05/31/2015 01:42 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Christian and Karen Glymph: New York, September, 2014


In the fall of 2003 I'm in the streets of Washington, DC doing stills for the filming of "National Treasure." A young man and his Mom, Christian and Karen Glymph, are closely watching the proceedings. Christian, then aged 17, is a passionate filmmaker, who already has made a number of short films. He shares his work with me and it displays a distinct sense of style and knowledge of technique and conventions. We stay in touch over time and he keeps me posted on his new projects. I am impressed by the development and growth of his work and skills. A few years later, during filming of the second "National Treasure", I help Christian get a production assistant job on the film. We continue to stay in touch, via phone mostly and email. I do what I can to encourage him. At one point, he comes up with a very fresh, unique story/character idea for a popular film franchise. Excited for and by this, I connect him with the producer of the franchise, loving the possibility of this young, gifted artist having success. Sadly, this producer writes Christian a nasty cease and desist letter, missing the whole point and gift of this connection. Temporarily disheartened by this, Christian eventually evolves his idea into a story unrelated to the franchise but still retaining its essence. This past September, Christian and Karen come to New York from DC to attend the opening of my KINDSIGHT® exhibit at the 92nd Street Y, where, near the end of the opening when most guests have left, we make this picture. Christian and I speak a couple of times following this and he indicates something about some medical tests. But I don't get the full impact of this until, a couple of weeks ago, as we're speaking on the phone, he tells me that he has stage 4 brain cancer and is undergoing chemo and radiation therapy. My heart plummets through the floor at this news, and we have a long, good conversation about existence, life, death, spirit, deeper truth and the definition of our being. One thought that emerges strongly for me is wanting to see Christian direct a full on feature film. If you are in a position to help this happen, be ready for a call from me. And if you want to take the initiative and call me, please, do it. I will connect you with Christian. The beacon of kindsight erases the shadow of hindsight.