Intensity and Reflection

Kind of stumbling out of seeing Gone Girl, with Ben Affleck and an amazing trio of actors – I am pretty sure I left earth a few feet.  The past, flew past me as I was in some sort of a tail spin – kind of like the production of Who’s Afraid of Virgina Woolf in 2001 in Stratford, Canada, did when I viewed this in Stratford quite a while ago, a group of us, and relishing the moments that Shakespeare brought our lives to a standstill during that brief stint that reined in our minds forever.  Funny, even then, some of us noticed the power of images, acting, and pieces of drama that could so impact us and bring our past full circle – moments that rarely surfaced and rarely were reckoned with -yet when they did appear they appeared full circle and had a lasting impact.  I can’t even possibly explain the experiences, memories, and emotions this film brought up in for me personally, the most harrowing, haunting and dreadful moments I had in a relationship that I truly thought would be the end of me – and yet – there is that sense of bravery that I felt – maybe even shock, that appears with the ending of this film – yes. I wanted more but it took me  few moments to realize how artful this tale was soon, how artful and suspenseful this movie packed so much, and I think you too will dredge up a memory that you once thought lost or forgotten, and yet, it appears to once again be resurrected.

Sometimes you get surprised with the films you see not knowing anything about them and this is certainly not the exception. Out of nowhere, a barrage of thoughts appear that bring one’s life full focus, I truly have no idea how this happens and certainly do not know when it will occur, yet, when it does I just gave to get it down SOMEWHERE to sit back and reflect on…

Mexico.  I am seriously, I am SERIOUSLY IN MEXICO – someone that caused much much trouble as a kindergartner, hyper and starved to make friends with anything that moved, inkling anyone, a typical small town Butlerite and who know after my various misadventures through colleges stumbling toward  vague kind of interest in this that and- GRADUATION – internship, rooted in the Eastern Shore of Delaware and pretty darn sure that this was my rooting ground and – obviously skipping on the soap opera details that make stories I could tell well, pretty un believable and – MEXICO.  I walk out the door of my apartment any given night and breathe in the smells, sounds, and scenes of  country I thought I knew from textbooks – and realize the deep and entrenched beauty of the women, the tragic, proud, and domineering appearances of the men, the endearing children, the amazing young women I am lucky to see grow up as that 9th grader and become influential in al parts of the world, just as I thought and viewed Mexico way outside of my reach – all of this happening in Mexico, and be in it, and a world away of places I called home, happening, turning, fast forward, reverse, back again, replay – spin full circle and here I am sitting in shock at the events on the big screen in Gone Girl and wondering, how in the HECK did I make it out alive from so many close calls that a normal person would never be able to quite scrape out of?  How?  and Why me?

I realize I am brought to face so many stories of my past that have never been told yet what I hold inside and – whoa – I vaguely slow down long enough to realize how amazing I am because of the individuals that have become a part of a life I never knew could be possible – and yet it is.  Let’s take say the past week –

Working alongside an event that seems to be resurrected from the Battle of the Bands that attracted hundreds of people to musical talent from the north, south, east and western shores in DE, this thing we know as Open Mic

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that seems so natural, occurring for the very first time in the 204-2015 year, and yes, I am still reeling.  Reeling from the bravery, the confidence, the talent, the sheer individuality of the presenters that flowed in front of us in so many forms, I blink sometimes and I wonder how I have made these personal friendships and memories with students that a mere 5 years ago I never even knew or expected to meet in yes, a country a world away and yet, I can’t get them out of my mind or out of my realization that – they mean so much to me based on that very bravery, confidence, and talent they do not hide from us but put out that will challenge others to reach inside and – reveal that we all have something important to share with each other – if we’d just get that extra push from someone to let it out.

Authors, actors, musicians – this is just the surface of what an Open mic represents and I think, no, am convinced as time goes on, only individuals on a deeper level, willing to let the experience soak over them, realize how much more such an event can mean – some things have not moved past that very first year where Battle of the Bands would lead me to a different country whatsoever and create something amazing out of something from my past –

Concessions that happened by accident in Delaware that have resurfaced and become the bread and butter in Mexico City among amazingly hard -woking and commuted individuals, that simply use them as a means to obtain something beautiful later downy the road – it is either very ironic or very coincidental how truly – events resurface in another form and can change how you see everything.

I could never emphasize how much and how fast the commitments I have made to some amazing and talented individuals in Mexico have in turn changed me for the better.  I still find myself in a tailspin when they move on, or continue to create something that I find belonged in my past, yet their creation manages to define the very person I am.  I find myself never able to forget the footprints of individuals that I thought never did have an impact, in high school in Butler, PA, in my transitions through college, the Highland Festivals, the first Hooters concert at Slippery Rock (not the restaurant or interesting waitresses folks), the concerts of country, rock, Billy Joel, the Blues at Star Lake, and jumping to Mexico and again, bumping into individuals that would change me forever, life is something not to be underestimated, and often, when I thought in my past I was at my lowest, I look back now and realize that was a beginning to so many things I did not know would come to pass.

I look back at some of my lowest moments, people so critical of me I second guessed myself and all the years I thought I had it in line, to the moments where I thought I knew without a shadow of a doubt I knew what my future would be, where I was headed, and in one single day it all changed, just like that.  Yet, thought those drastic changes, I find some of the dearest people that bring this slight tinge to my heart, they remain the same despite these strong changes in this direction and that and I realize –

they are magic.  They are the mainstay that define who I am through this hailstorm and that hailstorm, they remain the one true constant, despite the memories that flash back and make me cringe, make me wonder how I made it through, create a nostalgic being in my memory, I realize it is because of each and every one of them, my family, my friends that became my family, my current, former, and future students that in some form become my family over time, they allow me to be a better me, every day.

I can’t guarantee that seeing Gone Girl will cause you this kind of reflection, and a part of me hopes not because, it might be enough for you to never WANT to see another film, yet   – the realization that life is nothing of what any of us think it is or was – if something can make you stop and reflect on how amazing your life has been – how lucky are you?  Beyond words I’d say.

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About Harry Brake

Employee of ASF in Mexico City, Librarian, Media crazy! :)
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