I've had a few 'major life event' type moments in the past couple of weeks that are all related to the people I've encountered. Some I already knew a bit about, some were complete strangers, but in a short period of time, we bonded. That's an interesting notion - bonding. I look at it like chemistry. One molecule being bound to another. In relation to each other they create something completely new. They become something more. They are capable of new things; have new properties. I made bonds. And I don't know how long they last for - one hopes for a lifetime, but sometimes settles for a season - but I know they mattered. They matter.
On set, I met Kelly. Kelly Blatz. Sets are still a bit foreign to me. I feel like a small fish, in a big pond. If you know me, you know how strange that is for me to type. I'm a get along guy - I get along with people, I make friends. But sometimes I'm also a big introvert. Sometimes I play small, making space for everyone else, losing my own in the process. I do that on set. I don't want to take up too much room, but I'm learning that I can't disappear either. So on set, I often feel a bit out of place. I ended up sitting next to Kelly. He wasn't in my scene and I knew nothing about his role in the show. Polite hello's, turned to inquiries of where you're from and how it's all going turned to 6 degrees of separation in who we know turned to real conversation quite quickly. Maybe we were both just looking to connect, both being displaced slightly. He's from Burbank. Spent time in TO. Lives in LA. He was in town shooting. Of course, I think that's cool. Before we know it we're exchanging world views on things surrounding art and culture. It's beautiful when you meet someone and stop talking about things and start talking about ideas. There was a same-same-ness about our approach to the craft that felt comfortable, and safe. He had to be in town for another week because he had one more scene to shoot with 6 days off in between. So, of course, I offered to hang out. Because I'm here too. Alone. And I know what that's like. And let's learn this city together.
We ended up hanging out for days straight. Actually. My friend Lana (in picture above) called it a Friendship Intensive. And it was. We talked about life and the world and who we are and where we are on this planet. We faced obstacles through hikes and took in the world from a different perspective. We made new friends and laughed and sang to hits from the 90s. We shared vulnerabilities and insecurities and lived our lives out loud. And at the end, we were friends. Kelly punctured something in me. I use that term, puncture, positively. It's to say, our lives collided and the impact left a dent that made it all look better. I dig his worldview, and his hustle, and his artistry, and his fortitude. And I look forward to seeing him again, maybe in Burbank, or wherever to pick up where we left off.
That same week saw me run another Friendship Intensive with Lana Saleh. A friend of a friend originally, and a gf of my hombre, Lana is someone I've known peripherally. And I liked her then. But now I love her. She's something special. I feel like that a lot when people are open with me. I'm open with a lot of people. Those who have never seen it would flat out doubt it, or not believe it at all. But it's true, my life is an open book. If you know how to read. Lana is a prolific reader. And question asker. In our time together, most of which was either spelled off by my time with Kelly or was with Kelly, we talked openly about love a lot. And family. And intimacy. And relationships. And humans and how we process all of those things in relation to the others. Conversation was so fluid between us, and we weren't afraid, or ashamed of what came out - tears, fears, fury, or funnies. It meant a lot to me to be that personal, that intimate, that honest with Lana and with Kelly. Spending this much time on my own - away from my wife and my friends - it's easy to stop accessing that way of being. Being with them, it was clear that it's intact, and that it's simply brought out by the right people in the right times. And I do experience that level of personal with friends here - Cass, and J+C sometimes, and cuzzo, and roomie - but this was different in that it was full-on for a week. It never shut off. It wasn't on then off the way we can be in life. It was just ON.
I also just just had a great conversation with a new friend named Thea who, in a short conversation, tapped into a very similar thing. Pure honesty, comfort, and ease of conversation. It's rare to do that, that quickly, but there it is. And in our talk one of the things that came up was actually the nature of friendships and intimacy and how they often lock in time and that how that moment, when they blossom, matters, but that they may not last. They impact, the impact leaves a beautiful scar, and then the cars sail away. And sometimes when they cross paths again, they can look at the scar, but they don't impact. It was a lovely conversation, so open, and so connected. And so full of the awareness that the present is what we live for, and the future is unknown, so relish where we are, when we are there, and don't let moments escape.
I'm full of gratitude for these people and these moments and these days.