We started out before dawn. We had a full day’s drive ahead of us, to Traverse City, Michigan for the first screening of our film, Opening Our Eyes. Tom and I were driving in from New Jersey, and meeting Erin in Ann Arbor. She was taking the Mega bus from Chicago with a friend and we’d all drive the last leg up to Traverse City together.
As we turned onto Route 80, headed west for the next 500 miles, I was struck by what I saw – the most gigantic, perfectly full moon, I have ever seen in my life. There it hung on the horizon dead ahead of us as we drove for almost an hour – a brilliant white circle pointing the way.
I’ve always felt like I’ve been ruled by the moon. Born under the sign of Cancer and with the surname of Mooney, I guess you could say that I’m a true “moon child”. And I really do feel the influences of the cycle of the moon. But I’ve never seen the moon that big and so clearly defined as it lingered there in the sky. It felt comforting to me after the last couple of weeks which have been filled with the anxiety of getting ready for this trip.
It’s been a long time coming – the making of this film – in fact, it’s been a little more than a year and a half since we first put up this website. We’ve traveled through 17 countries on over 30 flights, came back with over 150 hours of footage and 5000 still images and have spent the last six months in post production, editing this film.
There have been high points and lows along the way and finally – this Sunday, July 17th our efforts will be realized as we screen a sneak preview at the State Theater. Friends are coming to join us from all over the country. Our executive producer is flying in from Los Angeles, Erik, our editor is driving from Philadelphia and Erin is coming up from Chicago with friends.
Many people have asked me why Traverse City, Michigan. Well, I have a couple of reasons. My mother’s side of the family is from that part of the country and I have a lot of family there – enough to fill seats on a summer weekend morning. Traverse City is an absolutely beautiful place to be in the summer with the abundance of water all around it. And it gives us another opportunity to do another screening on Thursday, July 21st in Detroit where our two North American subjects live – Marian Kramer and Maureen Taylor.
I have a big birthday coming up this week – my 60th. It freaks me out a bit to even write that because I sure don’t feel like 60 years old – or at least how I perceived a 60 year old to be. That what comes when one listens to their voice inside – and that voice is ageless. I feel good and I can’t think of a better way to spend this milestone birthday – showing my film to friends and family.
My emotions are running the gamut from being ultra excited to wanting to puke from anxiety and everything in between. This chapter is finally coming to a close. And yet I feel like a new beginning is about to erupt in my life. That’s the exciting part. As Forest Gump said “Life is like a box of chocolates – you never know what you’re going to get”.