Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Some Childhood Magic Restored


Finally, Tom and I, the last of all the good people of Blogland, went to see The Chronicles of Narnia. Now, here in this great land I'd heard all sorts of comments about this movie (taken from a book I've curled up and read many a time), so I wasn't sure what to expect. Though most people liked it, overall, most picked at it, too, the way you pick at the turkey when you've sat too much and talked too long at the Thanksgiving table.

So what did I think of The Chronicles of Narnia? It was perfect. Just plain perfect.

Tom and I especially loved Lucy, and we especially, especially loved any of her scenes with Mr. Tumnus. Some of you (okay, most...) will find this comparison odd, but those delightful Lucy-Tumnus scenes made me feel just as down-to-my toes touched by the rapport between them, as did the Shirley Temple-Bill Robinson dance scenes in
Shirley's old movies. In both cases, you could tell these people enjoyed each other, in reality, as well as in the midst of the parts they played.

Stay with me... I am going somewhere with this...

The first movie I recall watching in a theater was Mary Poppins, way back when it first came out. I remember laughing hard, uncontrollably, when the soot-covered chimney sweeps danced through the children's house. And I also remember that the next day, out on the school playground, conversation about Mary Poppins was rampant. All my friends loved that movie, and you know... no one picked it apart. No one said, I thought this actor did a great job, but that other actor was lousy. No child said the movie lasted too long, didn't have enough special effects, could have had less dialogue, fewer songs or more action sequences.

No, out there on the playground, we were still coming off of the movie magic, rather like the way one comes off the dentist's novacaine. We were still even a little tipsy, perhaps, from having been drugged by the trip you take when you watch a good movie, you know, when you're sitting in a movie theater or in your recliner, and yet somehow, you're also transported onto the screen in the midst and neighborhood of what you are watching.

And you know... I think many of us, as adults, have lost that movie magic. And not just because we are all grown-up. No, but because it's become so popular now to absolutely tear movies apart at their weakest seams, scene-by-scene and actor-by-actor all in the name of having our opinions be made known and being known by our (too highly valued) opinions. Of keeping up with the big kids and showing them we are just as aware and intellectual, savvy and cool as they are.

And the playground where we all made the movie magic last just a little longer, well, it's been moved to the office or to Blogland, except, there's no magic soaring there, but it's more like the critiques and complaints are flying now. Instead of discussing the fun and the whisking away, we discuss where the movie, the writers, the director and the actors fell short... And the high no longer comes from the film, but from being the first enlightened one to cite where the film bombed.

And all the while, many people moan about having forever lost what was good about childhood, when maybe, just maybe, some of it has not been lost, but rather, squeezed out because of something else chosen in its place. Something which, even at this late date, can become unchosen and tossed away for the something better we once had.

Or maybe it's just me who sees it this way.

And well, I don't want to be like that... Becoming a critic can turn into a habit--trust me, I know. It starts with movies, then before you realize it (but everyone else sees it) you are criticizing your spouse, your children, your friends, your Country, your government, your church, your pastor, your neighbors and well, your whole darn life. The very life God, Himself, breathed into you and planned-out for you for good, not evil.

No, I want to stop critiquing movies around Blogland's water cooler, and instead, bask in the magic of sitting in a chair and yet being up on a screen simultaneously... Of watching characters I do not know, and yet feel like I know.

I want to watch movies, both new and old, and remember and discuss what I loved about them... what it was like to become caught-up in them.

And the same goes for my life, except that instead of watching, I want to participate--but not in all the complaining going on. No, but rather, in all the God-breathed magic out there on Life's big screen just waiting to be appreciated.


***

"You tear apart the baby's rattle and see what makes the noise inside, but there is a veil covering the unseen world which not the strongest man, nor even the united strength of all the strongest man that ever lived, could tear apart. Only faith, fancy, poetry, love, romance can push aside that curtain and view and picture the supernal beauty and glory beyond." ... Frank P. Church

"Do everything without complaining or arguing..." Philippians 2:14

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