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New Light

Updated: 5 days ago

Photo Credit : Shawn Brewster Photography

I like movies a lot, probably too much. TV too. “film” we’ll call it. Everyone I know feels at least partially raised by characters we saw on screens together, and there are life lessons, quotes, and moments from Sesame Street to Forest Gump that feel like part of us. 

An example for me - Tina Fey taught me this lesson: "Never go with a hippie to a second location.” Good, solid advice that, I admit, I’ve not followed more than a few times, and as she suggested, it often does not work out. Yet here I am walking around without shoes in winter, asking you to partake in a story about a movie (sigh) that hasn’t been made yet. Let’s say, you’ve been warned, and I’m not responsible.

To begin today's tale, the first and only thing we know is the sound of a voice. An Italian accented English-speaking, prolific, wise, old artist describes a true belief in his heart “There is music in the mountains, in the stone - in the rock itself. I am not speaking in metaphor, touch it, hear it, you can feel how loud it is.”  

I was called to this meet-up on a discovery mission, to find a story for a movie - likely because I’m an open-minded guy and people know that ideas that are out there I’ll consider sometimes in the right context. From my experience, people often find inspiration through the materials in front of them, that they’re uncovering something already there more than bending the world to an egomaniacal will. There’s a peacefulness to this mindset that I believe allows some artists to disconnect themselves from their work and gracefully watch things emerge from deep inside of themselves. 

“I’m familiar with this idea” I shared after some time listening, "but I’m not sure exactly what is here as far as a movie script goes. Can you say more? I just don’t know - maybe the story is in the quarry?” 

“Haha, yes, haha yes of course.” The artist laughed and began a new thread in conversation. "Generations have cut stone from the mounts in largely the same ways, it’s a proud tradition. Just imagine - seeing it for the first time. Every piece uncovered is seeing light for the first time in maybe 65, 70, 100 million years. And the way this is done you might think... ”  

He continued for a while with seemingly mundane yet extravagant details until I stopped him "I don’t know that much about this, but really, aren’t you romanticizing a pretty hard labor job, just a bit? I’m sure it’s beautiful in some ways but.. ”

Fervently he hammered back on my questioning “I would do it. I would. I have been there many times in the mountains of Italy and South America - and each time it is not enough. When I get a piece of stone in my hands, marble, granite… ehh, I can hear it! just a little piece, and I can hear it.” 

“The sound in the stone?” I asked. 

“Yes. In the stone, from the stone, of the stone. It’s so loud you. You can even feel it in the earth, everywhere, vibration, connection, when it touches your skin, I promise you will feel it, hear it, see it” 

On my best days, I know that I am very lucky to do what it is that I do. I spend a lot of time meeting the most fascinating, weird, and wonderful people with the hopes of introducing them to others or collaborating on some unforeseeable adventure - I don’t have an academic process but it often does feel like I’m looking for something. I gauge interactions mostly by how long they stick in my head, If they make me laugh, cry, or think deeply about something I hadn’t considered before. 

This particular evening felt bizarre because - I couldn’t find it! I couldn’t find a story for a movie, I couldn’t find what I was doing there, what was I doing at all, for real what was I doing with my life!? My whole damn life!?? I might have lost my mind - which, I admit, is an occupational hazard.

All this time spent, searching for some treasure hidden in the mountains. To find it… I don’t know, I guess, you have to feel it.  


This letter goes out to all the filmmakers - I know how hard it is to put it all together from start to finish. Not everybody follows the same type of process as what I’ve detailed above - But everybody starts with some raw materials: your experience of life and the perspectives of the people you’ve met. 

The speaker for Greyt Big Talk this Friday morning is of a rare variety for our gatherings - a business executive, highly accomplished in the sciences with a French-based global materials company. I’ve said it a thousand times or more, creativity is everywhere. 

See you Friday, I’m bringing bagels - you should bring a friend. 


GREYT CULTURE // Greyt Letters Archive // About the Letter: This monthly(ish) email goes to GREYT event participants, partners, and others I would like to be aware of the contents of upcoming programs. Event details listed here are subject to change based on input from recipients. Confirmed event details will always be listed through event listings on - recipients are added and removed periodically at my discretion. If you would like to be a permanent recipient or removed from GREYT emails, reply and I will comply with kindness. Thanks for reading.

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