The Year Of After
This year-end entry took a bit of time for two reasons. One, as I recently underwent major eye surgery, I am still adjusting to my new…visual reality. 🙂 I’m a bit hampered by the fact that letters (and often the world) constantly appear to be swimming underwater which makes it that much harder to type. 🙂
Two, since the threat of blindness dared come closer in my life, it has become increasingly important for me to dance with my words well, entertaining however fleetingly, the dark thought which carries the notion that it could be my last.
And I wanted to capture this complicated, unique, kicked-the-shit-out-of -me of a year, perfectly. This is what I came up with:
2013 … was the year of after.
After the ending
after the verdict
after the journey
after the epic
it was the year after everything.
It was the year that followed the explosion on the train I was on. And I had to figure out where all my million pieces went, gather each one and put me back together again. I wasn’t too worried; all the king’s horses were dead and all the king’s men were themselves blasted off the rails, and though Humpty was broken I always did make a mean omelette. I could and I did glue the pieces back to some recognizable version of me.
And then while waiting for the glue to dry realized I didn’t have a clue on what to do next.
At the end of 2012 and to welcome 2013 I talked about being amazed at how deep the rabbit hole went. I also asked for a year that simply “responds”.
I got one that did, but not in the way I expected. I came across a fork in the rabbit hole. And 2013 told me to sit down, take a breath—take the whole year in fact, to think before I chose which path to take.
The year of After was quiet…wrapped in a type of silence which would not be filled with words, drowned by company or killed by activity. It demanded attention and stillness. It slowed enough for bearings to be gotten, lost footing to be found and make one’s way back to even-ground. It said things like, stop and drop everything so you can grieve properly. Then move as if nothing was lost. Listen to the noise and allow yourself to be engulfed. Then tune it out. Get lost so you can be found. Forget, so you can remember. 2013 was filled with wisdom and cliches. I was just concerned that the glue was still not dry so I did what I was being told. And it was like swallowing a roller coaster.
I was told to remember that the world is bigger than anything I have ever experienced. Its stories are infinite and far more precious than the ones I’ve already told and each one is a treasure just waiting to be unearthed. Everything important is still there. I haven’t lost anything, maybe just a little bit of the way, but that’s a necessary part of living. Listen and remember. Smoke some grass while you’re at it yeah…what?! (2013 was a bit of a hippie.)
So that’ s exactly what I did. Waited for the glue to dry while I … remembered.
And despite having what could be termed as the worst year ever, without an upside, I began to feel grateful.
I am grateful for this year of putting together broken things.
For the stage, where I always find warmth, welcome, salvation and sanity.
For true friends whose love, loyalty and sarcasm I pray I will never take for granted.
For you, my lamb, who thought you loved me and is reading this right now. You’ve read it many times and still think it’s awesome. Thank you for my heart.
For being in a family of incredibly strong women.
For remembering one afternoon with my dad where we shared a beer and a cigarette.
For like-minded colleagues outside the tiny behemoth I shackled myself to, warriors in the bigger world I keep abandoning, who have passion and brilliance in abundance. I am so grateful to you, the ones who are brave, the ones who push, the ones who challenge, the ones who succeed and the ones who fail. This was the year to realize that it’s okay to be empty and completely spent. That if you are lucky enough to be surrounded by people whose work you truly respect and are inspired by, it becomes easier to fill up that empty tank, as you absorb their generous energy, as you remember the reasons you are still where you are, doing what you do. Find them in your life. They will provide light and will serve as anchors. They will fuel your idealism and keep you hopeful.
I am grateful even for the strangers who keep asking me for work on Facebook! (Seriously guys, do not audition through PMs.)
I am grateful for the people who adopted the Aspin pups our Aspin bitches produced.
I am also grateful to everyone who bought tickets to the movies we showed, particularly the ones that benefitted Yolanda survivors. We raised over 50k for Caritas and Red Cross with the super kick ass films Ang Huling Cha Cha Ni Anita, Iloilo and Zombadings. (That was super cool.)
Thank you for the healing time, you wonderfully depressing, wizened old leather-face of a year, 2013. You came impossibly soaked with pain and washed with too much introspection. But my city stands. I filled up. The glue is not just completely dry, it’s holding very well. And I saw Paris for the first time. Life as I make it continues to be awesome.
Enough healing. I wish you a 2014 that moves. Time to board a new train. 🙂 Let it be a monster.