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Photo: B. Fertman


It’s not what I expected, feels nothing like I thought it would, this release from the need to be anyone, from the need to be of biographical worth, noteworthy. No more life lived as an imaginary filmmaker, producer, director, scriptwriter, cameraman, editor, and leading man, a film, mind made, not for me but for others to see, to admire, to adore, and to endorse.

Now that I have abandoned my magnum opus, some fifty years in the making, what remains? What remains having left the studio, the black box behind? What welcomes and waits for me in the cool, fresh blue light of evening?

What shall I do now that my purpose in life has vanished like some mirage wavering before me, there, so real, then gone?

There must be some hidden purpose to my life, mustn’t there? There must be some imperative, some vision to fulfill, some mission to accomplish. How will I know what to do, which way to go? Can I live a life without a center, without a hub?

A yes arises from exactly where I don’t know. What I do need to know is where I am now, and the ability to see just far enough before me to know there is ground under my feet and space through which to move. If I attend and trust that should do it.

Could I be here for the sake of simple enjoyment? Could my job be to be jobless, to be available, a volunteer ready to go where I can best serve? What about money you ask? How will I survive? It seems I have managed, given I am still alive.

Time is not passing, I am. Can I accept this, embrace this?

Do I really need saving? I mean saving myself like an old, obsolete resume stored inside a little image of an icon of a folder within a folder?

Do I really need those photo albums sitting in a room, in a closet, on a shelf, stored in some dusty box no one has opened for years?

Why keep an accounting of my life? Why keep a record? Why keep track?

Why carve some graven image of myself, no matter how striking the resemblance?

Why continue to produce a film about a life that, when lived, is so much more moving and miraculous than a film could ever be?


Why does now feel like the only thing eternal?

Why do friends, and strangers too, who are no longer strangers, look like stars in the night?

Why does everything I hear sound like music?

I don’t know, and I don’t need to know.

6 Comments Post a comment
  1. Yes yes and yes. I’m right there with you Bruce 🙂 Melissa

    November 28, 2012
    • Hi Melissa and thank you for your affirmation. Yoshiko and I look forward to seeing you again next year in Coyote. Hoping you are well. Life is good here in Japan. Wonderful students and friends. fondly. bruce

      November 28, 2012
  2. Becky White #

    I know I’ve “liked” this a gazillion times on Facebook, Bruce, and wanted to commentt here as well and tell you how much I relate to your post, it is exactly what I would say if I was so eloquent at writing. Thank you for doing it for me ha! After being in fast-forward for almost 45 years I have left the corporate world due to illness, so your words resonate with me. Although the fear appears (“I should be making money!”) sometimes (and I am welcoming that as well) the internal disc operating system has slowed down immensely. What a journey, glad to be a fellow traveler…….xo Becky

    November 27, 2012
    • thank you becky for your words. It is always comforting when i discover that what feels most personal to me is really a much more humanly universal condition. i feel for those of us who burnt out a bit, or a lot, after working so hard. but fortunately for us we have a way of seeing our ways through this. i am so glad when me being me is of help to someone else. yours, bruce

      November 27, 2012
  3. Dear Bruce – I can’t help but read this from a Buddhist perspective. It seems you are beautifully accomplishing the letting go of ego, of id, of the need to be recognized. Simply being (and being simply) is now enough. I am very happy for you. You perhaps have more to offer now than you ever did before. Keep the physical memories. Those who love you will treasure them in the time to come. I look forward to studying with you in May. Peace – Robbin

    November 27, 2012
    • Robbin. Thanks for your heartfelt response. Ironically, i may now have more to offer, and find i have less desire to put myself out there. I am no longer a man on a white horse. Just a guy walking in the mountains, or down the street. but i will let all of that unfold as it does. Sure, some things my kids or Yoshiko may want, and perhaps others too, i will keep around for them. but even though i have things from my parents, i grow less and less attached to these things, while my parents seem to become ever more present in my heart. again, thanks for your kind thoughts. Peace to you too. Bruce

      November 27, 2012

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