There are a few things that have been very soulful for me as of late and these I can generously share.
My favorite movies of all time are three, The Family Stone, Lost in Translation, and Love Song for Bobby Long. Lately, I've been dwelling on the last of these three. Maybe because it feels the most like summer to me, or maybe because it is about the invisible people like my father. As I dug into finding more out about the movie (I always do my research on things I love), I found a new favorite musician, Grayson Capps. Because I found him, I also found that he is the son of the man who wrote the novel that inspired the movie. I am now reading the novel, Off Magazine Street. Everyone says the book is better than the movie. In this case, I don't know that better can be ascribed, but just as lovely and completely enchanting is more apt. Digging into the souls of the forgotten is like working at an archeological site. You find treasures in the dirt that have sat untouched and unspoken of for much too long.
The music, the book, the movie have all rested well with me. I find that much of my own soul sits untouched and unspoken of because I throw it out there in people's faces as soon as I find it. I commercialize it and place it on my sleeve, my own personal billboard, so the world may read and know exactly what is there inside of me. The problem is that no one really reads billboards anymore. They are not an effective form of communication. Soon the billboard is covered in another man's graffiti and my message is no longer visible for what it is. My soul's stories become warped and skewed before I even have a chance to read them. Not to mention the fact that those who do read them are often frightened by the original and unprocessed propaganda I am placing up on my sign. All in all, sharing everything was, it turns out, a terribly unhealthy process.
I heard this weekend a saying: "Look closely at the present you are constructing; it should look like the future you are dreaming."Apparently given to us by Alice Walker, who wrote The Color Purple, I initially hated this little cliche. However, when I sat down with myself, I realized that the future I dream is this: An old woman with browned, but not dark skin, wrinkled more than slightly, and a full head of curly and wild grey hair, sitting down with her pen to write her final story. There is no fear of her life in her. There is no regret over the sins of her past or her present. There is a small smile that plays around her lips and eyes because she knows what no one else does - herself. She speaks with a rough voice and a deep resonance and her laugh comes quickly but not frantically. She is content to observe; to be observed is of no consequence. She wears her age like she wore her vitality in youth, obscuring her image somehow so that the world still sees the beauty she sees in herself. Her toes are immaculately painted.
I asked myself if I could become that dream. I answered yes. I can...
"A little girl was early told, that life was time, and time was gold. She took a little every day, 'til it went away, and she was old. And she cried cause her gold was gone, and she cried cause she was all alone. And I'm hunting with a lonely heart, crying nevermore shall we part.... " - Grayson Capps.