May, 2007 Archives


Right to Write

by Pj in Random

BY PAMELA JO BOWMAN, MESA ARIZONA – Who knew writing would be so hard?! Give me a topic and I can spew about it!

We have been researching and writing a new screenplay for two months. After doing all the preliminary work we have spent the last two days with all our notes and steps and character sheets layed out before us and what do we have? Fifteen (15!) pages! Come on!

Learning how to write with another person is painful! You discuss ideas and thoughts and then the one with their fingers on the keyboard types whatever she wants! That works because I can’t remember what I thought anyway!

pjhair.jpgToday I had a meltdown. A girly moment if you will. I was at the keyboard and Cyndi made a … suggestion. I started to feel my insecurities creep up my spine and collapse it right there. I suggested she type for a while. I think I had too many Butterfingers and M&M’s. Cyndi explained that she wasn’t being critical. She wanted to toss out ideas and see where they went. Well, she found out where they went … NOWHERE! So tomorrow we are trying a new approach. No chocolate for Pam and an open forum where no idea is a bad idea. Listen and then feel what is right to write. I like part B of that, but no chocolate? Who’s idea was that? That is a bad idea!


Ask and Tell

by Pj in Random

BY PAMELA JO BOWMAN, MESA, ARIZONA – I took my daughter shopping for her 18th birthday gift. The theme was gifts that you will need at college, next year, when you are by yourself, in an apartment, far away from home and you are hungry and cold. So, of course, plates came to mind. I pre-shopped and took her to my store of choice for her to make her final selection. At first, she saw the practical side of Corel, but then she saw some stoneware. We had the Corel at the counter, my credit card was out, but she looked at me and said something I didn’t know I could have said at 18 … or 49. “I really want the red ones. I know they can break, but I really like them.

wis1.jpgThey weren’t that much more expensive. I bought them with a smile in my heart. She would be okay. She knows what she wants and she is going for it. She wasn’t being spoiled or selfish. She wasn’t hurting anyone or anything. She was stating her want, not mine or her father’s or her friends’. Wow! Amazing!

Just imagine if we all knew what we wanted and needed and took care of meeting our own desires. How liberating that would be for the rest of us. We wouldn’t have to guess what others thought or felt or wanted. We would just need to ask them and know that if they actually had an opinion they would honestly share it. The amount of time and energy that could be saved is mind-boggling.

There would be time for … lunch! Where? Just ask! I promise to tell and share the breadsticks!


Sandwich House

by Pj in Film Production

BY PAMELA JO BOWMAN, MESA ARIZONA – When we went to do some research at the Indian reservation last week we listened to a CD by Paul Simon. His music sounds happy, but his words are haunting. We were listening to “Senorita With A Necklace Of Tears.” At the beginning, I wanted to dance but, slowly, I found my mood shift as I felt the irony of the song. Here we were on the reservation asking the Pima natives if any of them still practice their Indian cultural traditions. Paul was singing, “that’s the way it’s always been and that’s the way I want it to be.” sandwich_Pam.jpgThe Indians we spoke with reported that no one practices the old ways any more. But we discovered that they really do. Traditionally, the tribe was responsible for providing for each family. In the Pima tradition, food stores would be shared and the tribe would build a “sandwich house” for each family. A sandwich house was made of adobe sandwiched between lumber. (Note: This photo is me standing outside of a sandwich house in Sacaton.) Nowadays, the tribe is still expected to build each family a home, but now it is with casino funds and can take a number of years (like 20) for the distribution of funds. They told us that, eventually, the tribe builds their home. On the Paul Simon song, the last verse says,

Some people always want more
Some people are what they lack
Some folks open a door
Walk away and never look back

As in Zambia, the reservation, and in each of our individual lives, we open doors every day. We face ourselves and what we think we lack. It is our choices that enable us to walk through or walk away. Sometimes the answers aren’t about what is right or wrong or good or bad. But sometimes the choices are what we fear more, the unknown or more of the same. Live with regret or remorse. In the end what we have to live with is … ourselves.

