What is a writer doing in a rented studio
with borrowed camera equipment?

That's a great question, and I'm hoping this experiment will lead to some answers.

In January, I turned 44 — a significant birthday for me because I am now the same age as my mom was when she died. I knew going into this year that I wanted to document it somehow, first and foremost to help me process this strange reality but also to share my story with others. If there's one thing I've learned through the expressive writing classes I teach, sharing stories can be healing to both the teller and the listener.

However, when I imagined trying to capture this year in words, it polarized me. It seemed too daunting a task.

Then, one day, it occurred to me: I need to get out of my head and into my body. I just need to move through this year.

After all, it's my mortality that's staring me in the face as I get closer to surpassing my own mother in age — the fact that my body will become ashes too someday. This awareness is heightened by a discovery I made about myself back in 2012. It keeps me on my toes, ever-mindful of the passage of time and not wanting to waste a single moment of it.

The good thing about being so goddamn aware of your mortality is that it gives you the courage to really live — to risk, to try, to take steps, to make moves.

And therein lies the inspiration for a year-long experiment in movement. I'm obviously neither a dancer nor a filmmaker, but these are the mediums I have chosen to help me process and record a significant time in my life.

I'm sure the experiment will evolve with time, but the basic idea is to play music that inspires me to move. No planning. No choreography. Just move, breathe and be in the moment.

Get out of my head and into my body.

I have no idea where this will lead, but I suspect it will take me somewhere new, and that feels exciting and good to me.

Posted January 22, 2015