Lost in Thought 004: I cried a couple of times this week

My mother came back from Honduras today. Honduras is a small Central American country surrounded by Guatemala, El Salvador, and Nicaragua. It's also known as one of the most dangerous places in the world. She flew out last week when she received a call that my ninety-two-year-old grandmother, her mother had just passed away. My mother composed herself and let me know she'd be flying out in only a few hours. She didn't say much on the phone expect "pobrecita mi mammita." Which closely but loosely translates to "my poor mommy." Her voice was so soft and shakey. I could feel my mother's pain over the phone, but I didn't break. I knew she had to go, but my grandmother's death and the thought of her in such a dangerous place made me feel sick.

A couple hours later, not able to sleep and while my son kept me company my sister face-timed me. We spoke about our grandma and our mother. We cried so much in just a few minutes. My son was confused, but he hugged me, kissed me, and wiped my tears. I felt so bad for my grandmother who in her last fifteen years battled altimeters, dementia, and went blind in both her eyes. She was fierce, funny, and Godly but in the cutest ways. She was never dogmatic about her beliefs just happy to be a part of something that made her feel whole.

When we were little we'd play pretend church, and she'd let my sister, and I preach a sermon of buzzwords we'd memorized from youth group. We'd sing hymns and read bible verses. We did this a few times a week for a couple of hours and a handful of years for fun. We were amazed that she would play with us for that long. She loved hearing the word of God and having her grandchildren pretend to be Godly was enough to engage her in shared faith and love. She loved us so much, and we adored her.

Because my mother left so abruptly, I didn't get to console her or do anything for her. I finally saw her today, and she showed me old pictures and videos of my grandma. The tears just rolled down my face racing to my chin, and each tear picked up more speed than the previous one. Thinking about that moment as write has me doing the same thing right now. It's incredible how we can feel each other's pain — a connected lost. I haven't seen my grandma in years, and when we face-timed last, she didn't even know who I was anymore. She had no memory of me. It's like I never existed to her. That's a haunting thought.

I gave my mother a big hug and kiss before I left and thought "I hope she never forgets me." The older we get, the less time we spend with the loved ones who raised us. Time slips away unless you track it. We create fewer and fewer moments and memories in the history of our lives. We understand and appreciate the beautiful moments because we endure the unexpected, tragic, or inexplicable experiences that attack us without mercy. The poetics of contrast pertaining to life are profound and enlighting, but they still suck and feel unfair. Pain is a by-product of life, so we have no choice but to endure and create the things that make that pain worth respecting, acknowledging and available as unexpected fuel to helps us overcome, smile and know betters days are ahead even if a few more shitty ones are scattered in between.

Daily Inspiration 001: I Love Lamp

There are three things in this world that I find to be viscerally expressive: music, dance, and the capture of both through film or video. In my most recent experience watching a variety of music videos, there was a commonality that bothered me. The narrative of the songs I was hearing was lost on me visually, and I didn't understand or see the dichotomy that the directors and or artists were presenting on screen. Music videos do not have to be direct in their message, but they should always enhance the song so that they can complement each other, and work as a combined art.

It is challenging to make a great music video, I've only made a handful on shoe-string budgets, but each one felt draining and the result was always just good enough. Every couple of months I see something that inspires me to get better at one my expressive crafts: filmmaking. I'm continually looking for inspiration to aid me in my daily creative endeavors, and when it hits me, I'm overwhelmed with an endorphin buzz so strong that I want nothing more than to share what I've experienced with someone else in hopes that they too are moved in some way. No one will feel what I feel, and reactions to any form of art will be different depending on the mood, environment, and context of an individual, but this is a video I have to share. I remember feeling something like this when I saw Bjork's "Pagan Poetry" and Kanye West' "Runaway" video. Watching these type of expressive videos make me want to become better at doing what I do. Whatever that may be at any given day.

The artist is Sia.

The song is "Chandelier."

Directed by Sia & Daniel Askill, featuring Maddie Ziegler of Dance Moms.

Just watch it, and play it loud.