January 23, 2007

What do Robin Williams, Maui, a Manuscript and an Elevator Have to Do with Inquiry?

So there I was with a friend in a fancy hotel elevator—I had been excited to show her the elevator, it was ornate and beautiful—when the comedic actor Robin Williams entered and I was dopily star-struck. He was always my fantasy choice to play the role of my father if ever my magnum opus about our relationship got published and optioned for a film. (It's probably the best thing I have ever written. The New Yorker even rejected it with a handwritten "Sorry.")

Williams, as it turns out, is a lovely man, friendly and helpful. In my nervousness at being so close to him, I was dropping things and he kindly assisted me by taking my tote bag. Out tumbled a typed and bound copy of my "Daddy" story. R.W. picked up the manuscript and noticing the title ("The Ride of His Life"), became interested and told me (he didn't ask) that he was taking it away with him to read. I was hesitant but my friend, suddenly acting as my agent, overroad my modest protests and told him where we could be reached. "How incredible was that?" I asked as we left him in the elevator and entered our beautiful suite. "Not incredible," she said, "It's a great story, he should read it!"

As is my habit/addiction, I immediately plugged in my laptop to check my email. There was a message, complete with lush photos of my last visit, from my friend on Maui who was urging me to move there. "Come on," she wrote, "Look how happy you look in these photos. You know you've always wanted to live here so why not just do it?" As I read her words, I thought about how much I hold back my own happiness and that it was high time this behavior stopped.

Soon afterwards, Robin Williams dropped by our suite, told me that he loved my "Daddy" story and would be discussing it with a big Hollywood producer later that day. My friend received this news as an "of course." I thanked R.W. profusely and when he left, I plopped down in a big cushy chair, amazed and elated. "Wow," I thought, "Even if it doesn't happen, what an honor that he is even interested in this."

That's when I woke up from my night dream (you may now groan). Yes, this was but a dream...I have never met Robin Williams, never had a story optioned for a film, have never considered moving to Maui (I've never even visited the island) and I have no idea where that ornate elevator came from.

Why, then, days later, do I still feel so great about this dream? I think it is about being open to something wonderful being possible while remaining fully content with what's happening now, which is also wonderful until I say it is not.

I had a similar reaction, in waking life, to seeing a townhouse I fell in love with some months ago: it had a fireplace, a skylight, the kind of live and work space I required and it overlooked a lagoon with wonderful aquatic birds. It was conveniently located and the complex had a beautiful swimming pool. I spoke to the neighbors; they all agreed it was a great place to live. There was no way I could afford it and yet I walked away from the place smiling; I was so open to having it, or something like it, when and if the time is right...and I was so open to returning to my own home. I felt privileged even to see the townhouse and joyous to know it existed.

Huh? What about the "Law of Attraction" and all that? Shouldn't I have done some incantations or created some treasure maps to make that townhouse happen for me? And what about that dream, wasn't it a sign from above that I need to move to Maui, ride up (how symbolic that we only rode upstair!) in fancy hotel elevators more often and make sure I get that story into Robin Williams' hands?

Apparently I shouldn't, for I am not feeling compelled to move on any of this at the moment. I might look into contacting R.W (I can't see why not)...I have a hunch that I might like to live in San Diego someday if not Maui...and meanwhile, the sun is shining today in Santa Cruz and I'm having a wonderful time here spinning this tale, although I understand there is a gunman situation happening in the restaurant downstairs while I write this and all sorts of interesting things are happening in the world/my mind that could shake me from my peace if I attached to them.

As for opportunities, they are everywhere and an open, inquiring mind realizes this. In my dream, "I" demurred when R.W. wanted to read my story; my "friend," who I see as myself with some awareness, couldn't see a reason why he shouldn't read it nor could she fathom that he wouldn't love it. The mind questioned later in the dream ("Why not just do it?") revealed how I react when I believe my thoughts of "not good enough," or "nothing wonderful ever happens to me." I don't do the things I say I want to do; I find excuses, "yeahbuts." It's because I am attached to outcome. What if the T.V. producer says no? An open mind sees this as an opportunity also; something else, something as wonderful or more wonderful, is supposed to happen instead.

And I am so open to running into Robin Williams in an elevator, I cannot even begin to tell you.

©2007 by Carol L. Skolnick. All rights reserved.


Heidi said...

Love love love your story, dear Carol. Aren't dreams amazing? Both the "good" ones and the "bad" ones, I find! They always turn out to be good... as our friend Katie says, everything is done for me, not to me. I just love how creative my dreams are in pointing out where I'm keeping myself small, what old things I might have a look at and inquire, etc etc... Thank you, Carol. And here's to your movie starring Robin! Who'll play you?

Carol L. Skolnick said...

I'd love to play myself but in Hollywood terms I'm way too old for the role. :-) We can just put a brunette wig on the kid from "Little Miss Sunshine," she'll be old enough by the time it's optioned, bought, a screenplay is written, and funds are raised! By the way, the little photo I posted of R.W. and Shelley Duvall from "Popeye" looks so much like my parents back in the day, right down to the facial expressions, that it's scary.

Ed Reif said...

Living in LA, it is a lot easier to run into Robin Williams in an elevator--and I have---Isn't he great"It's not your fault Shaun!" GW Hunting...

You are a wonderful writer. I'm intrigued.


Ed Reif said...

Shift Happens- My best friend in Venice, CA is Cheryl Hamada, a reiki Master Teacher


She practices Katie without having read her--how about that.

Carol L. Skolnick said...

Ed, it doesn't surprise me that your friend practices "Katie" on her own. Some would say that Katie practices "Buddha," or at the very least "Albert Ellis," without having read anything about them either! Katie herself says we all have equal wisdom. However we tap into it, it's a blessing. I had done and read a lot of stuff but it took BK to get through to me. There are parallels to The Work and Reiki also but that is a topic for a whole column!

Thanks for writing.