Jumping Off The Cliff, Booklin ME
I took this photograph on my first morning filming “The Wooden Boat”, a documentary, in Brooklin ME. The position of the sun, piercing, scorching through barriers – debris burning, obstacles falling – cut the sky, opening a curtain to reveal a secret door. I claimed it “an auspicious moment”. And so my first independently produced project, a feature-length documentary, officially began.
The momentum of the project keeps it rolling ahead of me, ahead of resources. I watch it accelerate, wondering how I’ll ever catch it. Awkwardly running, I feel I’m losing my footing, about to tumble head over heels and fall flat on my face. I’m trying to hold on, to rein it in, to keep it contained and away from the cliff. But I have to let it go and jump with it. Let it take me over the edge. Jump and fall.
Most days I blink in and out of terror and elation. Every other moment is like waking in a strange house, it takes a moment for me to find myself, to catch my breath, to recognize this place. A low rumbling panic exists, just below my gut, or is that excitement? Perhaps both. I’m falling or flying. Or perhaps, again, both.
This is not easy. This being conviction, perseverance, trust…faith. And doubt – doubt is in this although not welcome. And hope. Belief too…believing that somehow, I’ll make it happen. It will happen. Secret doors will open. No longer will I be falling. These wings will catch air and I’ll fly.
The rushing air of the free fall makes me sick and dizzy; limbs flailing, this hurts. But I remember, “surrender”. I let go. My arms stretched, relaxed, it feels more like floating. And I breathe recognizing the air is better, here in this, than I’ve ever tasted. I close my eyes, listening for the snap and flutter of wings.
It brings me comfort to know I’m in good company. Anyone who has stepped off a cliff hoping for a bridge has taken the fall. “Be willing to take the fall” its a whisper, but I hear it. I trust it. I look to the precious “auspicious moment” the sun appeared, cut the sky and opened a secret door. And here I am, falling and hoping, soon, to be flying.