Friday, September 30, 2011

Does Someone Have To Die For Me To Have Fun?

The new TV season just started. Although I’m no longer teaching screen and TV writing, I still feel an obligation to watch all the new shows. To have something to talk about perhaps. To know what I want to watch on those nights when none of my old favorites are on and I just need a TV fix.

One of my guilty pleasures—after Billy the Exterminator and Project Runway and all the other pseudo-reality shows—are detective stories: cop stories, private eye stories, private eye working with cop stories (think Castle, a definite favorite), PBS stories. Perhaps it’s a carryover from the time I auditioned for the role of Nancy Drew when I was a teenager. (I was really a Judy Bolton fan, but I would have gladly killed to play Nancy—a possible mystery plot there.)

The problem with these shows is that someone has to die. That’s what gets the story going. That’s why the cops are called in, the detective is hired, Mrs. Marple and Hercule Poirot and Sherlock Holmes start poking around. Sometimes there is just a mystery in place—a missing jewel, a nasty family reunion—but even then, soon someone is found lying somewhere not breathing and oozing blood over the nicely polished floor, the cobblestone path, the expensive wedding gown.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Discontent as Spiritual Practice

"Discover your own discontent, and be grateful, for without divine discontent there would be no creative force." Deepak Chopra

I am perpetually dissatisfied. I always have been. That doesn't necessarily mean I am unhappy, it just means that I usually can see a way for things to change.

Such dissatisfaction could be seen as a flaw—it might seem that I am always the critic, finding fault with everything: it can also be seen as a path towards change and even transformation.

I recognize that discontent in large doses is hard to be around—it can sound very much like complaining or even worse—like whining. But beneath this discontent is a drive towards change, a desire to make things better. It is a sense of the possibility of things, and when acted upon it can be the impetus for creativity and freedom.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Cinderella's Glass Slipper – Size 7N

Here's the part of the Cinderella story that no one mentions—the reason that no one could fit into her glass slipper was that it was a perfect size 7N. And the reason that she was so upset over losing it, was that Fairy Godmama, otherwise known as Mama Manolo Choo, had made those glass slippers just for her. They were the only shoes Cinderella had ever worn that fit her just right.

When the Prince finally returned the slipper, Cinderella instantly said 'Yes,' because she knew from thenceforward she would be able to afford a cobbler to make shoes for her that fit. And so they lived happily ever after—Cinderella, the Prince, and the Cobbler Louboutin.

But I am not Cinderella. I have no Fairy Godmama. I have simply a relentless desire to find a comfortable pair of stylish shoes in just my size. I am a part of that ever-diminishing genus—women with narrow feet.