Some people never say no
Some people never complain
Some folks have no idea
And others will never explain.

Haunting, no?



by Pj in Random

BY PAMELA JO BOWMAN, MESA, ARIZONA – “Those who danced were thought to be quite insane by those who could not hear the music.” – Angela Monet

This month of May began in New York City. I was walking down Broadway when I received a call from my husband telling me of the unexpected passing of a good man, his father. I do not know if his death, our 25th wedding anniversary, our daughter’s graduating, DancingFigures.jpgMother’s day, some unexpected business issues, the heat of Arizona or some combination of all of those things that have contributed to my state of mind — I am feeling a little sad. In all the eulogies and speeches this month one idea keeps surfacing. The idea of leaving a mark in society. The idea of not being forgotten.

Certainly in studying history we admire the contributions of good men and women. We study the lives of great leaders. We read the works of great writers. We look at the great works of artists.

Their lives and work should elevate us to a greater understanding of others and of ourselves. It should not make us feel inadequate or unworthy or unequal. What I know today is that making a mark is not my goal. Leaving a legacy is not my intent. Living is.

What I know today is that we all can hear the music. We all could dance. We all could, but we get in our own should.

What I know today is that the ways we stop ourselves is insanity.

“Without music, life would be a mistake … I would only believe in a God who knew how to dance.” – Fredrich Nietzche

God dances.


My Friends

by Pj in Random

BY PAMELA JO BOWMAN, MESA, USA – “I must take issue with the term ‘a mere child,’ for it has been my invariable experience that the company of a mere child is infinitely preferable to that of a mere adult.” — Fran Lebowitz (1950 – )
Through the years, I have enjoyed the company of my daughters over the company of any others. They have made me laugh. They have made me cry. They have grown into the most amazing young women. They are smart, witty, sarcastic, determined, kind, clever and also very clear about what they want. This week they both graduate, one from high school and the other from grade school. My girls. My daugthers. My friends.


The Signal is Given

by Pj in Random

Picture 1.pngBY PAMELA JO BOWMAN, MESA, USA – “Never, never, never believe any war will be smooth and easy, or that anyone who embarks on the strange voyage can measure the tides and hurricanes he will encounter. The statesman who yields to war fever must realize that once the signal is given, he is no longer the master of policy but the slave of unforeseeable and uncontrollable events.”
                            — Winston Churchill
So it was and so it still remains.


Character Develpment

by Pj in Film Production

BY PAMELA BOWMAN, MESA, USA – We have distracted ourselves lately by writing. That is really what we want to do, write. So today we took a field trip to Sacaton. We visited with people who live on the reservation. We asked them questions about their lives and their perspective on reservation life. We visited the library. We read histories and legend books and scientific research on land development and water resources.

It was an interesting day as we were able to discuss one of the many stories we are working on. We discussed the characters in our story. Learning about reservation life in 2007 is completely different than what I imagined it would be. PapagoWoman.jpgMy frame of reference has been movies like DANCES WITH WOLVES and THE LAST OF THE MOHICANS. As a child I loved watching John Wayne movies on Dialing for Dollars. I have always loved the “Cowboy and Indian” movies. Today’s excursion made me realize how those movies tried to capture many cultures and traditions that in most cases don’t even exist anymore and probably never existed then. My romantic notions of Indian life has been altered to reflect the reality of reservation life. They are not the mysterious strong independent people I had imagined. No, it is worse, they are human just like me. They have problems and issues and concerns, just like me.

We appreciated the candor and the honesty of which they spoke to us. Montana Sunrising enlightened us on many aspects of Indian life here and in more obscure locations. The librarians were helpful in locating books of our subject matter. Our minds are working and we are anxious to finish our first screen play. We are also anxious to finish the other 20 stories on our slate.

We returned and shared our experience with our friends and my family. Distractions. Sometimes they benefit us when the alternative is immobility. Sometimes distractions enable us to see more clearly what needs to be done, how to do it and then gathering the strength to just do it. We are clear. We are ready. Our best work is yet to come as we document our experiences and write our stories. The ones who continue to benefit the most, of course, is us.


