By Stacey Parshall Jensen
Sunday morning at breakfast I told my visiting in-laws that Peter and I did something we’ve never done before because we have so much. And I started to cry.
Blessings have poured upon us in the last few years. When we both graduated from school in 2010, from graduate writing programs, Peter at CalArts and me from USC School of Cinematic Arts, we embarked on new careers in the film and television industry with nothing but dreams and a shaky determination. Our daughter had just graduated from high school and was on her way to San Francisco Arts Institute in San Francisco and we were in our tiny home in Los Angeles trying to keep moving. Like so many artists we pieced it all together to meet our tiny budget. We had nothing but gratitude for the support from family to stay here. An investment, they said. They were making an investment in our lives, in our dreams because they believed in us.
And to be honest, some days, many days, it was their belief that made me keep going.They could see our potential when I wasn’t able.
Fast forward some years, to now and there we were Saturday night, surrounded by friends and brilliant filmmakers screening Blessed, a 27 minute short action film I wrote about motherhood, miscarriage and fighting for family. And executive produced by Through The Wilderness, our production company. Our team of creatives have worked tirelessly for months to make this film a beautiful, suspenseful drama that has left me in tears. I stood in front of the audience feeling so much love and excitement, I still get rushes and waves remembering the evening. We stood, heads down, humbled by the words of appreciation and love from our cast and crew. We glowed. We ate. We hugged. We laughed. We danced. It was a beautiful touchstone in our careers. It was magic. Something magical was happening.
At the end of the evening, as the DJ shut down and the last few guests gave their final hugs to leave, we loaded them up with extra cupcakes and plates of food because we had so much. What to do with all of it? We didn’t know for sure but we couldn’t leave it. We couldn’t throw it away. So the idea came to my husband while talking with a brilliant writer/director of one of our projects about Spirit. And how much Spirit was with us while filming at Manzanar two weeks ago. And how much Spirit was there with us that evening. I still envision The Great Spirit and all my grandmothers in my spiritual Council of Women, dancing with me at the end of the night. Wow.
So we did what was right when you’re blessed with so much. You give thanks and then you give it away. Continue Reading…