ll dig it. If it ever gets made, art might just imitate life and wouldn’t that be a hoot?
There’s something else Shelf Life is about, too, and it’s a little further under the surface where it belongs. Tied to the concept of every moment being precious and how difficult it can be to focus one’s eyes away from an unrealistic future to truly notice the now, is the idea that things––people, most poignantly––are often more than what they appear. It can be harder than school to separate one’s initial impressions from reality, but it’s helpful, and scary, to work through your prejudices and look at something in a totally different way. It’s a bit like cutting a tether, and letting the currents take you to new and uncharted waters. But sometimes, being able to do that is essential to your happiness, or at the very least, your understanding of what this nutty journey is all about.
Take for example the creature at the head of this entry. It looks like a jellyfish but it’s called a turritopsis, and as far as scientists are concerned, it’s the only living thing in the known universe that is “immortal”. That is to say, once it propagates, it returns to its polyp state (above) for another turn. So, in theory, if nothing eats it or it doesn’t wind up in an engine turbine, it could live forever––or at least in a constant state of replay. How does that make you feel? For me, it sounds pretty cool…at first. But you do wonder if there’s even less of a point to turritopsis’ existence than in the existence of its more mortal gelatinous cousins.
Now, take the mayfly. This one is in its nymph stage, and for my money, looks an awful lot like turritopsis. But there’s one major difference you may or may not be aware of (besides not living in the ocean). Instead of me explaining it, why don’t you just have a look at this excellent commercial produced across the pond–– or on the “other side”, as it were––and ask yourself the same question.
Until next time, cheers, au revoir, and enjoy…well, everything.
Big thanks to Gunnsie. YAG.
Shall we be marchflies?
Heh, let’s. 🙂