Wednesday, October 1, 2014

{The Journey Film | Part II Filming} Paris Mountain State Park

When my sister and I lived in South Carolina for the summer with my mom we would go to this park and stay at the beach all day... we did this a lot. My sis, brother, step-sister and step-brother. And being the oldest I was in charge. My mom would make us pack lunches and then she would drop us off at this beach, pick us up at the end of the day. Let's just say we got lots of swim time in. We owned that beach.

There was a lifeguard there named Ryan that liked me. We got to talking since we were there so often. I was still quite young and naive. He was older and he could draw. I remember he drove his car over to our log cabin house {which was also on Paris Mountain}. I remember he kept rubbing my back and my inexperience with that made me a tad uncomfortable. Ha. Well my sister made sure to tell my dad incorrectly on the phone the next day that I pretty much made out with him. Lol. We didn't even kiss! I was SO mad at her. Yeah, she got salt in her bed that night. {And every night I was mad at her!} Now it makes me laugh. Lot of good memories here, passing time and just being kids. Tattling. 

This is where Ali suggested we go to do part of the interview - since it was a place Jess and I spent a lot of time at. So sure enough, at the top of the mountain we met to talk. Thinking about it, being there was perfect. Jess couldn't be better described than as an earthy, hippie-girl who loved nature. What better place to find her that day, in the breeze around me, in my heart. And with that said, it was probably the most emotional day for me. And as an imperfect person - you just hope you disseminate the vast array of heart-felt emotions into clear, relatable words, as best as possible. I tried to recollect and pull as much as I could from my heart... it is such a tiring process. And though I tried my best not to cry {totally hate my cry voice} eh, it happened. More than a few times. And I am not ashamed that I succumbed and gave in to feeling it all thoroughly. Every tear was its own tribute. I have put them away for the last few years because it is what I do under a busy clock as a business owner. Working has remained my coping mechanism. But I never forget what is buried deep. It is just the extraction of that which we keep deep... that emotionally we tell ourselves is too difficult. But cognitively we accept as so vital, healing. What we reap from that tilling of our hearts is a fresh field turned over for new seeds of gratitude, learning, perspective. We grow our garden with every tear.

I answered questions in front of a camera {that typically I am more comfortable being behind than in front of} my heart entirely on my sleeve. I like any woman thought, I hope they get the best angles. Is this outfit ok? Shoot, I have a stinking coffee stain on my blouse - can I hide that with my hair? Omg, I hope I have nothing in my teeth! I started thinking about the things I dislike about myself. I'm sure Jess was whispering in my ear as she jokingly said so many times in life... "Girl this is about me not you!" Nothing has changed Jess - I still walk in your beautiful shadow. And passing that brief minute of superficial blur - I remembered what this ridiculously amazing opportunity was about.

And my beloved Jess.

For me - the loss of my sister was an absolute shift in my perspective, a shift in focus of my LIFE because of her death. Every day - if it is the last thing I do - I will seek the beauty in-between. If you watch this video they have made and don't take away the key to the enigma of existence - it is simple. Read these words I write:


Find reminders ... and if you don't believe that cliche, then well, hopefully you realize it sooner than later so that every day is filled with astonishing gratitude over lackluster acceptance. I know how I would rather live. Our purpose is to seek out the joy - amidst the pain and the loss. We are guaranteed loss. So seek out joy. Joy is the feeling comparable to a butterfly unexpected along your path. Watch it flutter and circle you - even in just a momentary minute of wonder. And be just... astonished when you do find it.

It's hard to be mad about much when you've watched nature float by you so gracefully - reminding you that your joy is sought out and savored. We joy seekers don't let that orange-winged thing just glide by us... we track it and sometimes we even chase it with child-like giggles. Nature reminds you that the only worry you need hold onto is if you are truly living each minute fully enough to leave this very moment with no regrets. What if today was your last?

Find your reminders. They are the pieces of hope that bring faith and continuance. Mine just happens to be of the winged-gift variety.
I learned the word "peckish" {don't know if I've spelled that right} I am certain this word is used here but call me an ignorant American, I prefer to think my new British friends taught me better vocab. Peckish by the way, means you are not famished, but a bit hungry, feeling the need to snack.

Surrounded by nature. That is where I find God most.

These incredible people. How amazing that our paths should intersect. Grateful.

Love how focused Ali is when she is thinking. I think artists feel everything x200.

And if anyone thinks my cameras are complicated... yikes. I can't imagine trying to use this one. I am sure like everything else, it is an acquired skill-set.

So because Sara is brilliant and her own MacGyver of sorts - she built this sun filter to block the light coming onto my face.

Marcelo allowed us to listen to the sound of nature through his mic {for lack of better appropriate sound guy term} - it was an incredibly relaxing thing... just to hear the wind move through the trees, the leaves rustle, animals move along the forest floor. Peace in headphones. Really fancy headphones. 

I could tell you what she was laughing about here - but it might lead to me being embarrassed at something Sara mentioned earlier in her British accent that did not sound like the word "massages" as we say it here. Ha. Good times.

Meeting them was one of a handful of moments in which - life changes and you simply never forget it.

The beach and beach house where we used to frequent. Felt different walking here by myself over 20-some years later. A lot of quiet observations and smiles ensued as I ventured solo around this area.