The voice over narrates an email that I have received from a friend, who has used the electronic means to perform ‘Shradha’, in Hindu custom, is the ritual performed for one’s dead parents (therefore 'real'). In contrast the overlapping images convey the aftermath of the nuclear explosion on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, which is a part of the collective memories that is gradually fading away with time. This phenomenon is conveyed as the montages of bleached images are progressively taken over by the static noise of the TV screen.
Flickering cluster of the static noise leaves the audience with hypnotic plane to surrender to the mood of the film.
This year the email comes late, for the first time. After a rapid succession of days I found I have done: nothing. Nothing of substance anyway, or of any real meaning. I pause, take stock.
I helped make a short film that I am extremely proud of, and for the first time as a Cinematographer, the images finally came as close as I had imagined them. But that was months ago, I was part of a team, and Spielberg Still isn't returning my calls. I was blessed with the arrival of my sister and my beautiful little nephew, who moved into town and swept me into their lives. I've tried to be there for them. I have tried to be a good person, to do the right thing. But there is always the However, isn't it so? No matter our intentions, at the end of the day we are left with our results and our circumstances, the last remaining truths. Upon examining too closely these truths, for me there is always something lacking: financially, socially, emotionally. In so many ways, I don't measure up. And yet there is that muted, soft-weak hope for the future. My only question lately is, why the hell is it still here? What hope could be left, the doors have closed, the bright lights diminished, life suddenly seems finite. So these then are the wintry nights of the soul, I regret to say there have been more than a few this past year. Yet through it all, that constant nagging tiny tinny whisper, like a far away radio station: keep going. On Jan. 31st, 2002, 10 years ago plus the handful of weeks I didn't write this email, my Father died quite suddenly. It taught me each day is a gift, perhaps each day could be our last. But--So What? So what to do with that knowledge, that is so easily forgotten in the mundane circus of regular life?
So what, this lesson seems so maudlin, so obvious, what depth could there possibly be in it? But. That small tin voice lost in everyday cacophony. Keep going. Is it the voice of my father? I don't know, he and I never got along at all when he was alive, I doubt if we could strike up a conversation now that he's passed on. Perhaps it's the sound of the tether that strings all our souls along, the most elemental hope we have, the final truth. Can I make a difference? Do I matter? There are a lot of people who matter to me. I'm sure there are many who matter to you. But if we don't forget that, than at minimum we…just get on with it. We move along, touchyfeely treehugging greeting card crap to the left, our much important Task List Front and Centre. So. 'Shraddha’, in Hindu custom, is the ritual performed for one’s dead parents. Right or wrong, in place of a Temple this email has become my ritual. If you have not already deleted this email, or you have stopped wondering why you are included on the email list, then perhaps take one more step? Maybe today or tomorrow, reach out to that elemental string. Maybe to a wife, son, Grandfather, or perhaps just to someone who you've been meaning to say hello to. And now the hard fact is--the string is not endless. But Nothing will happen if you do nothing, this has never been a chain letter, a threat for love and peace Or Else. These words will dissipate, blue skies will still form just over the horizon. I hope though that you move in the direction you seek out. I hope you find the small gifts sometimes buried deep in each day, may it be so. If not, then always remember your voice could still be there, just on a different radio station. And no matter how cold the winter may be, you can still move towards love, just pull, our tether waits for you. My best regards…