Monday, May 3, 2010

Lessons in Shorts: Short Films, Short Stories and Brief Bursts of Loneliness

Brought to you by all things brief.

You should have seen me. I was sitting there, at The Getty, in a corner of this gorgeous patio area tucked as far back as I could tuck, eating a peanut butter and jelly sandwich.

It wasn’t the way I imagined things. Nope.

You might think I have this adventuring alone thing all figured out. I don’t. Most of the time, I enjoy it tremendously. Most of the time. Saturday, I didn’t at all.

Nope, again.

The nice thing about loneliness is it is short. It’s a feeling and it goes away. And I have an option to sit in it all moping and lost in my PB&J or break free from it by talking to someone at the next table or watching people or just breathing and enjoying the loveliest view.

I didn’t.  I almost had the welling-of-the-tears in my eyes. But my loneliness was short lived. Sitting there with that sandwich The Boyfriend texted, “Miss you.” I sighed that huge heavy sigh when you feel the heart full of being wanted and missed and replied, “I needed that. Feeling a bit lonely. Not so brave today. Miss you.”

Wrapping up my sandwich and finishing my soda and watching all the pairs of people, I picked up my bag and headed into The East Pavilion.

da Vinci helps.  So does Degas.  So does a text telling you you're missed.  That is the best form of art. 

I suppose it was a bit of a theme this week.  Shorts and all.  Short bursts of loneliness and short films at Newport Beach Film Festival and Selected Shorts at The Getty.  I'm liking the briefness of it all. 

Some Short Lessons

Know Your Audience
You know that leftover sinus cough that takes seven years to go away? It should be named after me. If you’re going to cough during a film festival screening, make sure your cough sounds ultra educated and cultured. If there’s any trucker-side-of-the-roadness to it, they will kick your ass.

Partner in Grief
A Shine of Rainbows has so many beautiful, sweet lessons but my heart was tugged by grief and how it shortens when you allow others to experience it with you.

You Can Leave
Yes, you can. If you don’t like a movie, you can quietly leave. Perhaps during a film screening it’s not the best time but if you’re at the theatre and see something that doesn’t impress you, then simply walk out gracefully. Don’t waste another minute in a moment that does not feed your brain or your heart or your innards. Especially your innards.

Hellos Help
I was Friend Dumped twice this weekend. Drinks Friday night and a little outing Saturday. Looking back, it was exactly as it should be and allowed me to experience the painful quiet of not engaging with people. In the middle of Friday night tears, it hit me how many footsteps walk past a homeless man every single day without even a head nod in his direction. That pains me in deep ways. How long must his day be without the engagement of even a stranger.

Fit People In
The Getty did a program of Selected Shorts and one of the stories was, "Things We Knew When the House Caught Fire" by David Drury, read by Keith Szarabajka. Drury’s short delves into a family that completely doesn’t fit into a neighborhood and the neighborhood's attempt to get them out.

We will spend our lives trying to be in and accepted and chosen and picked and on THAT team. How much easier to fit people in ahead of time and not make them do cartwheels to be our friends or fit in our neighborhoods or be part of our group. It’s a quick decision to embrace rather than disgrace people.

My days don't always turn out the way I plan them but they turn out so much better and I'm committed at this ripe old Pre Middle Age to listen and learn and, most importantly, love.

A good night to you but just a short one.  It's late. 
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