It’s 2:30. I’m off to meet with renegade film director, Abel Ferrera and his actress/girlfriend Shanyn Leigh to discuss his latest film, 4:44, a movie about the end of the world. I’d just finished watching it, so it was fresh in my head. Its certainly a timely entry for 2012.
I’m cutting it close. I have thirty minutes to get there. As I approach the 580/80 interchange, I can see traffic come to a screeching halt on the overpass above me. Quickly, I change lanes and get off the freeway hoping to take the next on ramp and save myself 500 yards or so. As I get back on the freeway, I look to my left and there are four CHP cars blocking all traffic coming from both freeways. It was a multiple car accident . An SUV, battered, limps to the shoulder. As I accelerate, I notice there is no one in front of me. For the next mile I am the only car on a main California freeway, headed into the heart of the commute hour. Its surreal and I feel like one of the last men on Earth. Needless to say, thanks to the pile up, I made it to San Francisco on time.
In the early morning hours of Thursday, I dialed up Visible in Germany. That weathered voice hummed across the Atlantic and the continental US. He could be down the street. He sounds that close. Its not so much of a Q&A this go round, but a slow dissolve. In the background, we seem to be operating as one mind. We talk about Neptune and how its been troubling for him. In Mexico, where he just returned from it seemed to be about dis-association. I could tell that he felt betrayed (though he would never use that language) on some level and since returning the space between objects has become rather nebulous and wobbly for him.
We riffed on solar flares and ultimately our discourse circled around faith, surrender and being receptive to what Visible calls, “The Ineffable.” For him, the ineffable is God and we probe and explore the meaning of the ineffable in his current story. I’ve only known him for a short while in this lifetime, but there is not one incongruent molecule in his earth suit. Anyone that lives their life from that place is coming from a space of natural resonance and if approached with the right intention, can be graced with guidance. This seems to be the case with him.
No matter where we went for our seventy-plus-minutes, we seemed to return to this concept of having a personal connection with creator/source.
Visible dog paddled deeper and deeper into the Neptunian churn. Language became an evasive tool. Keep in mind, as we’re having this exchange, the USA, Israel and NATO are playing Pinata with Syria with Iran. Understanding the grave consequences of war in either place makes faith even more difficult to arrive at. Its not an empty platitude or a hollow word. Faith uttered in the face of armageddon might even border on insanity and yet, what else is there?
Perhaps this was the shadowy 3,000 pound Golem that had been obstructing his direction since his return. Apocalyptic slam dancing at the edge of time can rattle anyones navigational systems, especially if they’re sensitive, living authentically and serving the collective. Faith and contact with source becomes a living, breathing relationship, just like any other. This is one aspect of Neptune in Pisces surging through our consciousness and we all have some skin in that game.
I arrive in San Francisco, on time. Many years ago I told a friend that when parking meters and vending machines take credit cards, then the beast will be breathing down our necks. I encounter such a beast. Its armed with a motion sensor. Pull out and the meter gets zeroed. Remember the good old days when you could happen upon a meter that had 20, 30, minutes still on it? One of life’s simple joys. No more.
I meet Ferrera and Leigh. I tell him about my freeway story and he immediately relates it to 4:44 and how the freeway was like the end of the world.
4:44 stars Willem Dafoe and Leigh. They’re lovers at the end of the world. The world ends at 4:44 due to a widening hole in the ozone as a result of global warming. Ferrera was approached to do a short film by Al Gore and instead, what he came up with was an intensely personal tale where Dafoe acts out some of Ferrera’s demons pressed up against the edge of history. Dafoe is an addict and has to face his addiction, even in the final hours of the world. He goes to a dealer’s apartment to score where he finds an old friend played by Paul Hipp who is in recovery both in the film and in real life. Hipp’s girlfriend is played by Natasha Lyonne, also in recovery. Over the course of our interview, Ferrera confesses that he’s in the program and 4:44 isn’t just about the end of this world anymore, but the end of Ferrera’s life as a user. There’s a buddhist theme running through the film as well; coming to terms with one’s existence in the void. Like Visible, Ferrera is working out his faith (although he is using the medium of film) while mashing up mythologies, both personal and collective. For him, its more Chiron in Pisces, than Neptune. He’s being open, confessional and vulnerable. He’s working out his wound and Dafoe is his surrogate alive and messy, conflicted and compassionate, making love to Leigh, Ferrera’s lover twice in the film, flirting with relational edges. Its risky in ways that his other films weren’t. It’s pure Chiron in Pisces.
Two men who don’t know one another, whose personal circles couldn’t be more distant orbs of narrative arcs, are both wrestling with the angel of faith in their own unique and singular fashion.
Please join me today on my show, FAR FRIDAYS where I interview both Visible and Abel Ferrera on the subject of faith in the face of collective and personal annihilation.<