Mentors

Everyone wants to make a Yoda or Mr. Miyagi mentor scene work in their story. But a lot of times these come across really cheap.

Some of the best conversations I’ve had with mentors in my life came from a true dissonance in expectations. I went into the conversation wanting one thing, but the mentor forced me to reframe my view on the situation a different way.

Two different tracks of mind, incompatible with each other.

It’s not that the mentor didn’t see what I wanted or where I was. But they knew it’s not what I needed to succeed, and they didn’t waste their time answering it. They didn’t always explain themselves either.

The lesson would not be learned unless I recognized the futility of my own thought for myself. In fact, I could not benefit from the new thought pattern until this happened, because being on my own train–I would naturally dismiss others as incorrect.

So the mentor has to believe and train the student’s own ability to grow and re-align with new, unnatural forms of thought.

Enough

We buy books to fight against our insignificance.

Even if you don’t agree with these words, it won’t stop the incessant turning for millions at the grind, trying to stop the years.

Turning…Turning…Turning…The person I was four years ago did not have this inside him. But the man I see in the mirror is not who I am at all. He is not who I will become tomorrow.

 

We all die. We must. Why is this truth of sociology, biology, theology, a wounding blight?

When will we arrive?

 

Come take my hand and build towers. Be who you want, with your desired hair, cash, and person to lie with in bed. I’ll give you everything you want and open the gate to eternity—your want to have more wants you don’t know. Are you twenty-two? Make it forty. Six O. A hundred years old with a statue next to your three grandkids’ estate and movie deal.

Would that be enough? When we define ourselves, it is peril–like sinking mud in a forest of sweet smells. It is just as brash as allowing definition by another. I prefer sturdier ground when my soul is at stake.

 

(September 27, 2015)

Jessica Jones 2k16

‘Twas the night before election

And all through the states

People pondered results

While Garth kicked back in LA

 

The early ballots were cast

Nestled tight with their votes

And I curled on my couch

Watching Jessica Jones.

 

That pierce eyed beauty

With soot-blackened hair

Prowling each corner

In case Kilgrave were there

 

Neo-Noir voiceover? Lesbians?

Of course–

Don’t piss her off

Or she’ll throw your ass through the door.

 

Alcoholism and PTSD,

Sexual assault and breaches of security,

What better way to forget these election woes

than curling up with an episode of Jessica Jones?

 

When up from my bed there arose such a clatter

I swore to my friends that a protest vote mattered

And my choice with no chance to save his life

His campaign’s deader than Luke Cage’s wife.

 

No idea if anyone will read my absentee

Jeri Hogarth will always be Trinity

Play those four notes up the black and white keys

Binge watching faster than Malcolm gets weed

 

Someone’s having incest down the hall

She’s skipping support group and ignoring her calls

Doin it doggy with a guy she barely knows

What a wholesome program is Jessica Jones.

 

While the rest of the country rattles its final bones

I go to sleep peaceful

In my four-man, one semester only, deluxe food rotting in the fridge, washer dryer but no outlets in the bathroom Mid-Hollywood apartment

Under the nimble hawk gaze of Jessica Jones.

Painted Goodbyes

I heard music again

Walking through the patchwork after dawn

It was a song I used to know

And there was a child on the piano

 

I’m not looking to be understood

Don’t look for codes inside my words

You’d only say I’m being sore and I could

But that scene would have to be earned

 

So I think it’s finally time

To take down my painted good-byes

I’ll try to swallow my pride

Until the moment has died

I’m at the break of a door

And I don’t fear anymore

So I think it’s finally time

To take down my painted good-byes

 

I wrote a song for them

That they will never hear

That they will never know

And now I don’t have to pretend

We’ve reached The End.

 

(Circa October 2015)

To Another Girl

(I wrote this a while ago. Precise dating withdrawn to protect the innocent…)

 

I.

I love you like the brush of a prickled cat’s paw on a glass window pane. You are the canvas on which I paint.

 

Your words are the tearing tip of a blade in the wind of a wild hurricane.

 

We relate like the play of fish swimming in a circle of tails. All the flit of a hummingbird’s dance but no romance.

 

We are the sea and the tide. You’re the thorn in my side.

 

You are full of magic. The type of rare beast that can only love and be loved by their missing piece. And honey, you deserve everything.

 

You and me have all the convenience of dating but mostly just waiting, waiting, waiting.

 

II.

From the moment we met I thought of kissing you, and it was mischievous. Our tongues dueled side over side. Your energy combined with mine to create something truly fleeting.

 

I am the cheddar and you are the slice. A cold cut trap of my own device.

Yet though I speak of prime confection, I believe we shared no true connection.

 

Instead, I turned into Santa Clause

You: the dependent funnel for my affection.

 

I told myself it was only a sham.

I watched another man touch you, and missed my chance.

 

I was filled with responsibility, Suddenly,

the bother of a brother.

I watched over you. But you were never a sister to me.

 

And for the first time at the start you knew everything.

You were the place I trusted my store of secrets.

A complicating feature.

Fearless, You do everything flatly.

But your water runs deep, with billows and leagues

And you shut the door on all your feelings.

 

I won’t claim to know what it’s like for you.

I admire your wit too much to assume

That one day, you’d fall in love with me

But I might take advantage of your naivete.

Or worse, be forced to admit I don’t feel the same.

 

I care for you,

But I care nothing about you.

 

We talk but never pray.

Sometimes I turn focus from your lips and force myself to listen.

What I find is empty dismay.

 

It is so uncommon to look in someone’s eyes and say, “You are like me” and not hate them. But I fear we would grow so bored of each other.

