Friday, September 26, 2008

Remaking Myself

I've been working feverishly the last few weeks to complete a series of animated short movies based on three (fairly recent) dreams, to present at Patrick's Cabaret on October 3 and 4.

The third and final animation I'm working on is entitled "Different Me's," and includes portrayals of Heaven, the cosmos, and a prehistoric (Jurassic age) earth. In the penultimate scene of this animation, a cartoon version of myself sits in a room at a work table (a room I've dubbed "God's workshop" in my script notes). In front of my cartoon self on the work table, hanging dark and lifeless on a model stand, is a realistic (photographic) image of myself, naked (except for briefs! -- representing my physical body), next to an identical, translucent, image of myself that is seemingly made of white light (representing my spirit). Surrounding these representations are a bowl full of blood (representing mortality), an oil lamp with a flickering flame (representing knowledge acquired in mortality), a key (representing mortal roles and callings), a small bottle of oil (representing priesthood), a glowing purple sphere (representing my intelligence), a glowing white sphere (representing the light of Christ, or conscience), and a small gold ring (representing family and eternity). In this scene I am working with God's assistance and guidance to create a perfect, future version of myself.

I set out preparing this scene for a very brief segment of the animation matter-of-factly. But as the scene gradually came together, as I slowly but surely assembled all of the animation layers collage-like together onto the same screen, I found strange emotions welling up. It finally came to the point that I was so overwhelmed with emotion I couldn't continue. At first it was difficult for me to put my finger on the emotions; I'm not sure I fully understood them. They were rich and complex. They mirrored the emotions I felt when I had the dream this animation is based on in the first place. It was a powerful dream, which is why I chose it to create a visual representation of.

Gradually I have been able to name some of this welter of emotions: deep satisfaction, joy, sadness, pain, regret, gratitude, peace, excitement, anticipation, awe, longing, fear! Strange, conflicting emotions! And so intense! Something about artistically visualizing this scene triggered these emotions with an intensity that just thinking and writing about it could not. I've never had an experience like this before!

I don't completely understand why this particular part of my project moved me this way. I feel slightly crazy, more out-of-control emotionally than usual! But I am glad I did this. I am glad I am working on this project, because I realize that I have tapped into something important, something I really need to approach. I feel above all a deep sense of satisfaction that I have portrayed some spiritual reality that is fundamental, something I need to come to terms with...

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