Reverb14 is a prompt-a-day series for the month of December designed to reflect on 2014 and project hopes and dreams for 2015. Throughout December,Sarah, Kat and I will post each day with a new prompt. Join us by writing, or join us by reading. Follow us on Twitter @project_reverb and #reverb14.
1000 Words| There’s the old saying that a photo is worth 1,000 words. Give us a photo with that impact that sums up some significant event of your 2014, or give us 1,000 words about a pivotal moment in 2014.
Last week, I was in London, Dublin, Amsterdam, Frankfurt, and back to London. This hideous tour of the British Isles and the Continent required multiple 3.00am wake-up calls; many short-hop flights; innumerable waits at passport control; and more back-and-forth through Paddington Station than I care to even think about. It was not an unpleasant trip, but it did leave me with the desire to punch every single person who whines at me about how glamourous my life of international travel and fancy hotels is.
Because it is not. It is, however, different than your life. Maybe.
On the flight back to New York, I noticed that British Airways was offering Beaches as a film selection. And I had jetlag induced amnesia and somehow forgot for a moment that I was a lawyer, and my best friend was an actress, and we had met when we were 11 years old.
Beaches is kind-of a special film, as cheesy as it is, because there aren’t a lot of films out there that elevate female friendships to the level of the sacred. The late ’80s were the era for that: Beaches; Steel Magnolias; etc. I guess nowadays, Bridesmaids is what passes for that kind of film, and while it’s not a bad movie, I don’t think it has the same…je ne sais quois.
Seeing each other through marriages and divorces and major/chronic illnesses, and life and birth and death on the silver screen is…One Thing.
Shitting in the middle of the street is a totally different…Thing, I think.
I have lots of very close, excellent girlfriends. But my best friend is like my sister. We have Always Been Together. We have Stuck it Out.
For instance, back in 2009, when things were very, very dark, I called her up and I told her to drive to Carmel Valley, California, where I was working with a client. And I gave her a list of things to bring, which included peanut butter, and bread, and gallon jugs of water. She sort-of comprehended that I was going to force her to climb Half Dome with me, but I’m not sure she completely understood what that meant.
So we drove from the coast through the evening and into the wee hours to Yosemite Valley; through a fire; through me getting a speeding ticket and screaming my frustration out at the Park Ranger who pulled me over. We were all nerves, and latent anger, and frustration, and smouldering embers back then.
And at the break of dawn that September morning five years ago, we climbed Half Dome.
We made it to the summit, but it took her years to forgive me.
It was so wonderful, then, when Paul proposed in Yosemite, with Half Dome in the background, because it wasn’t just important to me, and to my family, but it honoured all of the parts of my heart, and the people who had gotten me up the mountain.
Which all led me to being incredibly jetlagged, on a NY-bound plane on Sunday night, after a series of European short-hops, where I was doing the incredibly stupid thing of watching Beaches.
I guess the truth is that it wasn’t a pivotal moment, per se. But have you ever had one of those flashing moments when you remember: This is who I am? My life has been so topsy-turvy this year. So unsettling and so unsettled. And watching that sob-fest of a film reminded me that This is home. I have a best friend with curly blonde hair, who smells like sea and salt and sunscreen, and who sings songs with a low and brave voice, and who knows me by the name I call myself, and who, on more than one occasion, has saved my life.
Sometimes the big moments are hiding in the very small ones. Sometimes they are obvious, and sometimes, they are hiding in 25 year old motion pictures.