 

If this is my second love end it quick.

But if you’re my endgame, play on, play on.

We would gladly steer our course into the typhoon

For the sake of brief pleasure

A monument to our own narcissisms we built together

And ruin my life for you.

 

III.

This is no pure love.

In truth, we are only friends.

 

And yet…

When you called me just to say goodnight.

Dressed for bed and trust

I can’t stop smiling.

 

I see nothing wrong with you.

My heart fills with that particular joy of choice and value

And my mind fills with “love.”

 

I am in a strange hell, spurned on but knowing our love could never last.

You knew it too, and ended us fast.

And now we walk among the rushes.

That’s the trouble with having lots of crushes.

Search for Wisdom

I came to Hollywood seeking significance, but I lacked wisdom.

Over the past 12 months, I’ve been fortunate enough to meet many people. Some were writers, actors, directors, cinematographers. Others were pastors, mothers, doctors, lawyers, baristas, yoga instructors. Not one could teach me the meaning of wisdom.

Yet I sought desperately the way to be happy. I sought the knowledge–artistic and spiritual–necessary to become a great artist. And more than that, a great man.

I learned to be an intern. I asked the executive what it meant to actualize your inner truth. And she sent me to the manager.

I learned how to get a manager. And I met managers. And they told me to go to the indie filmmaker.

I befriended the indie filmmaker. I asked him, “What must I know to succeed?” And he told me to go to the networking lunch administrator.

I went to the networking lunch administrator, who meets in the back of the Chinese restaurant on Wilshire Boulevard. And she sent me to the virtual reality expo.

I witnessed the virtual reality expo in 3D Atmos Surround. Along the way I met Anne Hathaway, who could not teach me the meaning of wisdom—only the difference between Versace and Valentino.

I studied the greats: Fellini, Coppola, Scorcese. Lasseter. I resolved to write every single day until my fingers bled and my heart exploded in authenticity. This authenticity I believed to be the secret to enlightenment. If I died in the street one night they would find a 350 page unsigned manuscript strapped to my hand I swore in the name of art.

I visited the Dreamworks Lot, the Writer’s Guild Library, and the CAA Building. I don’t know if you know this, but the Creative Artists Agency represents over 3,400 of the most influential filmmakers in Hollywood. Forbes Magazine estimates that it is worth over 5.39 billion dollars. If you’ve never been to the CAA building, it’s this big white complex full of agents scurrying about, split down the middle with this sweet garden. It’s a cold mix of Monticello and that 2000 crime drama “Boiler Room” starring Ben Affleck and Giovanni Ribisi. It is not a popular place for tourists, but I’m not just any tourist.

Today I visited the CAA Building, and between those long, wide halls, past the elevators and security guards, by the garden there was an open door. And no one was looking (everyone’s attention was on an event they were setting up for later), so me, not knowing really where I was going, just sort of slipped in.

And I went down a staircase, and it got sort of dark, and when I reached the bottom there at the other side of the room was Steven Spielberg.

WOAH. I was in the same room as the director of JAWS. And let me tell you. When you reach that point, you stop caring about propriety. I had to shake his hand, at any cost.

I’m not going to pretend he was paying any attention to me. He was talking to someone—probably a writer friend. But I got a grip and I was dressed pretty nice, so I skirted past all the tables in the room before he could leave and I said something like, “Mr. Spielberg I’m a huge fan. I so respect your work and what you’ve overcome in the industry. It’s an honor to meet you.” And he smiled. He was pretty creeped out. He wasn’t keen to like, shake my hand or anything.

But SURPRISINGLY, he engaged me. “Who are you?” He said.

“I’m a writer. I want to write for science fiction and fantasy television or the CW,” I said. “Can you give me any advice?”

Steven Freaking Spielberg said, “I’m about to meet my agent. But you’ve got guts. I’ll give you one tip on the walk over.”

So we went out the back of the room, into this dank hallway, and there were all these pictures of Hollywood greats lining the walls. I didn’t know what to say. Should I go for the practical or the personal? What would you say? We reached a wooden door studded with gold around the frame, and behind that was another door, which was purple, and he pulled out some keys and opened that one to reveal an office with a silver table and a bowl full of fruit I had never seen before.

I said, “Mr. Spielberg, can you tell me just one thing, out of everything in your long career in entertainment. What is the secret to wisdom?

There was a twinkle in his eye as he leaned close and whispered,

“Rey is a Skywalker and Leia’s her mommy.”

Self Loathing Emergency Kit

Self Loathing Emergency Kit:
1) Are you believing the lie that your success is directly proportionate to the amount of effort you put into it?
It is not. The world may not recognize the achievements you made in even attempting what you did. But you can. Take some time and be proud of yourself for your effort.

2) Are you believing the lie that you deserve more?
You don’t. Every opportunity is a gift from God. Take some time and list your blessings.

3) Are you believing the lie that your self worth is dependent on how much you physically achieve?
Remove that thought.
Your value is eternally and exponentially greater than you or I can even imagine, it is granted and judged by The Lord, who has prized you highly enough to die for. As bad as you may esteem yourself, you do not have the authority to strip away that value. Practice seeing yourself as Christ does you.

4) Do you believe that you’re a piece of poop 💩 who can’t or won’t ever do anything good because of some internal flaw?
Also untrue. Everyone grows at their own pace, in a spiritual journey that is determined by God and will be brought to completion. (Phil. 1:6)

5) Do you believe any other lie, in short, that places control of your life in your hands, and not the Father’s? Meditate on growing closer to Him and not inflating or deflating yourself.