The Prodigal Altar Boy

Saturday, October 26, 2013

The Prodigal Altar Boy Blog 26 October 2013 - At Ease!

At Ease!

I was walking home from the cleaners one Saturday last month (before summer left town for good) and as I headed down Charles Street, I saw a man on a bicycle.  From a distance, he waved and I waved back.  I had my cleaning slung over my right shoulder so I walked especially upright to compensate for the load.  Just as the gentleman passed me on his bike, he yelled, “At ease, soldier,” causing us both to laugh. 


I think people have a sixth sense for picking out people who have served in the military.  Whether it’s the way we dress, groom, talk or act, there is something people can discern and some people are quick to acknowledge.  When I see military people today, I am inspired by their commitment to service and humbled as a veteran, to be considered “part of the club.”  


While we shared a laugh with his street side command, the order, “at ease,” resonated on a personal level in that we all need to take time to relax, assess and enjoy where we are.  Making “The Trouble withTQ” is a full-time job I’ve squeezed into my “spare time” since 2008.  Every now and then, I needed to “come up for air” and do things completely unrelated to the documentary and that sustained me throughout the process. 


Looking back on where the project started and where it is now always brings that Grateful Dead lyric, “What a long, strange trip it’s been” to mind.  I never imagined the film would turn into what it is now and the only reason any of that happened is that I kept pushing it along.  For all the planning I did, what sustained the project was being open to new directions.  Whether it was commissioning the paintings, licensing the photos or experimental shots, being open to how they fit into the film (as opposed to how I planned to use them in the film) allowed the overall creative impact surpass the sum of those individual elements.




Finally, enjoy where you are.  This was a busy week for the film; juggling event planning, DVD production details and a tribute reel for TQ meant laser focus on those tasks.  At dinner out last night, my wife started talking about how successful I was and what she thought I deserved.  Her words caused me to pause (“at ease”) and take a moment to enjoy where I am with the film and where I am in life.  To quote that gospel song, “My soul looks back and wonders how I got over…”