Monday, 4 July 2011

[re] Activity now.

It's July now. It's now less than a month until I move to Korea. I have successfully jammed this pre-departure summer chock-filled with lofty goals that I am managing to achieve. This is not really unlike me. My will power is like a wildebeest (not quite literally of course, because I think wildebeest are very pack oriented animals that will follow the leader right off a cliff... Hello, Lion King! Probably just used it because it sounds nice to will-power). This is becoming more and more evident to me as I get more experience: I've got the capacity to convince myself of the motivation to meet any goal I might dream up. I suppose I could probably thank the ol' rasin's for that: instilling me with a sense of independence and accountability.

One of these items being laser eye surgery. I underwent the beam on the 23rd of June. Due to slight astigmatism and my finicky nature with invasive medical things, I was deemed best fit for PRK surgery, rather than Intralasik. Basically, PRK is a less invasive surgery (it does not make a flap with your cornea as does the Intralasik surgery) but it does scrub away the outer layer of corneal tissue (probably not, but it sounds close enough ;)) in order for the laser to get in there. The healing takes much longer, but is a more reliable surgery with no cutting or temporary loss of vision during surgery.
Knowing this, I prepared for being away from every commitment and activity that I usually tend to (work, going to yoga classes, socializing, outside romping etc.) and spent a good five days laying low in the basement. I armed myself with preloaded Ted talks, Dharmaseeds and several audio books ready to go. But even with these things, I couldn't evade the undistributed attention that I had with/on myself.

As expected, my vision became something in which the value placed upon it (and my reliance upon it) was sorely underestimated. I definitely went through a bit of a funk: frustration, sadness, boredom, "body-buzz" hyperactivity (from not moving around much), but nothing too intense to not be able to appreciate, looking back. It was a good experiment to see what kinds of things my brain could possibly throw at me when faced with a circumstance that I couldn't change, no matter how hard I tried, no matter how much motivation or will power I have.

Sharply faced with insight and perspective, to say the least.  I was also lucky enough to have a great caretaker (mom) to spend time sitting with me, helping me put in the endless eye drops, and tape plastic eye-shields to my face every night. She even did yoga with me late into the night (when my body was antsy and ready to do something, even though my visual sensory senses needed to rest up).

I also had a wonderful friend come over and spend time talking with me, eyes closed and unkempt, laying in my bed in a cocoon. She even made up a fun activity to play with my incapacity (she poked holes in paper, like braille, and had me use my senses and speaking skills to try to rationalize out her little pictures! Cool!)

Now, I'm doing pretty well. It's been about a week and a half since surgery (still not long at all) and I am getting along in the world, driving, going out, enjoying activity like I usually do. But I think I will look fondly on the time that I was coerced to put all this stuff that I enjoy, down. Fully. It was good for me, I think. It really made me appreciate all the things I do and can do, all of the ways life is so awesome and fruitful.

I've also recently (just today) started my yoga teacher training certification. This has been something that I've been looking to do for quite some time. I had this planned before I signed the contract for Korea, so it just so happens that I lined myself up for a very busy June/July. I know I can handle it. I might even go as far to say that sometimes I thrive on my will power, and a little bit of healthy time constraint.

Another goal that I've added to the pile: I will create a documentary. Like I mentioned in an earlier post, I bought a little pocket camcorder for recording and chronicling items and snippets in my life, especially cultural nuances, explorations and reflections from my adventures abroad. But, this documentary is more for all of the questions I have for the people I have in my life here, in my home. I am going to be leaving everyone and everything I know for at least one year, so I figured, I should probably try to get as much footage as I can in this last month here. Talk about lofty and, sometimes "burdensome" spontaneity, if there can be such a thing (ha).

My friend Rachael did a documentary a couple years ago regarding the important issues of life for people in their early 20ies. She interviewed people young and old, close to her and far from her. I was really inspired by the idea.

My documentary, though, will be geared more towards the questions that I often find myself thinking about, when it comes to our human nature.  Mostly, the questions act as a way to make connections with and between people. I want to get people talking. I want to look at reflection, relaying and understanding passion, finding where purpose and passion comes from in the lives of people from varying backgrounds and dispositions. I also want to look at the creative process, in all people, to share with all people. Inevitably, this project is mostly for me, and my own creative process. It's kind of neat how my inspiration has been set aflame by setting this formidable project as a goal.

There is no outright theme, as I've heard is so important for aspiring amateur documentary makers.  I think the theme might kind of figure itself out. The questions that I ask are a process; prophetic in their own end. I made a list of questions that I often wonder about myself, about those around me, and I think many other people wonder the same about the people around them. We are so naturally curious about the people around us, but we have so much humility about it. I would like to target this curiosity, and make a platform for us to share the thoughts and feelings that bring us so closely connected.

Another reason for this film: I want to get a memoir-esque document of my parents talking about their lives. I want to ask them the questions that I've never really had the guts to (and maybe under the precepts of a "documentary" it would make them much less "weird" to ask). I want to capture their footage before I go to Korea, because, hey, who knows how long they'll be around, in a sane or speakable state. Thinking of my parents dying before ever really getting to know the stuff underneath the surface about them makes me wilt inside. I don't want to be responsible for that happening, when I have a perfect opportunity to remedy this possibility right now.

I captured the first of my footage with my aforementioned friend (who did the braille). I was going to ask just a selection of my list of questions, but we ended up going all the way, asking them all. She was a champ about it, and let me throw her curve balls, not necessarily in any kind of predictable order.  I want to try to not overwhelm my subjects, but the whole documentary is kind of a self-reflexive thing, not a realm that most people often venture into explaining in words to someone. Into a camera. Usually just thoughts. She was brave, so I thank her graciously for her willingness.

I'd like to get footage of a few more people that are close to me, some that are not so close or familiar (acquaintances), and maybe even a few people that I don't really get along with all too well (not that there are that many, but it would serve as an interesting dynamic, me thinks).  

If you're interested in being a part of this, be sure to leave a comment or contact me via email Lfarris[at]ualberta[dot]net.

I hope to get a variety of footage from people here in the next month, in my spare time. I imagine I'll find some people overseas to be a part of this as well, which could be really interesting!

There is still more to say if I were to catch this blog up with my most current play-thoughts. I think I'll leave that read for another post. This one's long.

Adios, Muchachas.

1 comment:

  1. I'm going to link people to this blog just so that they can hopefully be a part of the documentary. If you so choose them to be. It'll be cool to look back on it as well and see what our minds have done over the years!
    You're just so creative.