Thursday, September 3, 2015

Nothing compares

Nothing compares to your hands, nothing like the green-gold of your eyes. My body is filled with you for days and days. you are the mirror of the night. the violent flash of lightning. the dampness of the earth. The hollow of your armpits is my shelter. my fingers touch your blood. All my joy is to feel life spring from your flower-fountain that mine keeps to fill all the paths of my nerves which are yours.


Move #3

For a kid who's lived in the same place since she was eighteen, I've moved around a lot in the last ten years. When I was 18, I moved with my family to North Carolina. Then, five years later at 23, I moved to San Francisco to study film. Four years after that, I relocated to Los Angeles and I think I'm done.

Forget the boxes and the address changes and the job search and the not knowing your way around all over again. For me, it's the people. Relationships take time and spending that long hard time getting to know someone only to pack up and move away in a few years is unnatural and hard - at least for me.

But I'm glad I lived in the places I did and loved the people I've loved. It's taught me a lot, primarily about myself and God and what I want out of life. I've been told by countless people that I have a gift when it comes to working with children. A very close friend of mine, when we first met, called me the "child whisperer" because I could get anyone to stop and listen without even trying.  But that's not my passion. That's not what I want. I know the world wants me to want that because I'm so good at it but I, Ashley Lynn Roque, the girl in the mirror with the big curly brown hair and chubby belly and deep heart longs for the camera and stage and her scripts and actors and film and movies and Hollywood. It's such a far fetched goal but it's mine and it's true.  This goal or dream of mine has remained the one constant throughout all this moving from city to city.  That and God. This is what I want, no matter what the world wants from me.

I soon realized, after having made the final step to move here, my biggest fear aside from not fulfilling my own personal dreams and loosing friendships is the idea that perhaps I might, like a chameleon and like in the past, change. I might adapt and become someone new. When I moved to NC, I straightend my hair and changed my entire wardrobe. I became more feminine. With my weight, the clothes I bought from Walmart and Target just to fit in made me look and feel like a 40 year old soccer mom. I wasn't myself. When I moved to SF, I brought my feminine clothes with me but people were different out here. Everyone looked "homeless" as was my first impression of the  hipster. So I shaved my head, put on my black pants and let my hair curl out. It was the one time in my life I felt more like myself than I ever have. I felt strong and masculine and competent and full in my own skin. My weight didn't go down too much, but I was happy. I come down here and I immediately think I need to go back to my feminine ways. I'm thinking I can't cuss and I have to delete Tinder and tune down how masculine and large I feel.  I'm terrified I might change who I am to fit in and I don't want that. That indeed is my biggest fear.

But being 27 comes with it's perks. I don't change as easily.  I just bought a new pair of black sweat pants and sneakers. I tied my hair back slick only once and then realized, I'm loosing myself again. The next day, the curls came back out and I walked around with my shoulders strong and full.  I now only have the patience for what I really want and the urge to be a wife and mother just grows deeper and deeper with every hour. These past few days in a new work environment has taught me that I haven't changed. I've finally been blessed with the gift of acceptance. I've hardened more into myself. This is the true perk of getting older - becoming more of who you are, hopefully someone who is not afraid of what they see in their eyes.

It's hot in the valley. I'm not a fan. The whole environment here feels dry and desert like. But cinema is so much closer to me now and so is film. I can see myself learning to love this place, but with time.

Which I now have a lot of. I'm not going anywhere :)

I love you Ashley.

Walking on water

Letters from Frida

"I would like to give you everything you've never had. Even so, you wouldn't know the wonder it is to be able to love you." Frida Kahlo

Age Disparity

It's been coming up a lot in my scripts over the past few years. Either the dominant character is younger or the passive one is significantly older. I don't know why I like it or why the gap in age between lovers fascinates me. I know that in real life, it doesn't always work. We have needs. We need things from each other whether that be stability or pride or money. Equality is taken for granted when those things don't come as easily. But in my mind, and in the forefront of my imagination, our age is a thing of beauty. Meeting someone and falling for them when they are at a different part of their life is a unique experience because it goes against biology, against reality in so many ways (as does love, most of the time). You can only deny she's younger for so long. Eventually people will remind you she's a baby and you are, well, older. Menapause is coming. What you have to look forward to is vastly different than what she is to expect in the next 5-10 years.

But in all my stories, the age difference is a relic, something to be cherished. When I was growing up, there was a lovely couple in my life that modeled that cherished distance in time they occupied. The guy was new to the country and had a son. The woman was past middle age and had grandchildren but was terribly beautiful. He was beautiful too but wonderfully mature for his being so young. They were beautiful together. Or maybe the word is happy. That's not something I can say about many of the other marriages I witnessed growing up or even now. But this was different and so my hope for my characters is that they experience that "difference" despite their relational "differences."

I officially began my second feature screenplay on this topic and instead of making it this lovey dovey story with a sweet ending, my mind keeps thinking about time and how little of it someone in their later years has and how loud that reminder can be when we fall for someone younger. I recently met someone at work who made me consider what that might be like. Yes. She just made me think about the possibility of falling for someone who might not want to have children or visit Thailand. Especially when they are about to enter menopause.

But you never know.

I suppose what I do know is that no matter how loud reality screams at you, and no matter how much time might seem like it's against you, I do believe God brings us into each other's lives at the right moment and that our ages are gifts. We get to experience life and our bodies and love at different stages of our humanity and these, dear friends, are divine blessings.

Check out a still from a film that does a great job exploring this topic.

Love letters from Frida

I've been writing poems lately and reading poetry for inspiration. I stumbled upon the remarkable, soul wrenching "violent" love letters of Frida Kahlo and I'm floored. Her letters are exquisite and so full of passion and vivid love.  My only concern, and I thought about this today on my commute home, was that anyone with that great of passion, with that depth of love, with that massive sense of feeling must also feel just as intensely negative. In other words, her gift of feeling so wonderful also comes with a cost of feeling so terrible sometimes.  Is it worth it?? To allow yourself to get so high knowing you will fall just as low.  
I think so.
Truth is, so great, that I wouldn’t like to speak, or sleep, or listen, or love. To feel myself trapped, with no fear of blood, outside time and magic, within your own fear, and your great anguish, and within the very beating of your heart. All this madness, if I asked it of you, I know, in your silence, there would be only confusion. I ask you for violence, in the nonsense, and you, you give me grace, your light and your warmth. I’d like to paint you, but there are no colors, because there are so many, in my confusion, the tangible form of my great love.

Introducing ODESZA

This duo's amazing beats have my mind spinning with pure inspiration.