Open Letters, Thoughts of the Day

An Open Letter to Bryan Fuller

I’ve been in a daze these last few days. I’m somewhere between complete serenity and a glass case of emotion.

All of which is because of you Bryan Fuller and your gut-wreching, tear-jerking, cringeworthy, nothing short of beautiful, masterpiece that is Hannibal.

I’ve come to find that most of my emotional experiences come from the books I’ve read. My imagination is given the ability to take the emotion to heart or leave it on the page. With television, you see the emotion right in front of you. That can either heighten your own emotions or it can lessen them. Words–and their ability to make us feel multiple emotions at once– tend to make me more emotional than the visual I usually see.

However, this wasn’t the case with the series finale of HannibalUnknown-1

The word spoken and their visual affect gave me one of the most visceral experiences I’ve had in a long time. I was thrown all around the emotional spectrum and I’ve just now found my way back. I experienced disgust, pain, self-realization (leading to self-actualization), fear, love and finally understanding. Understanding of the self, others, and the world around us.

The story of the Red Dragon brought out the broad range the human being (and thus its psyche) has the ability to go through. The realization of just how much a person is capable of when put in the right circumstances. Just how far you’re willing to push yourself or let yourself be pushed. How close you can come to the edge and the sudden realization that there isn’t always a way back. And finding acceptance in that inevitability.

Many of my emotions could have come from the basic knowledge that Hannibal is indeed over. Which I sure many of them did. After all, the final course has ended and the table has been cleared. But my cravings are far from subsiding.

When I first started watching Hannibal, my initial focus became about the gruesome and the grotesque. How disturbing what I was watching actually was. But that’s not what has stuck with me through these 3 short years. Instead, Bryan, you’ve given me characters that I can’t get out of my head. The relationships they acquire and develop as the series goes on is what kept me coming back for more.

Will Graham and Hannibal Lector. Two of the most real depictions of the vast range of humanity I’ve seen on tv in a long time. Their individual selves are complicated. But those complications are nothing short of human (whether morality and/or empathy is included in that depends on the individuals thought on what it means to be human). So human, in fact, that when asked to describe their relationship to someone who has never seen the show, I find it to be a massive feat. (Once I obviously stop gushing about the fact that they should immediately stop what they’re doing and watch it).

The Will-Hannibal relationship is at many times indescribable. They love each other and they hate each other. They mistrust their trust in each other. They understand what is commonly misunderstood about each other. They put up walls against each other and yet they are laid raw in front of the other. Their honestly comes in fragments but those truths come together in the end. Because the simple truth is, at the end of the day, they need each other. They need each other, like they need air to breathe. Like Will needs his dogs and Hannibal needs his cutlery. Will and Hannibal are two individuals who have managed the incredible feat of becoming one with another person on multiple levels.

Hannibal has taught me many things about the human condition in the most elegant, bloody and beautiful way possible. We all want to be needed. We all want to be understood. We all want to be accepted. Realizing you need someone isn’t necessarily a bad thing. If this needing leads to self-actualization in some way, maybe it’s the best thing for you.

UnknownBut please don’t misunderstand me Bryan, I have no naive misgivings about what’s really going on here. Will and Hannibal have time and time again destroyed each other. They relationship is nothing short of destructive. Hannibal is a murderer. He’s Hannibal the Cannibal. But Hannibal is also human. A human who has crossed over to the other side and doesn’t have a way back. Although I cannot say that he necessarily wants one. Will Graham is also human and has consistently struggled with his own becoming. As we all do, I suppose.

These men aren’t the role models to seek out. But they represent a struggle that we, as human beings, go through on a daily basis. Discovering an understanding about ourselves in and of itself is difficult. But learning to accept, question, and come to terms with the things we’ve done, what we’re doing, and what we will do is a whole different beast. But this can lead us to who we really are, after it all.

We all have our own journeys to take and Hannibal has taken me on a journey. A journey that I refuse to let end. Hannibal showed us human greatness and let us know that our capabilities are endless.

Thank you, Bryan and your brilliant and effervescent team, for giving me everything I didn’t know I needed. I will continue to savor every second of it.

Daily Post Challenges, Open Letters

An Open Letter to My Inner Demon

Picture the one person in the world you really wish were reading your blog. Write her or him a letter.

Dear the demon currently taking up space in the back of my head,

You seem to have gotten the wrong impression. I’d apologize for that but it’s you whose making me feel guilty when I shouldn’t. So I’m going to be very straight forward with you from here on out.

I did not invite you here. You came of your own volition and you’ve set up camp. You must have spent a fortune on that tent because those poles are sturdy and dug in deep. Every time I try and excavate you, you seem to only add more poles. Your tent keeps getting larger. It steadily increases in size and mundane possessions day by day.

