For the past two days, I have been working on the process video for No. 72 of my #shepersisted series.
One thing I’m careful to do is… save my work throughout the process.
One thing my computer didn’t actually do was… save all my work.
Not its fault actually… I discovered this after about 6 hours of work yesterday when it crashed and I discovered I’d lost the final hour of edits.
I couldn’t figure out why every clip I downloaded kept coming in garbled. The video file was getting too large for the limited memory available on my computer. Each download would take me about three tries to get it to import successfully. Include the fact that my phone automatically uploads long videos to the cloud to save space, requiring first the downloading of said video and then the editing because I filmed everything upside down (and no that was not intentional) and you can see why it was taking me so long to edit!
Anyway, the gift of ‘the crash’ is it gave me insight into the importance of emptying memory banks to clear up space for fresh ideas.
See, we humans like to hang onto things. A lot.
We harbour grudges. Disappointments. Regrets.
We roll past hurts over and over in our minds, picking off pieces and chewing on them with the verocity of a baby robin grabbing for a worm dangling out of its mother’s beak.
We act like emotional hoarders, stuffing feelings deep down into our psyches, layering more and more on top so that the ones below can’t get out.
Until… one day… we crash.
Oh, maybe it’s not cataclysmic. Maybe it doesn’t even make the Richter scale of emotional disturbance.
But for each of us, there is a breaking point.
I used to see it everyday when I worked in a homeless shelter. People entering with nothing except the emotional baggage they carried as if those angry, hurting thoughts and feelings could protect them from the painful past that led them to the shelter’s doors.
There was a man at the shelter once who was known for his anger. He was in some ways just one of many except I got to know him better than others because he used to come to the art project I’d started and jam with other musicians. When he was being ‘himself’ he was a loving, caring man. And then, a burst of anger would erupt up and out of his body and he turned into a whirling, crashing terror. A guy bent on self-destruction determined to take everything around him down too.
One day, faced with a possible jail term due to his latest outburst, he came into my office and cried, “Help! I don’t want to be an angry man.”
We got him enrolled in a program that helped him face his past and his demons. He took anger management. He learned to meditate. He worked, hard, on being ‘himself.’
When it came time to go to court to face the consequences of his past actions, he asked if I’d go with him. On the day of his appearance, I waited outside the doors while he stood in front of a judge. “I know I gotta face the consequences of my actions,” he said before going in. “But I sure hope the judge sees I’m a changed man.”
In his hands he held tightly to the certificates he’d received from the various courses he’d taken to create the change he wanted, knew he needed, to be the man he was beneath the anger and pain that hid his inner beauty.
When he came out of the courtroom, he was smiling. Almost dancing. His entire being infused with delight, relief, joy. He’d received a suspended sentence. Community service. No jail time.
I haven’t thought of that man in awhile. He moved on. Went back to the province he’d come from when he was running away from his past. Through the occasional email or phone call, I learned he’d reconnected with his kids. Had a good job. His own place. Was living life.
I like this person I’ve become, he told me in one of his calls.
He’d become a champion in his own life.
The other day, Goff James shared a video and story on his blog of Ben E. King’s iconic hit, Stand by Me. In my comments, I shared the story of how musicians from the shelter where I used to work along with musicians from the community-at-large came together to create a recording of the song.
I hadn’t thought of that man in awhile. Until there he was, amidst all the other performers, sharing the music of his heart, creating change for all the world to know, when we stand together, anything is possible.
This post is also part of Eugi’s Causerie – todays’ prompt is ‘Champion’
Your Weekly Prompt – Champion – February 18, 2021
balance in ventures breathes strength into champions heroes of today Haiku written by Eugi
Go where the prompt leads you and publish a post on your own blog that responds to the prompt. It can be any variation of the prompt and/or image. Please keep it family friendly. Prompts close 7 days from the close of my post.Anyone can participate — go on… try it… it’s fun!