Rejection & Renewal
today is the 22 yr anniversary of the death of my son's namesake. he was driving back from his mother's funeral in Portland and fell asleep at the wheel 10 min from his house in McKinleyville, CA. (Margaret and I started dating shortly afterward and said if made it thru the hazards of being in a relationship in college and one day got married and one day had children, the boy would be named after him.) The last thing he said to me, in the foyer to our classroom on the 2nd floor of the Theater Arts Building, in a rush to get to Portland, the news of his mother's death fresh on his face was I'll be okay.
I got rejected for a job I wanted. granted still a day job (ie not filmmaking) but one that at least would intersect w/ my creative training and background. The sting was primarily ego-based but enough to mostly ruin the weekend. Late Sunday I started to think that maybe it was a gift, this not getting the thing I wanted, this transformative opportunity, this second chance to rise from the ashes and chart a course forward. That it was the pursuit of the job that was more important than the job itself (esp as relates to how I value my own self and voice).
It hasn't been confirmed but a rejection from a very selective film program I wanted desperately to attend is imminent. Getting in would have been a game-changer for my next movie Sister/Brother (which starts shooting this Spring). When I got picked for the second round back in August, I had a few weeks to get the screenplay in shape and I did a line by line rehaul. In a sense that was the gift of advancing, not the perceived end goal. I am making the movie regardless.
Thursday I went to see the Pixies. In that weird sort of bookending that only music can seemingly do recalled seeing them 28 years earlier in Atlanta at the Roxy on October 15, 1989. Standing here in the recent present watching them made me think of the small tiny person I was then, a senior in high school, the broad deficiencies and wants that consumed me then. How I wish the me of now could go back in time, telling him not to put focus on such meaningless things. That made me think of the broad deficits and wants that consume me now. Is someone coming from 28 years in the future to tell me something similar? something like this:
Light can conceal as much as shadow can reveal. Things break one way, things break another. You'll be okay.
Today on my lunch break I ran up past the Duniway Park Lilac Garden, up Terwillger Blvd, on the path that circles the hospital where I had 2 brain surgeries, where my son had a fetal MRI when he was in utero to help them get a better look at the mass in his chest that was changing shape week to week, when we didn't know if he would live or die before he got to us, or shortly thereafter. The sun was out and the sky was blue. It was crisp and clear. My app told me when I finished the run but something inside me told me to keep going.