I’ll say it again. You’re not welcome here. There is no room for you at the table. You can’t sit with me. You’re rude and annoying and obnoxious. You sit there on your little brown log, grilling sausages and tell me things that I don’t want to hear and saying things that make me feel small. I don’t appreciate your bullying. It’s unkind and unnecessary and you are simple inconsiderate.

You make me second guess myself and tell me that what I do and what I want is wrong, unworthy, impossible. You tell me that my desires are unprecedented. That those things don’t and should not happen to me.

You whisper in my ear one minute and scream at me the next. You don’t seem to know when to keep quiet. You don’t seem to know when you’re unwanted. You’re too busy telling me that I’m unwanted. That I’m not worth it.

I should cut out your tongue so you can no longer speak. But I’m just going to tell you something instead.

I do not care what you think. You’re not in charge of my life. You’re don’t get to dictate my choices. You’re not allowed to tell what I can and can’t do. What I can and can’t want. What I am and am not capable of.

I think it’s best for all if you leave. If you leave and never come back. We have a toxic relationship and I want no part of it. I don’t need your criticism. I don’t need your judgement. I don’t need your overbearing presence.

I.DON’T.NEED.YOU

Please take your tent, your tiny grill, and your ridiculous floral sleeping bag and get the hell out of my head.

Sincerely yours,

Me

Open Letters, Thoughts of the Day

An Open Letter to Author Katie Heaney

Dear Katie,

This feels slightly surreal to be writing to a person who not only shares the same the first name and who also has a last name beginning with “H”, but also to be writing to someone who wholeheartedly gets it. And by it, I mean life, love and the pursuit of happiness.

Cover-Image_NEVER-HAVE-I-EVER-1I found your book, Never Have I Ever: My Life (So Far) Without a Date, on the shelves of a thrift store a few weeks after I moved from my hometown of Wisconsin to New York City. Upon reading the title, I knew I had found something that I would always treasure. For I, like you, am not a light house. Ships do not flock to me regardless of my having my light on. And believe me, my light is on most of the time.

Over the years, I’ve thought that this was a bad thing. I’ve seen and dealt with plenty of lighthouses in my time at school and in college. I have a few friends who are very busy lighthouses and I always wondered why I wasn’t one of them, as well.

2 months from tomorrow, I will be 24 years old and I have never been in a relationship or even been on a date.  I, like you, have had my fair share of crushes and have only found myself crushed by them. While in the whirlwind of high school, I would see friends and non-friends finding love at every turn while I did not. The same thing happened to me in college. Most of the time I found that my choice in guys had, unbeknownst to me, already chosen their girls long before I came along. This fact used to get me down. This fact used to make me think that there was something wrong with me. I felt like I was the overlooked and that is never a good feeling.

Now that I’m out of college and am in one of the greatest cities in the world, I am still not a lighthouse and I still sometimes feel overlooked. But reading your book, made me realize that that’s okay. I’ve become very used to being single and dealing with only me. I’m not really sure how I would be able to handle another person romantically. But that could also be because I don’t understand how people realize that they like each other. A fact that I’m glad to know you also have questioned.

I don’t understand how love works and I don’t know if I ever really will. But I’ve come to understand myself in ways that I might not have if I were to have been born a lighthouse. For the moment, I’d like to say that I’m content in my perpetually single life and some days I am. But some days I’m not. But I’ve also found that that’s okay too.

I just wanted to tell you that your book spoke to me in ways that I didn’t even think were possible. It’s hard when you’re surrounded by people who don’t understand what you’re going through, but you do. And you’ve helped me to see that I am not alone in my plight. You’ve also shown me that it isn’t a plight. It’s just life and I can either accept that or I can’t.

So, Katie, from one non-lighthouse to another, I thank you for helping me see the light through the darkness. A darkness, that honestly, isn’t really all that dark.

~Katie

Open Letters, Story Time

An Open Letter to Jared Leto

Dear Jared Leto,

I thought you would like to know that I have recently had an epiphany of epic proportions.

Last weekend as I was being sucked into the black hole that is the internet, specifically scrolling through my twitter feed that turned into falling into the vortex of YouTube, I discovered something.

I have gained a whole new respect for Jared Leto.

Over the years, I’ve found myself saying three things about Jared Leto and three things only:

  1. “Oh Jared Leto. The lead singer of Thirty Seconds to Mars. I like that one song Kings and Queens”.
  2. “Oh Jared Leto. What are you doing in a movie?”
  3. “Jared Leto looks like societies depiction of Jesus”

But as of last Saturday night, I became transfixed by the same three things. But it was as if I were hearing them for the first time.

