Professor Gibson
Creative Work

Unraveling Narratives

Hello dear friends,

Stories have power. They can be a source of comfort, or if we don’t face them, they can become a place of discomfort. They have the power to move us forward or hold us back.

Yes, stories shape us, define us, and sometimes confine us. The latter is why I am embarking on a deeply personal journey of telling the story of my mother, Sally.

It’s been over 15 years since I last made a long-length film. I never intended such a long hiatus. Yet, as it often does, life took me on several winding paths full of detours, pauses, and reflective waters. Now, I find myself compelled to return to a story driven by a narrative that refuses to remain untold.

This narrative is not just about a mother and a daughter, though that relationship is at its heart. It’s about misunderstanding and missed opportunities. It’s about the weight of unfinished projects and the finality of death. It’s a story about the narratives and how they dominate our lives — often without our consent.

When my mother passed away suddenly in 2019, it was a stark reminder that our time here is limited. We don’t always get the chance to rewrite our stories, to right the wrongs, or to say the unspoken. Her death was a defining moment for me. But it wasn’t until I found a catalyst four years later that I realized how much of my life I’d spent stuck behind walls of my own making.

I’ve always wanted to live fully but spent years building barriers that kept me from connecting with others. What if I challenge the old narratives? What if I spend a year seeking deeper connections, trying to understand the unspoken narratives of my mother’s life, and, in doing so, rewrite my own story?

This film is an exploration of these questions. It is a journey into understanding how narratives shaped my mother, myself, and our relationship. It’s about peeling back the layers of stories we tell ourselves and discovering their impact on our lives.

Daniel Johnston, my uncle, left behind a legacy through his music and art, stories that have touched many. But there are many others behind his story, including my mother’s. Her story was different, colored by her own experiences and perspectives. Now, it’s time to tell her story and examine how it has influenced my own path.

I am only beginning this journey, but I am learning I need to build in public. So, that is what this blog is. This is me building in public. I invite you to join me on this journey as I navigate through memories, family narratives, and search for belonging. This film is a reclamation of my narrative and a tribute to the complex, beautiful, and sometimes painful threads that weave the story of our lives.

Thank you for joining me on this path.