On Slowness

I have never been happier, more successful, more fulfilled, more clear, or more surrounded by people who inspire me. And yet. I don’t know what the and yet is. But we’ll get there. I think that’s the point of this.

When I was a wee thing, I was known as tizzy-fit Brit. For those who don’t know, Otis Funkmeyer was originally my nom de plume; my given name was Brit Wolfson. So anyway, I was known as tizzy-fit Brit.

This was because I would throw tantrums. I remember in third grade being singled out for talking during class. This particular teacher had it out for me. In fairness, I had it out for her as well. She kicked me out of class and sent me to the principal’s office. I threw a chair across the room and started screaming about how she had it out for me. Shortly thereafter, a similar situation occurred and I lost my shit. I began wailing on the ground about how I was being unfairly persecuted and I went on and on until another teacher was brought in and I was escorted out. I have never dealt well with perceived injustice.

Where I’m going with this is that when I was young and in my natural state, I was a tantrum thrower. An enfant terrible. I threw tantrums pretty much any time things didn’t go the way I thought they should go. I have this whole thing about thinking things are supposed to go a certain way. Point being, it seems that in my natural state, I am a tantrum thrower.

Granted, this obstinance has also served me well. It led me off the beaten path to the aforementioned happiness, success, fulfillment, clarity, and good people.

But now there’s this show I’m making.

Viva The Funkmeyers

So we are well into making our pilot for “The Funkmeyers.” (six years later note: the pilot was made and can be viewed here.) There’s a 20-page script. A little more than half of it is shot. Things are happening. And yet. It moves oh so slowly. Like molasses. Like molasses stuck inside of molasses. It’s on some like extra-sticky molasses shit is what I’m trying to convey.

And this is not the way it’s supposed to go.

For those of you who are good with foreshadowing, you have probably figured out that now is where the two vectors collide. I am experiencing things not going my way in the pursuit of my dreams which triggers ancient parts of myself that we will call “tizzy-fit Brit.”

But now I’m an adult and it seems like the tizzy-fit phase of life is no longer appropriate. There’s no external authority to rebel against. No one is making it slow. It’s just slow. That’s just the process.

The Evolutionary Journey of the Soul

And so we return to the basic theme of seemingly everything I write at this point. I want fame and fortune and my face on billboards with aliens and pink UFOs and DMT creatures. I want nothing more than to squirt some psychedelic soul shit onto the beckoning face of humanity.

But it seems like my soul just wants to deal with tizzy-fit Brit. And so it dangles these visions in front of my face, these visions that seem to recede behind horizon after horizon. And as I chase these dreams, I am pulled ever-deeper into the muck, where tizzy-fit Brit is waiting. Impatient, impetuous, immature. And now, immobilized.

So the thing is like this. Filmmaking is without question the most collaborative art form I have ever dabbled in, certainly a gazillion times more than dancing. And the worst/best part is that you literally NEED the other people. Much as I’ve tried, I am not capable of shooting, running sound, directing, starring, focusing, and lighting shots. So I have to deal with others. Which hasn’t always gone well, being tizzy-fit Brit and all.

And so I get frustrated and despondent and mostly just stunned at how long it takes to shoot a 20-page script. I thought it’s like a couple days tops. It turns out not so much.

Silver Linings

Like Bradley Cooper in Silver Linings Playbook, I’m determined to stay positive. I will A)
do this and B) deal with tizzy-fit Brit. There’s nothing else left for me. And with such a frame, it becomes essential to look for silver linings. The silver lining I have found is, I think, instructive and useful for you. And so, being the generous fellow that I am, I will share it with you for 1 easy payment of 19 BTC.

I have found that in order for tizzy-fit Brit to not rear his tantrumous head, I have to keep focused on the fact that this show I want to make is just one aspect of my life. It is not everything. It is not life or death. It does not define me. There is no need for it to happen. There are many other parts of my life.

The part where I keep a house clean, the part where I take care of a garden, the part where I walk the dog, the part where I lift the weights, the part where I deal with email, the part where I hang with friends, the part where I order ever-more from Amazon Prime, the part where I write essays, and most importantly, the part where I nurture the close relationships with my wife and my peoples.

It makes me feel better to see my life holistically. To define my success on everything. To define my success on our flourishing mulberry tree, our kale forest, our happy dog, our successful relationship, our burgeoning lodging enterprise, the many things I am learning, primarily about cinematography and narrative editing at the moment.

I think that’s what my myopia and physical inflexibility are about in many ways. One of my great teachers in life looked at me one day and said “If you believe everything is made up, then why do you need to wear glasses?” To which I responded with stunned silence. I didn’t have a good answer. Well my dear, years later, there’s my answer. I wear glasses because I hold on too tightly to the details. I miss the forest for the trees. I define success and happiness and the purpose of my own life too narrowly. My eyes are thus fixed in place, only able to see one specific angle of the hologram. It’s a lot bigger than I thought it was.

And the reason I know that this perspective is right for me is that it makes me feel better. It makes me feel at peace. It makes me feel encouraged. It makes the slowness of everything ok. It helps me see that what I am undertaking is simply a large undertaking. Going from making random Youtube videos to a TV show is a large jump. It’s like going from making forts in the backyard to building a house. There’s a lot to learn. There’s a big learning curve.

I was complaining about all of this to a friend recently. How I feel overwhelmed by how much there is to take in. To which they replied “Otis, if there wasn’t so much to take in, you’d be bored. Trust me.” So that’s my edge right now. Navigating the relationship between big dreams and tizzy fits, between boredom and overwhelm.

The question I now ask is not my own. It comes to us courtesy of a writer named Lao Tzu. You should check out his work. It’s pretty good.

Do you have the patience to wait until your mud settles and the water is clear?

Comments (3)

  1. Bravo for another excellent piece! Pioneering thought presented in eloquent confident easy-to-understand writing with just the right amount of humor. Lau Tzu quote is a smashing end!

    Before Tizzy-fit Brit was DaBeDim who issued orders without any understanding of the difficult and thus lack appreciation when his orders were fulfilled.

    I’m ever more in love with you. Watching you grow has been a crazy lol entertaining journey.

  2. Oh yeah! Even the BTC link is real! You smart crazy funny funny seriously brilliant man!

  3. DaBeDim, Chu Dai Hing; Tizzy-fit Brit, Lucy; Otis Jenny…. It’s vv they all love and need! Sick!

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