Today, on my only whole day off, I took a drive to Ojai, CA with two friends in an attempt to go on a five mile hike to a beautiful spot for cliff jumping and swimming. After an hour and fifteen minute drive we arrived at the place I thought we were looking for. We began our treck along a river. We ran, jump, slipped, and fell our way through, around, and over rocks, boulders, sand, water snakes, fish, bushes, sludge, trees, and bees. After three hours, and what seemed like three miles, we found ourselves next to an odd looking house and stumbled onto the nearby road to find a slew of others. We found out we had really only gone .9 miles….in THREE hours.
I guess it goes to show that sometimes you find beauty in odd places. Sometimes you surprise yourself and the world surprises you. Sometimes things don’t turn out the way you expect them to, and sometimes we end up right back at the beginning but with new insight, new understanding, and a new outlook. We stumble fall and scrape ourselves up, but the journey to Paradise is what we remember and what crafts memorable stories.
I’m on my way to finding my Paradise.
Yesterday, Sunday April 15, 2012 was my first time ever seeing James Cameron’s Titanic (1997). Boy was it I mistake that I waited so long to do that.
I spent a total of $21 on my voyage on the Titanic despite the port being only a few blocks north of my apartment. This experience was worth every penny. The film was great for an array of reasons.
1. The Historical Spectacle
The story was captivating, but at the start, I must admit, I was kind of turned off by the initial lead up to the story of Jack and Rose. I just didn’t buy the search for the Heart of the Sea, but quickly was forced to change my mind. Once Jack and Fabrizio’s adventure began with them rushing to make it on the boat, leaping from the platform through the door of the ship to the lower class cabins, I felt like I was with them. I was excited at the vastness of the vessel, the feel and look of the cars, the crowds of people in costume waving to the couple thousand people aboard as they took off from the dock, all of it.
I guess the introduction came full circle for me. It really connected the true life occurrence of the Titanic to story I was becoming a part of.
Oh! And April 15th, 2012 marked the 100th year anniversary of the sinking of the ship. What a great day to see this film for the first time.
2. The Love
I’m going to get sentimental here for a moment and basically say that Jack and Rose’s story is pretty much fantastic. Make the jokes that you will and say that they barely knew one another, but their chemistry escaped through them and the struggles placed on them by society absorbed me. The two were so intimate and pure, so brave and honest, and so captivated by one another.
Oh and screw the car sex, the drawing scene was one of the better love scenes I’ve seen.
3. The Ending
Oh and the ending… call it cliché if you must, but she got to die an “old lady in [her] warm bed.” The people who died in the water, the ship that sank, and the two of them were together once again in the end - heaven if you will.
Hollywood? Yes. But tasteful and beautifully metaphoric.
4. The 3D
Alright. Let me preface this by saying that this was the third movie I had ever seen in 3D, following The Nightmare Before Christmas and Hugo. I have never been impressed by it and like many I’m sure, I’ve always been distracted, getting nothing more from a film by watching it in 3D. For the first 30 minutes of Titanic this was most definitely still the case. However, I got past it and for the first time actually enjoyed the way it looked.
After having just written an 11 page term paper on the advent of color and sound in cinema, it really got me thinking. People reject change, but look where film is now. We’re now even shooting in 3D instead of just adapting it. I think eventually we’ll be looking back at pictures of people from our generation sitting in theaters with these big, bulky, dorky glasses on that used to be necessary in order to watch movies in 3D. I’m excited to see where it goes from here. I’m excited to see it get better. Who knows, maybe we’ll be witnesses to the Feelie generation of film Aldous Huxley talks about in Brave New World.
All in all, I really enjoyed my experience. I thought it was wonderful and I’m glad it got me thinking not just about the storyline but all of these things and slew of others. If you haven’t seen it, I definitely recommend it.
It was a great way to be a part of the 100th year anniversary of the Titanic.