Pooper Scooper

by Pj in Random

Pamela Jo Bowman – Mesa, AZ – As I get older, I am seeing that life takes you exactly where you ask to be taken. I’m also seeing that when I arrive, it usually doesn’t quite look the way I imagined. As a child living in a large city, I remember that I wanted a black horse. I imagined it living in my backyard. I visualized feeding it, brushing it, and riding it on the paved streets of the bay area. Twenty years later, I finally got my black horse in my backyard … in MEXICO! blackhorse.jpg

Over a year ago, I decided I wanted to make a movie. Six months later, I am not making one movie but two … in AFRICA!

I need to be more specific about what I want. I do believe that what you imagine, dream about and desire make things happen in your life. What one thinketh one becomes. So think good thoughts.

A man I deeply respect, Spencer W. Kimball, recommended a book called, A Man Thinketh, by James Allen. Allen wrote, “As the plant springs from, and could not be without, the seed, so every act of a man springs from the hidden seeds of thought, and could not have appeared without them. Man is the master of thought, the moulder of character, and the maker and shaper of condition, environment, and destiny.”

Through thought and intentionality, we really are creators of our own destiny. Recognizing what I really want can be liberating and also alarming. Being completely honest with myself allows me to dig deep and recognize all that I desire. Sometimes I am surprised at what that is. And, often, once I have obtained what I thought I wanted, I am very surprised by what it really looks like.

The more aware I have become of the power of intentionality, the more I hesitate to express what I want. I hesitate to think, to focus. I realize that I want to be very clear because I do not want to give up what I want most for what I want today. Although I spend time imagining every scenario of every desire, the reality of it always looks different. Clarity is truly only clear in hindsight.

My experience (and advice) is be careful what you wish for because you will get it … and now-a-days riding that horse downtown…well, there are now laws so imagine yourself investing in a pooper scooper!


Moving Up

by Pj in Random

BY PAMELA JO BOWMAN, MESA, USA — “Movin up to the east side.” Now that I have been to the East Side of New York, I know what the heck George Jefferson was talking about! I am not really moving to the East Side or anywhere else for that matter. I am, however, moving to my own personal blog. I do feel like I am moving into my first home and I am bringing with me some familiar items to make it seem familiar and comfortable. applePam.jpgI tease Cyndi that she is tired of censoring my writing and so she has arranged for my own blog. In all truthfulness, I am grateful for the freedom to write without connecting it to Africa, film or MCC. Sometimes I had to be a tad creative in finding a connection to an idea I was having or a thought I was developing.

Now apparently this page is just devoted to whatever I choose to write about in the moment. (Right now, I’m recalling visiting the Apple Store on the Upper East Side of Manhattan.)

Hmmmm. This could be dangerous. I certainly could have some fun with this. So for starters, welcome. Welcome to any readers and fellow thinkers and ponderers. Feel free to respond or not. Feel free to agree … or not. Just feel free.

For those of you who do not know me, don’t worry about it, I barely know myself. I do know I am a woman. No doubt about that. I am old enough not to be so moody anymore. My husband and children appreciate that! I love to think, but I often forget what I am supposed to do or where I am supposed to be. And as you might already have noticed, I am a lousy speller, but I comfort myself in knowing I am in good company.

I imagine I will be spewing often as the mood swings, Oh yeah, I forgot, I don’t have those anymore. I’ll be blogging as often as the muse sings. Is that better? So I imagine I will be all moved in by the end of the week. Please excuse the mess as I rearrange the “furniture” until I feel comfortable. After all, I am a woman and I do like to decorate as long as I can do so with minimal cost.

Yes, the first (maybe the second) clue that I am not a typical female. I am a woman who hates to shop and hates spending money! What a find. What a treasure. What a tight wad! I am getting over that as I discover that I am just as valuable and my wants and desires just as important as anyone and everyone elses. Amazing!

Maybe I am moving up after all!


Lao Tzu

by Pj in Random

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Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength;
loving someone deeply gives you courage.

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