The day after the launch of my first short film, SUPERNOVA, I wandered down to the dock with the Beatles & a dear friend. Are you satisfied? he asked me. Was it everything you hoped it would be? I didn’t know how to respond for a moment, the briefest lingering of ache in my veins. What I wanted to say was of course, what I wanted to say was not at all, what I wanted to say was I thought no one would notice but so many have sent their love, what I wanted to say was I am constantly so thrilled by the things I create, what I wanted to say was I am constantly so abashed by them. What I wanted to say was it has always been enough. What I wanted to say was it could never be.
& the Beatles played in our shared earbuds, & the sun snuck its way out from behind a cloud. & suddenly, standing there the day after the dreaming, it felt right. It felt just so. This film I have poured my whole soul into will not matter in the long run, but oh god, it mattered just then. It mattered the way every heartbreak matters, every rainfall, every wisp of sky, every note of every song – I think about it sometimes & I find myself astounded by the beauty of it. The way nothing I ever create will make much of a ripple in the whole grand scheme of things, the way nothing would change if I didn’t make & make & make, & maybe that’s the reason I must do so anyway. Maybe that’s where the truth of it lies.
The song was “Let it Be” & I felt it standing there, deep in my marrow, there will be an answer / let it be – & there we were, alone & together, & the boats rocked along & the birds screamed & swooped, & in that single frame we were impossibly gorgeous, we were joy, we were everything. I thought to myself: we are only a moment, but oh – at least we are a moment. & how good it felt that we had this to hold. That maybe, in between all of the ways none of this would matter, there was a grain of shining glass, & maybe it would only ever matter for a moment, but at least it would matter for a moment. I tried to hold that close. I’m still trying.
& I thought about the inevitable loveliness of it, that no matter what happens there is the sea, there is the sky, & all the inchoate in-between things. & the soft humble knowing, blooming in my chest – that I create in the same way the universe creates, that this film I love so dearly is an expression of that same universe, & I do not want to waste a second of the time I have left in the slow steady blink of it. It felt a little like remembering, or forgetting, or realising something new. It felt a little like waking up. It felt a little like coming home.
As I walked along the shoreline I found myself overwhelmed by all of it: the bigness of my own littleness, standing beneath the universe & breathing out a sigh like something singing apart or coming together. A film moulded out of every aching my soul knows how to hold, some kind of dream spun from sun-stuff, & the boats trundling through the waves in their sheer transparent wonder, & the bright & awful hyacinthine knowing permeating this soft soul o’ mine, this place infinite & ephemeral. I found what I was searching for here, where the sky met the sea. Every moment whole & shattered, all the flying & falling things filling me up, whispering over & over, let it be, let it be, just let it be.
p.s. this essay was first published on patreon. if you find light in my work, you can support its creation & receive weekly essays & the first looks into the wonders i'm spinning, months before they ever go public.