As you may know, I have been making attempts to run more. To write more.
Sooo…on an average day, I have conversations in my head during a 30-minute shower. Not very environmentally friendly and I usually forget all the conversations by the time I’m done. I need a recorder tied to my thoughts. Not happening anytime soon…
So, I’ve been reading “Writing Down the Bones” by Natalie Goldberg, and the main message is just to write. Sit down, put an pen in your hand, and let your pen flow across the pages. I sat there for a good hour this morning and did just that. I did not stop. I had no pause. I had a lot to spill. My head hurt when I was done. I had over five pages of writing.
This afternoon, my dad and I had a very detailed conversation about what my life was like when I was a kid (stemming from my writing this morning). He had no idea where this came from, and needless to say, it wasn’t very enlightening, but I felt empowered to ask a few questions thanks to the morning writing session and all the hanging questions I found.
So, you know on Facebook, you can like a movie, and if that movie posts something, you can engage in conversation? The other night “Dances with Wolves” posted asking what your favorite scene in the movie was. I said I’d answer, but we are too damn often watching “Armageddon.” I shared this with my husband and I guess he felt a little guilty. He said “Tonight, we will watch ‘Dances with Wolves’,” and indeed, we did.
I’m not sure what put this movie on my radar when I was younger, except for the fact that I’d already gone to see “Bull Durham” on a night when I took myself out on a date night all by myself and fell in love with Kevin Costner. (Who EVER goes on a date by themselves??). When “Dances with Wolves” came out in November 1990, it only debuted in Altoona–not State College. At that time in my life, I had no driver’s license. The boy I dated then only hitchhiked…but somehow we made it twice to Altoona to see the movie. I still can’t capture how enamored I was of the scenery and the story. I still have no idea why State College didn’t have the movie when it opened. I’m pretty sure it didn’t open in a State College theater until 1991. When it opened here, I went and saw it again—once, maybe twice. I told my husband tonite if it were to ever come back again to the big screen, I would so be in that movie theater again. This movie needs to be big. So big.
I don’t know that I have a best moment in the movie, but a lot of the moments resonate. When Dunbar tries to commit suicide in the opening battle, when he willingly leaves himself open to fate at his outpost and everybody who knows he is there dies, when he totally assimilates himself into the human-and animal-culture, when he opens himself to trust and love, and when Wind in His Hair shouts his final testament of friendship. We all try so hard to find our place and belong. Lieutenant Dunbar did just that–but he paid for it, all the same. We value our freedom immensely, but we learned long ago, it all comes with a cost. How many times will it take us to fit in, to find a common vocabulary, to get along without killing each other? I don’t know. How many Boston Marathons must we survive? We move through this world seeking, but not knowing these answers. We only can hope to be happy, successful, and alive.
I’m hoping through this extended writing process to find more to write about and discuss–a purer opportunity to connect on a meaningful and relevant level.
In conclusion, as I was writing this morning and talking in my head, I couldn’t help think about a cactus I repotted yesterday. To repot the plant, all I had to do was lift it out of its dirt. There was no intricate root system–no established foundation. I returned to all my thoughts in the shower, thinking how I had never lived anywhere long enough to establish any roots or foundation. Me and the cactus were quite the same. I am the cactus–all spindly, sharp, and unkind. My roots are shallow. Pick me up and just keep me moving along. I’ll find some way to survive. I aspire to be some quack grass or redwood sometime soon. In the meantime, I’m still the cactus. My roots are shallow. They are malleable. Let’s pick them up and keep on rolling…