New horizons

Goodbye, Comfort Zone!

"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover." — author unknown

Death puts everything into perspective.

It was while lying on the floor crying in May 2015, shortly after two friends died unexpectedly, that I had a moment of clarity. Through the exquisite pain of grief I could clearly see where I was holding myself back.

I promised myself that I would grow into my full potential and stop hiding the part of me that wants to shine.

That all sounded good at the time, but putting the promise into practice was another thing. As with most of my major life direction changes, it took some time to get fully onboard and to accept the idea. To be precise, a whopping 18 months elapsed while I considered what I might do. As usual, my first idea (i.e. write another book) was well within familiar territory, but rather than discarding it, I did what I always tell others: to "begin where you are".

The process of gaining clarity has more often than not required me to go in ever-tightening circles until I finally arrive at the center. Six months later, as I began work on my book idea, the idea grew into a film. A feature-length film worthy of being shown in cinemas. Oh, and the film's subject falls well outside my field of knowledge: space.

Yes, as in outer space.

It's not a crazy idea. Okay, well maybe it is. But hey, I have always believed in aiming for the stars. I figure that even if I miss my target, I may very well land on the moon!

As it happens, Armand and I have been working with a Dutch astronaut since around 2013, after his return from six months living on the International Space Station (ISS). It has been a dream come true for Armand, who knows all about this stuff, but for me it has been a steep yet exciting learning curve. I doubt many people can say they were taught basic orbital mechanics by an astronaut, but I can.

It seems almost prophetic that my first short film, made in 2012, is titled "Fly!" (Below is the super-short version.)

By August 2017 I began in earnest working to catalogue and organize the 472,000+ images taken by the crew of ISS Expeditions 30 & 31. It is from these images as well as other available material from NASA that I intend to make my film. And book.

Stay tuned!

“People tend to play in their comfort zone, so the best things are achieved in a state of surprise, actually.” — Brian Eno