To A Friend Soon To Be In New York

yup, think of me often.
you’ll be amazed how small new york really is ..
it was when i arrived there that I realised life is just what’s happening right in your vision at that time. it certainly helps in grabbing the moments. but it’s also what’s happening on the inside. yeah, inside and outside all at once. and somehow – when it washes out at the end of it all – we find some sense and perfect clarity in the midst of madness. yeah. that’s definitely what I learned in new york.

Perfect Clarity…For A Short Film Script
Life is a landscape we’re born into. We enter with nothing but senses. We leave with barely anything of those senses left; if we’ve done it right.

You don’t get much choice in the landscape before you arrive, but once you get there – there’s much to be done. You spend some time learning it, the lay of the land, the feel of the soil, the seasons and what they do to the ground. You learn dry and you sure do learn wet. You learn what things really mean, coming out of someone’s mouth, not just what they mean on paper.

Next, once you think you’ve got an idea of how the landscape is put together, the trees, and the dirt, the sky, the rain, the hills, the run of the water, the fall of sun’s shadows. When you think you’ve got all that, you start to work it. You beat it down, tear it up, you pull it apart. You make it bend to your will, and it takes a lot of work.

Soon as you start to tear up that land, and build your own idea of how it should be, it starts to tear you up. Reshapes the way you think about everything. You pretty soon know, that you don’t know much. See, land has a flow of it’s own and the shape of the hills is formed by movement so far beneath the surface you can’t see it, or change it, or know it – all you can know is what it looks like when it’s done.

What you see and what you feel of that landscape, that starts to matter. You start to learn to work with the wind and the rain, to let the seasons pull the best from the land. Time enough passing, you know that you’re as pulled and torn apart as those hills and that dirt. And life is the landscape that you live. Landscape full of holes and piles where we try and move everything around.
Trees and flowers and green when it’s wet, nothing but slick mud when it’s too wet. Dry dust that covers everything when it’s dry – and that’s the state of the human heart. Wretchedly and eternally at the mercy of the sunlight and shadows.

Once you’ve lived that pallid life for a while, time comes you start thinking about everything you could do in between the shadows. Life is the landscape. It’s what happens in the fall and rise of the land. It’s the exertion in the hills. The labour in the work. The delight of the rain after a dry summer. Life is working with the land. Life isn’t what I expected. It’s been harder, softer, warmer and altogether more unpredictable that I reckoned for.

Isn’t that the magic though. That this piece of dirt I occupy in death, is just like the life I’ve breathed. Shaped and changed not just by my presence, but by everything wrought upon it, and dealt into it. Plant a tree, and it’ll feed it. Burn a tree and it’ll burn, wood and scorched earth. Water it enough, it’s moist and sweet smelling, and too much it slips through your hand like it was barely there at all.

Life is lived in the balance of the landscape. The perfect garden. The perfect gardener on display with prize possessions. Perfectly shaped, delightfully molded. My arrogance in youth, my assurance of the plans I could outlay all cast aside by the wisdom only old age can reckon – that life is dirt, and dust. Wind and heat. And I am at it’s mercy – merciful sweet breath of the skies.

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