12 July 2011

beautiful things ...

2010 Academy Award  Nominees, Best Screenplay
These men are doing what they love.  They write.  They write and are paid for it.  Did I mention they write well?  My definition of a beautiful thing: doing what you love and making a living (a good living, well at least a living wage!) while you're at it, gulldernit.

I mean look .. would you look at those faces? They all seem to be pretty content, no?  That's a beautiful thing.  Seeing someone skilled at what they do best, and just crushing it.  Really giving it the beans, you know?  Makes me smile and be happy for them.  Bastards all.
Brit Marling
This week or next I am going to tell you of a young, beautiful, incredibly talented woman who will blow you away with her competence, and amazing timing, and, I'm sure, a measure of luck.  Sometimes we make our own luck.  The luck that's defined as being persistent and passionate and predisposed to not taking no for an answer.  She's a writer and an actress and a producer.  Triple threat who scored the trifecta a few months back.  Meant to write a piece on her, but have just been swamped.  Promise, it's worth it, the wait.  She was featured at Sundance, and on a major TV show, and just happened to have one of her films picked-up that she directed, produced, wrote and starred in ... all in the same week!  Not a bad day's work for someone just out of film school.

S. Glau
Beautiful things sometimes come in obvious packages.  That's Summer Glau above, btw.  I've seen her around town.  Mind you, she didn't look like this when I saw her, but she took your breath away all the same.  But, when we really look, when we take that extra moment, we see the beauty we're supposed to and meant to see, and not just olive-skinned, brunettes either.

In the midst of the city, or a busy airport, or whilst driving our car on PCH, upset to be in traffic again, we can still find beauty.  When we stop, and really put our minds and spirit in God's hands and ask Him for a respite, a moment's break from the total shite, we'll notice the family of foreign tourists stopping to take a photo in front of the setting sun as it dips below the Pacific Ocean and the stranger in his wet-suit asking if they'd like him to snap the pic for them.  It's beautiful, in a pay-it-forward sort of way.  And, I noticed it because, (1) Summer Glau wasn't riding her beach cruiser on Pacific Coast Highway right next to me in her tights (again! ... kidding), and (2) because I didn't make myself the center of the world for just a scintilla of a moment.  For that minute, I loved that surfer punk and his wet hair and his beat-up VW van and his little dog running around all crazy and that family on vacation loving their moment in the sun.  Basking in their happiness.
E. Spalding
Music is beautiful, and sometimes made by drop-dead gorgeous divas.  I listen to it when I write my screenplays to put me in a frame of mind.  My boys and I listen to wonderful CCM when we're going to church on Sunday mornings to help prepare our hearts. And, then we listen to alt-rock when we're heading back home afterwards, cranked up to "11" to embrace the rest of the day of rest (nod to Spinal Tap re: the 11 on the dial).  I know I've written (and other blogger friends have featured) Esperanza Spalding before, but she's representative of really great music that's not very well known.  I love the jazz standards, like (Click the orange for a listen, btw!) In a Sentimental Mood (Duke Ellington w/ John Coltrane) or the rarely listened to Manoir de Mes Reves (Django Reinhardt), and, well, insert here your fave.  I know this isn't a stretch, but here's one for you:  go to a concert this summer.  Make the time.  Go to a concert in the park.  See your local orchestra.  Bring some good wine and a picnic basket and just take a moment to listen and to be ... in the moment with your loved ones.  Beautiful, baby.


Karena said...

J.G. this post took my breath away.

A wonderful tribute to those things that I love, a young woman whose talents come to fruition and beautiful soul searing music!


Art by Karena

Barbara said...

Would that we could all make a good living doing what we love! Although writing alone is enormously frustrating. I've always thought writing for a show or comedy with a group would be fun...bouncing ideas and thoughts off each other.
Music is magic. Fortunately, my three kids were raised with music and as a result, all of them love it. Very eclectic tastes, too.

Shelley said...

Well done you, for being in the moment instead of fretting. You were rewarded, it would seem. Maybe you have some lovely weather there to enjoy? We are wet over here, per usual...

Caleb S. Garcia said...

Great post Mr. Gut. Seems like a moments rest did wonders for you, I am glad to hear it. As you leave to find your strength and return to offer it, have a great Summer (Glau).

What's a "gulldernit"?

Jen Z. said...

Hi JG, Thanks for stopping by my blog, I too am happy you found your way back! I enjoyed catching up on your recent posts as well...


Dumbwit Tellher said...

Your fabulous post was just what I needed this a.m. Jg. I am one of those people that does stop to look and appreciate those over-looked small gestures, and the beauty of life. Sadly, I've forgotten lately, and have quit looking for such things that warm your heart. As I you already know I grew up with music being our family life. I can't imagine life without music. I grew up thinking everyone's life had a sound-track. As for E. Spalding, she is incredibly talented. I was drawn to her initially because 1. she's from Portland, Oregon 2. she plays the string bass (I played in H.S. and so did child #4), and 3. because her music is amazing.

One of my favorite jazz songs was 'Reflections of Oregon' performed by my dad's jazz band in 1973.
If you're stuck in an airport one day here is a link;


I need to focus on being one of those content writers and finally write that book about my dad's career. Contentment is so under-rated! Wonderful post Jg. I can tell as I always write far too much.

Cheers x Deb

Jg. for FatScribe said...

karena -- thank you so much. you're always too kind with a compliment.

barb -- of course your children are eclectic and beautiful and smart as cheese on crackers. re: the team writing, totally agree with you on how much fun that would be. so many good/great teams of writers in hollywood.

shelley -- glad you had a grand time in clareont when you and hubs visited from jolly ole. hope your time back in the states was all you hoped it would be.

caleb -- "gulldernit" is an onamotapoeia of "gawd darn it" ;)

jen -- love your website. keep up the amazing photography. kitsch is king!

deb -- just listened to your recommendation. awesome. what a groove they were rocking. also listened to one of the most interesting versions of watermelon man. your dad ... an amazing man. your photos from their (your folks) home in washington still make an impact on me. beautiful.

sharon said...

Love this post Jg, love your generosity and your enjoyment of the moment, just like the family and the sunset.
And in my book we don't sometimes make our own luck; we nearly always have to :)

christian soldier said...

"I didn't make myself the center of the world ..."
thank you for this post-
and for your humility-

Yes-it would be grand to be paid for using/refining a talent given by the Creator-

Must get to the PCH and our fabulous Pacific waters--to think-I used to go all of the time-only 20 minutes away!!-and have not been for a couple of years...
Can you share your screen-plays w/ us - would love to read them---

Maryam Maquillage said...

agree with you. doing what you love and making a living at it is most certainly a beautiful thing... isn't that what we all strive for?!! all the best to you!

christian soldier said...

wanted to re-read your screen-play excerpt-
Did you remove that post ?
perhaps you could e-mail it to me-I promise I will not steal- in fact-I'll link my 1993 short story that led to RINO--
Yes-rino is mine ---

My Dog-Eared Pages said...

I just enjoyed reading this so much and now I'm off to listen to Coltrane for hours... the sound + rhythm of summer. Great words. ox ; )

Penelope said...

Blau is a great actress, I'm a big fan.

christian soldier said...

saw Transformers yesterday- :-) (-:
the Reference to the Boxer comment to a decorated general -"Don't call me Ma'am..." raised my estimation of Michael Bay ---
and - to note- I am not 'impressed' w/ 'stars' - I look to character and honor --- but- he is one of the few in the "business" whom I now respect...and would even shake his hand---
Transfomrers Dark of the Moon..

Have a grand week-my friend--