At the end of work on the first film I did, my sweet young co-star gave me a small glass bird, the bluebird of happiness. It became a symbol for me for the next 20 years. No matter where I moved, what hardships occurred, that bluebird was a reminder that someone and something had given me happiness. In our first month of living in Uganda the girl who was working for us broke my bluebird, shattering it into pieces. Here I was, away from all I knew, the identity I had created for myself, my friends, my comfort, and the smashing of that bluebird became incredibly symbolic. As each day moved forward in East Africa, I felt myself peeling like a snake, until deep in, I was naked and raw. I started to dream that I died. Most people, from my understanding (and as I had always done in the past), wake up just before dying in a dream. But in these dreams that came and stayed for months, I actually died. I would wake up in tears, shaking, because I was still alive. That is how real they were. I look back now and realize I was dying in a way. I was letting go of everything I didn’t need anymore, but I didn’t know who I was anymore either. The dreams stopped for a while, but I had one again the other night. I died twice in that one. But it’s been a long road now and I am starting to look through different eyes. I am starting to lean forward, less tilting back. Instead of waking up scared this time, I woke up in awe; thinking, I am still changing, I am still letting go, I am still in flakes, and I can’t wait to see what will grow and take hold in its place. Because no-one and nothing can give you happiness. We must create it within ourselves. And guess what I caught a glimpse of the other day on the streets of Rome? A new bluebird of happiness. One with wings.
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