Know and Listen to Your “Self”

How well do you really know your “self”?

Even if you reinvent yourself by moving to another city, find a new career path, or get involved with new and different people – your “self” will always be there: peeking up from behind, bumping into and whispering those sometimes bitter-sweet truths. Suffice to say, wherever we go, there we are. Optimistically, I do believe our “self” expands, grows, evolves with every new step we take, every new adventure we embark upon and each person that we meet. However, the same pair of eyes stares back at us from the mirror we peer into, regardless of the mirror’s geographical location. And all the travels to foreign lands and nourishing relationships we experience in our life won’t change that.

We are who we are.

For some of you reading this, these words will seem regurgitated, as they’ve been said many times before this post. I suppose I’m writing about the topic today, because I’ve reached an important crossroad in my life. Do I take path A? Path B? Or do I turn around and find another road altogether? For me, knowing who my own “self” is helps shake the sense into making the decision – making the right decision. I’ve lived in various places, been fortunate enough to have traveled throughout the world and met many wonderful people along my “self” journey, but I am who I am regardless of where I am – the free-spirited-gypsy that has only ever wanted to write.

So it would make sense that the writer “self” is the “self” that towers-over, crowds-out and speaks clearly and loudest out of all the other parts of my “self”, so I tend to listen to that “self” more. The writer “self” often wants to speak to me at the most inconvenient times, so I refrain from listening. This is often due to being too caught-up in life, so I sublimate the voice, while the clock tick-tocks and the crossroad glares back at me with anxious anticipation.  

And then on the other end of the more convenient spectrum, there are those times when I lay in bed at night, eyes closed; body tired; breath is heavy-constant; waiting for whatever comes first – the Vampires or sleep to take me, when the writer “self” talks gently, almost subliminally, guiding me through the twisted maze of confusion with her words of resounding wisdom. I listen. And when I awake the next morning, I’m refreshed and resolved. When the crossroads begs the question, “what are you going to do?” I now know with great confidence what the answer is, because it was the advice of my “self” that I finally listened to.


Neve Black

What’s The Big Lebowski Deal?


Out of all the Coen Brother’s brilliant films, The Big Lebowski has always been my least favorite – for good reason though: I never got it. I’d walk away after seeing it, scratching my head and wondering to myself, “what just happened?” I have however been known for giving things a another chance, so when I was invited to go see the movie on the big screen with friends who find merit in this Coen-cult film – and knowing how much I respect their opinions, I decided to go. I pulled together my best Dude outfit and tumble-weeded my way towards the dark theater.

Maybe it was my Dude transformation, the two White Russians I had, my more mature outlook on film analyses (snicker), or maybe it was being in the throes of a theater packed with Big Lebowski fans, because…

Uh, sorry everyone… I was all prepared to talk a good game about existentialism and wow you with some nihilist bullshit, but hell, it would be easier just to ask the brothers themselves about the film. Better yet, ask Frances McDermott, because I think I read somewhere that it was a friend of hers that wrote the script.

So, suffice to say, I can’t lie to you and say I had an epiphany after seeing the film this time and now I completely and fully understand what the hidden meaning is behind it – unfortunately, I walked out of the theater, once again not really getting it. What I do really like about the film and have always understood, other than it’s well-crafted with good writing, acting and a funny plot-line is it’s a tribute to Los Angeles. The film referenced facts, historical figures and places only someone that really appreciates Los Angeles could know.

Okay, so there might be a smidgen of tongue-’n-cheek love of LA going on here, because there was that scene about Malibu… but come on, Malibu really stands up and begs to get picked on. I suppose one could argue that Los Angeles does have an abundance of smoke and mirrors going on, mostly because of the Hollywood scene. There doesn’t seem to be a shortage of plastic body parts, plastic money and plastic cars, so it makes it even more difficult to look pass the veneer and see things and see people for what and who they really are. Sometimes after you strip everything down to its naked soul, you still might find you don’t like what you see, but sometimes you find a real gem, like the warmth, compassion and honesty the Coen’s found in The Dude. And The Dude, well that feller, he was from Los Angeles.


The Dude Abides
Neve Black