Every mid-June as the days swell, our little town here is blessed with the SilverDocs Film Festival. Sponsored by the American Film Institute and the Discovery Channel, it is an eight day exploration and celebration of documentary films.
Last night I had the good fortune of scoring a ticket to a talk given by the legendary Albert Maysles at a symposium that honored him.
Mr Maysles films are beautiful. Last year at this time, when I was feeling so dark and dreary, I went to a midnight showing of Gimme Shelter and began to feel lifted, transformed. Grey Gardensanother one of his films is a tender portrait which clutches my heart.
As I sat in the darkened theater, Mr Maysles was charming and sat chatting with the humility of a great uncle in the kitchen. And he uttered words that resonated at a frequency that tapped right into all that I have been learning this year, a perfect finish to a wild roller coaster ride that started 12 months ago.
“Everyone just wants to be seen” I heard him say. His words washed over me. I am paraphrasing here for I am not sure I have them quite right but the gist of what he said was this: We all need to be seen and loved for who we are. That the whole point is the loving. That in and through this great, compassionate, loving gaze we can finally come to know and understand one another. We long to be seen, exactly as we are–and to be loved that way. Broken and wounded, when seen through the eyes of love we can be whole and perfect. That the greatest shame of our society is that we learn to live with our hearts hidden and locked, not daring reveal our inner thoughts and feelings, when in fact to reveal our secrets and be loved–that is the point.
In snippets spilled out casually in humble answers to an interviewers questions, Mr Maysles summarized the whole of what this last year has been about for me–what I have learned through the crazy twists and turns, through the ups and the downs. Yes…I silently prayed in thanksgiving for his words…Yes, me too…this is what I have come to believe.
We all desperately need to be seen, exactly as we are, through the lens of great love and compassion. We crave it–it is indeed what heals. This belief which has become unearthed in my own heart, this belief is what is compelling me forward these days. It is that which is calling me on this next leg of my journey.
Tomorrow is the summer solstice. The light will be at its greatest and I have to admit, it is as though so much of what we have dreamed of seems to be slowly coming true. Without telling stories before their time, I can only say that for very special people in my little tribe marvelous and magical things seem to be coming to fruition after a long dark winter when the dream of them seemed simply impossible. I too am feeling shifts in my own journey, as though I am coming into a clearing which is bright and where suddenly I can see the path. Midsummer at its most magical.
I wish you a tomorrow swollen with abundance and with the joy of being seen–exactly as you are–with great reverence and love.