Sunday 24 February
Deadly, sitting on my BiPap, I am stuffed.
I feel devastated. I feel wiped. I am wiped.
Clearing out my storage, bags of cameras and stuff. Collectibles!
Tripods, large expensive camera bags with expensive professional gear, sound, lighting, filters, lenses, tools. All the tools necessary to be a good documentary film maker. Digital, Hi Def, not film per se. Time to make a gear list, time to photograph the various bits and pieces, time to list it for sale. Time to change direction.
My life as a film maker has come to an end. No wonder I am feeling wiped. Emotional and physical. Wellington yesterday, over the Hill to the place of my birth and back. A glorious day. Driving over the hill in such crystal clear weather is pure magic. Blue sky reaching from east to west, no cloud, no haze. One of the most picturesque roads I have ever travelled. It winds, from our house at sea level, and winds, up and over the mountain range. 3000 feet and more. Hairpin bends, guard rails, overtaking areas. Blind bend after blind bend. And, behind the safety rails, native bush, not first growth but regrowth from the times these hills were scarred to carve this two lane ‘highway’ up and over the mountain range that separates east from west. Tree ferns, native flowering Hebe and toward the summit Black Beech. Once prolific they are now a rarity. I have hiked these hills, I have followed the winding unpaved, unmaintained track which gives access to the Power Pylon which stand, stark against the sky. From the stream at the bottom of the range all the way to the far above ridges. The vegetation becoming more and more exotic the higher one climbs. Then, at the highest point, the view to the west is staggering in it’s sheer, unaltered scope. The vegetation is sub-alpine, trees rising, ferns protecting, grasses of amazing varieties. From the road far below none of this is obvious. A treasure trove for those who take the time, who make the effort to explore. This is quite typical of my homeland. It is there to discover, it does no come easily but it there.
As a teenager I ran a road relay from Wellington to Masterton, 140 km. At a time when New Zealand ruled the middle distant world. The relay was over the Hill and my leg was 11.6Km, from the summit of the Rimutakas to the Featherston Post Office, now demolished. Sheesh! I now live in Featherston. My time for the leg was around 31 minutes, not too shabby for a skinny kid in his teens.
Yesterday I was a passenger, my Power Wheel Chair towed behind the Car driven by muy Emily. What a difference 50 years makes.
To hook up our Bruno Chariot, hydraulically lift the Wheel Chair off the ground and drive to Wellington, there to see ‘Lincoln’, Stephen Spielberg’s latest Directorial offering. I sat, chair tilted, reclined at a comfortable angle, through an emotional roller coaster. A great film, performances and passion. It had me in tears for America, my adopted Country, it adopted me. America gave me my soul and twenty years of a very good life. In film. I love film. I saw my first film in Wellington, Bambi, as a young child. An animated Disney Film, a classic. It terrified me. Bambi running for his life before an approaching forest fire. Fire terrified me for many years. I was rescued from a house fire in Wellington where we lived for my first and defining seven years. I avoided fire until, as a 40 year old, I learned, via Fire Walking, that fire is my friend. It is passion. It is life itself. The Sun is our fiery friend, or so I believe. It controls us along with the Moon and Stars. The holy trinity. I sat through the end credits to acknowledge the Film makers. Michael Kahn ACE, Film Editor. I have always done that, to respect the talents of film makers.
Over a quick coffee and snack at deLuxe Cafe, next door to the Paramount, after struggling with the bathroom in the Lobby, we met a young friend of muy Emily’s, chatted about his life and writing and future and then, me in my wheel chair, motored around the yacht harbor, me getting off on the yachts moored and taking in the dying rays of sun and glowing in the natural beauty that is Wellington Harbor.
Driving back to Featherston at sunset, we were guided by a rising Moon, not quite full. The setting sun bathed the native forests and exploded pockets of light back at us from reflective windows where development has cleared the forest. Not for the better I might add. It was a very satisfying trip. Far too long since I sat in a cafe., kiwicafe.com is my handle way out across the Internet. Kiwicafe on nearly every mainstream communication tool :)
I am a Cafe dweller at heart.
And so here I sit. Sifting camera gear that I can no longer use. My days of Film Editor & . . . are gone. What to call my self? What new door will open, what new adventure faces me?
I can still type, I continue to process my image library and try and get it out to the universe, Buy, Buy, Buy . . . My cry! My heart is heavy, not being able to film or film edit. A time for mourning. Grieving I guess. This too shall pass!
Okay, done that, now what’s next? I can be flip I can! Anyhow the good news is that I bought well, my equipment is pretty much state of the art and is all in excellent nick. Now to photograph it all and put it up for sale. Or, use it to pay the film maker who has taken over my Documentary. Costa Botes you are a star. My film friends in Wellie, Costa and Annie, have taken over my project, film makers to the rescue. My fingers and toes crossed that they find the gem that resides in my adventures.
I have already sold my lesser equipment to a small band of Maori film makers, they were in raptures when they saw the quality and condition of their purchase. Makes me feel good that it is in good hands.
I can imagine the day, fast approaching, when all my gear is gone and I am left with books, music and a laptop computer and . . . a Leica of course!
My legacy is in other’s hands. I have no sadness for that. I trust those who become the guardians of my craft.
Film Editor & . . . has been my title since the 1960’s, nearly fifty years of splicing film, segueing to Digital, making films work and bringing my own perspective to a project. Breathing life and passion into every frame. First I started as a cutting room assistant, ever fearful of my teacher and yet, that fear drove me forward much faster that I could ever have envisioned. So much for me believing I was a slow learner. I guess I found my souls journey, my daimon even. My inner genius.
Now . . . Richard Clark & . . . & what? Writer, Photographer? Either or both. I can do that today. Whatever will be will be :)
Richard Clark & . . .
My friend Joe, in a comment on a previous post, offered me up Romulus & Remus when it comes to my Brother and Me. Well, I agree, but it applies to myself, not my brother. My brother is simply that, my brother. I am me, I am both Romulus and Remus, I am the Twins, I am a Gemini. My struggle is with my self. One half battles the other half. It has hurt me, wounded me. Today I can see my condition of Motor Neuron Disease as a metaphor. I am fine, it’s simply my body that’s fucked. On reflection and I am not beating myself up again, but it would seem that the two halves of my whole have been at odds since my spirit entered my body. The souls journey indeed is fraught with danger. One took the other prisoner I guess and trying to separate or merge has been a life long process. Today I feel that merger has been successful. I feel whole, complete, at peace with myself. That does not mean for an instance that I am not challenged. It does not, for a minute mean that I am going quietly unto the night, oh no. Carry me our kicking and screaming, not comatose. I am! as I have written today . . . I have tools that I have learned, that I practice, daily! These tools, based on ancient wisdom, ask me simple questions, like – “how important is it?” It’s not! – “Keep it simple” – “Do I wish to be right or do I wish to be happy”. This last one is a beauty, especially when the questions regarding siblings come to mind. “Mind my own business” – “Do not engage”. So many simple tools to carry in my survival kit. So simple. Here and now, I recommit to letting both myself and my brother . . Go!