The unpredictable life

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I love this spot where the sky meets the sea. It is our playground. It is my heaven. 

Every day, rain or shine, bundled against cold, or shedding against heat, this is where we come. 

Living all over the world is so hard sometimes, but this is why we do it. Had Uganda not been so difficult we would have never found this. 

When we came back to North America I wasn’t sure what would happen. Would I settle back into the easy life and never want to go? Would I again want what I had left behind?

Then a strange thing happened. I got offered a job, to step back into acting. Then another opportunity knocked. My old career was there waiting, peaking behind a door cracked open. But I didn’t want to push it open and walk through it. 

I didn’t want to walk through it. 

As much as I love this island, as much as I love being almost home, as tempting as it was to go back and walk through that old door, I realized I love this crazy wild ride I am on more.

It’s one thing to visit a place, spend a week or more touring and feel like you’ve seen it. It’s so completely different to live for years and breathe alongside of another culture, within another culture. 

I realized that I’ll take the hard stops, and hopefully ride them out easier, and then breathe deeply in these perfect spots…

…where the sky meets the sea. 

I want to keep going. 

“The wild card. The unpredictable wild card that never comes when it should. Had it fallen earlier, years earlier, what would have happened to me? I looked at my palms trying to see the other life, the parallel life. The point at which my selves broke away…” –Jeanette Winterson, The Passion

Where did your paths verge, and what did you choose?

 

 

10 thoughts on “The unpredictable life

  1. Selfishly, I loved your acting (natural talent) and would have loved to see you act again. You either must have a good agent, or people in the industry recognize and remember your talent. However, you must do what you gotta do. I understand very well the itch of freedom. When it comes, it must be scratched. Life is too short to be trifled with. Besides, you have different responsibilities now then you had then.

    Also, you can never go back and expect it to be the same. You are not the same as you were then. That does not necessarily mean you are better off now than then. You are just, you. Memories are only proximities of realities of the past. It is rarely as good or as bad as we remember.

    I know what never living in one place for very long is like. When I was a young man and worked with the government and travelled over several continents, I also experienced the flavor and excitement of many new places. Then, it was somewhat colored by dangers I faced. But exciting, most definitely. Sometimes I yearn to scratch that itch. But it would never be the same. Nor should it be. I am perfectly satisfied with the life I have carved out for myself, both professionally and personally. Now, each day is an adventure of a different sort, and I consider myself one of the luckiest people alive just to be alive an face more tomorrows..

    Never wallow in regrets. You are the kind of person who gets excited by facing new challenges with few expectations. My son, since high school, wanted to be a comedy screenwriter. Still does. But he never wanted to face the risk of moving to L.A. He is quite successful at what he does now and he is happy with his life. My daughter, who we sometimes call Meryl after Meryl Streep, is a natural born actress. Two universities, Northwestern University and the University of Indiana, among some of the top drama departments in the country, tried to recruit her out of high school. She accepted to go to one, but by the end of her first year, she changed majors. She decided that she did not want to face all the uncertainties of that kind of life, dealing with some of the mercurial people in that profession, and realizing that talent and merit does not guarantee success. Most importantly, she wanted a more settled way of life raising a family. This was most important to her. She reminds me a little of you, since she has devoted most of her time consumed by being with and raising her children, along with her husband. And low and behold, she has for the first time since college, begun acting in local theater with a professional troupe. This winter, in her first audition, she got the lead role playing Scrooge in A Christmas Story. As unbiased as possible, just like her acting experience in high school, there was her, apart from the other actors.

    I have told both my children not to wallow on any regrets. Live your life to the fullest whatever that entails. Sometimes you never have entire control over your life, but you will never know unless you get your feet wet.

    That is what you seem to be doing with yours, literally as well as figuratively. You richly deserve much admiration and respect. Realize change is a constant. Your children will not be tied to you forever. They will eventually tie their fate to a different drummer. As it should be. And you and your husband will begin all over again too. Confidence and hope will ensure a very rich life. Enjoy, enjoy, enjoy. You are blessed (although I don’t know by whom). Uncertainty is one of the few constants of living. Excitement and fulfillment, meeting all your challenges, should be your north star guiding your way. Fondly, Seymour

    P.S. Upon reviewing one of my previous replies, I mistakenly wrote that my son is 6′ 8″. He is actually 6′ 3″. As you get older, your skin gets thinner and drier. In cold weather, they painfully crack, particularly around the finger tips and the soles of your feet. It becomes difficult to type and I make many typos or mistakes, that with my odd sense of humor, I have been known to type “misteaks”. This was one of them.

