I had an adventure last week. I escaped from my domestic life as a mother and wife of the director of the film school and became a student again. And reading over my last few posts. I think I really needed it!!
I had for some time wanted to do a scriptwriting workshop at the film school but had not found the time or the confidence. I was very nervous about it. Rafa was away in Margarita when the workshop began, so I had only my usual chutzpa to rely on. On the Sunday night before, the children all finally in bed, I looked for a little notebook and pen. Am I really going to do this? I thought. Was I being audacious to try to do this course with the boys on holiday? Will the other students accept me? Will they think what the hell is the wife of the director doing here and henceforth to complain? And maybe they would have been in their rights to do that. Abusing my role as I am. Aprovechando, as we say in español. No matter what, I thought this was meant to be, for whatever reason. And there speaks the great believer in serendipity that you know me to be! Anyway, like my own hero, my call to adventure was too strong to refuse.
The morning came and I managed to drop Saskia off at her circulo. Left the boys hanging out with Rey the custodio until their private teacher arrived and headed off down the straight road to San Antonio.
I made it to the school on time and found the head of the script department who showed me to the room. Will I still have anything interesting or intellectual to add after so many years of childcare and food foraging … what could I bring to the table?
I was lucky enough that, for my first adventure into academic life at the film school, I had Ruth Goldberg as my teacher. A New Yorker whose serenity hides a cutting and mischievous intellect and who gently encouraged all of us to slowly open up and share our thoughts and opinions. Also, I think I was supposed to meet Ruth, she was the perfect mentor for my week stepping out of my ordinary life.
We talked about the structure of the Myth, of Joseph Campbell and the Hero with a thousand faces, adventures beyond the ordinary. What is the myth we are living and what does it mean to us as people and writers?
We talked about our favourite films and why they appealed to us. How our hero can be a country or a city. What turns a myth into a tragedy? How we all have our inner journeys and outer jouneys. Where Freud and Jung came into it all. And it all made wonderful perfect sense to me.
By day two I began to think I was a myth junky. I began to see myths everywhere! Cuba is a myth, the revolution is a myth. The myth of Cuba has already put me through a few tests and I still love it.
What about my relationships? The myth of love at first sight. Did I cheat the course of tragedy? And what of my journeys? What will become of my journey away from my homeland? Will I ever return? Or have I gone too far? (Back to the Unbearable Lightness of Being again). What does the rest of my life have in store for me? I know I always wanted to step out of the ordinary world and that I found it hard to refuse adventures but will there come a time that I need to find my road back so I can resurrect myself as a new person in my old world? huh
Then how does all this relate to me as a writer? How can I create my stories and my characters? How can I bring things to life as a writer? What kind of writer do I want to be? I know I love telling stories and maybe sometimes making people laugh or think or perhaps feel a little bit uncomfortable. Yes I like to take people on a journey out of the ordinary.
On Saturday night Wichy, my favourite Cuban DJ played at the film school, it was a perfect end to a wonderful week, as I remembered the journeys DJs have taken me on and wished writing was as easy as dancing.
And as I sit here now looking out at the sea all clear and calm after the storm the children back at school and the house empty I am trying to organize all the stories I have running through my head.
Thank you EICTV, all the script students of the second year for accepting me so graciously, and most of all to Ruth for inspiring me and helping me to remember all the things I knew and all the things I want to know.
All the films I got to watch last week ….
El Espiritu de la Colmena
Pilot of Breaking Bad (TV series)