Saturday, November 3, 2007

Saturdays are not always fun

When I was a child Saturday was a day of fun. Market, rollerskating madly about the roller rink with a hundred other kids , the Saturday matinee at the Savoy with cartoons and serials and popcorn and as much noise from screaming as the winning moment of the World Series and just not having to get up for school provided the anchor to bliss. A day of escape; no school, no violin practice and homework relegated to Sunday. Could I have asked for anything more? Now I check my email and get to read the New York Times on line and become immersed in crossword puzzles that stump me with unfaltering regularity. It has become a habit, Saturday and has lost some of its charm for I am not a weekly worker with days off to relish. Nonetheless I mark it with memories and find myself still looking forward to it as a somehow special day. I had sad news today that a five day old baby I did not know, the granddaughter of a friend, has not survived and succumbed to a heart problem and this has left me empty. I grieve and well could grieve for all those passing onward without the joy of participating in life to the fullest. Each of us is so lucky to be here on earth to visit for our time. It is a gift somehow that is bestowed in some miraculous way. To think and act and be a part of it all is the gift. I am fortunate. I try to contribute now to others, through my work on film sets sharing my knowledge and energy with all who come in contact with me. It is great fun for I am old and yet belie the fact both in my look and my deportment. My energy is high and my body as active as it always has been. So I can well be joyful and thankful too. So many are not up to snuff by the time they are 70. I am blessed. Some ask me how it is that I am this way and I have no answer that can satisfy, other than it must be just how I came together in the beginning. I have no secret. No special diet or regimen that I can spout as to how I am this way. So it is incumbent on me to use myself as best I can to love each day as though it was always Saturday when I was 10.
Impending strike the New York times headline says looms over the Writer's Guild in America and so thousands of people wait for Monday to hear if it is on or off. Long months ago the studios began to stockpile movies and the series rushed through episodes to ensure product for their many fans. It is like preparing for a long hard winter and putting down preserves to last. And all those who will be affected, the actors and the crews and the catering services and the hotels where visiting stars stay, wait to find out what will happen. It is too bad that we have not learned how to share appropriately with each other and now we are beholden to profit margins in board rooms that have no windows. I wish it were otherwise but it is not. The ultimate casino, the stock market now rules. Alas. And the Pharmaceutical industry is front and centre when it comes to profit at all costs. I read today too that now they are being called to task over cold remedies that are being used on children and that they are not as safe as once thought. They should be tested on children before they are deemed good, is the cry. I do not think I would want any child to be a guinea pig for a medicine of any kind. Sounds dangerous. But then drugs today are becoming more and more dangerous and companies try to fight against disease in more and more exotic chemical ways. The damage done to the wonderful animal, man, in order to get him better is amazing. I seem to be a chemical, electrical machine of some sort, beautifully crafted and balanced to work perfectly. To change the inner balances by killing parts of it which are deemed bad is to deny ourselves the chance to let our bodies rebalance themselves. To mask areas of discomfort with drugs is to deny us our birth rights to my mind. To use antibiotics on the body we seem hell bent on changing the natural dynamic of the body. I endorse and use Homeopathic remedies when I am ill. The remedies encourage the vital force of the body to wake up and do the work necessary to rebalance things. I cannot speak of chronic ailments with any studied background but I have experience in acute illnesses and how they were alleviated through the use of Homeoapthica and Flower remedies. I can tell you that the arthritis that plagued my left hand in 1987 does not bother me today. I can tell you some with experiences I gained on sets where I work, that for pain I use Arnica Montana in a homeopathic dose. It does not mask the pain like a pain killer does but the pain goes away. It has no side effects and I have watched many a sufferer feel better before my eyes. Working on cement floors of studios, standing for hours my lower back begins to ache. I cannot count the times I have taken a pill of Arnica to relieve the pain and succeed every time. On sets people often call me Dr. John which makes me laugh for I am not a doctor but do carry many remedies and diagnosing books and if people come to me for help I show them the page for the problem they have and they pick the remedy, and if I have it and they want it, I will give it to them. I then watch what happens and I have shared some huge laughs with people who never in their wildest dreams thought the pill taken would bring any relief. In truth, I am often amazed too. But my hundreds of experiences personally and with others has lead me to embrace the remedies wholeheartedly.
The first shot we took on "You Stupid Man" was in New York city on the West Side Running Track. A long dolly had been set up and our three main actors were going to walk and talk as they cooled down from jogging. William Baldwin and David Krumholtz were two of the players in the scene. Just as we were about to do our last rehearsal my constant companion Dana Ishiura came running over to me. "Your dolly grip is over there on the bench. He sneezed and his nose started to bleed. He says it has happened before and if it does not stop in a minute he will have to go to the hospital and have it cauterized. He shoved kleenex up his nostril and says the blood is running down his throat. Do you have that remedy that was used on the horse?" "Yes, it's in my bag in a milk white plastic bottle. Its Ferrum something or Phosphorous something." She went running and I went back to work wondering what I was going to do without this man who was in charge of the dolly that was key to the shot.
I began to get everyone ready and the same grip ambled over. There was no kleenex up his nostril. "I never thought that pill would do anything. I've taken tons of pills. I just took it to make your girl friend happy. What's in that stuff." The moment was devine for me. The horse story goes like this. I was in Budapest at the hotel in the coffee lounge trading stories bout homeopathic cures I had seen and our sound man's wife said she had a horse that was in her stable and someone had broken a pop bottle and not cleaned up the pieces and the horse bit into the glass and lacerated its palate and was bleeding profusely. She called the Vet and he came at once but said there was nothing he could do to help for even if he knocked the horse out he could not repair the damage done to the roof of its mouth. The horse would either stop bleeding on its own or would die. The lady remembered she was taking a Homeopathic remedy for excessive bleeding during her menstrel cycle and in desperation ran and got the pills and put some in the horses mouth. She said the horse stopped bleeding within two minutes much to the Vet and her surprise. I was lucky Dana was there and remembered the story for the remedy worked as well on that grip as it did on the horse. That man treated me with the utmost respect for the 5 days we shot in New York and whenever he had a spare moment he would tell me about medical problems he or his family members were suffering from and I would get out my books and find the page for him to read and he would read and make notes. It was most gratifying for me and I am sure if he followed up on his notes that he too would be admired for the cures he helped exact. Below is a picture of Denise Richards who was painted to look clothed for a shot in You Stupid man. It was a two hour paint job and she was patient and relaxed through the whole boring proceedure.

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