Posted by: michellemuldoon | September 30, 2013

Patience Is Beautiful

Patience is Beautiful is the literal translation to the ancient Arab proverb we generally understand as, Patience is a Virtue. I don’t know about you, but I like the literal translation better. It has a poetic, peaceful sense to it. The downside? It just might be a little tougher to live up to.

I first discovered the correct translation when I researched my screenplay, Darkness Knows the Night.  Darkness is a female Bond thriller. I wanted to set the script in the Middle East because it was both topical and held a greater interest for me. The script is littered with proverbs. I couldn’t help myself. I found them fascinating once I stumbled upon how many, and how varied, they really were. I saw them, not as pearls of wisdom, but large nuggets that couldn’t be ignored. Nothing, however, struck a chord like this little gem.

You see, patience is not my strong suit. Okay, I’m stretching it. The truth is, I suck when it comes to patience. I grew up with a very linear mindset. Sport will do that to you. You set a goal, you plan out how to get there, you work your fanny off, and low and behold, the end goal is in sight. But this isn’t Kansas anymore Toto. I don’t live my free time immersed in sport. I live it in film, and there is nothing linear about a journey in film.

Fall has arrived and the waiting game begins. I enter opportunities, I wait. I think about what to work on next while I wait. I write, I plan, I share, I attend, and still, I wait. What am I waiting for? The sign, the break, the moment when I’ve reached a new wrung on the ladder that is the constant climb of a career. Hurry up, there’s a deadline. Hurry up, interest won’t last long. Hurry up, now wait. It’s about patience. It’s about a circuitous route to your goals.

Patience about seeing the beauty in small moments of completion. It’s about breathing, enjoying the Technicolor view of all the winding, diverging, intertwined yellow brick roads. Patience is about survival in an industry that can drive you just a little bit crazy.

As Peter Falk and Alan Arkin found out in The In-Laws, it’s about making a run for it. Just be patient. The run is a beautiful, abstract, serpentine act of survival. Be patient. Eventually, you’ll find the keys you’ve been looking for. Eventually, you’ll see patience not as a virtue, but as the act of breathing. For in that act, the beauty of the struggle to achieve, the beauty of the patience that diligence affords, is nothing short of life affirming.

Peter Falk and Alan Arkin, The In-Laws (1979)

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