You ever feel something imaginative, exciting, and most of all good forming inside of you that by the time it gets bigger, you either have to get it out or let it die? But then if you let it die, a part of you dies. Do everything in your power, talk to friends or a professional, journal it – whatever you need to do to. If it brings you joy (the sustaining source not rooted in materialism, but that which amplifies and spills into all parts of life, creating only good for you and the people around you), do NOT let it die. PULL THIS TRIGGER!
NEVER ever ever ever ever ever ever wait for someone to give you permission to pull that trigger, start that restaurant, marry that person or take that trip. Give yourself permission. If there’s one thing that sticks out to me from the ancient wisdom writers over and over, it’s that the generative universe keeps insisting, “That thing that keeps nudging you, welling up inside of you, the thing that brings you excitement when you think about it, the thing that won’t go away – it’s always been yours. All you have to do is receive it.” Lk 15:31
I had to do this film. I don’t know why, and that’s not really the point. The point that we actually pulled the trigger, and well – so did the documentary subject, Edwin (metaphorically and quite literally in the film) – invited both of us into a story that was partly written and partly ours to write. It was handed to me. It was God’s way of saying, “You take care of this and I’ll take care of the rest.”
Do you know morse code? Well, me either. But sometimes you may get a message too quick to write down followed by pauses. Then you anticipate what’s next. “What’s next?!” I’d often say to myself or my poor friends who couldn’t help me anyway. I didn’t know what to do with the story. There were times when it felt forced and I’d have to literally run away from it and say, “God, show me. Just show me!” He wasn’t absent by any means in the process. I just don’t think I was listening; that is until He spoke through my assistant cameraman.
“Michael!” I phoned him after Edwin eagerly eluded to the next point on the plot line. “We have to do it. Now that I’ve heard it, I can’t NOT think of NOT doing it!” I told Michael. Though, I think he knew we were going to do it all along. He heard me go back and forth between not doing it and doing it, and bursting with excitement. I can say this next piece, I’m from Texas, “Bless his heart.”
Months later it was, “What the hell am I doing? What’s next?” What was next is that we moved the story forward, pushing brokenness one step towards wholeness. We pulled that trigger. And I didn’t have to die! Rather, I became more alive the deeper and deeper I would get sink into the mystery. It led us to asking, “Ooo, what if we did this…” Sometimes there would be something there, sometimes not.
I handed hours of footage off to my editor in a sort of a desperate need to lay it to rest. Until weeks later.
“Oh my god,” I shot up from the chair quickly, my heart was floating as I paced around my apartment in disbelief, smiling like an idiot. The first five minutes of watching the rough cut and I was smiling like an idiot. We effing MADE this!!
If it brings you and those around you life and hope and generosity, pull it.