In 1997, I followed an urge to drive down to the Union Street theater in San Francisco at midnight to watch the first run of Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil. The theater was notable for its emptiness. There were about a dozen of us assembled for the production. Everyone else was asleep so they could get up for the stock brokering or banking job. Among the crowd though was Mayor Willie Brown. I felt honored to sit in the back and overhear his conversations with the people next to him. He was admiring his friend Mr. Eastwood who directed the film. It was a magical night at the witching hour. Made possible by following a hint in the air.
One of my favorite films. If you get a chance, watch it again and remember why it’s important.
As I watched the first half of the film again this evening I was reminded of the importance of many of the scenes. Tone. Midnight may be dark to some. To others, the moon is like a sunrise. There is no evil inherent to the lesser shades of light. It’s all power. Energy in flow. Being in synch with that flow allows you access to the energy. Like wind in your sail. Where you take the boat is up to you. Following the flow and filtering it through yourself is what makes it “good” or “evil” in the eyes of whoever perceives your work and in your own eyes. Ultimately, if you know your direction is an honorable one, that it does no harm, that it fills a need of your path of progress, then you’re most likely right. Trusting that guidance brings about miraculous things.
I created a new poetic structure tonight. Haven’t named it yet. It consists of eight lines per stanza, 12 and 13 iambs, and an almost-symmetrical rhyme scheme. The rhythm begins as a sign wave then flattens out before moving up or moving down. This is the reflection of the rhythm of the relationship I’m documenting within the poem. I’ve titled it “Successful Mistakes.”
I believe that mistakes can be useful when you give them the proper tone. Look at them with the right perspective – in hindsight. Too often, people start out on a path to complete a goal, happen upon a mistake, and then give up. To most people, mistakes equate to failure. To me, the only failure is the end of trying. When you are synchronized with the energy flow around you, even mistakes can be stepping stones to where you want to be. Mistakes are the missing links between your logical steps. Shifts to the errors you may have made in planning. If you feel you’re in flow and your Cheshire smile just can’t be beat, don’t worry about encountering mistakes here and there. They may take you to memorable experiences, chance meetings with amazing situations and brushes with greatness. You might also run into the woman that changes everything. I did.