I do not watch television.
I do not own a tv.
If I watch tv, it shall never be in the daytime.
If it is in the daytime, it is only because I’m sick.
These are my rules.
The medium stresses me out. I hold my breath when in suspense. I have an outsider’s suspicion of the popular. I can’t sleep for a couple of hours after watching at night. The ads! Ack! I sold advertising for two years and know marketing and watch them wondering how people laugh at the disgusting manipulation! And though I pine for a tv every time a big game comes around–like the NCAA championship tonight–I remain at “no,” I shall not have one in my house.
But here I sit, not sick, the morning sun clear and bright on the street perfectly visible outside my living room windows…and I watch tv. I mean, it’s on a monitor via the web, but still, it’s tv.
I am not cleaning (as planned). I am eating, which is good, as lately I’ve been in a stage of forgetting to eat. But I’m watching Game of Thrones and happy as a clam.
What happened to my rules?
I’m a preacher’s daughter. In our church, going to the movies was the province of the secular world, for less Holy Spirit-filled people. No movies. I saw five before leaving for college. And I actually understand why they forbade them. Movies are powerful vehicles of themes, information, doubts, and titillation over which the church could exercise no control except to forbid it.
But then, the VCR (for you young’uns, like a DVD player) was invented. And the exceptions started flooding through church structures, beginning in the homes of perfectly heart-centered, holy people. I recall noticing a feeling of almost secret chagrin in those who admitted owning one (shame, in other words). Today, going to the movies is acceptable–and perhaps those days are viewed as a more simplistic time.
So technology unmade the movie ban. When does progress unmake my rules? Can it be good?
Sometimes, when I break my own rules, the unexpected happens (though it happens so often, I should expect it). The church discovered the power of the medium as a result of the unmaking of their rule, now using video to more effectively broadcast their message.
And though I sat with some chagrin and shame at “wasting time” in the middle of the day, when I “should be writing” (though, holy moly, did traveling exhaust me this time), I was inspired. Watching Game of Thrones motivated facing down the writing of gut-honest-memoir The Oat Project. How?
Well, I love the book I’m writing. But I also have so. many. screenplays in me, clamoring for life on the page and screen. Watching a well-done story like GoT was awesome.
I am ready to be donedonedone with The Oat Project, get it launched, out there, plan the promotion, the tours, plot the next one on its theme…all so I can unleash the fiction inside of this crazy mind of mine–the screenplays, the sitcoms, the short stories, the children’s books, the novels, the songs, the poems. But first, I must crest the mountain of the First Book.
This line from Sunday’s GoT premiere particularly resonated. It was the former-knight fool’s words to Sansa. “Let my name have one more moment in the sun before it disappears from the world.” I write to merge my light with everyone else’s, to perhaps shine on someone else’s life, to make my life matter before it disappears from the world, a feeling inspired because I made an exception.
I would have made another last night to watch the NCAA championship game, but had no way to watch it, didn’t want to get out, and had stuff to do around the house. I shall make another exception next week with the next installment of Game of Thrones. And let’s just not even get into my subscription to Netflix. Exceptions matter. And they can be good, And I’m okay with that. May we all grow to the place of grace to ourselves when we make exceptions–frivolous or otherwise–so we may use them. Love and hugs to you all this day! Jene’
p.s. This is my “E” day entry for the A to Z April Blogging Challenge. I’m posting 6 days a week for the entire month of April, one post for every letter of the alphabet! This one is late, because traveling messed up my posting. So stay tuned for the other catch-up blogs today and here on out, and check out some of the other 2000+ writers participating.