“We forget the beautiful values in life so easily, but your film and the words that you shared with the audience tonight reminded me of what can happen if we remember again. Your work helps us remember that beauty.”
This was a note (loosely translated to English) written to us by Ine Kim, a musician and the woman who organized a screening of Final Straw at Soso Bookstore in Jinju just last week. As Suhee and I sat and read the note it made us think: maybe that’s all we need right now, to remember the truth that is inside each of us, to reconnect with that truth.
Also at the screening last week was Bomnoonbyul, a Korean musician who helped with our soundtrack, and during the post-screening talk, he mentioned that there are people who see our film — or any other example of people following the truth inside them — and after seeing these stories or acts, they say to themselves, “well that is great, but those people are extraordinary and I am not. I can’t possibly do that.”
To respond, we asked the audience to acknowledge that there is a truth inside of every single person, everyone sitting in the bookstore, everyone outside, all Koreans, all Americans, all the people of every place on this earth. Everyone has a seed of truth inside of them, a seed of nature. We have this seed because we are all born of and nature of this universe.
So the issue is not that we are “not extraordinary enough” but rather that, although each of us has an extraordinary seed inside of us, the habits of our contemporary urban lives — from the food we eat to the jobs we work to the television we watch — do not nourish this seed. As a result, it seems difficult for us to take the actions that we know inside ourselves are right and just.
But the seed is there, always. We are born with it, and it never goes away, and all we have to do is water it, feed it a bit, let the sun shine on it.
One of the things that our film can accomplish is to water the seed inside of ourselves. A good book can do this too, as can a soulful musical performance or the simple spoken word. Perhaps even more simple, the act of getting out into nature can nourish our individual seed too, whether it’s the deep forest or an urban natural garden.
Having grown up near California’s northern coast, I often remind myself that one of the oldest, most giant living things on earth — a towering Coast Redwood tree that was born around the same time as Jesus and Buddha — was sprouted from a single seed. This single seed in turn gave birth to a lush and bio-diverse forest full of plant and animal life. Like the redwood tree, there is a seed inside of each of us, too. Thinking of the redwood reminds me that we each have an extraordinary right and responsibility to water our own seed and to care for it so that we might enjoy the privilege to watch this beautiful miracle sprout inside us as our seed and the seeds of our neighbors grow in concert to enrich this earth and this life.
We can all find truth inside ourselves, and we can all follow that truth. There is no saying “I can’t” or “It’s too late for me” because the seed is always there in everyone, and any time is the right time to nurture that seed, watch it grow, and enjoy the benefits for yourself and those around you who make up your human garden.
Tour Update / April 14 2016: This week we are preparing for an extensive 10-week tour of Japan, if you are out there you can see the tour schedule (in Japanese) at this link. More updates here as we continue the journey of sharing this work, hoping to inspire the watering of more individual seeds!