being here

This morning, as I rode my bike in this beautiful day (however climate-change frightening it may be), I realized that I am really, truly Here.

“Here” means a lot of things to me. I’ve been holding onto a lot of secrets for a long time. Recently, I’ve explored letting those secrets go, speaking them out loud, showing all of myself to the people around me. I’ve always been scared to do that because I thought people (besides my family) wouldn’t like me if they saw all that. As much as I didn’t want to admit to myself that was the reason (who me? I don’t care what people think!), it really was, or at least partly. I felt I had to be alone in certain ways to maintain my identity and my true self. As I have let some things open up in the past ten days, which was very scary at first, I’ve begun to feel a lightness.

So, I am Here, in my self. I’m also Here, in my experience. The experience of my mom’s cancer, of what my life means with that in it. I rode bikes with my parents today, and felt so grateful to be with them, to be a part of this. There’s nowhere else I’d rather be. Riding my bike today with that knowledge, I smiled at the world.

My sister sent me this article about film projectionists. In it is discussed the idea of nostalgia. I already feel this nostalgic pull as I think of how little time I have left with these old projectors and real live film. With this magical, mystical job, which will soon be changing to digital projection. It’s become part of my identity, and I cherish that. But I know I have to move with the transition, and not hold too tightly to this thing which is a realization of a childhood dream for me. I am Here, at the end of an era for film, and the beginning of a new technology.

Today was a good day, one in which all of this is clear to me. Some days are a lot harder. I’m doing my best and I’m going to feel it all one day at a time.

“Be patient toward all that is unsolved in your heart and try to love the questions themselves like locked rooms or books that are written in a foreign language. The point is to love everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps you will then gradually, without noticing it, live your way some distant day into the answers.” ~Ranier Maria Rilke, poet (1875-1926)

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4 thoughts on “being here

  1. Dear Anna,

    I was already going to write to you because of your recent post expressing wistfulness or regret about not helping recovery in Brooklyn or NYC where you lived during and after college. I want to say that I am personally very glad that you are feeling good about being here in Williamstown/Bennington, and I think it is the right place for you at this time. I feel that NYC and Brooklyn are very self-absorbed (how about that for an understatement!) and will get along just fine without you or anyone of us who are not there by choice. Certainly that area needs help recovering from the big storm, but you are valued and cherished here, not just to help your Mom and Dad, which is very important, but because we all like you being here! So enjoy each day, and keep looking for your true path, here and everywhere.

    Best, Ray

  2. Thanks for sharing Anna, and for being so brave. Thanks for sharing the article too. You and your fellow projectionists are the last practionioners of your art. Cinema survives, but won’t ever be quite the same without film. I think nostalgia is inextricably linked to cinema, perhaps because it is usually experienced first as a child and our first cinematic experiences are the most heightened.
    I hope you have lots of good days amongst the bad, it certainly sounds like you will make the most of them.

  3. beautiful Anna-I truly relate to your holding things inside and how it feels to let them out. I thank you for being on the “team” . It means more then you imagine.

  4. Anna, you are a very unique young lady, with a positive outlook, wishing you the very best and good health, also to your Mom and Dad

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