Monday, September 24, 2007

A Magic Moment

We went to a Celebration of Life yesterday afternoon. Our friend, who has Lou Gehrig's disease, decided he wanted to be with his many friends and family before it was too late. All of us who were there shared a magical afternoon. His brother read a letter from our friend because he no longer has enough breath to speak. I wanted to take notes, but thought it would be too rude. What I remember touched me and changed me. I know the lessons I will take away with me.

First, at every event we film, I want to relax and have more peace in my heart. Even if the schedules on a wedding day are so tight you couldn't squeeze a toothpick in, I promise myself that I can still feel a greater calm. I want to prepare just as hard beforehand, but let go and really let the flow of the event guide me in an intuitive, not an analytical way.

When I took ikebana lessons (Japanese flower arrangement), you could always tell when someone was creating their arrangement analytically or intuitively. There was a real difference in the spirit you felt looking at the final arrangement. I was able to make that intuitive leap after 1-2 years. But, I've held on to the analytical side of filming because I felt it was supremely important to capture everything that was going on, since you don't know in advance which of the moments will be a critical moment. I am encouraged to make the leap and elevate my work to another level.

Second, I want to tell my husband Chuck I am proud of him more often than I do. As Presdent of the Bay Area Professional Assocaition, Chuck presented our friend with a beautifully framed card and the signatures of all the current members. Chuck even tracked down some people who were members years ago, but not now, from as far away as Florida. He gave a brief but perfect speech. Chuck really, really, really dislikes public speaking, but he did it for his friend. I was so proud of him.

Third, as soon as this wedding season is over, I want to reconnect with the friends we have neglected for the last five years, since we've been in business. It's hard to imagine how much time is required to film and edit, and run a business. It is more than 2 full-time jobs for each of us. It is the same for all the dedicated professionals we know in the wedding industry - florists, photographers, coordinators, caterers, cake bakers. But, our friend had been a videographer for over a decade, and 150 of his good friends and family filled a restaurant on very short notice. By example, without preaching, he let us know what was really important.

Fourth, I want to learn more about people because they will amaze you. We knew our friend had been jailed and tortured by a foreign government for standing up for his basic human rights. But we didn't know that when he moved to this country to give his family a better life, he pumped gas and delivered pizzas, without complaint, until he could get his business going to support them. He was a skilled professional, but humbly accepted humble jobs for the sake of his family. I never knew this about him.

Our friend is a great example of making every moment count and being grateful for what you have.

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