I've been tottering along on one - a learning curve, that is - which explains why I've been a bit off the wires lately. What can I say about this latest little adventure? For one, it's not been plain sailing. It's been stormy. There were unseen rocks and reefs. I nearly ran aground. Several times. My boat threatened to capsize, but didn't. We took on a fair bit of water, though; thankfully, I tend not to mind getting wet and discovered I had buckets and stamina enough to stay up all night (or two, as was required) and scoop, scoop, scooooop!
I've been immersed in my film-making project lately; it's titled Hidden Depths - Poetry for Science. The cast includes a science diver, a pteropod (I'll find my pics of this exquisite small wonder and post them here soon), an ancient giant of the uni-cellular world, foraminiferan Notodendrodes antarctikos - and the flotilla of bamboo boats that I posted a week ago. I'd initially visualized this film as a collaborative endeavour but after a series of twists, turns and odd disjunctions, I realized it was something I really had to give shape and voice to on my own. This was nobody's fault. It was simply 'one of those things.'
Apparently there are times when - for reasons both obvious and subtle - it's just not possible to articulate the images and atmospheres that occupy the space of one's head into language and shapes that others can take away and work with. Even though this is stating the obvious, it almost always takes me by surprise. I'm by nature The Eternal Optimist, and accede to feeling momentarily bruised and bewildered at the realization that ideas and dreams I'm excited by are not necessarily all that captivating to others! We're all differently wired - and 'tis good so. For all the upheaval of this past week, it's been reassuring to realize - again - that most, if not all, of the time, these sorts of experiences are thoroughly worthwhile in terms of The Overhaul (yes) Picture.
I've been wrestling with language recently. Does this happen to you? Speech has not been coming easily; as though my mouth and tongue are having to deal with a foreign alphabet. Then again, life does at times take on a wordless (or is it word-free?) shape.
Sometimes, I wonder whether in fact it's primarily in and about the silent conversations.
Anyway, the exciting news is that my first film 'proper' is wrapped up (all 13 mins, 08.22 secs of it!) and on its way to Oslo where it will enter the stream of other films being considered for Norway's International Polar Year's PolarCINEMA screening at the end of June; this is an adjunct event to the 2010 Polar Science Conference I submitted a paper to some weeks back (haven't heard anything re; the outcome of that yet; it can't be long now till we're all notified.).
Cadence, The Intertidal Zone & I went for a pounding walk along St.Clair and St.Kilda beaches on Friday evening. The light was dramatic, portentous almost - in an illuminating way. When we started out, I was feeling stressed and gruntled by the unforeseen challenges of what seemed (just days ago) to be an ailing project - standing on a knife-edge between letting the whole thing go and stubbornly trying to find a constructive way forward.
We were talking about learning curves. The beach must have overheard our conversation; it offered up some stunners -
Kelp drawings - in the first, a boundary, threshold space, line of music; in the second, a vessel, horseshoe, effervescing hull?
Every time I look at this small sand stage, another dancer emerges. What - or who - might come forward to meet you...?
There's no telling the scale of this form from a photograph. Might it be a child's dropped lollipop? A sculptor's mallet? A burnt-out torch, tympanist's drumstick or broken chunk of quay?
Come to think of it, the film's a bit like this --- it, too, plays with concepts of scale and is more about questions than answers. A meditation on wonder. My wish is that it will s l o w us down (for at least 13 mins 08.22 secs!), encourage a fresh sense of connection with the natural world, each other and our small-large selves.