There is a quiet place, a secret place, that is yours for restoration. There is a realness in the stillness. Go there, when you can; when you need to. It's safe. For me, it is the Other Side of the Trees.
Judi Tench: amazing. Judi Tench plays the role of Philomena. It is one thing to read a book, or watch a movie, and walk away with “Yeah, I liked it.” It is another thing entirely when you watch an excellent movie, and find out at the very end that … this is a true story. It makes to you, I hope, that as I am writing this, I will avoid giving any information away that could possibly spoil this movie, for those of you who have not yet seen the movie. As for Steve Coogan, I really cannot imagine a better actor for that part.
So, here are some themes, words, that may encourage you to see this move:
Portrait of a courageous woman with priceless inner strength and profound resilience;
Disruption that will bring out the bewilderment in you … the bewilderment about how this injustice could happen;
Beauty in a great woman’s character;
This movie will be worth your while, unless you only watch the “action / adventure” movies (Bruce Willis / Die Hard … Do you know what I mean?)
That woman, there … with the long white dress, the cross sewn into the train … she has my heart, and it will always be that way. Those on both sides of the aisle show a glow, reflecting the beauty of this bride, an elegant one. Her countenance has a fragrance that reminds me of the Don Juan Rose.
She and I both remember, and reflect on from time to time, the trip to the airport, a few days before Christmas of 1994. I had met her in October. We went out a few times in November. And in December, we both needed to fly out of Denver … and somehow our flights went out on the same day (different planes, different destinations). So I had a good friend drive us both to DIA. We followed the creed of Christmas travelers: arrive early; thus, the pre-flight java before one of us flew south, and the other flew north. Less than six months later, we had a wedding.
A safe place. A commitment to live well with each other, and to love well with each other, and to look ahead, for the big things, with each other. Life is harsh, and we fight for each other. And we when we don’t see eye to eye, we fight with honor, with respect. We parent together. We rest from the storms, and we heal from the wounds, our stories have redemption. For my amazing wife, Happy Valentines Day, my love. I have had a place in my heart for folks who are in marriages that aren’t working. So difficult, as they don’t always know whether to stay or to go. A million dollar question for some is “Can this marriage be healed?” And in some cases, the only right answer is get out of the marriage. All of this is so difficult. I hope the best for all. We all need peace; we all need hope; we all need to be safe; and we all need to be loved well.
‘Wrote a post a while back about movies that can make a man weep. Here is a safety-tip: try to analyze the title of the movie, maintaining a high level of awareness, to avoid the possibility of tears. For me, my preference is to ALWAYS avoid movies that have the potential to make a man weep. Hey: a movie can get past you. Sometimes the Mrs. picks out the movie right? I have an excuse for “Bambi” and “Old Yeller”. I was a kid.
So, my dilemma with this DVD, is that it made me weep. I almost pulled it off. I reached the end, and then … it happened. So, gentlemen, I will go ahead and give you the name of the movie so that you can keep yourself from getting drawn into a movie that might cause you to weep in front of your wife or your girlfriend: AWKWARD ! & BUMMER! So here is the movie: “Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close”
I usually don’t recommend movies that bring about some degree of weeping. Another dilemma: I normally stay away from movies that come ANYWHERE close to the 9/11 tragedy (2001). However, the movie really is not about the 9/11 tragedy. It is about profound relational dynamics that come up with loss, grief, confusion, and re-connecting. “Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close” is a great movie. I cautiously recommend the movie, with the understanding that even though this movie IS NOT ABOUT 9/11 … one could be triggered; thus, my caution. The acting is top-notch / Sandra Bullock and Tom Hanks. I don’t know anything about the kiddo. But he portrays an Aspergers kiddo. And I guess that hits home, right in the breadbasket. My son is an Aspergers kiddo. Thomas Horn portrays the 9-year-old boy Oscar Schell, who is (in the movie) somewhere on the Autism spectrum, trying to make sense of everything.
This has happened before. All four of us, two parents and two kiddos, taking a part in a musical. Here we are again. I’m the one … everybody else has to convince to participate.
Let’s see … My son is … one of the “Sons”. My daughter is one of the “Daughters”. My wife is one of the “Mamas”, and I play the part of the Roof. I also am one of the “Papas”. It is one of those odd, rare, happenings when all four of us are in a musical. I don’t even know when the performance is, but it’s interesting to hear my 12-year old daughter singing “Sunrise, Sunset”, and “Matchmaker”. She likes the tune and the lyrics of “Sunrise, Sunset”. But she likes the second one, “Matchmaker”, because she is talking about boys from time to time: “Hey Dad, that boy is cute.”
A fiddler on the roof...
Sounds crazy, no?
But here, in our little village of Anatevka,
you might say
every one of us is a fiddler on the roof.
Trying to scratch out a pleasant, simple tune
without breaking his neck.
It isn't easy.
You may ask,
why do we stay up there
if it's so dangerous?
Well, we stay because
Anatevka is our home.
And how do we keep our balance?
That I can tell you in one word!
*This post is written as a way of encouraging parents of special needs kiddos. My (life) experience has more to do with mood disorders and neurological issues.
THE BOY …
is watched over by angels, and I do not have the energy or the intellect or the salesmanship to convince you of this. Its something that I just know. Some parents might relate to this mystery.
And God …
gives the boy favor. In my imagination I can seethe Wild Man upstairs, the same One who created the whole deal, smiling when He sees the boy laugh, or when He sees the boy do something that is beautiful. In that same imagination I can the Wild Man upstairs become pensive, and almost weep, when He sees the pain of the boy … and when He sees the pain of the parents.