May The Force Be With You.
I finally did it.
I saw Rogue One.
I have resisted doing it since it came out because of my avid devotion to the Star Wars story, but as these things go, what you resist persists. I knew at some point it would happen. And it did. And it did right when it was supposed to. Which is what I observed today.
Everything happens when it is supposed to.
I had a few moments of this staggering realization today. It's one I have often, but when it kicks in, it stops you in your tracks. At least, I stop. Everyone is faintly aware of the phrase that too much of a good thing can be bad, correct? Well I agree. And I have learned this the hard way. Many times. But I'm getting better at it. For the past few days, the tribe in which I feel very close to at the moment has been in close quarters. And I mean close. It's rare and beautiful when there are a group of like minded individuals who actually just want to be around each other. Full proximity. And when we aren't in the same room, we are virtually making up for it as much as we can. Needless to say, there's a lot of love. But from one free spirit to another, I'm sure you know how it feels to be consumed by the glory and joy of new love. Basking in it's hopeful and powerful essence. Feeling connected. Accepted. Loved. We all want it. All of the time.
But when we get it, we have to treat it with care. There were a few moments I had with my friends today as we all congregated in the newly appointed hang out pad (not mine for once!), that I realized the slightest bit of tension in me. The little nag on my shoulder warning me that I was starting to indulge. That I was slipping slowly into the trance of celebration and fun. Think of the lotus flower scene in Percy Jackson. Yah, but then there's the moment Percy wakes up. I was starting to feel this. I have had a habit of this in the past. Sometimes, when you really love spending time with people, you can take it to the max. I know, I've done it. And it's taken me long enough to realize: a dollop of quality time is not as useful as a light spread.
Not to say the time together isn't cherished and that I don't want to be sharing as many moments of joy with them as possible, but that I felt it. The little alarm that signified we had done a good job at enjoying ourselves and having fun together, but that it was time to be on the solo journey again for a bit. The recharge. The regeneration. Back in effect.
But something kept coming up through all of this that I couldn't ignore. It was the notion that when you really want something, it usually doesn't happen for you at the moment you want it. I have longed for a tribe of like minded and like hearted people to share these kinds of moments with for an entire year! And when I least expected it, I received just that. But this notion still nagged at me. There are projects I have been putting my everything into recently that for some reason are just not coming into fruition the way I had deeply hoped. Now, don't get me wrong. I have enough faith, understanding, and confidence to believe these things are being created and thought of for a reason. But I am keenly aware, maybe I don't get to know the reason just yet. Not right away. I want it so badly. And the universe being its fickle self... well, I just laugh when I realize that wanting anything too badly is just as repellent as not wanting it at all. It's too intense. There's no room for unexpected error. For a perception change. For chaos. And this is rooted in control. There's no control when you want something badly.
Which leads me to Star Wars.
I can say from the bottom of my melting heart that I did not want to see Rogue One in any way. From the inception of it's name, I had no connection to it. Albeit it being a Star Wars story, it was a war movie. Not my cup of tea. (I choke on my tea often, as I am now, because I for some reason forget that I always end up liking war movies). Which I did. BUT for the sake of this, my point is that Rogue One was not my top pick in choosing a movie tonight.
Now, this movie selection was an ordeal within itself. Try getting four very flexible and easy going people to make a decisive movie decision, and you may be in for one. (No shame, you gotta pick something everyone agrees on, but I felt a pang of universal resistance over the decision being made). After an hour of ping ponged deliberation, the tribe had spoken and it seemed Rogue One had prevailed. So we trekked into an Uber. An Uber that I can only say... delayed us. To recount the Uber trip would be a disservice because you had to be there, rushing against the clock, and realizing after the third missed turn that the force may not be with us in our movie adventure. Finally, we make it to the theatre with minutes before the start time. At this point, we are all starving and ready to see this movie. With maybe two minutes before start time, the concessions line gets backed up and half the menu is out. One minute past start time and I can feel the tension rising. Everyone is starting to panic and feel the imperial doom of misfortune approaching. Once we all got our snacks and made it through the ticket stand, we were finally on our way only ten minutes late. But naturally, the force took over when we put out there that we were displeased with the quality of this journey. We ended up at the far end of the theatre, two floors down from where we needed to be. So we hauled ass. And I mean hauled. One hallway, one escalator, one giant flight of stairs, and we got there. And what were we greeted with?
One more preview.
