SHEPARD & DARK


Ralphie I served 1966–78

Ralphie I served 1966–78 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

THE SCREEN IN SANTA FE scheduled three showings of this Docudrama.

Huh? Sam ol boy lives in Santa Fe. I’ve had bar chats with him, everyone has, and he’s our mascot for independence, accessibility, and still a flush hand of rugged classic looks. Like he should be Ralph Lauren‘s model, not Ralphie.

I figured the theater would be packed so I brought earplugs.  I take my films too seriously, and refuse to be interrupted with slurping and munching.  Into the first scene; my concentration was so acute I would have protested if anyone said a word.  Beginning with the footage; unbelievable home-made movies and photographs. You will see Sam as a youngster on the ranch where he grew up in Central California, Sam leaving home and working his way through puberty.   Then we see that chiseled frame of masculine sensitivity as a young playwright in Greenwich Village where you meet Johnny Dark.  The dialog between the two men and the dramatization of their feelings about the  collected letters they exchanged over a forty-year period is something beyond a reality show.

It is as honest and genuine a continuum of conversation between two men that you’ve ever witnessed.  The subjects: their father’s, destiny, fate, women, writing, dogs, tragedy, and loss. Just to name a few. So if you wrap the cinematography around the humor, philosophy and ending that left me in tears, you have a masterpiece of film for the audience.

Yes, there is a dusting of emotions  on Jessica Lange.

I walked away feeling as if my life had not even begun. So much life squeezed into one man lead me to question my limits on adventuring. Several lines I recall in particular, to paraphrase Sam;

We can change our lives, our work, our wardrobes, our women, but we never really change. Our essence remains constant. I’ve always felt outside the whole thing, sometimes more than others. As a writer  you have to be selfish with your time. I’m always moving, going on the road, I didn’t know that was how my life was going to turn out, but it did.  

That kind of admission for a floundering but dedicated writer will last me a while.  On documentaries; they don’t get enough attention. I hope this film tears that fence down and let’s the HONEST-REAL-BULLS come through.

SIFTING THROUGH THE SNOW


The silky drape of the winter sky sometimes adorned with lacy clouds is blue as sea and has shaken the clouds all night so we have sixteen inches of snow   at the Santa Fe ski basin. I’d rather be sailing. I don’t happen to get snow shoveling without gut-wrenching lower back pain.  How do you shovel snow?

I’m wearing one cotton camisole, one shapeless thermo insulated turtle neck, a down vest, and when I go outside I wear a down jacket. I’m so bundled up it feels like my limbs are bound in masking tape.  My teeth look whiter and my hair is flat instead of frizzy. Snow changes everything.

From my desk, I write, without thoughts predefined, just a drain of emotional threads from my heart, listening to Zap Mama   as she takes me to the wild, naked, warm region of Africa. I wander into unfamiliar snowy woods unsteady, juxtaposed between, acceptance and self anger for being so so… whatever it is that I pump into myself.

Nothing is worthless; not one moment should be wasted because there is always that window of escape. Our minds are there to take us away. I’m escaping now, Zap Mama Pandora Radio station on the headset, and writing. This is taking the moment out of frustration and into pleasantry.

My steps inward returned  1210121316  accomplishments: emotional break-troughs, mundane tasks accomplished, solo ventures, match.com dates (another story) and a comedic sideshow as I wrestle with sealed boxes, make repairs, and toggle in my patent leather too stylish boots to actually be called snow shoes.   In these moments, I assure myself that evolving is never ending, and we do not ever know what to expect from ourselves.