“Jared Leto is the lead singer of Thirty Seconds to Mars. He sings. He’s a singer. He friggin sings!” Once this thought exploded in my mind I fell into blackness. I spent the rest of the night watching Thirty Seconds to images-2Mars music videos and fell in love with “Closer to the Edge”. Something happened inside me as I watched a pink mohawked man sing into a microphone with the voice of a tiny angel, who I’m sure also had a pink mohawk. I sat there awestruck by what I was witnessing. It was one of those moments of such gut wrenching and soul rendering intensity that can only be achieved through music. I emerged from that night a whole new woman and with a whole new understanding of what it means to believe in music. Like the girl in the video says, “Some people believe in God. I believe in music”.

This musical epiphany lead me to my next epiphany: “Jared Leto is an actor. He’s an actor. Of course, he’s in movies! He’s Jared Leto“. During the countless times I’ve watched the movie Fight Club, my most used comment is “what is Jared Leto doing in this movie and why is he so blonde?”. Unfortunately, this epiphany has only lead to answering one of those questions. Jared Leto is in that movie because he’s Jared Leto. And believe it or not this did not come from the knowledge that Jared Leto is, in fact, an Academy Award winning actor. Actor. It came from the sudden realizaimagestion that maybe, just maybe, a singer can also be an actor. I had never before believed this to be true. Growing up as a Disney kid where a world existed in which every actor on that channel also had to have a singing career put me into a false reality. Having the idea that if you want to be an actor on this channel, you also have to be a singer, shoved down my throat so many times, placed a veil of misunderstanding and annoyance over my eyes that was so heavy, I didn’t think it could ever be lifted. That being said, I developed the very unjustified attitude of not being able to take Jared Leto seriously as an actor. Just like I could not take actors on the Disney Channel seriously as singers. These were beliefs that I have held strongly to for a long time. But another thing happened to me as the thoughts swirled through my mind and suddenly rearranged themselves in one of complete clarity. This isn’t the Disney Channel. This is real life. A life in which Jared Leto is an actor, who also happens to sing.

My third and last epiphany, Jared, isn’t really an epiphany at all. It’s a simple fact. You look like Jesus. Now, I’m not a particularly religious person but I do believe in God, just like I believe in music. Maybe the fact that Jared Leto looks like Jesus is supposed to tell us something. Maybe it’s supposed to tell us that although there could be a higherimages-3 power, one that is looking down on us and guiding us down our paths, this power could also be right here on earth. I’m not saying Jared Leto is our savior or that I don’t believe in him like people believe in Jesus, but what I’m saying is that some people do. Whether it’s through his music, his acting repertoire, or him as a person, Jared Leto is a figure of belief. A belief that what he does will have an impact on those who may be lost. On those that are still finding their way. Or on those who are exactly where they want to be.

I suppose, if I really think about it,  my true epiphany isn’t even about Jared Leto. But is, instead, about art.

Art isn’t just one thing and neither is an artist. Art is there to change us and rearrange us. Music is meant to make us angry. It’s meant to make us think. It’s meant to make us fall in love and it’s meant to evoke some brand of catharsis from us. It’s meant to give us recognition when we feel most alone. The cinema and television is meant to do the same thing. Art is there for our consumption and as consumers we are supposed to question what we are, in fact, consuming. I feel a multitude ofUnknown things when it comes to the arts and my range of emotions is a colorful one. I believe in the telling of a story. Whether that be through music or on screen. I believe art comes from somewhere deep within and expressing it can sometimes be hard. But even if we struggle to express ourselves, I find comfort in knowing that there are artists out there who can do it for us. There are people out there that have gone through similar plights and struggles and have learned how to make something beautiful out of that.

Art can be a powerful creation and I am proud to call Jared Leto an artist.

Open Letters

An Open Letter to ABC Family…

…and their questionable decisions making skills (especially when it came to the cancellation of the most fabulous show on tv aka. Jane by Design)

Seriously, whose decision was that? I bet it was the same person who thought it was a Jane by Designgood idea to make a spin-off of Pretty Little Liars, steal Tyler Blackburn and pretend that the plot actually makes sense (or that we care about the fate of the small town kids in the creepiest town on earth) and act like everything is all peachy keen.

However, I do applaud the person who got Ravenswood cancelled. I nearly exploded into a double rainbow of excites when I heard this wonderful news (amidst the knowledge that once again Leo did not receive that Golden Man Statue to place on his shiny mantelpiece where he undoubtedly dies a little inside each time he glimpses that empty space. Although he probably makes himself feel better by just knowing that he is a part of the exclusive club of people who only sleep with supermodels. I mean just having that knowledge in my head gets me through the rough times, and I’m not even a multiple snubbed Oscar Nom. So the moment was slightly bitter-sweet). But seriously, that show was terrible. I cannot emphasis that enough. That.show.was.complete.crap. Have I made my point? Nope, it was just plain terrible.

