Monday, March 31, 2014

digging deep




Between my finger and my thumb   
The squat pen rests; snug as a gun.
~ Seamus Heaney                                          

[Note:  Click here to read the rest of the poem “Digging” 
by Irish poet Seamus Heaney. 
And click here to read an AMERICA Magazine column 
on Seamus Heaney’s poetry by Michael Doyle]

My middle daughter was at our house the night of the Academy Awards. She’s the daughter who happens to have a degree in film and loves to write film reviews. I love watching events like this with her because her depth of knowledge and interest in all-things-media inevitably surprises me—and I seem to be a life-long student at her feet!

I sat down to watch as 70-year-old  Robert De Niro and Penelope Cruz walked up to a podium and began to read the script for the Oscar for “Best Adapted Screen Play.”

The mind of a writer can be a truly terrifying thing,” read De Niro in his best annoyed, irritated, bad-boy voice.
“Isolated, neurotic, caffeine-addled, crippled by procrastination and consumed by feelings of panic, self loathing and soul crushing inadequacy… and that’s on a good day.”
The audience roared with laughter. I, on the other hand, felt like someone had opened my brain, grabbed inside, and put into words my deepest insecurities. The truth is he had me at “The mind of a writer can be a truly terrifying thing!”

“Yes, but if everything goes well,” interrupted Penelope Cruz in her beautiful Spanish accent, in the end… there is a [fill in the blank: screenplay, or novel, or book manuscript, or article].”


And so ended the best-written introduction to an Academy Award category of the entire evening.