There is no more paddling to do and things are quieter. Weird. There are no more beans to make on the riverbank, no more news crews to notify, no more fights to be had over continuing down the curve or cutting to the next bank, no more clacking of paddles, no more singing of dirty songs whether Phillip likes them or not, no more dirty water and “oh my god there’s only three inches of visibility today, theres snakes in the brush, there’s a barge coming; paddle light so you don’t splash my camera, pass me the camera for a sunset shot, I’m tired of you, thank god for you, I don’t want this to be over, I want this to be over.” No more.
Now is a small town called Empire, Louisiana. Now is the fortunate running into a man, an ultra right-wing Republican (I attract them like flies) telling me he doesn’t want to pay for my health care, but I can stay in his house; he doesn’t want Socialism, but is glad to help us because “shoot, guys, you do a trip like that, I gotta give you credit cuz, shoot, I could never do something like that, and y’all can stay in my cabin, Number 33, cuz it’s unoccupied now, and, hell, we’ll even drive you to New Orleans if you want because, shoot, that’s what you deserve… but don’t expect no handouts.”
That’s our reality now that the Mississippi River is done.
Now will be film festivals (we’re on our way to Oak Ridge on Wednesday for the Secret City Film Festival for a big-screen showing of The Hitchhiking Movie), now will be editing, fighting over which scene goes where and why, figuring out where we will live in Nashville, how I will earn money, how I will appease my adventure addiction while living in the “real world,” how we will continue to write interesting blog posts about the Go to Hell movie, our next film, which Phil will be telling you about in the next few days, how we will do… everything… and I stop.
It will be no different than the Mississippi, I think to myself. The title of our film will be The River is Life, and this is Life. Editing will be life. Going and talking to fire-and-brimstone preachers will be life. I also want to do a train-hopping adventure I want to write about; people will want to know about that; there’s tons of new material to come; tons of things to do with the website; people will want to know what we’re doing (as long as we’re doing something interesting) and I can do that – I can do interesting things… and I can share them with our fans… I can relax. Things will be okay. What’s next won’t be barges, or cookouts, or staying in strangers’ homes (actually, that’s the one thing I hope never goes away) or lifting 300 pounds of gear into trucks, out of trucks, down levees and up embankments – rocky, smooth, muddy, clay-y or otherwise. But in a way, that’s exactly what will continue.
Life will continue; life does not stop at the Gulf of Mexico. It can’t, and Eleven Visions won’t. The River will still be there; making movies, entertaining the hell out of people is our thing, and we have blog posts to share about that. The River… has not finished; it has just become… a much larger body of water.
So What Now?
Good question. I think… this is my calling. I think I am supposed to be an explorer and commenter of life. I think travel writing is my calling; I think people enjoy it – our interactions with people, emotions, things, objects… Life again. I think my partnership with Phil – making movies – is my calling; so, we will blog about that. I think Eleven Visions is a celebration of exploration; and people will want to know how we’re exploring next. None of it… will stop.
Some things to expect are the following:
- We’re making a film called Go to Hell that hopes to answer the question “How exactly does one keep from going to hell?” Our biggest adventure yet! Whereas our old adventures were about going to a place, this will be about how NOT to get to a place. How do I, Ryan Jeanes, keep from going to hell? Who’s right? The Adventists? Mormons? Presbyterians, Russians, Socialists? That’s a good question, and EVERYONE has an answer… and damned if they’re the same answer!
- More travel writing – I’m going on a train-hopping excursion that I will be more than happy to write about, share videos about, show pictures about.
- More tales from the insides of the editing process – You’ll see footage we’ve decided to keep in the River is Life movie, footage we’ve decided to keep out; if you stick with us, you’ll get a sneak peek, you’ll be along for the ride; the tide does not stop where the Gulf of Mexico begins; this, my friends, is only the beginning. Eleven Visions is your home if you choose to stay, and we’d love to have you. Do you take coffee in the morning?
In short, what now is more adventure in this beautiful world, more dialogue about life and what it means, more entertainment from Eleven Visions coming your way in the form of videos, audios, photos and writing. We have more, much more, to share with you. Come with us… deeper.
In a few days, Phil will give you the lowdown on our upcoming projects. I will finish off the travel writing aspects of the Mississippi River journey. Remember, we left off in Baton Rouge. Um, yeah! a whole bunch of stuff happened between here and there. Wanna know about it? K, working on it. It’s comin’ your way.
We want you to stick with us. Eleven Visions does not die with the Mississippi. It flows on into the Gulf of Life. There is more, a whole ocean to explore; and, train-hopping, giving you a sneak peek into our latest footage on both The River is Life and Go to Hell movies, and more philosophical connections with you, dear reader, on the dimensions which make up this life… are just the beginning. A new beginning… for all of us.
We’re glad you’re here. Wait for Phil’s post on the Go to Hell movie. Wait for my “just what the hell am I going to do with the English Channel?” post. Wait for our New Orleans posts, paddle-to-the-Gulf posts, celebration posts. Wait and listen. Eleven Visions has more visions in store.
So don’t blink. 🙂