Last night was opening night for the Santa Cruz Film Festival. I was thinking that would be what I would write about in here today. The movie that I saw and the party that happened at the McPherson Art Center afterwards.
But the universe had other plans. Oh, I did go to the see the movie. It was called Greendale and was by Neil Young. It was basically one long music video shot like a home movie. Neil has written some new songs with an environmental bent and this movie incorporates those songs with very jerky and grainy hand held super 8 camera images. Neil directed. There’s a story in there somewhere, but I’m not so sure what the story really is supposed to be about other than that we’re all guilty of killing our planet.
The theatre was packed to capacity with all kind of Neil Young fans. I love Neil Young and was pleased to see him make an appearance. He got a standing ovation just for showing up. They hadn’t even rolled the film yet! Last night’s screening was also a benefit for the Bridge School. Neil and his wife started the school when their own son who suffered from multiple disabilities needed a school that had programs for him. Every year, Neil hosts a Bridge School benefit here in the Bay Area and gets amazing musicians to come and perform acoustic shows.
The party that followed at the McPherson Art Center was stymied by being a bit too Santa Cruz. By that I mean, it was rather unorganized and the Art Center isn’t really set up well for a party that includes a band playing at levels that would break your eardrums if you really sat and listened. So NakedDave and I didn’t last long at the party, but we did last long enough to bump into more than a few people we know, some of whom we’ve promised to call for lunch next week. I’ll have to try to keep my promise.
I almost didn’t even go to the movie, however, because while eating my dinner beforehand, I read this article in the U.S. News and World Report and it hit a cord deep, deep inside my very being.
For as long as I can remember my biggest fear in my life has not been that someone close to me will suddenly die or that I’ll have to give a speech and find myself naked on the stage or that the big one will hit California. No, my biggest fear is that I will lose my mind and become a bag lady on the streets pushing a shopping cart, talking to my imaginary friends, carrying around multitudes of plastic bags and begging for spare change.
It is my worst nightmare. I lie awake at night terrified that when all is said and done, a shopping cart and cardboard box will be my most prized possessions. Having just written about how I’m not particularly attached to “things and stuff”, it seems almost contradictory that I’m worried that one day all I’ll have to my name is a shopping cart. But then, I’m a woman of contradictions.
Jana’s story fascinated me. That someone who was once a performer on Broadway and had traveled the world as a war photographer could end up destitute and trapped in a mental institution…well it only fed my own personal fears. That could be me. I fear sometimes that I am just one very short step away from the same slippery slope that could also find me a psychotic inmate in a not so posh state mental ward.
I’ve shared these fears with NakedDave and while he tries to assuage them, I don’t think he truly understands their magnitude. These fears are what keep me awake at night. I have dreams where this has already happened, where I find myself in the padded room begging people to believe me that the multitudes of characters that I see really are there. I wake up screaming, shaking, unable to breathe from the constriction in my chest and the fear that has gripped me so tightly. This is not a happy place to be.
I want to banish this fear. I want to let go of it. I want to ensure that I will not be like Jana and that I will not become a prisoner to the demons in my head. But that isn’t so easy and as I said, this fear has been with me for as long as I can remember. It’s rooted deep, in a place I don’t like to visit often, in a place that doesn’t have a key.
Only time will tell.