As I stated in an earlier post, in October of this year, 2010, I was in Lisbon, Portugal on a meeting planning trip with Paragon International, Inc. The trip there has turned out to be one of the synchronous events which has led me to making this voyage in May of 2011.
Prior to flying to Lisbon, my life changed in a big way. Two days before I left, I realized the finality of being a cast away had been hammered home in my brain. Signs were there long before that, but my own selfish wishes blocked the reality of a life that was not meant to be. The realization of a freedom to choose became real…desired or not.
As the aircraft I was on was descending towards Lisbon over the Atlantic Ocean, my soul through my eyes was glued out the window looking at the sea, anticipating what I would see on the coast of Portugal. At a few thousand feet, the rocky coast appeared into view. I saw ocean swells hitting the rocky points with perfect waves wrapping around them and breaking on sandy bays in between the cliffs…just like the West Coast of the Untied States…just like California. Upon landing in Lisbon and leaving the airport into the air of Portugal, I felt a peacefulness. When I lived in San Francisco, California, I felt more home there than any place I had ever lived and one element of that home was the comfortable dry climate of the region. Smelling and feeling that air for the first time was a wonderful experience. As we rode to the Dom Pedro Palace Hotel in downtown Lisbon, I noticed the topography and Architecture. The vegetation on that topography reminded me again of San Francisco. I had a smile on my face all the way to the Hotel.
That day we, the Paragon Team, had a short meeting with the Hotel staff after unpacking our stuff. The rest of the day and night was spent experiencing the sights of Lisbon and a trip to the Coast. The entire time, while taking everything in, I heard my inner voice tell me, “this is the place”…a feeling of calm surround me…I felt like I had come home.
That night after adjusting to the local time and after having been awake for almost 24 hours, I checked my email. I received an email from a filmmaker in Wilmington, NC, Joseph Simpkins, asking me to play a role in a short film he wanted to make for the Final Cut Film Festival during the week after I returned back to Wilmington from Portugal. At the time, the title of the film was not known to me, nor was it in the script he sent me after I agreed to play the role…a role of an angelic character which would afford the chance to a human to make a choice about sacrificing his life for another. Later in the week, while still in Lisbon, Joseph sent me the latest script with the title, “The Choice”.
Upon reflection shortly after making the film in mid-October of 2010 and up to this moment as I write this post, I think about the serendipity of being a part of that film. Choices in life always require some level of thought…thoughts which require analysis of situations and the affect our choices will have on ourselves and others. Some choices are small…some just the opposite…some affecting our continued existence. The point is, this choice I have made is the sum total of a life lived thus far…thought which required much analysis…and this choice will continue to involve analysis of my entire past. The choice will affect my future…I’m thinking in a very positive way. We all have come to points in our lives where we are confronted with major life choices…
The video in this post is the Trailer for “The Choice” by All For One Films. Written and Directed by Joseph Simpkins. Director of Photography, Alex Chatfield. Camera, Jared Knecht. Of interesting note, Michael Rosander won Best Actor in the festival and will be “the Voice” you will hear in “Changing Course”. The film also won The Audience Choice Award, Best Drama and 2nd Place Overall.