I’ve been doing a lot of healing lately. I’m just getting over an illness that lasted 4 weeks. You know when you’re too sick to do anything – even watch a movie and all you can do is lay in bed and think? It was that sort of thing. And I did A LOT of thinking. Mainly about my stories and films and what it was I was trying to get at with all of them. In the last couple of years I seem to be drawn to characters who are overcoming internal adversity, symbolized by external forces in the fairy tales and myths I weave.
“The Medisaga” is truly a tale of healing – both physically and emotionally. I’ll be pulling form various metaphorical tools to get my main character’s journey across, but mostly it comes in landscapes: oceans, lakes, valleys, cliffs. Sweeping vistas that will both amplify and lesson her fears.
“Scherherazade” is a personal little film for me, which looks back on the things I’ve created in the last two years. It takes all the stories I’ve told and puts them in front of me for review. I once had a photography teacher do that when I said I was struggling to find my voice. He simply laid out all my photographs in front of me and said, “take a look.” I guess every once in a while it’s a good idea to do that for yourself.
“The Man Who Loved Flowers” - not really sure how the Stephen King film I’m going to be in will address healing – but it will certainly address pain! hahaha! (That’s whole other blog)
Then a couple of weeks ago a friend took me to a crystal healing class. The seminar was comprised of history, mythology, and deep meditation using crystals and stones as meditation tools for your intentions. This amazing day really opened me up inside, somewhat reminding me of a dream I had the summer after the attacks here in the city, in which I hesitantly entered waters off an island near Antarctica. Although we were surrounded by snow and ice and heavy gray skies, the water, surprisingly, was warm! I opened up inside, sank down to my shoulders and for the first time in 10 months truly began to heal. Calm, centeredness, peace, a sense of stillness in which all anxieties are washed away. And I carried that feeling with me for days. The dream was a true gift.
I’ve since devoted an entire journal to these, or what I call “my” waters. The motif showing up in many of my films; from the upcoming “Titania” and “Purgatory”, to a film of mine currently in post production, “A: The Siren’s Edda” (in which an accused adulteress cleanses her body in the ocean at the end, trying to wash off the scarlet letter imposed on her). Even in “Cobweb Forest” Connie and I are using a lake as the point where many things are revealed and in an upcoming chapter you’ll see its true power on our heroine.
This journey of healing began, though, with my novella “The Sun”. A story that puts a woman into an unfamiliar landscape (reached by taking a ferry over waters to an exotic port) and asks her to trust in love again. To trust strangers, to trust nature, to trust herself. It came at a time when I was being told by many people in the theater industry how not to write my plays. I got so caught up in their criticism that I didn’t recognize anything coming out of my pen anymore. So, I quit the theater and decided to get back to a way of writing I really loved. I dug out all my old papers from college and my early twenties and reread all their fantastic stories in which people could witness the impossible and started to find my voice again.
And in the “The Sun” I’ve written that dream of my healing waters off their icy shore. I understand the Freudian concepts of water and the subconscious – but I hold onto the purity of their calming influence. When the woman in “The Sun” wades into a lake she opens her eyes and sees not the shore she came from but the one of ice and snow and begins to heal from wounds she sustained earlier that day. When she opens her eyes again, she sees The Wolf – the man who is trying to help her get home (as this tale lends a big nod to Red Riding Hood). Someone she trusts. And we can only truly trust others if we first trust ourselves. It’s a love story – one I read over and over. And perhaps one I write over and over. I hope those who own the book, who have read the book feel the same, and will also continue this journey with me.