Awash in wildflowers…

…and basking in beauty, that’s the summer of 2011. Hello World has been beached (blossomed) for a solid year following her crippling injury 30 miles north of Chicago that ended our 2010 expedition.

She’s communing with the flox and vetch across the street, waiting for repairs. Patrick and I are converting a storage shed into a workshop and that’s where she’ll be before the snow flies. I’ll mend her over the winter.

Meanwhile, she’s watching over another exploration of sustainability – the Lauren di Scipio memorial vegetable garden.  I’ve followed the weed free (layer cake) method – with commercial organic soil in some beds and composted horse poop from Willy and Marijke Church in others. Unfortunately, the entire plot is shadowed by the backyard bluff and misses most of the morning sun. The corn patch is growing in a wedge shape, plants are progressively lower the closer they are to the bluff. There couldn’t be a clearer demonstration of solar power.

So what’s the prognosis for Around Lake Michigan, Search for Sustainable Civilizations? Will there be another expedition? What about posting movies from the rest of the 2010 expedition? What the hell has Dan Kelly been doing for the last year?!

After the 2010 expedition ended, I decided to leave NYC and return to Michigan full time. I enjoyed the summer on Crystal Lake, intent on posting the expedition movies and evaluating the project. The abrupt end of the sailing may have been more discouraging than I was able to admit, my passion for the project waned and… I got distracted.

In August, documentation for Gertrude flowed into discussions about starting a performance company, which ultimately triggered a traumatic misunderstanding. Though our friendship has bounced back, we’ve since steered clear of any significant collaborations.

In September the lads and I joined my brother Mike for a trip down the San Juan River in Utah. My no jet travel protocol and recent ALM experience prompted me to do a little trickstery critique of James Weston’s Africa documentary in November.

Speaking of James, my experience with Mykl Werth’s partner dance methodology started an extensive exploration of how Mykl’s classroom technique could be translated to video. We started in October but by the spring of 2011, disagreements with Mykl about the business model ended the project.

Also in September, the Trickster Pictures motion graphics show reel was re-activated, featuring work by myself and the Bear Lake Kelly brothers. We posted Version 0.9 in May of 2011.

From October 2010 – March 2011, I taught Tai Chi at Studio on Main in Frankfort, which Patrick and I have since moved to the house. Joe Cissel, Patrick and I were also teaching ourselves combat mime for most of the winter.

In the spring, I conned James into forming a production affinity group, the Michigan Movie Makers. After the first meeting, James was off to film school in Montana,  but fortunately a slew of other local production VIPs have stepped into the breach. M3 had a presence at the recent Traverse City Film Festival, and I ended up volunteering for the TCFF video team and helping to edit a video for the Awards Ceremony.

The inventory of distractions wouldn’t be complete if I didn’t mention the house I’d neglected for the last 6 years. The furnace was toast, skylights leaking, etc. Still some stabilization required before real weather returns.

In the fall of 2010, I made a commitment to focus on current projects and not start any new ones. The Gertrude and Mykl dalliances were definitely new business – and they both tanked. M3 is also new business but has been justified as support for my relocated production presence. The other initiatives were arguably old business and have reached various stages of completion. However the two most important pre-existing projects – Daughter of God and Around Lake Michigan – have not been touched!

I haven’t been eating lotus only, progress has been made on various fronts and life is good. I even have a steady girlfriend and the possibility of an instant family.

But… I’m done with distractions. Now let’s be a laser beam, it’s time to make my movies. Since DOG has been on the back burner the longest, it’s first in the queue.

ALM is right after DOG. If we count the reconstruction of Hello World this fall, ALM will be happening concurrently to some degree. The next expedition of ALM will have to be re-thought if it’s going to accommodate sailing, movie making and distribution all at once. After Fukushima, I’ve been thinking about all those reactors I sailed by. What chance does a powered down civilization have surrounded by nuclear bombs? 10,000 years of toxic threat seems pretty daunting, maybe ALM needs a tighter focus.

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