Samara O'Shea

Archive for the ‘Video Letters’ Category

Radical Love

Thursday, May 26th, 2011

My one time editor and dear friend Zazel—who has a unique and fabulous name—just sent me this link to donate to her daughter Hillevi’s (another great name!) film project. Please take a moment to watch the trailer and if you can spread the word or donate a few dollars it will be in the name of a great cause. Movies that aren’t backed by big production companies need a lot of help getting made.

This Reading is Rated R

Tuesday, January 11th, 2011

It’s not NC-17 and certainly not X, but it is a little racy. If erotica makes you squeamish feel free to skip and come back tomorrow. There is nothing visually offensive here, but if you’re watching at work I suggest headphones.

This is from the final In the Flesh reading held last month. An amusingly true story:

The End of an Erotic Era

Tuesday, December 14th, 2010

This Thursday I will be reading for the last time at In the Flesh Erotic Reading Series. My friend Rachel launched this series a little more than five years ago. I’ve read three times, and this will be my final turn. The readings are always fun—even for those who are squeamish about erotica. We end up laughing our insecurities away! I want to offer my heartfelt congratulations to Rachel on a maintaining this scintillating series for so long.

If you happen to be in New York City on Thursday, please stop by! If you can’t make it, the reading will be posted on YouTube (and subsequently here) in the days that follow.

Here’s my second reading at In The Flesh, which took place two days before my 28th birthday in September 2007. Readings one and three were not taped. There is nothing visually offensive here, but if you’re watching at work I suggest putting on headphones.

Can’t Think Straight

Monday, November 29th, 2010

I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving. I did. I feel refreshed and ready to tackle the last month of the year . . . and then go on vacation early next year to recover fully.

The following video is rated NC-17:

In case you need something to wake you up this Monday morning, this is a video of my friend Kiri reading from her soon to be published memoir Can’t Think Straight. It is the tragic and somehow hilarious story of discovering her boyfriend of ten years is gay. There are some choice words in this reading, but if you aren’t squeamish about such things (and you have headphones at work) it is very funny.

The Liberation of Being Alone

Thursday, August 12th, 2010

A few weeks ago I was in New York City—out and about with a group of girlfriends. My friend Emma asked me, “How’s Philly?” I responded, “It’s fine.” She then said, “Don’t you get lonely? I would get lonely.”

I’m not sure if something made her associate Philadelphia specifically with loneliness or if she equated being away from New York friends or the city itself with being lonely. I didn’t ask her to clarify her question, I simply answered, “No, I don’t get lonely.” That answer is tried and true no matter what she meant. Loneliness is not an emotion I feel, and I don’t think it’s an emotion anyone has to feel and certainly not one anyone has to suffer.

I’m not sure when I overcame loneliness, but I am endlessly grateful that I did. I can trace an early lesson in being alone back to my cousin Kate. Right before I left for college, my family was gathered and going around the room offering me advice. Kate advised, “Never be afraid to do anything alone. If you want to go to a lecture or a play and none of your friends want to go, go anyway.” I followed her suggestion frequently when I got to school. I also assume it’s my craft that insists I be okay for hours, sometimes days by myself. Writing is not a group activity. One must endure the silence and the blank page for as long as it takes.

For someone who isn’t used to being alone, I imagine it’s difficult at first. Figuring out why it’s difficult and working through it, however, is an essential way to get to know yourself.

I am not afraid to be alone literally—as in by myself in a room—nor am I afraid to be alone in the grander scheme of things—as in not in a relationship. They both feel like freedom to me. The former grants me the freedom to do what I want when I want, and the latter means if and when I end up in a relationship I know I’m there because I want to be and not because I’m afraid not to be.

I’ll go so far as to say being able to be alone can help a relationship. There will be plenty of times when your significant other can’t pay that much attention to you whether it’s due to work, child rearing, a death in the family, or any number of other things. If you’ve already learned to enjoy your own company, then this can happen without necessarily being a problem. Your being able to be alone becomes a form of silent support. Author Ester Buchholz emphasizes how good solitude can be not only for the soul but also for intimacy.

What sparked this entry is the following video that I caught on Feministing earlier today. Well done Tanya! Thank you for sharing your thoughts. Enjoy:

ADDENDUM: Was reading the book Practicing the Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle and came across this quote:

“If you cannot be at ease with yourself when you are alone, you will seek a relationship to cover up your unease. You can be sure that the unease will then reappear in some other form within the relationship, and you will probably hold your partner responsible for it.”

The Slower the Better

Tuesday, June 23rd, 2009

I caught the movie trailer for the documentary Food, Inc. (I thought it was forthcoming, but apparently it’s already out!), and it reminded me of letter writing. Yes it’s true that most things remind me of letter writing, but bear with me for a moment. Two weekends ago, I referred to letter writing as the organic way of communicating for the first time—it seems rather obvious in retrospect. Anyway, I love the concept of “organic” applying to more than food. Of course it should apply to food! It should also apply to relationships. And quilts. And traveling. And, again, communicating. We, as a society, spent the latter half of the 20th-century trying to make everything happen faster and be easier only to discover that there was something special about doing things slowly. A relationship—romantic or platonic—that unfolds slowly has a more solid foundation. A tomato that grows at its natural pace is healthier. A walk to the store is better for the environment and the walker. Writing a letter is more meaningful to the recipient and eye opening for the writer. A dress or a grandfather clock made by hand will last that much longer. There’s a Web site called GetRichSlowly, and it’s a great idea. Work up to your wealth. Earning it rather than expecting it is much more rewarding.

Of course, not all of the inventions that have come to us are bad and some certainly serve to improve our circumstances. It’s important though—now more than ever—to find balance between the two. If you find yourself at the crossroads of Instant Happiness and Success and Take Your Time Figuring Out What Happiness and Success Mean to You then I say it’s better to err on the slow side. In fact, I beg us all to take the scenic route more often.

The aforementioned movie trailer:

Congratulations Joselle

Thursday, June 18th, 2009

Ladies and Gentleman (mostly ladies) ~ One of LetterLover’s faithful commenter’s has announced (via comment) that she just got engaged last Friday. Congratulations Joselle! I’m so happy for you and your journal lovin man. I wish you well with your wedding plans and beyond. To celebrate, I give you The Muppets doing Beethoven’s Ode to Joy: