But that got me thinking about how hard it is to see people, especially during the work hours, as full human beings. I'm lucky that my job is full of awesome co-workers who really encourage "water cooler talk" that is deeper on many levels. We exchange hopes, dreams, outside hobbies and activities, and occasional political banter. We talk to a certain extent about the tribulations in our everyday lives. We all get along pretty well. But I think that's pretty unique.
I have had a few clients who have googled me prior to signing on with me as their attorney-mediator for divorce matters, and of course they find the many political and art projects all over the internet. I'm thankful to have a boss that isn't worried about any of that stuff, but is supportive of me doing all kinds of things. That could be a worry for many people. Also thankful to have clients who find these multiple other dimensions of me and are interested, excited, and inquisitive. One of them recently said, "I found all your causes!" Another was interested in my films. I also have had a few clients hint at the fact that they'd like to take me out for a drink (not in a romantic way, but in a celebratory "thank you for helping us get through this" kind of way). It would be interesting to see where our conversation led us: I'm sure they wouldn't want to talk about their divorce the whole time. I know so much about them, so I'd find other things to ask about, their jobs and hobbies. And we'd probably wander into my personal life, hobbies, my family, my other interests. Would they be excited to hear of my filmmaking pursuits? My political activism? Or would they be weirded out, or think "how does he have time for all this??"
I'm not sure how I have time myself, but I'm rarely someone who's idle. Neither is my wife Karen. We also don't waste a whole lot of time (I don't play video games, I don't often get too lost in cat videos on YouTube, and we don't go out that much). If I slow down too much I get depressed. A nice quiet Sunday morning, like this one, time for reflection is different-- that is healthy and helpful for an occasional respite (although see Depression post from last Sunday, a totally different feel). But I need to do lots of things, somehow it keeps me more productive in each sphere of my life. I'm wondering how that will change when we have a child-- I think all the spheres succumb to the focus on the child, at least temporarily. And that's fine. That's life.
I am someone who will always be political, and always be making art, among many other things. My politics and my creative thinking always coexist to a certain extent, but sometimes art just needs to be made for art's sake. As humans we are multidimensional: Over the last many years I've been deeply active in criminal justice reform (as I'll continue to do), I'm preparing to start a family with my wife, I'm in a relatively new "dayjob" doing divorce mediation, and I'm making the scary movie I've always wanted to make. It is a juggle to balance it all, but they shouldn't compete with each other. I can't stop doing art, it helps me function and cope with the horrors of everyday life. Art is like therapy in that I need to use it to process life experiences or I'll lose it. But I never 'drop' my politics. There are politics in the undertones of this film, although not in your face-- I've tried to approach the story from a feminist, socialist perspective with real, 3D women characters, diversity in characters was important to me (hence the Black psychiatrist character), and also there are allegories throughout the film on deep political issues within the American Jewish community-- but more than anything it is a slow-build, horrifying story of a young couple haunted by an ancient evil some of you may know.
"Where do I know you from?" could be answered in a number of ways---
I'm your neighbor.
We're working with the same adoption agency.
You were in the audience at my last screening.
We presented on a panel together on criminal justice reform.
We presented on a panel together on divorce mediation.
My band opened for your band.
You're a fellow, full human being.