At the moment, I am in an oddly happy place in my writing. I have another 60-80 pages to go in the first draft of Book One of my science fiction trilogy, Anori. I am fairly certain how the book will end – and then leading into the next – and have done the heavy lifting of the narrative to get to this point. I only have to bring the story together with a final series of events that will lead Dee away on her great voyage. And it all seems so clear and whole…and yet I wait and procrastinate the work. Yes, I am a victim of my inertia-loving self. But it also seems more than that. There is a feeling that I don’t want to lose, being in something that just might never end, being safe in this eternal-seeming thing.
There is a wide and open road behind me, most of it clear, and then the world ahead, knowing sharp bits, dreaming of them on their own, letting them hover high in my head, not grabbing, tying anything down. It is too final to do that, pointless, leading only to a barren landscape. While I know that there is always Book Two – and then the Third – this book, this journey I don’t want to end. I like the edge, broiling up on the crest, anticipating, arching ahead with that, and dream of staying until I can’t take it anymore.
Filmmaker Stanley Kubrick has been praised as a great filmmaker and artist, one who probes the shades of humanity in such great films as Lolita, 2001: A Space Odyssey and Barry Lyndon. Bob Weir, not as highly praised, is certainly recognized for “chasing the music” as he says, on his 50-year journey as rhythm guitarist with The Grateful Dead. And so I was intrigued to watch documentaries on each man this weekend to perhaps gain an insight or two through understanding their trials and tribulations.
It was not to be.Stanley Kubrick: A Life in Pictures (2007) offers brief moments of filmic analysis amidst a tidal wave of laudatory praise, Steven Spielberg gushing, “He was a conceptual illustrator of the human condition”. And so despite a 50-year career, we are left with the trite summation that Mr. Kubrick worked terribly hard and loved his family, little else.
The Other One: The Long Strange Trip of Bob Weir (2013) is worse. While some fellow musicians offer comments on Bob Weir’s work, the documentary is almost solely guided by bland recollections by Weir – “Here’s my Jerry Bobbblehead” – occasionally, boyishly and evasively hinting toward his notorious off-stage reputation. His band mates are only briefly interviewed, likewise alluding, saying little else. It’s a shame that both of these these documentaries offered so little, not that they should focus on personal scandal, but that they veered so very far from the very same human condition that these men had endeavored to understand and instead settled on empty praise.
I blogged in February on The Five Big Problems of the Toronto Maple Leafs. Happily Team President Brendan Shanahan agreed on the most important point. By hiring Mike Babcock as the new head coach – $50 million for eight years – Leafs management sends a clear message to media, fans and players alike: this team must win now.
There are many next steps, the most important of which is to address player leadership, but the first step is the most important.
Said Babcock this morning: “I believe this is Canada’s team and it’s time to put it back on the map. I came here to be involved in a Cup process. I have a burning desire to win. I want to build a team that the fans of the Toronto Maple Leafs can be proud of.”