This morning I will step on my platform one last time. The end of this project brings a mixture of feelings. I am excited about leaving, but strangely nervous too. There is also a degree of sadness. A years routine is coming to an end.
I began to look back over this year over a month ago, but it was far from finished. In one of my first blog posts I wrote “ that every year of my life has brought change and unexpected events, but I can’t begin to guess what these might be this year”. I certainly couldn’t have guessed that I would be spending the penultimate day of this project, a film about our relationship with mortality, attending a funeral surrounded by the community I have spent this year with.
This project so far has been an incredible journey. A journey that has taken place without moving.It has been characterised by many different things. There have been two unexpected deaths in my community, but also four births to be celebrated Maja, Reuben, Morgan and wee Victor. My own life has also had its ups and downs, which will no doubt be reflected in the film. It is a self-portrait of my year.
There have been storms and insomnia and it has felt like a particularly long winter. I have felt trapped by this film, my choices, my life, my desire for control, for a story that makes sense of it all, trapped by my body and its failings, trapped by temporality itself.
But there has also been a long glorious spring too. Things returned to how they had been. Eventually I stopped feeling trapped and started to appreciate the cyclical nature of time
It is now apparent to me how I have run from difficulty in the past, kept moving to avoid facing things. I have used fantasy as an escape. Imagining other lives I could be leading, other choices I could have made. This year has taught me the importance of valuing what is there in front of you, the life that you have.
Modern life teaches us to keep moving, chase our dreams, find the solutions, keep up with change, continually adapt but I have found that if you stand still for long enough sometimes the things you are searching for most in the world come to find you. Comfort and happiness can be found in routine, in the cycle of seasons, in the slow putting down of roots. Everything passes with time, time mends and time cements.
This project has been instrumental to my growth as a filmmaker. I have worked on this and new projects as well as working with a the children in Mallaig and learning a great deal from them. I have gained confidence in who I am, what I do and what it is I want to communicate. I have learnt that I don’t necessarily need to give everything away.
In a year in which I have turned my life into a film I have thought a lot about our relationship with stories. We are fascinated with real stories and celebrate those who expose themselves most. There is a sense in which I too have exposed myself, but by doing so I hope to show the beauty in the every day.
Ultimately I want the film to say more with images and emotions than I can express here with words. I hope it will pose questions rather make statements, exploring the journey we are all on.
Life is both fragile and robust, at times it is unbearably painful at others joyous and beautiful, it has an urgency but it is also mundane, and it is temporary. This is all we have and we don’t have it for very long. Living it to the full doesn’t necessarily mean chasing adventure and following dreams. It can mean standing still and appreciating what is there in front of you. Cherishing the moments you have.
I want to use this post to thank everyone who has supported me over this year. I hope I can produce a film that lives up to your expectations.
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