This is a story about the gift of contrast. Water and desert are used as analogies not labels – I could use, for example, the polar ice caps and the tropics. Water and the desert just work for me.
Imagine you’ve focused your life’s work on the study of water and you move to the desert. Like anyone who has a career specialty, we hive together feeding off each other’s energy, comparing our pails of water. When I moved from Toronto/New York to the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, I had no idea where to put my bucket.
It’s a beautiful thing to be a stranger in a welcoming place. You must learn to navigate a new space and before you can know where you belong, you have to know where you are.
Now, you may think you know where this story is going. The water/desert metaphor is just too strong and it would be easy to assume that there is an epiphany of the desert needing the water.
Cue the plot twist.
As I look out my big studio windows, my current body of work reads:
- episodic hourly drama series pilot/pitch complete
- reality tv show pitch complete
- two podcasts in development
- national staged project fusing sciences and arts in production
- jewelry design company
- special projects for regional organizations that utilize my particular ‘water skillset’
This has been the most productive time of my entire career. Yes, of course, obviously, there is a lot of creativity and artistry in the foothills of these mountains- that is a given. Yet in learning about this place, I have learned so much about myself. It has redefined my work with a freedom that I did not find while swimming in the ocean with my bucket.
Huh! Plot twist revealed – Turns out that what my study of water was missing, was the desert.