Monday, December 17, 2007

On happiness

I enjoyed my time on set last week despite the cold and rainy weather. It was great. The director was great to work with and had very specific direction for me. As I read the script, I realized that there were just a few parts for women on the show, so I was really fortunate to get the gig. Everyone was kind and very professional, so it was a good environment for an actor. You have no idea how many sets I've been on where people are cold and bitchy and disorganized and you pretty much have to fend for yourself and when you are a day player (you're just coming on for one day) you have no idea why people are miserable or who to talk to or how to get what you need. So sometimes you think you're messing up a take, but if you know who to ask or what to listen for, you find out there's something wrong with the camera lens or there's a background noise they can't control or the lighting is off. And if you don't know the right questions to ask, you can end up repeating technical mistakes over and over. For example, if you're walking and talking at the same time (an every day occurrence, but can be difficult for an actor), you have to start at a certain place (marked on the ground) and walk a certain trajectory (to be in the correct lighting and not block another actor) to another marked placed on the ground (without looking at it) and make it look perfectly natural and carry through with all your emotional intentions and dialogue. Over and over and over. And if you are a non-famous actor, you had better get it right. They will accomodate a star to incredible lengths, but not Little Miss what's her name.

I was happy to see the first A.D. was someone that had directed me years ago on one of the most fun projects I've ever been on. I did an episode of The Outer Limits starring a former Saturday Night Live star. I invited him to come see the play I'm directing (which opens in a couple of weeks!). I told him to hurry up and direct a project I can be in. Always nice to see a friendly face.

So true to my health karma, I've got another concern on my plate. I get a call from the cancer agency, my mammogram last week showed something they need a second look at, so I've got an ultrasound appointment next month. The next available appointment fell on the day I'm having the uterine fibroid embolization, so I scheduled it for the following week. Sigh. And I actually do those breast self examinations, and I didn't catch it. It's like a long fibrous lump deep under my breast. My family physician felt it during my yearly checkup as I was laying on the exam table. Sigh. Yes, she told me that in most cases, it's nothing and not to worry about it. Still. Remind me not to do a mammogram right before the holidays. I told my hubby that it should have paid more attention to my breasts while he had the chance. Just dark humour. I'm not particularly worried about it, I've had a couple of friends go through the same thing. You know I'll be putting in some extra daimoku (chanting) in over the next month.

There's something about going through transformation that really stirs up the dust in your life. It's apparent to me just how important it is for me to have unshakable happiness in this life. I went to a Buddhist meeting last night, and welcomed one of our members' first child. As I held in my arms and smelled his silky head, and listened to the other mothers, I fought in my heart to just appreciate this new life for what it was, and not to feel sorry for myself. To hope that one day.... one day.... I would be bringing my own bundle of joy into my community. It seems so far away. And would it truly bring me happiness?

Faith enables us to receive the eternal joy derived from the Law. So let us
engrave in our hearts this point: We ourselves receive this joy. Because we
receive it ourselves, our happiness does not depend on others. No one else can
make us happy. Only by our own efforts can we become happy.

Therefore, there is no need to feel envious of others. There is no need to bear a grudge against someone or depend on another person for our happiness. Everything comes down to our state of life. It is within our power to take our lives in any direction we wish.

To be dragged around by other people or the environment is not the way
of life the Lotus Sutra teaches. True happiness is not feeling happiness one
moment and misery the next. Rather, overcoming the tendency to blame our
sufferings on others or on the environment enables us to greatly expand our
state of life.

----Daisaku Ikeda

1 comment:

Pamela T. said...

"True happiness is not feeling happiness one moment and misery the next. Rather, overcoming the tendency to blame our sufferings on others or on the environment enables us to greatly expand our state of life."

Brilliant! Thanks for sharing this.

More importantly I hope the lump is nothing more than a benign reminder to keep focused on what's good in life.