Saturday, November 27, 2010

A Bolt from the Blue

I'd originally planned on giving you the sequel to yesterday's story today, but something came up in the meantime, and I couldn't resist. Yesterday, as I was lollygagging around on Facebook, I noticed a new friend request. I assumed it was one of the people I had met at Thanksgiving the night before. Turned out to be Ruth Ozeki!!!

I've never been much of a diligent recreational reader, but Ruth Ozeki’s first novel, My Year of Meats, captivated the crap out of my 17-year-old self, and by the time it was assigned as summer reading between my freshman and sophomore years at Smith, I had read it at least twice. She came to speak during the first week of classes, and my heart went pitter-pat. Kickass, half-Japanese writer-filmmaker, Smith alum who spoke with such eloquently delicious spunk. I couldn't decide if I wanted to be her or just marry her. Every delightful nugget of wisdom in her lecture is tucked away in one of my old journals. And as for the signed, tattered paperback I lent to so many and loved to pieces, I recently recovered it from a friend in Dallas, Texas. "If you still have that book you borrowed from me five years ago, could you please send it back? It's got sentimental value..."

If I had looked her up on Facebook, that would've been one thing. But the fact is, she found me. Whether she had met my dad at a Zen retreat center, or found me through our "mutual friends" (of which there are 7 according to the Book of Face), or my name popped up randomly on her feeds from my "favorite books" list, I don't know and I don't care. Someday, I'll learn of the hand that threw the candy from the rooftop. For now, I'm just going to bask in the idea that it's raining lemon drops.

It's the greatest feeling in the world when something like that hits you completely out of the blue. We all wish it would happen more often. Sometimes, we might wonder what we can do to "make" those moments happen. The answer is sadly, we can't. All we can do is notice them when they arise. And when we acknowledge them deeply in whatever way we do -- be it putting it down on paper, meditating for a minute, or having a good laugh -- they stay with us longer and permeate our entire being. It also makes us more attentive to future amazing moments. This is what The Page of Possibility is about for me; making physical and mental notes about those eye-catching, sparkly things in my life so I can share them with the rest of the world and, on the gloomy days when my pockets aren't jingling and my voice can't seem to find a happy tune, not feel quite so bereft. It isn't every day that we meet the love of our life, get inspired to create our next masterpiece, or get Facebook friend requested from one of our childhood heroes. But more often than not, we find that other earring we've been missing for weeks, or our favorite food at the grocery store is 50% off, or someone says that perfect little thing that makes us smile through our stress.

I'm trying to take note of these things, which is hard to do at times, especially when I'm in a huge hurry. Being the slightly disorganized person I am, I tend to lose my keys on a pretty frequent basis. Sometimes I will be trying to leave the house, already late, frazzled out of my mind, and the last thing I need is my keys. I used to search and search and, upon finding them, say "Ugh, finally!" and run out the door in a tizzy. Now, I really make an effort to stop, no matter how much of a hurry I’m in, throw my hands in the air, and go, "Yes!"

Now, you tell me about something that has completely delighted you -- be it meeting your idol or buttering your bread.


  1. You've got the right idea about finding those special moments large and small and holding onto them.

    I've got a small one: I now work on the 6th floor of an office. And while I'm often working until it's dark, I've making it a point to head to the west side of the building and watch the sunset. The sunsets have been amazing for months now, and I get a good view of them dipping over the hills just west of us.

    And it's beautiful. And I haven't paid enough attention to them. And I'm going to.

    Trying to hold on to those good moments, be in that moment and just enjoy it is something I've never been good at. But I'm working on it.

  2. Good timing. Just last night in a Q&A I had the pleasure of hearing Danny Boyle paraphrase and concur with one of my personal recent beliefs: that in this era of SI-2K's, RED cameras, and nearly ubiquitous 'HD' 720 and HD 1080 cameras, and amazing ability of almost molecular-level granularity -- widely available excruciatingly high image quality -- , that there is a vast artistic leeway for the use of very-low-resolution footage, even in close juxtaposition to the high-res footage, with the right context, low rez can be a powerfully expressive artistic element.

    Yes I've been saying it for 3 years, but it's very validating to hear it coming out of the mouth of someone I consider to be near the leading edge of filmmaking innovation, talking about his movie 127 Hours.