When I'm feeling blue. When the canvas on my little sailboat of life hangs motionless in a hot, windless sea. When my steps are labored and I drag my feet around like heavy stones. When hardly anything makes sense anymore and the world appears completely off its axis. When fun has taken leave of me like some misplaced treasure. When my soul has no more music in it. It is then that I go to the movies.
There in semi-darkness, the anticipation of excitement grows. Alone or with a companion I soak up the surrounding atmosphere--people chatting, the screen running its ads and movie trivia questions, the soft dim lights signaling something will happen soon, the comfortable seats and convenient cup holders, reminders that small pleasures carry value.
Has a plain old hotdog and soda ever tasted better than at the movies? And what is it about movie theater popcorn that never changes and in spite of marketing efforts, is never duplicated?
Eventually the theater darkens and the screen fills with activity--previews, Coke ads, that little piece about shutting off cell phones, until finally the main attraction is rolling and before I know it I am caught up in the life of a story unfolding on film.
For a brief while all the burdens of my existence float off to some far away place and are forgotten. All the poisons inside my spirit--hurts, sadness, loneliness, anger, stress, dread--are released in tears, in laughter, in suspense--and for a beautiful short-lived time I transcend every oppressive worry in the wonder of a movie.
Later, walking out into the fresh air of the afternoon or evening, I greet my life again waiting for me in the real world.
On my way home I know the duties of living have returned but I feel I am ready to fulfill them. My humanity has been affirmed. I have found my place again within the restless crowd. Mysterious inner resources discovered in that theater of enchantment have emboldened me now to face tomorrow's deadlines and obligations with a curious new sense of relief, longing, and determination.
ã 2011 Timothy Moody