Here is last week, summarized:
Monday-Wednesday, I treaded water, as I normally do. Mondays are always supremely hard. On Monday mornings, my friend Cindy texts me things like: Amy, it's 7:45 AM. Time to go to work. Get out of your car and come inside, Amy. Now. And then I sigh and say quietly in my car, "I know. I know." And then I go in. (Teaching poor kids is rewarding in that the kids are my everything...everything else is spiraling me into Dark Nights of the Soul.)
On Thursday, I got home to a package waiting for me. I thought it was a left over order I'd put in for Christmas that had just come WAY late. No! It was a beautiful, silver ring inscribed with my all-time favorite Rumi quote: That which you seek is seeking you. It was from Tanya, a Midwest friend I haven't met in person, but we did a group blog together many years ago--we all challenged ourselves to complete a project that scared the beejezus out of us and wrote about the process together on the blog--and she and I are still in touch today, years later.
So months ago, T threw up a Facebook post asking for people who'd like to participate in a Pay It Forward thing--7 (or more people) would say yes, and at some point in the year, she'd send each of those 7 (or more) people some kind of gift...and then each person was to put up the same Facebook status so that they could do the same for 7 (or more) people who responded to them. So. Cool. (And that T-dawg actually remembered! And it came at a time when I really needed something like that to fall into my life.) (This is when the Internet connects people and is actually a good networking tool, rather than just the hub for porn and psychos and angry people it usually is.)
I took Friday off for a couple of doctors' appointments, and when I was through, I went to the movies. By myself! And I didn't have to see a movie with animated characters, singing animals, or princesses! It was insanely amazing. I had too, too many choices and basically had to do eenie meenie miney moe. It ended up being between CAKE, THE IMITATION GAME, SELMA, or A MOST VIOLENT YEAR. I was interested in seeing CAKE because Jennifer Aniston was desperate for an Oscar and so she got fat (Jennifer, that's so cliche, but I still think you're lovely and a great actress, and overdue for an Oscar--stupid Hollywood, making its actresses get ugly or fat or play a crazy person before they give them an Oscar)...I wanted to see THE IMITATION GAME because I'd heard good things about it and, apparently, every straight female and gay man in America wants to sleep with Benedict Cumberbatch, and they like to call themselves "Cumberbitches," which the feminist in me just winces at...I wanted to see SELMA because it's a biopic about MLK (who's one of my heroes) and the husband of my sweet friend Angie worked crew on it (he got to drive Oprah around)(and also, I think they have scaffolding from some sets sitting in their driveway now)...and I wanted to see A MOST VIOLENT YEAR because Jessica Chastain is in it, and I will always see movies Jessica Chastain is in since I desperately wish she and I could have a coffee date and become BFFs.
In the end, THE IMITATION GAME won because the timing worked out. My take away: It was so good! Please go see it, particularly if you're a WW 2 buff and/or technogeek. It's all for you. For me, I took away how important it is that we take care of each other; bullying does nothing to further our species. I cried in two places. Benedict has beautiful eyes and is a really, really good actor. Keira Knightley is gorgeous and talented--I wish people would stop being sarcastic about her (Oscars people, I mean YOU). Governments are full of sons of bitches. War is hell. Nazis, ultimately, were pretty stupid. Human beings can do awful things to one another. Alan Turing was robbed.
Now, for the rest of the weekend:
I have a mountainous stack of papers to grade. I have other paperwork I need to fill out since Parent-Teacher winter conferences are looming. I need to plan for next week's lessons. We're going to a friend's house to celebrate men in helmets jumping on top of each other (I'm going for the Super Bowl commercials, beer and chips/dip--I simply don't understand sports) (though, for some reason, I think I could potentially kick ass at golf). I need to work on my resume some more. I hate grey, rainy days--yesterday was beautifully sunny and I had 95% more energy. Today it got cloudy and grey and my whole outlook depleted. I may need to invest in an anti-winter darkness light. It is not lost on me that I am winter-born and do not like anything about the winter, except for the occasional snow day here and there. And that's only because I'm a Southerner and it's a novelty; if I were up North, I'd have ten million complaints about snow.
I keep meaning to meditate and then keep forgetting to. I have way too much on my schedule and a needy, clingy 6 year old isn't helping things. On Friday, when I had some time to myself, I just sat in the peace and quiet...have you done that? You should do that. It's hard, especially if you have a brain like mine that refuses to shut up. But I found that if I just breathed deeply and really focused, for a good 10 minutes or so there were no worries; only peace. It was nice.
You know what else is nice? Jeff Bridges. Jeff Bridges just made a music album for insomniacs who want to help kids not be hungry. You can download his Sleeping Music, for whatever you'd like to donate--there is no real price on it--and every single bit of money goes to No Kid Hungry. Isn't that nice? Jeff Bridges is another favorite thespian of mine. But he's also such a lovely, artistic soul--he's a musician, and I think he's also a gifted photographer. (I find that most creative people are gifted in more than one craft or like to dabble in more than one. My friend P is a talented writer and musician...my friend Kat is a talented writer and photographer...most creatives are drawn to anything that creates. Which seems to make sense, in the grand scheme of things.)
Next time I write I will probably be doing some more promoting for several of my favorite thespians (including but not limited to Jason Isaacs...hello to him) because March 5 is coming, and March 5 is when DIG (on USA!) starts. I've been slacking off on my DIG free PR I promised to Jason Isaacs last summer on his Instagram account. This looks like an amazingly amazeballs show that will make you question EVERYTHING. If you don't live in the United States, you will be so sad. So sad! Since you won't get to see it until they put out the DVD for it (I hope they will put out a DVD for it, so other countries can see it). I don't necessarily feel bad about this, since I had to wait to see the BBC's Case Histories series 1 and 2.
But it does underscore my belief that, because stories connect human beings, there should be no borders when good shows come on the air. We have satellites flying around in outer space right now--I'm sure technology exists that would let whoever, wherever, watch any country's television shows. If I can listen to BBC radio live every Friday, then I should be able to watch BBC television shows live whenever. Join the 21st century, television networks.
Until that happens, we'll just have to share amongst ourselves, I guess. Be storytelling Resistance Fighters and all that. Channel our inner Alan Turings. Pay it forward. Let Jeff Bridges put us to sleep while we help hungry kids eat. Get plenty of UV Vitamin D rays, wherever we can, in the low winter sun moments. Be unimaginably wonderful and stupid, amazingly brilliant and crazy; find ways to channel our inner Resistance Fighters about pretty much everything. Resist everyone and everything that would like to contain us, keep us within safe borders and tell us who to be, where to go. Let's work on that, focus on it, all of February. Want to?
Here's a picture with something I'm pondering for the week and you can too, if you'd like: