Aiming for a creative life

I Am Santo

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The Pains of a Slowing He[art]

My heart’s been acting up, in more ways than one. Life’s been busy, chaotic with a new commute and challenging from a friends-and-family perspective as I try to juggle the time I spend with those I love. The kids are growing remarkably fast, and I’m struggling to keep up with changes in their personalities and changes in interests. The 13 year-old is now quiet and we only really discuss movies and music. The 6 year-old is hilarious, but moody. I often do wonder if either of them realize I care so much about who they are and what’s happening to them every day. I’m feeling left behind, if I’m honest. Already I can feel their reliance on me waning. That’s a good thing! But it’s also a very sad thing.

As the kids grow, meaning dissipates. My professional goals expired a long while ago when I left filmmaking, and while I don’t beat myself up about that decision as much as I used to, I still wonder what I’m here for. I’ve sort of settled on “life’s a gift, but ultimately devoid of meaning or purpose.” And that’s fine, to be honest. I don’t need my life to necessarily “mean” something great, but it’s nice to have some kind of direction while we’re hanging around. Alas… I don’t. I try to be a good dad still and I hope the kids sort of ebb and flow with their need for my guidance and, ahem, “wisdom.” Yet that’s about it. Sure, I’m a husband and I take that seriously, but my wife is a fiercely independent, strong and very busy person that honestly is better off when I sort of slink back and just let her do whatever it is she feels she needs to. I’m a supporting player, at best, in everyone else’s lives and what I’ve come to realize is I’m a supporting player even in my own.

Do I care? A little yeah. Who wants to be Bruno Kirby to everyone else’s Billy Crystal? I would like to take center stage, but without a drive or direction, I’m sort of idling in the parking lot of life while the GPS tries desperately to connect to somewhere… anywhere.

Adding to the fun is some heart nonsense of a literal bent: I’ve got high blood pressure and high cholesterol leading to strange new pains and discomfort. I mentioned in my last missive that I feel closer to the end than to the beginning, and nowhere is that more apparent than when I eat something salty! But I’m at the age when allegedly there’s better living through chemistry, so we’re doing that. Hurray.

What about creativity? Dead, to be honest. A poem every month or so on Instagram and that’s about it. I’m still journaling and doing Filmjitsu (which is a lot of fun and if you’ve not taken a listen you should!) but that’s not really “creative” in the same vein as writing short stories, films, poetry, etc. I’m honestly very tired of writing about myself and my day-to-day life, but I find it helps me keep things sorted. Above all else, that’s worth the exercise as when I’m not clear of mind, the big sad takes advantage.

Not that I’ve been super chipper of late. Feeling like you’ve got no sense of momentum in any direction is… oddly exhausting. You doomscroll, you sit in traffic, you listen to tales of the lives of those around you and you… exist. Uncomfortably, yet secure. The home is paid-for and lovely. The children are healthy. I’m relatively well-liked by most of the people in my life. I’m just… a chair, but not one that’s used or a part of a set. I’m decorative, sitting in a corner awkardly.

Years ago, when my parents moved from the East Coast to Las Vegas, they got rid of a ton of old furniture and a lot of it ended up at my house since my mom didn’t want to throw it away. We found a home for a lot of it, but there was this one chair that’s designed to be in a corner. It’s ornate, lovely really – a nice dark wood piece that appears to be carved by hand with care. But it never truly had a purpose, though it occasionally came in handy.

That’s me. I want to be helpful, but it’s better if I stay out of the way until I’m chosen to help out with something. And in the meantime I waste my time watching everyone else in the world go by.

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