From here on out I will live my life to the fullest each and every day. It doesn’t matter if I’m tired. It doesn’t matter if I’m sick. My time is limited and I will make the best of every second.
There’s still a lot ahead.
Live life today.
People who try to drag you down aren’t worth your time.
They obviously have something unsettling inside them that causes them to take it out on you.
You are a work of art.
You are strong.
Don’t let them touch you.
On Monday March 19th, 2012 I was a part of something beautiful.
I woke up at 6:30AM and drove to Long Beach before my 11 hour hell-ish day of class, the first day back after Spring Break, to purchase some new tires for my car. Once the mechanics began changing out my old ones for the new ones, I sat down in the lobby of the 60s themed performance shop, hooked myself to the wifi they provided and began to surf the internet to lengthen my patience. I quickly got bored of the lack of activity on Facebook at 8 in the morning. I pulled out headphones from my backpack, placed them into my computer and ears with the intention of passing the remainder of the time by watching something on Netflix. As I turned to the left and rested my calves on the red vinyl “backseat” booth and let the page load, a man to my right muttered something my way.
This was no ordinary man. This was a 72-year-old wise, heartfelt, caring, and insightful gentlemen interested in the world and people. He broke the silence of the patrons and spoke to me. He said, in his frail yet strong-spirited voice, “It’s amazing how far computers have come.” I began to close my computer slowly making sure to let him know I heard him. I began to take my earbuds out of my ears but held them close to my body to ensure I could put them back in if the conversation quickly fizzled out. While the screen of my computer hovered just above the keyboard, I replied and struggled to find why this man had found it necessary to talk to me.
It’s as if my subconscious initially found it a chore to sit there and discuss with this man the changes in the world and technology. Really, I was just scared of any bit of awkwardness. So, I challenged myself. I shut my computer, put it on the table and made my hands free.
The conversation developed. We talked about how small my computer was, the size of the first computer, the television on the wall and how television stations used to shut off at night. Classic “old man” stories about “the good ol’ days.” But, I was captivated in more than just the discussion topics.
This man was strong. He was brave, he was interested, and he was true. He talked to another older gentleman in front of me and quickly it turned into a group discussion. I thought they were friends but later found out they knew one another as well as they knew me.
The two men seemed so content with their lives. They critiqued society, showed concern for the future and the betterment of mankind, but still were so very content. They sat there in their sweatpants, ball caps, and crew neck sweaters with such comfort and ease. One even said that he’s lived a good life and he’d be okay if he died.
I find such beauty in his strength.
I was touched by the words and actions of these men. We were entangled in one another’s worlds and enticed by what one another had to offer. For 50 minutes I was completely away from everything except them.
I think we can all find beautiful things in what other people have to offer. We take for granted the multiple forms of communication we have today, but there’s something special about a nice face-to-face conversation with someone.
It’s been quite some time since I wrote before today and like I said before it’s been hard coming to terms with vulnerability.
However, I’m tacking on a few more goals to my list. I want to jump inside myself and scream out. I want to be honest and fearless.
Take me off the shelf.
“Sometimes I think we waste our words and we waste our moments, and we don’t take the time to say the things that are in our hearts when we have the chance.”
I’ve had some trouble mustering up the words I want to say out loud. I’ve had some trouble making myself vulnerable to the world, but what the hell.
All I can do is jump in and be honest, spill my heart out onto these keys and let you take them for what you want.
The worst thing that you can do is hate me for who I am and how I feel. If that’s how it’s going to be then I don’t mind.
What have you been up to? How have you been? Where do you find yourself? Where are you? What are you doing there? Why? Are you well? How’s your life? How’s your heart?
Where did all of your answers go?
I’ve missed you dearly and I want you back in my life. From the looks of it, it seems as though you’ve been well and are moving along, but I feel so disconnected from you. I feel hopeless when I try to see what I used to see. Why do I feel you gliding by and walking away? Why is it so hard to look me in the face? To look all of them in the face? To delve down deep inside yourself and scream? I can tell you’re good, but good isn’t great.
