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It appears that a simple function termed threading of film onto a projector eludes me.  Baffles me even after some time and effort spent cleaning the very old equipment and online searching for helpful how-to instructions.  Not surprising I suppose ~ this road block of sorts.  After all, this is no ordinary antique projector.  This is my adoptive parent’s projector and the 8mm and super 8mm film reels housed in their bright yellow Kodak cardboard boxes hold family history  family secrets  family surprises.  This film plays silently with only the loud thrum of the machinery accompanying the grainy color images. 

At least that is how I remember the viewings as a child and young adult when after much pleading, my mother would finally acquiesce, giving my father permission to haul out the projector and the film.  As adopted daughters, my sister and I, yearned even more than the average kid to see again and again the evidence of our belonging, of our history.  A history that only went back to when we arrived in America, bought by these White American parents.  I was a Korean adoptee and so was my sister, arriving from different backgrounds and first families to form our very own little tribe of two in a land where no one looked like us ~ to a land where for all of our childhoods we were known as The Adopted Korean Girls. 

Fast forward many years and here you will find me.  Finally pushing through my myriad of fears, resistance and ambivalence to allow myself to figure out another piece of my foundation.  Sounds heavy for such a simple task of figuring out an old projector and watching a few canisters of film.  Simple or not, these actions have been many years in the making. 

It seems that the gathering of our lives lived through memories, yearnings, wishes and dreams is a life long journey.  A journey which offers experiences of joy, sadness, grief, longing, laughter, anger, tears, breath taking ah-ha’s, rage and acceptance.  I figure that I am somewhere a little past mid-way of this journey of this life time and it is looking more possible than naught that there will be future viewings of these little films.  Where those particular pieces of the puzzle will fit is not quite clear, yet.  Thankfully there is a focusing mechanism on this antiquated projector. 


You know that scene in Out of Africa where Robert Redford says to Meryl Streep, “Don’t move, be still”? I might be mis-quoting just a little since it has been quite a long time since I got all steamy hot watching their hot hot love scene ~ but the quote is close enough. Redford’s command to Streep was sexy and full of promise of lustful fulfillment.

Long pause with a rewind or two in my my mind’s eye of that terrifically sensual and sexual scene.

I’m back.

Well, my current be still edict is a far cry from that movie clip. So far removed, in fact, that there can be little to no comparison. I must admit that my intro was simply a cheap erotic ploy at grabbing the reader’s interest.

Mea culpa.

Basically I am commanded to be still to assist the Epley head manipulations to work by allowing the crystals in my inner ears to settle back into the place where they are supposed to reside instead of where they have been free floating. Free floating and prancing about doing the macarena or the electric slide, all of which trigger the violent episodes of vertigo in their host. ME.

The manipulation I received yesterday was the fourth so far with others planned for next week. After each treatment, I must hold my head as still as humanly possible ~ no tilting forward or back, for 48 hours. The fact that I must sleep upright is a no biggy at this point since that has been my sleeping position for going on 11 months now.

This vertigo condition has me by the short hairs. I’m out of rope, man. All done in.

For each step forward, I get knocked down and back 2 or 3.

What I would give to take Meryl’s part in that one clip. I’ll take a pass on the rest of her ordeal, including battling the STD – I guess you have to see the movie to know what I’m talking about. But that one bedroom scene with Redford in his younger years… Yep, for being in Ms. Streep’s role in that one scene, I would risk lying down.

I think I could do an excellent job at being still.

Interesting. The first thoughts that graze our waking mind on a Sunday morning. Demands of the work week are not as present and pushing at the periphery. Instead, they wait their turn confident in the knowing that they occupied a huge part of the dreamscape. The work worries are patient and make space for that first thought to scan across the mind’s eye so unobtrusively at first that the thinker barely notices the scrolling word.

Johnny Cammareri.

Everybody’s waiting for Johnny Cammareri.

Remember that scene in Moonstruck where Loretta and her family, along with Johnny’s brother Ronnie, are waiting anxiously in Rose’s kitchen for Johnny’s arrival? Loretta has a “love bite” on her throat and Rose has pinched her daughter, hard, and told Loretta that she is throwing her life down the tubes (or something to that effect).

Well, for whatever first thoughts are worth, Johnny Cammareri, was mine. This morning.


Maybe the smile I was left with after the thought circled back and came around again ~ of Rita scampering down the hall sing-songing, Johnny Cammareri’s at the door ~ I’ll get it. See there it is, again.

The smile. Right here. On my face. Lips and eyes.

November 2019
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