Film poster

Film poster

Thursday, February 23, 2012

SEEING the Mountain!

Mark Gilman, Dorothy Gilstrap, me, Sharam Rohani
OMG!  There it is: the MOUNTAIN of our project, towering before us!  Did we really think we could DO this? And in 2012?

The rough recording took about 8 hours!
A dose of reality hit when a group of us read through the script I had just finished writing (yes, after years of preparation and after the advice re. length we had gotten from Gary, who worked on the initial draft).  Is it going to be a mini-series? A three-hour film?

The heroic group of readers included professional smart person Mark Gilman, author Dorothy Gilstrap (grand-daughter of Dorothy Baker), and teacher Sharam Rohani, who has the most beautiful chanting voice in Texas.

Seriously, I think we need to cut the script down by about a third. But I finally told the story I wanted to tell--and in doing so, wrapped myself around the WHOLE JOURNEY and then collapsed from lack of sleep while meeting my own deadline. Yes, this is the time when the artist, having suffered and sacrificed, lies in a heap, moaning. But the work will go on!

Sharam, Tim
And what does the director say about the script? "It's pretty random." Oh. Thanks.

OK. We will climb this mountain, despite old age, despite the ticking away of ages (why didn't we start a year earlier--heck, five years earlier?), despite a lack of ideal harmony in artistic partnership, despite the lack of FUNDS and TIME. . . .

From the top of the Mountain, 'Abdu'l-Bahá smiles. "Your efforts must be lofty." The only way we can make the climb is by reaching up to grasp HIS hand.

So--last night, between diversions, Tim shot a railroad map in our cluttered studio (the bursts of inspiration must become more perpetual than occasional), and I planted a gingko tree (for me, a potent metaphor of growth, transformation, fulfillment) and began the the process of cutting out words. . . . They fall in cascades to the floor.

gingko tree in pot
The gingko tree is really just a bare, 4-foot dormant "stick," but I've inspired it to grow by wrapping a golden ribbon around it and tying two actual gingko leaves to its top.  Will that work?  Will the film come into being?

With the right music, I am sure you would all feel the poignancy of this moment--a new threshold of commitment, challenge, sacrifice, and REALITY for us, as we stare up at the rather large and daunting MOUNTAIN before us.
Costumes, waiting for action in the wings

Good news:  I received a SABBATICAL for the spring quarter: 3 months off from teaching--with pay!

We are going to NY / NJ / PA April 5–15!

Now, if only Tim could quit his job. . . .

Pray for us!