Monday, April 19, 2010

"I know it sounds boring, but I think it's the boring stuff that I remember most."

This will be the second movie review of my blog. Don't worry, Up will fare much better than The Lion King.

I was hanging out with my little cousins and needed a break so I put on the Pixar movie Up. I have been a fan of Pixar since Finding Nemo and The Incredibles but for some reason I didn't watch this one until today. Pixar has this annual trend of putting out some really good movies (I can't wait to see Toy Story 3 this summer) and Up falls right into that category as well.

Up is a movie with cute well-developed characters, outstanding animation, and a terrific story. The message really hit home for me and left me a little teary eyed. Well, not literally, because, you know... I'm tough and stuff.

The main message of the movie is that most of us get caught up in daily issues and the responsibilities of living. Carl and his wife Ellie save and plan their whole lives (since they were children) to go to Paradise Falls. Sadly, Ellie never makes it on that adventure. At 70-something, Carl sets off to live out their dream and go to Paradise Falls. On his journey, Carl meets a little boy named Russel, who embodies pureness of spirit. Russel is responsible for the beautiful quote in the title of this entry. He reminds us that, many times, it is the most ordinary things that we miss the most once they are gone.

Carl and Ellie show that sometimes we can wait our whole lifetime for an adventure. We tell ourselves that we will be happy once we get that promotion or diploma. We say that we will be content when we buy that new boat or pay off our house. We think that we can finally relax once we go on a vacation.

We tend to live so far in the future that we forget to be present to the moment. Somehow we forget that today is part of our adventure also.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Have you had life changing moments?

My short answer was: "Yes. Many." She looked surprised. She didn't understand and I didn't care to elaborate. If I did, my answer would been a lot longer...

Yes. I've had many.

When I lost my virginity. The first time I drove a car. The first time I programmed on a computer. The first time I drank alcohol, and coffee. Reading any of a hundred different authors, listening to any of hundreds of musicians, seeing the souls of artists poured out into verse, canvas, or note and feeling their raw emotions with a chaser of connectedness. Any of the near-death experiences I noticed, and the analysis of the otherwise inconsequential events that precipitated them. Some moments of special receptiveness to mundane beauties like frost on rose petals or the bleed fires of oil refineries in the fog that crystallized a peck of life and made me stop and consciously feel. The day I met my first cat, and the day I watched his chest stop rising. The first time I noticed I was drinking myself to sleep, and the day I realized I'd stopped dreaming. Heartbreak. The first really really good taco I ate. When I realized I was more intelligent than my parents, and when I found out I was stronger than my father. And hell, thousands of bits vaguely remembered that nonetheless changed me into the fingers typing this.

Life's a fucking palimpsest, and each layer is a moment that bounced us one way or another. If you don't notice them changing you, you're just not paying attention.