Thursday, December 10, 2009

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Stave Ten: In Which the Author Tells the Truth


Life in the film school is busy, you know. This is my first day without any duties to perform, fortunately, and so I can return to my sadly neglected HHE.

We are finally finished with shooting our F3s. This is the third narrative we have completed at the film school, and once again I have achieved a dream. I have finally written a piece that's been in my head since I was ten. And, most importantly, I worked on a Christmas movie. Appropriate, right?

The film is Star of Wonder, a seven-minute short written and directed by my friend Evan, a filmmaker whom I greatly respect and admire. Film follows a brother and sister during the Christmas season, just six months after the death of their older brother. The sister begins openly questioning the existence of Santa and God and Heaven, and it hurts her brother. She has a talk with their mother, who tries to convince her that it's not always about what's true, but what is your truth. You understand? It ends in the woods as the siblings follow a star to the tree where their brother died, and the God, the ending is beautiful.

Thank Whatever I worked on this movie. I grew up in the church, but I have since decided that Jesus is not the son of God. I still have trouble, though, coping with what I do believe in. Sometimes I think I'm an atheist. Other times, I can acknowledge the existence of a Creator, for everything on Earth works so perfectly and purposefully that it seems absurd to consider it all spontaneous. I find the Bible to be full of contradictions and lapses in logic, to be more symbolic than anything else. Yet I take great offense to those that would call it meaningless or garbage, for much of what is written in there has some historical context. Besides: Song of Solomon, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, Exodus, First and Second Kings, Judges -- that's some good shit. Sex and violence at every turn.

It is especially at this time of year when I think on these things. Christmas is my favorite holiday, yet the birth of Jesus means little to me spiritually. Of course, one can celebrate it as the birth of an influential historical figure, but I don't really celebrate the births of Mohammed and Moses, now do I? And it has its roots in the secular celebrations of the Winter Solstice, anyway, which I can totally get behind. (I love Winter. It's more cinematic.) At the same time, I hate it when the cynics use this fact as an attack on people who claim "Jesus is the Reason for the Season". I've gotten into many arguments on both sides. Yes, acknowledge the history of the holiday, for ignorance is stupid. But please respect that there are people who look forward to this annual date as a celebration of their faith.

A story:

Some friends and I were setting up a green screen. This was the week before Thanksgiving, and we eventually started discussing the holiday season. I declared my love of Christmas, with its hokey songs and tinsel and everything. One of my mates -- and I think he's great, don't get me wrong -- talked about its Pagan origins, and reasoned that what I thought of Christmas isn't true Christmas. It's meaningless. I scoffed and said, "I don't believe in Jesus, either. But I do believe in Peace on Earth and Good Will Toward Men. My Christmas is true for me."

That's what it's all about. And sure, you can reason that man is imperfect and incapable of Peace on Earth, so Jesus needed to be born in order to bring it forth. But I disagree. As Evan wrote in Star of Wonder, it's about whether or not there's some truth worth believing in. My truth is that we are all capable of good. We are all capable of love.

I believe in Santa Claus
Like I believe in love
I believe in Santa Claus
And everything he does
There's no question in my mind
That he does exist
Just like love I know he's there
Waiting to be missed

I believe in Santa Claus
But there was a time
I thought I had grown to old
For such a childish rhyme
He became a dream to me
Till one Christmas night
Someone stood beside my bed
With a beard of white
"So you're too old for Santa Claus"?
He said with a smile
Then you're too old for all the things
That make a life worth while
For what is happiness but dreams
and do they all come true
Look at me and tell me, son
What is real to you?

Just believe in Santa Claus
Like you believe in love
Just believe in Santa Claus
And everything he does
Wipe that question from your mind
Yes, he does exist!

Just like love you knows he's there
Waiting to be missed
Just like love I know he's there
Waiting to be be missed


Unknown said...

Beautiful. I strongly agree with you. I can't wait to celebrate Christmas with you and the rest of our crazy family!

Unknown said...

This is my favorite HHE post of all time. I love you.