Today I made my film acting debut in a collaborative short film my friend Sam and I made together. That sounded a lot cheekier in my head. Sam took a poem I wrote, came up with a beautiful vision, and together we crafted a piece that I’m so honored to be a part of. Also, I really want Beyonce to see it. I don’t know if that’s possible, but it’s a dream of heart of hearts.
I’ve been joking with people through the filming process that this is the side of Sarah most people don’t see – with all the moody, panicky, angry, hurt, despairing feels. It’s an odd and beautiful thing to be so vulnerable for a project.
If you’ve been following my blog at all the last 6 months (and reading between the lines before that), you might have some idea that this has been a rough year. The poem the film is centered around is the last poem I wrote in 2016, as the year was coming to a close.
The way I write poetry is a very mystical and ordinary experience. Most of the writing happens before I even know I’m going to write a poem. I spend a good deal of time sitting with my feelings, meditating, processing, being with the earth, listening to stories, talking to friends, noticing, wondering – and somewhere in there, somehow, this turns into poetry. It’s a funny thing – I rarely edit my poems once I write them down. And nearly always, I write a poem in one go, with few pauses (other than to sip my tea and look lovingly out the window, of course).
Often it’s not until I read my poems out loud to someone that I guess what they are about, or realize what I’m saying. I love that about poetry. I love that about writing. I love that about inspiration, and this incredible art form that feels like home.
So when I wrote this poem, Redemption, it was part whatever came up for me after/during/through going through a real rough time, part FUCK YOU to 2016, and part me trying to find my way forward through some pretty intense anxiety and grief. Little did I know that shortly after writing the poem I would have an extreme reaction to a medication and go on one of the most wild and terrifying trips (meant metaphorically) of my life. So this movie is kind of about that, too. And about healing. And poetry. And grief. And trauma. And life. And transformation. And, well, it’s a story that’s not exactly a story that I’m so glad to be a part of.
Thanks to my wonderful friend Sam, his BRILLIANCE with a camera, vision for this project, putting up with many a grumpy Sarah day, and making this into a big, stunning, beautiful thing.