Now what does this have to do with Jane by Design, you might ask? Nothing really. Although I loved that show and still mourn it dearly (I don’t just wear black to make an ironic statement while being ironic), this was merely an outlet for me to rant about the birth of Ravenswood and subsequently the questionable mindset of ABC Family. ABC Family is GobBluthinsane. That channel needs to be placed in a psychiatric facility (preferably the run down one in Teen Wolf where a teen boy possessed by an evil Japanese spirit got it on with a Fox girl who preferably likes being hairy and peeing in the woods over having a human body that allows her to get it on with said teen boy without having him be accused of bestiality. See? This show’s channel knows what it’s doing…well I take that back. It knows what it’s doing with this show. Mainly the glory goes to Jeff Davis and MTV should just be honored to have a quality show like that airing on their station. Even if it just pulls of from the line of fire when it comes to the rest of the shit storm that has become MUSIC TELEVISION). I know we all make mistakes (and this was one of vast proportions) but this mistake might just haunt me forever. I’m not sure who I’m more upset with. ABC Family or the fact that I actually watched the entire season?

However, they really hit the jackpot with Pretty Little Liars and I shall continue to worship Nick Roux PLLthat show no matter how many plot holes there are or the bone chilling fact that the men in that town sure like to dip their toes in a pool of underage girls (There must be like a sign or something outside town). But what I’m especially looking forward to tonight is the fact that Nick Roux who played Billy (who I’m 100% sure didn’t have a last name because he was just too fabulous for one. He was basically on the same level as Cher or Madonna in the fashion department. How many teenage boys–who lay claim to heterosexuality–do you see in leopard print skinny jeans? Probably not many) on the now fabled Jane by Design will be chatting it up and hopefully making out with a Pretty Little Liar tonight.

Dreams really do come true.

Okay, bye.

Open Letters

An Open Letter to Rory Gilmore and Jess Mariano

One of the greatest shows of our generation is the wonderfully witty and heartwarming Gilmore Girls. Seriously, that show was so perfectly written that I will never get over that fact. So it’s only right to talk about one of the greatest things to come out of that show. Rory and Jess, of course.

They are my favorite couple on that show (well, besides the perfection that is Lorelei and Luke whose non-existent wedding haunts our every waking dream). This, however, doesn’t mean that I didn’t love our lovely giant, Dean Forester (whose last name I had to remind myself was not Winchester, and whose first name is not Sam). Okay, I really only loved him in seasons 1 and 2 and then I couldn’t stand that lumberjack beard and the fact that Rory had an affair with said married Lumberjack. And I absolutely won’t even waste my breathe on “Dick of the Year” Logan Huntzberger. In case you’re wondering, I basically hated college Rory. I could rant about how much I couldn’t stand all the stupid shit she did but that’s for another time. I, however, will say that I will always love Lorelei no matter the season because she is basically heaven on earth.

So basically, I only approve of one of Rory’s boyfriends from beginning to end. Despite all of his faults and the countless times where he let her down and took off to deal with his own personal shit (without even taking into account that Rory could have been an asset to him in his time of need), Jess Mariano is and will always be the perfect guy for Rory. (Don’t take into account the fact that if they ended up together as well as Lorelei and Luke, then they would all be super related in a really really weird way that I don’t even want to think about (I mean there would be the fact that, if Rory and Jess got married as well as Lorelei and Luke (if only), then Rory’s husband’s uncle would also be her step-father and Lorelei’s nephew would also be her son-in-law)) (My brain hurts).

So Jess Mariano in a nut shell is a reader, a sassy pants, sarcastic and totally equipped to handle and understand and add to Rory’s abstract movie and character references that keep these Gilmore girls alive through every trying time. Although, he didn’t get along with her mother, he at least tried. His attitude just wouldn’t let him to continue to do so and that’s what time and time again prevented Lorelei from thinking him to be good enough for her only daughter. He constantly fought with Luke (in a way that always kept us viewers entertained and smiling) and despite how much he wanted to resent Luke for placing all of these restrictions on him, he willingly came back to live with him because he knew that this place, this tiny little town that he originally despised, was the right place for him to be. It was the place that would make him into a good person and it was also the place that led him to the girl he would love for the rest of his days and give him the encouragement he needed to make something of his life.

So here’s to the perfection that is Jess Mariano and of course his love for his Gilmore girl.