4.07.2009

Blogiversary
Yesterday was the 8th anniversary of my blog...
I was so busy I forgot to post! Here's an update on random things.

Music
I have been practicing guitar again and picking up drums. I learned "St. Ides' Heaven" by Elliott Smith which is pretty much my favorite song, and played it at two open mic nights here at Chapman. I am now learning "Coming Up Roses" by Elliott Smith and a couple of other songs. I finally let go of my old electric Jackson (which I got from Tomas years ago on the condition I never sell it, but only give it away), trading with my friend Jon for his low-end acoustic steel string. I am working on a brand new episode of Radio Free Radical featuring local artists, mostly those I met at the open mics.

Film
I am directing a scene from Good Will Hunting for class and am really excited about it. I am lucky to be working with some talented actors. It's coming along well and I'm planning to shoot it next month.

Hopefully I can find a good hands-on film internship this summer. I had a great time last summer as an engineer intern.
I'm thinking that after I graduate I will try to support myself doing postproduction but hopefully working on some of my own projects on the side where I can write and direct. Oddly, I'm finding it pays better to do tech support than to be a recording engineer! But I might lose my mind if I had to fix computers all day. We'll see.

Blogging
By the way, I have renamed my new blog (Rantbox) to Rainbox which I feel is less angry. It's a nod to the Grateful Dead song "Box of Rain" which is one of my favorite songs. I have abandoned the tech focus and instead plan to use it for sharing anything that I like or love, while this blog will be more focused on my own artistic endeavors and little snippets of life. Which probably sounds more interesting than it actually is.

Spirituality
Overall, I have been trying to devote my life to God. It is the hardest thing I have ever tried to do and I stumble and struggle a lot. I'm trying to be of service to others and go the extra mile, yet I worry that if I give too much away I'll get used up (thankfully this has not been my experience so far.) I find myself very oppositional at times to what I know to be best for me. I am mystified at how there's some subconscious process at work that seems to cause me to self-sabotage and sometimes even self-destruct. It makes no logical sense but it's inside me, pulling constantly. I'm hoping part of this is just growing up... learning to swallow the yucky medicine, i.e. do something I know to be right even if I don't feel like it. But there is more at work here as well, and I'm thankful to have the support of a higher power when I'm wise enough to ask for it.

I have been trying to create a spiritual practice for myself. Right now it's shaping up to be sacrificing the day to God and praying for the healing and well-being of my loved ones if I have time. I would also like to do at least ten minutes per day of shamatha, or sitting breath meditation. However I am finding myself lacking in discipline to sit regularly. I did have a really great experience over winter break when I went to Colorado for a ten-day meditation retreat at Shambhala Mountain Center where I made a lot of friends and learned about buddhism, shamatha, tonglen, dharma art, and a lot of other cool things. I created an animated slideshow of photos I took on the trip for our banquet on the last day, and I will hopefully be able to share that here soon.

I often get caught in tunnel vision and can see only what I perceive as my problems and shortcomings. But all things considered, my life is pretty sweet right now and full of abundant blessings. I get to hang out with Robert and my new friends I met through him every weekend. I have a lot of wonderful opportunities to explore my creative side, and in the process, earn a degree! I hope to try my hand at more writing and directing in the semesters to come, and to share the fruits (rotten or otherwise) of my mind here, as always.

Peace be with you,
Eliot

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