Right now I am riding the Victoria Clipper, going to see Dave and Kalon. And the kids, Jade, Kali, and the new addition Cullen who is nearly five months old.
While I was waiting to board, then waiting for the boat to depart I was writing in my journal book for Rumors
. Starting my personal post-mortem process. In writing down my lessons learned something positive occurred to me. I learned some effective tools for evaluating my own work and building upon it.
One of the big things I slid into sideways in the Meisner Progression last year was the ability to analyze and critique my own work. At the end of the last two quarters, and maybe after the first, when Robin gave us feedback she asked what we thought of the piece we worked on at the end of the quarter and where we would go from there. In class we were constantly discussing our experiences, and how we felt about the work or exercise we had just done. We got feedback from classmates and Robin at every step. That served to help us intuit or feel what our internal experience meant in terms of our performance in other's eyes.
Like developing the ability to shut off the internal dialog this is not something I realized I was learning to do. It is in hindsight I have realized another tool I picked up.
Now I am telling myself my feeling I sucked stems from my ability to effectively critique and hopefully improve my process. There are reservations damn it all. It would be nice to completely exonerate myself, saying I really was very good; the dissatisfaction was only a reaction of my analytical tools. Cop out. As always the truth is somewhere in the middle. I'm not too concerned where. As long as I don't let myself off the hook and don't berate myself so badly the joy fades I'm in a good state of balanced tensions.
We're a little over half way. Only two hours from Seattle to Victoria. I will never consider flying. This is easier, faster in the long run, and much more comfortable. Once we were under way I spent some time working on The Thai Getaway
, and will be getting back to it shortly. I am doing a drastic rewrite, and feel in a bit of a corner. Charge on ahead. It is easier to fix something not so good than to have nothing at all to work on.
Maybe I should set up a writing blog like Ric
, or maybe copy files somewhere. For now I'd simply post the old version, and in a month or two post the update. I find thinking about it to be personally scary, so maybe letting more people see some of my drafts would be a good thing to do. That reminds me of the first script I started working on several years ago, and my reason for going to Dave and Kalon's for Thanksgiving, even though Canadian Thanksgiving was a month and half ago.
First they moved from the old family home about an hour north of Toronto, to Duncan which is about an hour north of Victoria. Second is my mom. A little over two years ago, on October 30th, I told her I would not see her again. A painfully maudlin story for another post. Maybe.
Well, my brother invited mom over for Thanksgiving. I am very happy he did. I sincerely believe the kids should know their grandmother. I don't have the desire for myself.
I called to talk to the family on Thanksgiving, and end the brotherly silence now the election is done. No awkwardness on that count or the mommie dearest count. I was wondering how I would handle her trying to cut into the conversation to reconnect with spiritual soul mate son. I considered waiting a day to avoid the likely awkwardness. It turns out she figured it was too stressful for her to be come over and Eric didn't beg her enough. That means I got to talk to my brother without interruption, and my Dad who I hope would have graciously avoided his ex. Great talks, and I was sure happy I gave mom the opportunity to join them as it allowed me the privilege of visiting some of my best friends who moved away a year and a half ago.
Sunday already and now we are cruising slowly out of the harbor from Victoria. What a wonderful visit. Mostly catching up and lounging around. They don't know the island terribly well yet so we just spent time together. For Thanksgiving I cooked that American classic meal, quesadillas. Dave is particularly enamored of my recipe. It is only the second time I have not had turkey on Thanksgiving, and that was lobster I had caught in Key West in 1986.
Jade who is thirteen and Kali who is 8 have grown a lot in a year and a half. I was startled to see Jade has become quite a young woman. I still tend to think of her as being about seven, he age when they all stayed with me for six to twelve months. Not exactly sure how long, as I wasn't keeping track. Jade is very much a teen. Very mature, kind, and interesting most moments, then petulant, mean, and angry the next. It's a miracle any of us make it through puberty without being strangled. The children they were and the adults they frequently and tantalizingly show us they are about to be makes them worth the aggravation. I get to cheat being an uncle and friend, as I don't generally get subjected to the teen angst. My hat is off to all you parents without blood on your hands. It really is worth it says the mostly impartial observer.
I had a wonderful send off. Kali wanted a pizza party, so we picked up several pizzas and started Titan A.E.
, one of their favorite family movies. Just as the meal was settling nicely it was time to go. Kali was sent to wake Jade who'd had a long day and Dave and I got shoed and such for the trip. There was a round of hugs with the kids, including smiles from Cullen. Dave's mom, Katie, lives in the downstairs unit and I got to say good by to her, than back out for another round of hugs. Put my bags in the car and another round of hugs. Gave Kalon a hug and another round of hugs. Kali was crying her eyes out. Bless her generous loving and not so little heart. My eyes are all watery remembering it.
"What's that? Why yes. Thank you steward, I would like a beer."