America has an inner voice. A voice that’s been mostly ignored. A voice that exists beyond the opinions of right and wrong. And so I have set out to capture it on film. America’s very Soul.
In starting such an adventure there have been some definitive moments. In a 3rd Grade in Tucson, Arizona a young girl stood by my shoulder, and when it came time to sit in front of the camera she said ‘I wish people would just understand’. When I asked her ‘Understand what?’ she replied ‘Each other. I wish people would understand each other. That’s it.’
And with that she stood up and walked off. As if she had come from far off to say just those few words. To tell us how simple it might be. But of course hearing the words and the words falling deep and irrevocably inside are so often poles apart …
Olav de Maat and his girl friend came along to an evening entitled ‘How to See the Human Soul’ in Amsterdam a few weeks back. And that is what we set about doing. With the image from the Soul Biographies camera projected on to a large cinema screen. Imagine the subjects – thank you Goor and Carolien – left with nowhere to hide and the beyond intimate black and white image leaving the audience similarly with nowhere to hide.
He wrote me this simple line a few days ago, about the experience of seeing deeper from inside their relationship.
‘… we actually look at each other differently now. Literally.’
We have acquired the use of an RV for September and will be heading South for Dallas and beyond …
It’s 2am. You’re wide awake.
Feeling alone. Unseen.
And inexplicably lost.
Discontent despite all
that you have around you.
The people. Your life.
You wear a face that tells
the world you’re OK,
but you’re not.
You’re bone achingly tired
from the relentless
game of belonging.
You long for a meaningful place
in the world. And to
belong without condition.
You long to be seen …
There was a time where I was almost between Worlds. The Business World and the World that would come. But a World I didn’t know existed. And I made a game up. In retrospect it drew my notice to something that would define the way of Soul Biographies. The way of so much that I now experience. Last week I sat in front of the camera, and recounted the experience of this game …
‘… the idea of doing this (Soul Biographies) just turned up one day. There was no thinking it through. It was one of those intuitive ideas that exists in the realm of knowing. I knew I have to do this. But I have no idea why, how or in service of what.’ 2 Minute Film …
In this journey that lies before me to find and witness the #SoulOfAmerica, I imagine there will be challenging times. Included in this will be the cameras exposure to the subject of racism and hate. Because it exists. Sometimes visible, often hidden.
As we travel the country, I imagine the camera will end up catching its visceral experience from both sides. The giver of hate, and its unwilling recipient. Having such experience in the full exposure of light for all to see beyond simply the idea of it will be useful at the very least.
An image from the ‘Square Portrait’ Soul of America Series … …
Imagine three days of utter immersion with a small truly courageous group of business owners examining the vast depths of why you do what you do, so that we are able to capture the essence of that on film. That is the Dynamic Truth Process Program. We have a place remaining in the UK in July. You and I would need to speak …
On this particular day, I imagine US Leadership might do well to listen to these few minutes of Evelyn, 98.
#HouseOfRepresentatives #Senate #USCongress
‘I have been so fortunate in my 98 years but now I look at my country and I’m almost ashamed that we let such hypocrites make decisions for the masses of people who are good. But I am here for something. I am not ready to go. What an opportunity a human life is.’
See the 2 minute film …
Last Summer I spent a week on an Island in British Colombia with a gang of unacceptable thinkers. Unacceptable to the status quo that is. During dinner one evening RUPERT SHELDRAKE, the renowned and unacceptable Biologist, stopped the conversation at the table with these few words ‘Mr Askew, I believe you might be an itinerant confessor.’
I’m off to Tucson tomorrow on the first leg of the search for the SOUL OF AMERICA. Perhaps Rupert was right. Perhaps my role is as an itinerant confessor. To the inner voice of a Nation. Witnessed and caught on film for all to see.