- work; especially hard physical work
2. the process of childbirth, especially the period from the contractions to delivery
It is with great pleasure that Megan announces the birth of her baby at 7:01pm on June 18, 2016. Weighing in at a mere .01 lb on DVD and measuring 78 minutes in length. The delivery room was packed with more than 600 people, laughs were shared and tears were shed. The baby’s name is Murphy’s Law.
Making a film is a lot like making a baby….(minus the stretch marks and the sore lady bits). From the drunken conception of the idea, to the cravings, to the wondering why you did this in the first place, to the teary, joyful, bloody labour. I feel like I was pregnant with my film for the past 2 years and now finally, past its due date, it has walked out of me and has entered the world where it has to exist on its own. And it’s strange! Strange to put your baby on display and allow the public to have opinions about it. I want to protect it and yet I know that’s not my job. I have to allow it to develop a thick skin. I have to be proud of it when it affects people in a positive way. I have to comfort it when it falls flat on its face. And I have to love it; with all its strengths and weaknesses, because it is a part of me.
Kahlil Gibran wrote:
Your children are not your children.
They are the sons and daughters of Life’s longing for itself.
They come through you but not from you,
And though they are with you, yet they belong not to you.
Isn’t that the essence of art as well?
The premiere weekend was divine. It felt like a combination of my film premiere, my wedding and my funeral. All of my favourite people in one place at one time, but also a complete retrospective of my life. A dichotomy of celebration and nostalgia. There were people in the audience representing every aspect of my little orbit – from kindergarten playmates, to colleagues I worked with in my 20’s, to friends of my parents. It was like the most surreal episode of “This Is Your Life”! I am humbled and completely overwhelmed with gratitude. As I stood on the stage after the credits rolled, with the hot lights in my face, my hands shaking uncontrollably, I experienced an energy like none I’ve ever encountered. I can only describe it as a visceral wall of love coming directly at my face! I literally felt the warmth of every person in the room. I wish I could bottle that energy and that feeling, set it on my pantry shelf and pour myself a tumbler full whenever my stores are a bit low. And I hope you felt the same emanating from me, back to you. I am grateful that you chose to spend your time with me on this journey. I am grateful that you opened your hearts and allowed me in for a while. I am grateful that you fell in love with my dad. I am grateful that you have seen yourselves within the frames of my film. And I am grateful that many of you have trusted me enough to share your own stories of loss, grief and renewal.
Like any parent, I have a wish for my baby; that it has a fulfilling life outside of its beginnings. I want it to humbly go forth into the world and affect people. I don’t want it to forget where it came from, but I want it to live up to its potential, and in so doing, create a ripple in the pond of life. I want it to spur conversation. I want it to inspire people to live without fear. I want it to encourage people to share their grief. I want people to spend time with it and when their visit is through, they are better for having encountered one another in the first place. I want it to live.
To reflect on and process the emotions of the weekend, I went for a long walk and talked aloud to my folks. I so wish they had been there. Though I know I felt their presence in the room. Perhaps the bird flying around during the first screening was a sign! I wish I could see their faces and share a knowing glance. My mom would’ve cut out the article from the paper and put it on the fridge. My dad would’ve winked and given me an understated “you did good kid”. I want to know what it meant to them. Would my dad be proud of himself? Do they know what they meant to people? So, I looked to the audio tape he left us:
“…we talked before about you know, God works in mysterious ways, so you pray that you’ll be cured. And you aren’t. So you don’t get ticked off at God. Instead you ask, what’s this all about? What’s he expect of me? And then you see this tremendous outpouring from such a wide variety of people. It’s so humbling. What else do I need to know? I made some kind of impact. It looks like I might have made a difference. In some small way. So, I think that’s his plan. It looks like I’ve gotta go through this to the end. With some grace and dignity. And leave all that there with them. And it’s a better end than a lot of people get.”
Thank you for allowing him to impact you. And thank you for your investment, not just in my baby, in Murphy’s Law, but in me. Onward we go…..