View Blog Archive ITP Blog - Archives > By Casey Beck The Organic Life

Posted - 07/18/2013
By Casey Beck The Organic Life

7979445296_cabf2076a3_z_1.jpg"...The moment when something major is accomplished and we are so relieved to be finally done with it that we are already rushing, at least mentally, into The Future. Wisdom, however, requests a pause...This is the time of 'the pause,' the universal place of stopping. The universal moment of reflection." -Alice Walker, We Are the Ones We Have Been Waiting For

Austin Blair cultivates a row of kale while Jamie Thrower, of Studio 13 Designs, takes photos for the curricula.

When I first "Invoked the Pause" in 2012 as a new grant partner, the timing for a pause seemed appropriate. I had a solid rough cut of The Organic Life in place, and I was looking to re-imagine the story while reaching out to like-minded individuals and organizations to help expand the film's reach.

The second pause, taken this year with the support of a "Seeding Possibilities" grant, was undertaken to build two curricula (high school and adult) around the film in preparation for the film's release later this year. The timing for this pause also seemed appropriate, as it gave me the mental time and place to reflect on the past two years, where the film has come from and where it is going.

Now, with the curricula nearly finished, and a stunning movie poster and beautiful press kit ready to be sent out to the film festival masses along with a shiny, new DVD screener, I am reminded by the powerful words of Alice Walker of the necessity for a third pause: to take that moment, much deserved, at the end of something, whatever that may be (in this case, the process of making a movie), and to just be, to sit with all that you have accomplished before experiencing all that is to come. It is important to realize that taking this moment is as important, if not more so, than all that is to come. It is important to understand on a deep level that this stillness is not static but rather an integral part of the dynamic process of self-realization.

As I dream of all of the places the film will ultimately go -- first to festivals, then to community screenings, schools, homes, family farms, and finally to the Internet -- it's hard not to feel a pressing rush to get the film out there; to submit, submit, submit and to do my very best as the director to see the film reach the largest audience possible. Every week now I receive an email from a stranger from Canada, or New York or Los Angeles asking when and where they can see the film. And every week I have to take a deep breath before responding that soon it will be available...but not quite yet. I think a major part of this pause is allowing myself to experience those feelings without feeling rushed or hurried, to not shy away from the possibilities that will come but to not reach out for them just yet. Because the film deserves a moment of stillness, and I've come to realize that I do, too.

To take this pause is to allow all the energy behind the film, all of the energy and resources that were put into it over the past two years and all of the energy compelling the film forward to percolate. This simmering will allow the film and the filmmaker both a rest and also a moment of mental clarity before the next step. Because to take this pause is to understand that there really is no end but rather just a series of continuing beginnings.