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Campfire Stories proudly presents 7 o’clock – a film by Boris Laible.

Summer came and summer went for the people of the northern hemisphere. Autumn is on the move – the time of year to get all those plans rolling that were dreamt up during summer. But also a time to reflect back upon the spaciousness of doing absolutely nothing during a still summer evening. What can be learned from a time of fewer “musts”, from stepping away from the regular schedule of productivity for a few weeks?

A feeling of “this is the way life is supposed to be” lingers with me after the summer break. The presence of being with my family, getting out of bed when I’m rested, eating when I’m hungry, working because I want to, when I want to, doing what I want to. Can elements of vacation be brought into the business of the rest of the year? Into riding the bus to work? Into picking up my daughter from daycare? Into getting up at 6 am to drive to the school where I’m teaching? Into any aspect of life that isn’t unfolding the way my mind wants it to unfold?

What does doing absolutely nothing during a still summer evening actually mean? And what does it mean to be present?

The concept of time is easily misunderstood by our minds as something real. Most of us seem to believe there actually is such a thing as time, such a thing as “tomorrow”. But, of course when we get there it no longer presents itself as “tomorrow”. It’s turned into “this moment”. And that’s what life consists of. A rolling wave of “this moment” that spills into “the next moment” at the same pace as that transforms itself anew into “this moment”.

This may seem like an obvious statement. A childish statement even. But a deeper understanding of this idea can lead to profound realizations. The fact that “the future” doesn’t exist, other than as a concept of our minds, means I cannot hope to find happiness or true peace of mind there. I can still plan for the future of course. Make desicions that feel right and that will put me on a path that leads in a desired direction. But happiness, in any deeper sense, I believe can only be discovered in the now. In the present moment. And when it’s found, and stepped into, that feeling of doing nothing during a tranquil summer evening will arise naturally – even to some extent when picking up a crying 5 year old from daycare.

Until recently I hadn’t questioned my mind as it would tell me where it thought I should be, what I should do or what I should’ve done. On the contrary, I would identify as whatever my mind talked about. On my way to the bus stop, my mind would inform me that it wished I were already there. Its thought stream drowning out the presence of the actual walk to the bus stop. Any birds singing, any cloud formations in the sky, any children playing in the school yard I pass by – all of it reduced to background occurances; a mere backdrop to the voice of the mind telling me all the “important” stuff. And once the bus arrives, as soon as I take a seat, the little voice in my mind would start telling me that it now wants me to have already arrived at my destination. The continous stream of repetetive rambling making me oblivious to the simple joy of the bus ride itself. Happiness – the simple joy of being – is thereby overlooked because of the self-talk of the mind, which constantly seems to value the next moment more than the present one.

Today I’m proud to present Campfire Stories’ first collaboration with an “outside” filmmaker. (That is – a filmmaker that isn’t me, Mattias Olsson). Boris Laible is a wonderful sound designer, musician and director from Germany. He’s also a solid friend and a dependable colleague. In his short film 7 o’clock, the protagonist will show us the meaning of stepping into presence – temporarily or permanently we won’t find out – with the help of a woman’s playful ideas, combined with a sudden power outage.

I hope you’ll enjoy this film. If you do, please help get the word out by sharing it with a friend who you think might need a little more presence in his or her life.