    1. Another lovely comment, Seymour. And yes, it’s all because of my children. I don’t want to miss a moment of them. It’s interesting that in choosing movement for myself, I am choosing consistency for them. They will grow and it will change and maybe that door will appear interesting again one day. I don’t know. I don’t think so. Some of the best people I have met in my life have been the people I have met since I left Hollywood. I think maybe when the kids are grown I’d like to settle with my husband on the Nile river and have a little café.

      1. Sabrina, cafe on the Nile sounds like the second scene in Raiders of the Lost Ark, where the owner, Karen Allen, the ex-girl friend of the anthropologist professor Harrison Ford, owned a sleazy bar somewhere in the desert. All sorts of sleezebags were drinking when two nazis come in, then Ford, and a great fight ensued.
        The only thing available to put out the ensuing fire were camels spitting.

        In the first scene, a pretty student sitting in the first row makes googoo eyes at Harrison Ford ( sounds very familiar in my younger days as a professor; very distracting as I spoke with no notes but was creating in my brain, but it stoked my ego and fantasy nevertheless).

        Sounds romantic, you and your husband, and so Hollywoodish. What would you do in your spare time, race camels or dig sand castles? 🙂

  2. “Where the Sky meets the Sea.” from Disney’s Moana, to Peggy Lee – Bali Ha’i 1949 from love to adventure. Words they comprise meaning of thought, but still without action, Are but intangible realities.
    – music the allure of the piper, that seeps into the skin, and moves through the body, we forget to see the goals as we are entertained without end. fantasy evolves and reality bends. What then is real and not. A jazz rendition of peggy 1949 – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3bP57RGfSLU

    This world is built, all these things we plug and pull, are crafted form our hands to machine. How by convenience and our naivety is like a dagger to our life, to be. What is human life? Is it? Eroded streets, and ruined fields. Old time tales; Saturna again slays the sheep. From animal fats to crushed plants we dress in our masquerade not knowing our dance. Chasing vanity, chasing strings, chasing clouds on high. Never, doing whats right, for that is too much but too little. It’s actions that carve the stone, Its the hands that we hold to keep warm. Its the poetry of the dance; often missing our chance. What is modern, but just the reshaping of things? How malleable the sculptor is.

    What have I learned, that we become that grey haired shadow, that elder, that leader, and to what values are we to hold. No longer do we sprint full-speed, and flail our emotions about, and squirt waterguns into the sky. Where I had gone… home had changed… I suppose that is what leader must learn, as but a child receives form their parents, we then upon return are no longer that child, but are that elder, is that expected leader, to make things right, to be what we had learned. Were not here to re-write the book, but to pass it on, and refine its meaning, and keep those things we had learned important… values, family, trust, some say they are virtues, but could they not be just a normal thing. What is the doctrine we inherit or teach is the marker of our for-bearers? what children are we to besmirch, honesty. Are we to be like the world, a ranting goose and endless hate, writing speeches of victim and abuse, and lies, to perpetuate the grievous wounds from before, and yet so long ago, the clarity of what seemed so right is lost, as the pools of hate fill. Keep the heart straight, and love.. will surely follow.

    what is hate? Smoking vaping all bad for the lungs, is it the world that hates life or is it the human mind that has imagined the works to do that hates the world?

    Home is where the heart is. How we lead ourselves and each other is teh reflection of the people we become, so shouldn’t then love be our call? So we can shine, and be a welcoming place. To feed the weary and rest to the weary, to celebrate the uncelebrated. Should we not then be beautiful people? Oh god… so what then comes to divide by malice, greed … perversions of a madness in the mind of many. The selfishness in a world so filled to the brim with hope. Thoughts of discord. lol

  3. While it looks like you’ll be leaving paradise — albeit a chilly one — I envy you the challenges ahead. After 4 years with the UN and UNICEF in former Yugoslavia and my own (unexpected) Italian birth experience, we decided to step away from the expat world. The itch always remains, even 20 plus years later in one spot. I look forward to following your next adventures vicariously! You write beautifully.

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