Saturday, April 19, 2014

'tis the season (an oldie, re-posted)

Lily has been obsessed this week with “feel-good” movies. Coincidentally (surely!) I’ve been crabby, and looking for the route out.

“Mom, is this a feel-good movie?” she asked in the middle of Burlesque. That was the first time I heard her use the term. She was born a feel-good person, so of course this term would catch her attention. So far, her few personal dramas have had happy endings, but she seems to find it a bit suspicious that it’s actually a movie genre.

The afternoon after we saw Burlesque, because we’re homeschoolers and we can do whatever we want, she was watching Amelie, as a French assignment. Kind of. Afterward, I asked her how it was. “It was a feel-good movie,” she said.

“Seriously?” I thought she was teasing me. But I do recall it had a happy ending.

I have a reaction to the label ‘feel-good.’ It smacks of marketing. How gratifying that my daughter is suspicious, because she’s otherwise fairly gullible. I imagine her questions, the ones she’d ask if I weren’t in such a crabby mood: “Mom, does anyone NOT feel good after a feel-good movie?” I imagine myself making a crabby retort.

“If people don’t leave feeling good, is it still a feel-good movie?” This is the kind of question that makes me gaze at her speechless. I am going into a mini-trance just typing it. Wisely, she never asked either, which gave me space to wonder why I’m so unreceptive to feel-good movies. I seem to assume that these movies cannot possibly be works of art and therefore must be works of marketers, because they know, they totally know, because they do focus groups, that people will PAY to feel good. Sure, people pay for movies that aren’t feel-good movies…but I’m not suspicious of those movies. I only feel the wariness about feel-good movies. They seem to be written by grade-B writers. I’m so crabby.

Two of my facebook friends recommended The Blind Side; Lily has been avidly reading the comments to my status update query regarding feel-good movies—perhaps only because she receives notifications on her phone. As she reads my comments and critiques my facebook comment-writing style, which makes me crabby. “That was confusing,” she points out, and indeed the next person who commented was indeed confused. (Somehow, her friends’ comments are not confusing at all…even though they don’t use vowels.) Anyway--Lily and I once tried to watch The Blind Side and couldn’t. We tried--I actually thought she was enjoying it; I thought she’d object when I said I’d had enough, but she agreed.  “This movie is lame,” she had said. I was relieved. I excused my facebook friends’ questionable taste with the fact that they are from Indiana, and Lily was curious. “Really? Really, mom? People from Indiana have bad taste in movies?” She was asking in earnest. I was hoping she was not going to make this the thesis of her homeschooling term paper.

“I don’t know,” I said, “maybe just the ones from my hometown.” I’m from Indiana, so I can say whatever I want, right? Ever so crabby.

Meanwhile, I was writing a eulogy—bummer--and coming face to face with who I even am and how much of my ancient human-ness I am able to transform to Light in order to come ever more into harmony with my partner. It was a long two days. I could see why people take pills. I have every skill and tool and awareness to not declare war on the world, on my partner, on my kid, on myself, so I didn’t, but I was still edgy.

So I was driving north on Sheffield, pondering what would lift me back up, knowing I had a choice—what was it?! I was trying to remember what had lifted Katrina out of a similar feeling just last week…when she was having her own auto-immune-ish type of reaction to Love.

Our shadows, we have seen, sometimes react against Love Itself. We see how it works. We’ve got its numba. But that doesn’t mean it doesn’t make us pause, sometimes.

And then I remembered what lifted her up, into a mini-epiphany: she had missed feeling good, she missed being close to me, and simply chose to change, reroute…immediately…yes! That’s all I needed to do; realign with love, just because I missed the feeling.

And just then, a white Honda pulled in front of me with the license plate: “LOVE WINS.”

Confirmation. So much better than a movie! So much quicker. Absolutely arresting. A stunning moment by the Universe that caught my eye, and was followed by a series of numbers in a more esoteric but still staggering communication to me that all is well. In truth, there was a part of me that wanted to stay crabby nevertheless.

Do I even deserve to feel happy and be loved right now? On my crabby drive up Sheffield? Even though I am totally flawed as a human being? Apparently yes. Even though not everything is totally totally sorted out yet? Apparently yes. Yes. Love wins. Love whatever’s in your way, love whatever is blocking the way of Love. Got it.

Turning toward the Light, I am convinced, is immediately rewarded, with good feelings and license plate communications and lucky numbers, and is worth accessing by almost any means necessary…even feel-good movies. Really, whatever it takes. In case I still didn’t get it, LOVE WINS proceeded to park right in front of me when I reached my destination. LOVE WINS.

--I must add, people from my hometown also recommended my two favorite choices: Slumdog Millionaire and Little Miss Sunshine. Actually people from my hometown have GREAT taste in movies, when it agrees with mine.

And hey, is Burlesque indeed a feel-good movie? And if so, aren’t all musicals, Corrie Lenn Borris? Because otherwise they’d be operas, wouldn’t they?