July, like the months that have paved the way before it, has been spent with each step after the other—each step advancing towards the vision I have dedicated these spring and summer months to.
Last post, in A Commencement: New Domain, Facebook, & Production Call, I revealed the nature of the project—that it is a film. In the post, I publicly opened up the production in search of an answer to the film’s most profound need: casting—a need that has spanned these past months.
Through the course of my efforts, this great hurdle has been surmounted. I am pleased to celebrate that the film now has its cast, and the film will go into production.
At the beginning of July, I promised I’d reveal the project by the end of the month. I have only scratched the surface of such. If barely. Tomorrow, I will finally unveil the project.
July was a wondrous month of summer, spent in productivity and the company of family and friends. Full of warmth, fun, and life—yet, as with any month, also challenge, and a hurdle or two.
It shouldn’t come as a surprise, that I have had fervent interest in photography for many years. But in these past months, I have continually enjoyed a routine that has sprung, since April.
In April, I began taking an abundance of photos, using the still photo section of my video camera, throughout the month, weeks, and days.
The photographs range from the documentation of everyday life to varied sceneries and subjects. My camera is regularly strapped along my shoulder, loyally present for it all.
Some days will elapse without a picture being taken, while others are strewn together with hundreds. This month, I have taken more photographs than any other month, this year. In total, I’ve taken 603, this month. It’s been wondrous.
In June, I began taking a substantial amount of video, as well. I dedicated a single tape to miscellaneous documentation throughout each month. At the end of the month, I’ll run the footage in, wind the tape back, and document the next month on the same tape. When recording in LP speed, each tape is around 90 minutes in duration. This month, I began taping on the 1st. With a minute of tape remaining, I concluded the tape on the 31st. The events, occurrences, and memories made of the month, taking place between the tape’s first frames and final frames was timed perfectly in accordance with the tape duration. You may delight in this idiosyncratic pleasure, along with me.
The documentation has been a fun thing. It’ll be a treasure to dig the footage up, and take a look at it in years to come.
In the latter-middle of the month, a piece of distressing news entered my family: the death of my cousin. He had committed suicide. In the days that followed, the weight of his death affected me more than I’d thought it would.
In the wake of the tragic news, I found its weight greatly burdensome. I found it violating—a harsh interruption on the bright and alive season of my life that I am in. But as much as this season is one full of brightness and life, it is a season of growth. In the days following my cousin’s passing, I grew.
Initially, I hoped I could return to my projects, continuing in my endeavors without the baggage the suicide introduced. I mourned the loss, yet wished I didn’t have to. I did not want to give it focus.
I hoped to resume my projects with the burden of his death placed aside. As if I could compartmentalize the circumstance and its emotional bearing. This was something I could not do. My heart wouldn’t allow it.
Intellectually, I understood the suicide. But emotionally, I needed to process it. I accepted the burden, and because I gave my heart and mind the freedom to do so, I began to heal.
As I healed, I had a compulsion to write a few words. Words to paint the perspective I had of his passing—to provide finality for myself, and for the healing of my family. In the second paragraph, I wrote, “As we struggle to accept his departure from the world, my prayer is this: That beyond the horizon, with tears of pain renewed by tears of joy, our heavenly Father is welcoming Cole into His eternal arms.”
I additionally dedicated a photograph and a verse of scripture to him and his passing. The photograph was taken on the same evening the photograph, above, was (taken July 10th). The scripture, Revelation 21:4, reads, “He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death, or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.”
I, too, have tasted darkness—by a miracle I have withstood it. When I did not see the light, I held the hand of my family, and had faith in theirs. I wish I could’ve been that light for my cousin. Perhaps, we could have shared our experiences with each other. Perhaps we could’ve bonded, and he could have drawn strength from it.
I cannot fairly judge the times my cousin cried out to his family or friends, contrary to the times he’d hid his tears from them. There were friends and family members closer to him, that knew him better than I. But I know this…
Never fight your battles alone, when there are those that will fight your battles with you. Those that would love to fight your battles with you, because they love you. For those that would fight alongside you, the fight will still be a burden. But burden precedes victory as much as it can precede defeat.
One doesn’t want to burden their loved ones with the fight. But once the battle is lost, the burden is cast over the ones you wanted to protect from it. Once the battle is lost, the burden is cast over the ones that so wished they could’ve helped lift it, while it was still liftable.
My cousin lost the battle. Only Christ can redeem it.
I believe Cole gave his heart to the Creator that formed him, and entrusted in his savior, Christ Jesus. The savior that shed his blood to cover all ills, and eternally rescue Cole from his.
In my healing, I gained the strength to resume my projects, at peace, but with a new place sown in my heart: a place where the earthly loss of my cousin is mourned, and His redemption of that loss is declared.
My family is heartbroken, but has faith. My prayer for my family is this: That the tragedy of his death—that was spun under the ruin of deceit and deceptions of darkness—would strengthen our family—in declaration of His redemption of our loved one, and His eternal defeat over the evil that consumed him.
Only He can take something as terrible as suicide, and make something beautiful come from it. That is my prayer.
Having grown over the days spent in the aftermath of my cousin’s passing, I climbed back on course, resuming the projects that serve the overarching project I have been working on.
I made several purchases. The two I will mention, I am very proud of. They deserve their own posts.
A new robot is now in my possession: a vintage Tomy Omnibot 5402. It was manufactured in the mid-1980’s. He is a charming personality that has made great company for myself and the other robotic personality of mine, Robie Jr. The Omnibot has wildly exceeded my expectations. Tomy has some great features, and is full of some pleasant surprises. And most importantly, he looks great. At some point in the future, I’d like to give him a proper introduction, in his own post.
A few days after Tomy was unearthed from the packaging, I purchased a Zoom H4n. It is a breathtaking portable audio device. Its audio is brilliant and rich, and has an incredible breadth of range.
On the 24th, I spent the afternoon wandering about my homebound stomping grounds, exploring the device and its possibilities. It was simply a delight. I’m blown away by the results. The H4n is an unmatched contender for one of the best purchases I’ve ever made.
As always, these were only a handful of the highlights the month saw. July was a great one. The month was not without its hurdle or two, but nor were its hurdles left unconquered. A burden only precedes victory, and every hurdle is but an overture for triumph.
Tomorrow, August will have arrived. Upon it, the fulfillment of the things, ahead. Here’s to the fulfillment of all things, ahead, friends.
May August be the month we break ground…
Upwards and onwards,