I race for two hours through the desert at 80-95 mph to make a flight in Flagstaff, only to learn it was cancelled due to maintenance; and then to learn that the connecting flight was leaving from Phoenix, (140 miles away) in three hours so I race at 90-100 mph to southern Arizona, throw my car in long term parking, hoof through TSA and to the gate to board with ten minutes to spare; land in San Francisco several hours later, make my way into town on BART, walk up California Street because no street cars or buses are in sight, attempted to check into my hotel only to learn my reservation had not gone through and they were fully booked; rebook another hotel across town, travelled there by bus, dropped off my bags, racd to the San Francisco International Film Festival offices 10 minutes before closing to grab my badge; eat a bowl of soba noodles; walk 100 feet to the Kabuki theatre to learn that the film they were showing was sold out and I had to wait in rush; but so many people showed they couldn’t let anyone in from the rush line; a fellow approaches and sells a spare ticket to the guy in front of me, but his friend fails to show, so two minutes before the curtain goes up, he turns and hands me his ticket to
The Mill and the Cross.
I may like the painting better than the movie. But I like the movie because it gives us cause to consider the painting.
Which makes me consider that procession and mesh of life and intervening forces in which we’re embedded as we fulfill that life into which we’ve been born, or trace that road which we’ve chosen.
I wonder with whom of all those 500 characters in the procession we each choose to align. Are we the miller, the horseman, the weeping mother, the man shouldering the fallen tree?
And I found it pleasant to be thrust into the stillness of Brueghel time. Especially after a harrowing day of travel to arrive in this harrowing city. I want that stillness, that repose from which to witness that tragedy we call being human.
This morning I feel disconnected in this most connected city. I wonder a little about what the hell I’m doing here.
I eat more soba.
I decide that I will just move through the day and try to be kind. That’s all I will do today. Just be kind.
I’ve kind of failed at it. But I’m still trying. I have eight more hours to go. And again tomorrow. Perhaps I will try.