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Archive for the ‘2016 February’ Category

camera blackDear Lyla,
I must confess, school was difficult for me when I was young. The subjects I studied did not cause distress, rather the feeling that I never quite fit in was the cause of much anxiety. Often I felt like an observer, instead of an active participant in my life. High school was particularly brutal for me socially and emotionally; though perhaps those around me never would have guessed that was the case. We did not have social media back then, and for that I am somewhat grateful. Back then my world was very small, I had no idea how varied the human experience truly is. All I knew is that when it was time to leave high school I would never look back. For the most part, that is still true. I do not lament missing high school reunions nor do I feel a pull northward when homecoming season is in full bloom. However, with the advent of social media, I have been curious as to what happened to those who walked the halls of adolescence with me all those years ago. As you know, storytelling runs through my veins and my curiosity for new methods of communicating the narrative is endless. Although the written word and still photography are like old friends, film’s siren song is calling and I must answer. While you will always be my muse, ghosts from the past have been whispering. Social media has given me a glimpse into how the lives of old school mates might have taken shape, but online repositories are charlatans and convey only what we want others to see. Viewing sanitized profiles creates a haze and numbness around memories of teen angst and bruised feelings. In some measure it has been soothing to reconnect to those I left over 20 years ago. I admit to feeling surprised at some of the paths that my peers have taken, where they ended up and with whom. One journey that holds particular interest belongs to a man named Chris, he goes by the name “King” now and lives in San Francisco. I have been most intrigued by his story. How does a young man from a town of less than 200 from northern Minnesota end up becoming a cultural fixture in the Castro district? What is his story? How has he shaped and been shaped by others? Does he feel the pull of the past or does he live contentedly in the present? What will the story I tell about him reveal about me? These are questions that will soon be explored Little One. In less than two weeks I am going to see the King and listen to his tale. I am not sure what will happen when our narratives collide in the filmmaking process. What I do know is, when the time is right, each of us will have a story to share.

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12418831_10156581337870105_1847855357891011100_oDear Lyla,

When I was little my sister and I would listen to the nightly weather with great interest and intensity during the winter months. We hoped to hear the words “nor’easter” or “white-out conditions.” Living in Minnesota meant that we almost always went to school unless a storm of apocalyptic proportions was making its way to the north central region of the state; even when severe predictions were made a snow day was never a guarantee and was never called the night before! Fast forward more years than I care to count, and here I am scouring the various weather outlets tracking “Winter Storm Kayla.” The discussions between Daddy and I are “will it pass us to the North,” “will it be as severe as they predicted or will it be a light dusting not worthy of all the angst we have seen televised, tweeted and texted over the past few days,” and “will Tuesday be a snow day?” Of all of these questions the last is of the utmost importance. Our contemplation of Tuesday’s forecast is not due to worry about missing a day of school, rather it means the three of us will be together with no classes, meetings or events to distract our family unit. When I was your age a snow day meant building forts, making snowmen and snow angels with my sister until we couldn’t feel our fingers and our scarves were crusted over with the ice. After frolicking in the snow my sister and I would waddle back into the house to be greeted by Grandma Jo with a hot cup of cocoa and a crackling fire. In retrospect it seems like it took forever for us to warm up again; we took great delight in snuggling deep into the blankets and spending the rest of the afternoon reading or playing board games. Snow days are the best! It was true then and it is still true today; a snow day can liberate a person in the most unexpected ways. So here’s to hoping the snow falls heavy tomorrow Little One; here’s to hoping for a bonus family day this week that is unencumbered by obligation and mundane distraction.

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