I hope that you are finding ways to care for yourself and your loved ones right now, when the world feels incredibly vulnerable and the grief is palpable.
To Hold the Night (formerly The Night We Met)
Since my last update, in early August, we made a short film,
*Photo by Peter Mabrucco
I wasn't sure, going into it, how it would feel being on set again. (it's been AWHILE) And yet, I knew I wanted to be there and that I used to love it. I also knew that if Jessica Petelle and Jen Prince and me, were producing a film I wrote and Jessica was directing, there was no place I would rather be.
It's essential to show up when dreams are actually coming true.
I loved it. All over again. And to be clear, it wasn't just any set, it was our set. Led by five female producers (Jessica, Jen, Alana Omolayole, Nikki Andrew and me along with a incredibly supportive and enthusiastic male producer, Brad Turner) and a lead actress, Anwen O'Driscoll, that blew us all away. And we were in a community (Bayfield, Ontario) full of wildly supportive and caring people. And yes, the weather, was incredible.
*Photo by Dianne Brandon
It was magic. I look forward to sharing updates with you as we move through post-production and into festivals.
PAHS (Project for Advancing Healthcare Stewardship)
Right after returning from Canada, I guest facilitated a forum for PAHS through The University of Minnesota. One of the joys of facilitating was choosing a leader to share for ten minutes to kick off the meeting. I didn't hesitate before reaching out to Kim Rowe. Her presentation on living with chronic illness affected all of us. And the close reading of Ada Limón's "Instructions on Not Giving Up" and subsequent writing prompt felt like a supportive and generative space to inhabit as the horrific violence in the Middle East continued to intensify.
*Photo by Marisa Vitale
choose Ada Limón's poem because of how it makes me feel, every single time I read it.
If you have a moment, read Limón’s poem and sit with it. Or think of a natural phenomena that speaks to you; the crash of the waves, The Northern Lights, the patter of rain on your car window, an epic sunset and let it wash over you.
Instructions on Not Giving Up
By Ada Limón
More than the fuchsia funnels breaking out
of the crabapple tree, more than the neighbor’s
almost obscene display of cherry limbs shoving
their cotton candy-colored blossoms to the slate
sky of Spring rains, it’s the greening of the trees
that really gets to me. When all the shock of white
and taffy, the world’s baubles and trinkets, leave
the pavement strewn with the confetti of aftermath,
the leaves come. Patient, plodding, a green skin
growing over whatever winter did to us, a return
to the strange idea of continuous living despite
the mess of us, the hurt, the empty. Fine then,
I’ll take it, the tree seems to say, a new slick leaf
unfurling like a fist to an open palm, I’ll take it all.
There is still time to sign up for the November Forum and it's free!
Where I'm From and Fine Cut
I continue to have the great pleasure of sitting down with people I admire and immerse myself in their childhoods, their thoughts and their passions.
Where I'm From
#101 Natasha Israni
#102 Karen DeBonis
#103 Julie Cantrell
#104 Linda Jellison
#105 Gina Ransom
#106 Grace Talusan
#107 Katie Post
#108 Amy Hruby
#109 Angie Chatman
#110 Blair Glaser
#111 Dave Horrocks
#112 Rebekkah Dilts
#113 Wendy Wimmer
#114 Jessica Waite
What I'm Reading
Women Holding Things by Maira Kalman is a book that makes me wish I had a million dollars to spend on books. I would buy one for each of you and mail it to your house. It is a book that is easy to pick and put down and not feel guilty doing either, it'll wait. It feels like a perfect book for now, when we are all holding so much. And it is a book that acknowledges that women hold it differently.
Wannabe: Reckonings with the Pop Culture that Makes Me by Aisha Harris is an enjoyable and thought-provoking read blending criticism and memoir. The way she weaves it all together is impressive and she touches on a variety of topics and her references that are fresh. So fresh!
Thank you for being on this journey with me. I know it's a difficult time and the celebration of small or large joys can feel kinda icky or pointless but I appreciate you taking the time to read through mine and give them some space in your life. I am here to celebrate your joys and successes, please share them.
And if you'd like to join me for a poem, I'm serious, join me! I'm booked through April, so you have lots of time to think. Also, if you'd like to talk about a scene for Fine Cut, email me.
Happy Friday! And weekend. And I hope we each get one or two moments to breath this weekend.
Writer, reader, lover and fighter. Read a far more detailed bio on my About Page.