I don’t remember what happened. I don’t remember where you stepped off the path but find me. Jump into me because I miss you.
I’ll wait here for you. I’ll try to find the place I remember you last. The last great place. Just know I’m here.
I know you want to stay in bed, but it’s light outside.
You know I am going to stay right here because you saved my life once. I will try to get you out because it’s beautiful outside.
We’ll fall. [Don’t get discouraged]
I know you want to rest your head and just forget the night, [but just] so you know I am going to stay right here and sit by your side.
Bound by rules.
Bound by the rules of the world.
Bound by $,
Pressures of Society,
Imagine waking up with a match light under your sheets.
No coffee – unless of course your pallet simply craves it.
What are we bound by?
What are we REALLY bound by?
Why am I quiet?
What do I REALLY have to lose?
It’s 11:45 and 17 seconds PM on Monday June 27th, 2011. I’m lying in bed with my head propped up on my pillow, computer in my lap and my fan is sitting and roaring in my window in a sad attempt to cool my room down to a temperature somewhat like outside [which I will rightfully and immediately regret at 5:45 AM tomorrow morning when my alarms goes off and my body is instantly engulfed in goose-bumps.] My feet and legs are killing me and I lay with a clean face and a newly left tan coating on my skin from today’s high 90s weather.
As I wrote out the present, seconds ticked by and instantly they became something of the past. The tan is a mark left by my day at work, while the newly entering cool air is an attempt to rid my room of the feeling left by the hot day, and my reference to goose-bumps is a memory expressed of today’s feelings as I woke up to an extremely chilled room.
BUT.. the present also is a reference to the future. My clean face is a hope for tomorrow’s cooperation in appearance, and preparedness for a clean shaven face. My reference to the morning is again an estimation for tomorrow’s feelings.
The present can be both a reflection or a moment of reminiscence on the past, or equally so a projection and preparedness for what’s to come.
This past week or so, I’ve spent quite a lot of time walking my mind down old paths. Old friends, random nights, and a set of feelings that I’ve missed so much. It’s reminded me who I was, all the while conversations about the past have allowed me to understand how I think about old situations that have influenced the way I live. I feel like I’ve been given a chance to be a little bit younger, yet realize how much I’ve grown in a short time, and in that and the mix of all other things this past week, I’ve grown up even more.
There are times where we may be moving slowly and are just a drip of water slowly making our way down a moist crevice only to be dropped off in the face-slapping motion of the ocean. Sometimes it takes a second slap, or a memory of the first to finally feel a part of that wave and become powerful and confident in our journey at sea. We can choose to sit back and worry about the smack we received before we were really ready to drip from the crevice and into the wave, or we can rise to the occasion before the heat and in all of the chaos that surrounds us and prove what we can do. It does not matter if you’re looking back on the past or hoping and anxious about the future, you’re always bettering yourself and learning more everyday.
I am really happy about that.
It is amazing how many of us are blessed with a variety of opportunities that we have to sit and reflect on our days, or our lives in general.
Everyday things are changing and many times alterations to our everyday regularities slip through us and begin morphing right under our noses, yet remain unnoticed. Often it only takes a small and seemingly insignificant thing to trigger a moment of reflection.
For me, a few books of matches, some gathered and slightly damp bamboo, and a sandy hole, brought me to realize that a common project can bring people together.
Striking matches, burnt orange fingers, and hiding the quickly eighty or so dying flames from the harsh, overcast and windy sky brought out laughs about our frustration, and common actions of perseverance in hopes of succeeding in, to an outsider, a seemingly ridiculous and pointless task.
We kept at it and in the end, something so simple yet oddly challenging that we’d knew we’d eventually succeed at allowed two anew distant buddies to bond once again over the warmth and care that the two do have, and will have, for one another.
I miss you buddy. :)