As an inward-looking person I spend a great deal of time exploring myself as a person. I endlessly examine my beliefs and convictions, and delve deep into understanding my core being. However, in doing so, I often end up ignoring the world outside of myself. Maybe this intellectual narcissism  is partially caused by the mind-blowing notion that other people are just as complex as I — the multitudes of complexity within each soul multiplied by four billion is too much for my mind to grasp in any real sense.

Despite the complexities, we must look outside ourselves for a whole beautiful place populated by beautiful (yet unpredictable) people exists outside our minds. In our ever-more individualistic society, I think we forget the real greatness beyond ourselves.

So let us explore others in the way we seem to so tirelessly explore ourselves. After all, greatness comes not with discovery but with sharing.

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The Port of Morrow – The Shins’ Best Yet

Lately, I’ve found myself listening to The Shins a lot. Their mournful, yet somehow peppy, tunes have seemed a proper soundtrack for my life. Specifically, I have been enjoying The Shins’ latest album The Port of Morrow.

Every so often there comes an album with no filler songs. On such albums, any song could be considered a single and with The Port of Morrow we have that very rarest of creatures. Every song on this album is not only listen-able, they are great.

If for some reason, anyone hasn’t already picked up copy of this album, which was released more than a year ago, go for it. You won’t be disappointed.

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Another Empty-Headed Day

I usually write about the art and craft of writing on Tuesdays. But today, I’ve got nothing. My mind is abuzz with thoughts on film making and creative control as my life in the past few days has been filled with joyful work and thoughtful debate on those subjects respectively and I’ve had not one bit of mindspace for musings on the noble pursuit of writing.

Sometimes getting what’s always on one’s mind out of it for a bit is good, though. We must cleanse our mental pallet from time to time in order to fully enjoy a good thought. So I will let myself have this empty-headed day.

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The Bicycle Thief

This film was made — and set — in Italy in the late 1940s. Italy had been one of the fascist powers defeated during WWII and the aftermath left the Italian economy in a shambles. Inflation was very high and steady work was scarce. Thus in this film a steady job is valuable. In contrast, during this time in the United States there was an economic boom. The G.I.’s were back from the war and they were settling down, getting married, and buying houses in the newly created suburbs. Everything in America was looking up.

I love this film because of the lean and artful way it creates a deep emotional impact and also because it shows a not often seen consequence of WWII. This was also one of the first films that when I watched the end, I had to just sit in silence for a moment repeatedly thinking “now that was a good movie.”

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Existential Crisis

I’ve spent most of my life searching for purpose, or rather confronting the hard truth of a lack of intrinsic purpose. Lately, I’ve managed to just focus on the day-to-day stuff of life –to live in the moment — but every once and a while I’ll be doing some innocuous task and the harsh reality of my utter insignificance comes crashing down upon me. My cosmically minuscule size and lack of my (or any human’s) ability to permanently influence any part of the universe strikes me and I get a sudden sense of both relief and helplessness. In that moment, I am both absolved of responsibility but also confronted with the reality of a meaningless existence. And I have yet to find a good big-picture answer to resolve the quandary of meaninglessness and free will. Perhaps there isn’t one.

Maybe the answer is to just make peace with it and to enjoy this brief experiment in self-awareness. That is what I always come to ultimately when I examine my existence for acceptance of that which cannot be changed is the rational course of action.

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What We’ve Made

I’ve been making movies for a while now and sometimes I forget the point of it all. I enjoy the processes of making films — being on set, playing with cameras, all that — but the greatest part of making really anything, movies included, is when that thing that took so much time and effort actually affects someone else. When a stranger watches your work and they chuckle, or gasp when you wanted them to, that’s a powerful feeling and definitely a part of why many of us create. We put an irrational amount of effort into a piece because a) we love doing, and b) we love watching people light up when they take in what we’ve made.

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Projects: On Set

Today, I spend the entire day on set working on a production with V3MM. It’s wonderful to practice one’s passion with people who share that passion, and I had a great time doing so today. Now, I am tired, sunburned, and have work tomorrow so I will bid you farewell until tomorrow. Goodnight!

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Make Peace With Inevitability

Our lives seem dominated by a fear of death. Many of us spend our time alive preparing for the end, or denying it. Death, though, requires no preparation. It merely happens to us. All of us. And because we all will die, we needn’t spend time worrying about it for what good is worrying about something that is certain? Forget death, it’ll strike us all someday but probably not right now. So drink in these moments for the only thing as certain as death is that we are alive in this moment. Let us cherish it.

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Music Is

Music is movement, it is passion, it is that lightening-strike feeling of sexual attraction and the sudden cold sea of love lost. Music, for me is the expression of the most personal, yet also most universal, parts of the human experience. Also, emotion isn’t the sum total of what music portrays, rather it shares the internal experience from which is impossible to describe using any other medium. That is the power of music.

In those indescribable moments is where we find both the most animalistic and humanistic portions of our spirit. With music, we can feel them within ourselves and see them in others. Because of that, the ability to sense the basic roots of a soul, music unites us all.

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To Write to Think

With advent of the internet and ever cheaper cameras, some are announcing the decline of the written word (or at the very least, its use as an art form) but I disagree. Writing (and artful writing especially) will always be around because we write to think.  We organize our lives by getting it out of our heads down on paper. All great works of art and technology require they be written down at some point and I believe those writings on their own are art of some form.

As for the Novel? We shall see but I am optimistic that at least enough people will always love the smell of old print that the days of the novel are far from over.

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