Jul 6, 2014

Post an insanely intense pre-summer

My skin is warm from the sun which finally made it’s summer entrance this weekend. The balcony door is open letting the smell from newly harvested fields in, my land leaseholder Sören came with his green tractor last night making the season mark: pre-summer is over. The wind has fallen and the evening is quite and calm.

This is what I need now. Sun, warmth and peace.

For a month now I have been pushing myself way over what is possibly possible for me. The choir festival needed one week of script writing and meetings to become the success we were aiming for. The festival week was followed by a pre production week for a film shoot the week after. And in the middle of that a family reunion. Gosh. It’s been insanely intense.

I am producing a documentary about thee developer of Umeå. His name is Krister Olsson and he is the Paul Allen of my Swedish hometown. We started shooting in October and now was the summer shoot. During the winter I haven’t been able to be there in person at all times because of my back, but I had pictured me up and running before the summer. There was a plan B, I could do it via Skype as I have had at times during the winter, but as this shoot was mainly interviews plan B wasn’t one I didn’t want to put in action if I could avoid it.

And I didn’t. Although I wasn’t at all up and running the way I pictured and hoped for. Not at all. My back was protesting loudly as the week started and continued all through. But surrounded with good people I managed to do what I needed and wanted.

Audrey is the one helping me out of bed in the mornings and giving me breakfast. On her way back in to Umeå she dropped me off at the noon locations where cameraman Tomas and sound guy Johannes met up. A lot of film crew work is carrying things. Camera, lights, cables, batteries, microphones, computers, reflecting screens, stands, tripods, sand bags, etc, etc, etc. In this case it also involved carrying me.

Not literary but close to. Tomas and Johannes carried my backpack and my bag. And a special chair that worked for me sitting in during the interviews. As well as a cute pillow knitted by my friend Mimmi, perfect to support my lower back while seated. They also gave me their hands helping me up and down from that chair and in and out of the car where I was half lying when changing locations. Do I need to say Tomas and Johannes is my dream team?

Since we started shooting this film biography the weather gods haven’t been good to us. Heavy overcast, rain and fog. When shooting you don’t want bright sunshine, you want a slight overcast giving you a soft and even light. But a too even light (as in heavy clouds, fog or rain) doesn’t give you any nuances and shades, and makes everything look grey and dull. And of course the equipment doesn’t like rain.

So, for this summer shoot not only did I picture myself up and running but Umeå showing off it’s very best summer face. What happened? Well, Audrey and I left my place at the end of the road the first morning in perfect weather conditions arriving in downtown Umeå 15 minutes later, rain poring down. The improvising that followed continued all week as the prognoses were never to trust and our carefully picked and planned interview locations had to be crossed out one after another.

But hey, that’s the conditions for a documentarian, we are not working in a controlled environment! And we had a good week. We had a great week. I was present for the interviews and completely safe handing over the B-roll work to Tomas and Johannes. Do I need to stress they are my dream team?

Landing on my couch Friday afternoon body and soul completely exhausted I was close to crying. I have been working so hard keeping myself and my body together not only for this last week but for this last month. Now it was over. I did it. I made it. With a lot of help from kind hands around me I made it. Now I could let go. I hadn’t been aware of that kind of need. But there is was.

I am happy and very grateful that I could attend at everything marked in my calendar this last month. And I am proud about a well done job achieved. I only wish I didn’t have to suffer the way I do. I wish it wasn’t such a fight for me. I am wishing I was allowed to simply enjoy what I am doing and trust it to be that way. Not to be dreading it.

My mother’s lupins are shining in the evening sun. The honeysuckle under my grandfather’s apple tree is slowly withering, it was gorgeous this year. Yesterday I spent the afternoon lying on my folding sun bed at my neighbors Jenny and Hannes’ engagement garden party, surrounded by happy people in their thirties. Josephine just visited with her horses Daisy and Bella munching the rich white clover from my too tall lawn. I made it through the insanely intense pre-summer, summer has finally arrived here at the end of the road. And I love it.

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