Working out one’s personal baggage isn’t easy. It’s hard, hard work. I don’t think I have ever been one to take much of anything, or anyone for granted throughout my life on this Earth except maybe the love of my two daughters: LauRenn and Jade; and the couple of ladies I had deemed once to be my dearest friends: Sana Christian, Ann [Bakel] Wirsing, and Julia Pace. I thought we were all very close and that I could count on them for almost anything. As the years have passed I learned the hard way, I have been very, very wrong about all of them.
Some people say that taking someone for granted is as simple as expecting… expecting for example those things from them that they typically do in whatever your relationship with them is. I don’t agree. What people do typically in a relationship I define as trust, dependability, consistency, etc. Sana for example told me two years ago that I was her best friend in the world. I was rather chagrined at this remark as I had not had the opportunity to speak with her in several decades so I didn’t believe that this could be possible at all. However I gave her the benefit of the doubt as we renewed an old friendship. Sometimes we chatted into the wee hours of the night getting caught up on all of the time we’d missed out on regarding each others lives.
I’ve always trusted her. She told me she really missed me so I continued, although maybe naively , to trust her. When I told her I was going to the Sundance Film Festival 2011 I asked her if she still knew anyone in Utah. She said yes, and would find one of her friends there for me to stay with so I wouldn’t have to pay the outrageous lodging prices in the Park City, Utah area. When late November/early December 2010 rolled around I called Sana to ask if she had had the time to find a friend I could “bunk” with for 2 nights and 3 days? She didn’t answer any of my calls, or reply to any of my voice mails, even though she told me this was her “slow” time of the year. Plans change. It just would have been nice (considerate) if she simply would have told me.
By May 2011 I was finally able to get a hold of Sana and I asked her why she didn’t keep her word? Why make this offer to help someone out, and then not even return my call to say something had come up and she couldn’t follow through? Sana made a comment that to this day I don’t understand as it seemed out of context with the question. She said she was jealous of the relationship that I have with my husband Mark. I asked her why? She had a wonderful family, very close friends who help her out when she needs help. Why on Earth would my relationship with Mark be something to be jealous of? She said she had been married twice and it didn’t work out (I only knew of her first marriage and husband). I told her how sorry I was about it. But added that you have a great family, brother and sisters, parents, cousins, etc. and great friends. So I have something you want, and you have relationships I thought I had but don’t. It’s all good. She became quite upset, I then cried and tried to figure it all out with her while on the phone. Bad idea. We parted and haven’t spoken since.
I’ve thought about Sana a lot. The word and relationship of “Friend” means a lot to me, and I cherish those that I deem friends. Nothing is ever as simple as one explains when there is a falling out. Her parents were like actual parents to me, and I felt most honored for their friendship as well. All five of these women are treasures to me yet people who absolutely baffle me. LauRenn, Jade, Sana, Bakel, Julia, I have chosen to distance myself from after repeated efforts to find a workable rapport with them. My hope with Sana was to give back, or “Pay it forward”, whichever you choose to call it. But to collaborate on my music with her, to include her in my movie with the hope of helping her career after all of the wonderful things she and her family have done for me.
I think all 5 are wonderful people who, for whatever reason, have very misconstrued idea’s about all that has transpired in my life. So I think about some of the others in my life that I have been very close to and ask myself logical and basic questions like: if I were to run into them how would it go? What beyond the usual pleasantries that are expected in getting updated, or reacquainted, would one dare to say?
I believe I am a genuinely grateful person. When I think of the 12 years that I had cancer, the car accident of 1987 that caused me to not be able to walk for 6 months but God willing I was able to teach myself to walk again so I could get to physical therapy… and my abusive ex-husband, yeah, I’ve been blessed. My two wonderful daughters that I once knew once upon a time, a long, long, time ago and still love very much too. Who carried that Christmas tree home dragging in the street like the Charlie Brown cartoon at Christmas time. So I have my moments when I feel discouraged like everyone else. So what, I still make an honest and concerted effort to remember and focus on those positive times and experiences even if I have been baffled by people.
Moments like how my life would have been so very different had I simply accepted a wonderful man’s proposal of marriage when I was very young, about 20 something. But he was married and I didn’t want to be “…that “other” woman…” imposing on his families lives. So I do wonder if he remembers me at all, at least sometimes. Each one of us has a story to tell. Movies are stories… some are true, and some are not. I believe that the people at Sundance try to do their best to make the right choices for their program line-ups. I believe they try to choose those they feel deserve the opportunities given all of the types of submissions they receive. I believe that there are those that try to do right by the filmmakers with what they have to offer. Maybe I am being too naive, again.
Stories are very personal either way and I believe with all of my heart that SFF and Mr. Redford given the circumstances of last years’ 2013 festival tried to choose well and deal with the submissions they had. Okay there were those who scoffed and nicknamed Sundance, Porndance, but why? Is an art film porn? Tell me when you’ve seen a movie, just a regular movie and you watch the love scenes, or the romantic scenes like in the movie “It’s complicated” with Meryl Streep and Alec Baldwin, is that porn? Where and when does an artful film become porn? Who makes these decisions, and who, more importantly, gave them that power to decide what is artful and what is porn? The moral majority, churches, government? Do we really want them meddling in our personal decision0-making?
Our Constitution is suppose to have certain rights which our Declaration of Independence refers to as inalienable rights. Have you watched the movie “The American President”? Being an American is not an easy choice you will have decisions to make, choices, sometimes daily decisions. If you don’t like that “artful” movie don’t watch it. Remember the saying “One man’s trash, is another man’s treasure”? We all make mistakes, not one of us hasn’t made a big mistake in their life be it personal or professional, right Mr. Redford?
So big boyz of Hollywood, all of you entertainment journalists and your networks, media folks> be it internet or otherwise, Joe Public, etc. try to remember what Sundance has done these past 30 years. Try to remember the many talents, the many wonderful stories>movies, and cut people a little slack. Try to remember and focus on the good or the glass half full. Only one year out of 30 years of Sundance talents and films became questionable, hm… that’s pretty darn good odds I would say. Let’s not make this personal and be the professionals we claim to be. By the way tell me, who hasn’t watched an artful film in their lives, or porn for that matter? Answer me that. I have known a lot of “Christians” and even “Muslims” and “Buddhists” that have watched, and liked porn.
They say the road to Hell is paved with good intentions then that might just explain why I’m still alive, neither Heaven or Hell wanted me, so they threw me back to get it right. Come on everyone it’s the holiday season for some Christmas, others Hanukkah, or Ramadan, etc. and the Sundance program line-up for 2014 is about to be announced. Let’s look to the future of filmmaking, not it’s past. Look at the talents and consider the possibilities. All film festivals have their place which is great for us all, and Sundance helped to pave the way. Who knows maybe the 2014 SFF will bring us some surprising stories, or talents. But give all of the negative a rest and let’s get back on track with a positive perspective. Hugh Grant got a second chance after getting caught with Ms. Brown afterall.
All of the good memories of my daughters will always be tucked snugly in my heart where they will remain blanketed with my love. My three once “best” friends likewise will always have a warm home in my thoughts and prayers. And the one very special man that got away, well, I don’t know if he will ever know how much I have always cared for him but I pray for the angels to watch over him… always!
Happy Holidays Everyone! Have a very Merry Christmas and prosperous New Year to you all!