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Jen Lee  Director. Gatherer. Friend. Indie Kindred Doc Now on YouTube.

This morning I collapsed the first moving box and took it down to the curb. It was hard to let go of--I kept thinking, "But what if I need to build a bookcase out of this?" A residual effect of this season. I'm behind in all correspondence. But my second film is slated for online release next month, and yesterday I finished a new assembly cut of the third film. My body feels better after taking some time for it last week, and I'm slowly restoring order to domestic chaos. One of my favorite features of our new-old apartment is this long table, which is a perfect coworking space for our urban tribe. Like being in a coffee shop, but quieter. Our littlest coworkers prefer floor space, teething toys and blankets. Construction supplies for bigger ones and coffee for the rest. Sweet to have a life that holds them all.

Feeling ready for all that comes next.

Today I will climb onto a table like an altar and put myself in the hands of a healer and friend. Tomorrow I will travel to one of my refuge places and listen to the songbirds. I guess the idea is to keep putting myself in steady hands while I let myself finally feel it all. The things I've been able to say and especially those I have not. And this--a new prayer book--arrives just in time. These days I most trust people who love and love greatly, who have lost, and lost greatly. As if sorrow is the secret password and the clubhouse our own altered selves. Slowly lifting our chins and finally letting pretense fall away. Feeling startled at what we see mirrored in each other's eyes. And then proud. How strong we are, how we still keep finding our way home to our own heart of hearts. Thank you @beingpoetry for all this cost you in the making. It is a deep and true companion.

In the last 12 months I've said goodbye to and left my family, beloveds and friends, not knowing when I would see anyone again. I've been undone by grief and homesickness, and recovered just in time to do it all over again. I've been held together by lake water and city skylines and deep kindness. I've seen unspeakable beauty and roamed along the edges of soul like wild terrain. Heard answers I didn't want to hear and was helped in mysterious ways. So. This week is for my body. For shaking loose and mending. Placing myself in healing hands. Trying to get the message into all my cells that we're safe and sound. Finding the exhale and turning toward the light.

I didn't know how to swim before we moved to Sweden, and I really disliked going to the pool, but one of the only clues I had going into my life there was this strong intuition that I would need the water. I would become a swimmer there. My first teacher was our 11 year old friend Mira, and later a kind woman named Ida, who taught me: More ease, more power. It felt like a lesson for all my living and loving. Tonight I finally found a pool near my home that didn't make me cry, and promptly jumped in. I still have so much to learn, but it felt good to find my rhythm and my breath. I tried not to worry that we weren't doing it the American way. I tried to go gently and not for too long (even though part of me yearns to push until I wear out all my muscles and a hundred thousand feelings). I'll be back, so many other days, rebuilding my strength and stamina. Finding another teacher and maybe someday a little more ease, a little more power. For tonight I was just grateful to at once shake loose a few words, and feel a slow expanse of quiet in their wake.

Things boxes are good for: art tables, night stands, the displaying of treasures, holding bears and blankets, soap dishes, shelves, privacy screens, record player tables and more. (Really grateful they are white.)
#scandinaviansforthewin

When the building on the other side of our wall went up in flames a few weeks ago I started feeling quiet, like I couldn't keep up with catching the stories in real time. Many things have happened. There was a fire. No one was hurt, but the clean up was big. It was our anniversary. We celebrated some time later. My soul caught up and finally landed in Brooklyn, which helps all things. My husband started a new job. The movers came. I haven't found my bag of film gear yet after opening all 20 boxes. I'll check again today but it may be another thing to rebuild. There are layers I can't pull into focus yet but feel in our bodies and our psyches--these tender places I'm turning my attention to next. We drove half a day through this fog yesterday and it was soothing to me. This is how it feels these days. I can't see more than the piece of road directly in front of me--finishing work projects, getting the apartment cozy, holding my kids. So I keep going, even though everything else is kind of hidden in mystery, even inside myself.

Back in our own beds tonight.

Remembering how to rest. (The morning view from your room has always been my favorite @some.antics.)

Life swirls and twirls over here but there is this very sweet spot coming together in my new/old home, made even more lovely with these pillows featuring the artwork of my beloved @mindytsonas. Her wisdom and words guide me through so many days and having these ambassadors from her world helps my heart land here all the more. (That's my desk by the window where a new cut of the new film is uploading now.) • Check out @mindytsonas' Society6 shop for these and other rad designs.

This is what it looks like when I'm rebuilding a movie in my mind.
#gatherthemovie
#icandoitbetter
#vintagequiltsforever
#filmmaking #filmmakers #filmmakersofinstagram

Today's pretty exciting because my first film, Indie Kindred, is now on YouTube. Featuring many artists who have inspired me, this is to watch on those days when you need a gentle voice saying, Don't stop. Keep going. You're not the only one. It's been five years since I tried to make a short film and came out with a feature-length documentary by mistake. Since I dared to take my storytelling to a big screen. Indie Kindred has been seen in 23 countries, but I suspect its journey is just beginning. Please enjoy and share with someone who could use some uplifting today.
Link in profile.
(Thank you to @viviennemcm for her stunning photos.)

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