Thirteen minutes past the start time and after all the clusterfuck of the journey, we had made it. And the movie hadn't even started yet. And it's funny, because I didn't really care if we got there on time. But boy, am I glad. I ended up loving the movie probably more than anyone else. I have a spiritual connection to the Star Wars stories. Yeah, I'm whatever you want to call that. But it's true. I see the philosophical aspects in Star Wars, and I resonate and respect them highly. Sure, we don't call it by the same name all the time, but the force is real. The force is what guides us everyday. The Force has me writing this. Whatever that sense of knowing is, that ability to perceive a choice is the force at action. There is a blind character in Rogue One who walks across a battle field in order to pull one lever that is vital to the giant plan. The whole time, he walks through unscathed chanting:
I am one with the force, the force is with me.
I won't give away what happens next, but let me just say, I feel you dude. I am one of those staggering few who believe in the hope of there always being something good. In hope. In love. This takes me to the end of the night. I am driving home with my dear friend when he suggests that we listen to a song he had created. He has been wanting to show me this for some time, but I had resistance. What if I didn't like it? What if I didn't support it? Hmm.. not a good sign when you start asking what if questions. So I stared out the window at the sky above as he played the song. And I rarely say this, but I was utterly impressed.
My friend had managed to produce something original and beautiful that incorporated a song that tickles my heart and his own unique musical talents. Sometimes a voice doesn't match up for you until you hear it in the right song. Until the force wills that moment and that song into your life when it can mean something. This is the case for me. This song made me feel good. It made me feel the force. I wanted so much to not dive into that moment of listening, that when it approached me, it was perfect because I didn't have anything attached to it! Now I have a new top song! I didn't want to see Star Wars and here I am writing an entire narrative devoted to it!
Which is how I will end this day. My best friend and I have been discussing the idea of an epic road trip for months now, destined to be in February. Now we have kept this discussion pretty open, but she did indeed inform me of the concrete dates (though these dates had not appeared as concretely in front of me as I had planned for them to be). The set back in this plan was and still remains my schedule as an actor. There are times you have to be readily available pretty much like cattle and when we conceived this idea, my agenda was clear. Now..let's just say, I'm still finding my place in keeping all the things in order. So when I admitted that I had mixed up the dates for our plan a bit, I could see the disappointment and angst of my friend as she probably felt I had let her down. Immediately, I thought of as many solutions to the issue as I could. I would be willing to sacrifice my other priorities because she will always be one of my top priorities.
But when you can feel someone wants or rather needs something more than you, it can be difficult to trust in the force of the way things are. And to much dismay, my best friend is in the thick of it. Stolen belongings, grey days and a pang of existential reckoning are looming above her head. And I want nothing more to rid her of any residual pain that these things cause. But I also know she wants it very bad. She wants very much to be in a different place. And I can't help but think and even remind her, that maybe there's a lesson in all of this happening to her at one time that she isn't seeing. That there is a way for us to experience the joys of the road trip even if the original plan must change. But wanting one thing so badly, expecting something to turn out just as you wanted, leaves very little room to deal with issues or the possibility of change when it comes up. I am not giving my best friend any grief for this, I understand what she is feeling. And I would do anything in my power to make her feel the joy she deserves. But what if it's not in my power? What if the force is with me in a different way? What if I am not meant to save my friend from the defeated state she is in, even if that means I may carry the weight of disappointment or resentment because of it?
What if. What if is a dangerous place to be.
So I'm not going to stay there. I am trusting that everything I want will at some point reveal itself to me. Whether I really want it or not, and what I am willing to do to maintain it. To protect it. To cherish it. Being one with the force was never the absence of violence, but using violence wisely to your advantage. Being able to recognize a choice, and trusting in whatever choice you had to make. When you see a choice and trust in your decision, the force has a way of working with you. That's why the good guys always win. Sure, some shitty things happen along the way. Sure, you may lose yourself for a few days. And sure, you may let some people down, but I believe this mantra and I offer this to you:
Everything always works out for me.
Because it does. When I stop wanting it so bad. And just let it do its thing. Usually what comes of it is better than what I expected.
So my point is this, don't want anything too much because too much of anything can turn on you. Moderation in moderation. And when the world and everything you believe feels like it's attacking in on you and there is no hope, remember these two things:
"Train yourself to let go of everything you fear to lose."
(Yoda tells Anakin that fearing loss makes one greedy, thus in turn making one more apt to turn to the dark side. Episode III: Revenge of the Sith)