A guy in the audience the other night at a screening of my student short film asked me how I stay hopeful. I gave him a medium-sized explanation, told him about the work I used to do, and how people would ask me If I saved anyone today. I would say, I didn’t think so. Instead, I stayed with them where they were at, asked them questions, engaged them in doing other stuff besides taking and selling drugs, and held on to this place inside me, that knows that anything is possible in any moment. A thread I hold on to, and inch of space in me, and in everyone and everything that is alive, that at any point, change will and does happen. It’s not always in the direction we would like it to go, but it is a guarantee. It’s the mystery. Will my mom still be here for her birthday in June? or will she die sooner? or will she be here for her birthday next year? No idea.
I don’t feel hopeful. I just know anything can happen and some how that seems different from hope. Hope is pretty, and it expects the best outcome. The inch or the mystery doesn’t look like anything, that’s the point. The guy in the audience the other night, seemed satisfied with the answer, but as always I felt like I could have said it better. I could have told him that the only way I could have made something like the film he had just watched is because I have a place to put my despair, and my cynicism. If I didn’t I don’t imagine he would have been watching anything that I would have made, the story would likely have never changed, or it may have just looked really different. The experience of going to school affirmed my belief in fate. Every interaction, every piece of writing, each conversation and random meeting helped me tell the story I eventually wanted to tell.
If every bit of misery and joy that is happening right now in the world is fated, which I think it is, then there is nothing to do; just be ourselves, and wait and see what happens, and respond from there, no egotistical presumptions of someone elses needs. I realized a little while ago, reluctantly, that being myself isn’t about me being alone, or figuring out who I am in isolation, or with a counsellor. It is the people in my life, probably all the people in my life that are the biggest part of me knowing myself. I always wondered if I was a big phony because I was different with everybody. I imagine there’s a little bit of the phoney in all of us. Me definitley, but for the most part, just human.