Sunday, August 21, 2011

Family Squared

Probably a few minutes after I wrote the previous post everything went haywire.  I won't get in to details, but some of my family members are starting to question the tone of the film. They're wrong in what they've heard, but their anger is sincere.  Lawyers were mentioned, someone hung up on me and I hung up on someone else.  People are really, really mad because they think this film will contain content that it simply will not.

It's midnight.  I want to write.  I need to write.  But I am exhausted.

I often try to remind myself why I started this in the first place.  Nothing was promised to me, just the opportunity to go on a journey in search of Booker Wright.  The filmmakers would use their resources and their time and influence to help me recreate a man who's been dead for 38 years.  That was the promise.  I, and my family, climbed on board.  Sometimes it's as if the feelings of excitement that we all had at the beginning of this journey are at the end of a rope that just never seems to end.  I pull and pull but all that I get is more rope.  The rope is coarse and thick, it cuts my hands.  I keep thinking back through the countless conversations, the interviews, the research, the people I've met.  How did we get from there to here?

Having people root around in your life, in your private memories, stirring up things and making remarks and comments about your life and your past is something else.  I am looking for the right word.  Is it painful?  Yes.  Does it produce a feeling of being out of control?  Yes.  Does it make me want to spend all day explaining and excusing every flaw, every misstep that my family members have made?  Yes.  Does it make me want to listen to slow, sad Pearl Jam songs in the dark?  Yes.

It's so easy to get focused on the discomfort of the journey.  I am holding to a hope with a death grip.  It's the hope of a completed film that makes my family members smile.  The ones who aren't speaking to me right now.  The ones who won't return my calls.  The ones who call me a liar.  The ones who clearly no longer trust me.  I have stated  my case as best I can.  I have gone to bat for David and Raymond.  Now, I think I need some room to breathe.

Every time I talk to certain family members they treat me like I'm trying to pull one over on them.  The truth is that I don't completely understand all of the choices the filmmakers are making.  Not because they haven't tried to explain them to me, but because I'm too close to the situation to see anything objectively.

There's this great movie that my oldest son loves about a little boy who's orphaned as a child and then grows up to be a wonderful scientist and inventor.  He changes the world.  The movie ends with one of Walt Disney's mottoes, "Keep moving forward."

That's my goal.  The second Greenwood trip is coming up soon.  As much as I'd like to bury my head in a hole and feel sorry for myself because everyone's mad at me, I can't.  I need to make this time extra meaningful and special for my kids because they're really going to miss me when I'm away.  And I need to gear up for the inevitable emotional drain that the upcoming trip will certainly be.

I hope that moving forward will prove to be the right move, because right now, it's the only one I've got.


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