Because we are surrounded by movies, it’s tempting to feel that our lives should look like one.
In a way, we are force-fed an entertainment diet– cinema, TV, “reality TV,” Instagram stars, YouTube luminaries, music videos, “news” — the way ducks and geese are forcibly fed, via a tube to the stomach, to produce the oversized liver necessary for foie gras.
And in the same way that the fowls’ livers become grossly oversized and swollen, so do our expectations of life become unrealistic and delusory, to the point that regular, real, ordinary life seems boring and unfulfilling.
Most of us aren’t fabulously rich. Many people who live in New York do not do so in spacious, luxury apartments. If we post a YouTube video of ourselves singing, we don’t become an overnight sensation. Our Facebook posts don’t go viral.
We don’t tell off our boss and through that, change him or her for the better. We don’t wow the judges with our comedy act. Our books aren’t made into movies.
We can’t fly.
In a continuous, unending stream of cinematic propaganda, we get the not so subtle message that, because our lives don’t look like what we see on screen, then they’re boring and unfulfilling.
Not so. Not so at all.
Real life, our lives, are beautiful, because they are real and genuine and good, and we are surrounded by a unique array of real, genuine and good people — our family, our friends — that we know uniquely, deeply, intimately.
The artwork, Twilight Romance, touches upon this concept. And while the image is surreal, magical, a touch fantastic, it draws upon emotions that are so grounded and real that they are a bit surreal, magical, and fantastic themselves. Love, true love, is fantastic.
When we look into the eyes of a person that we know deeply and well, we see beyond the surface — we see the experiences we’ve shared, the laughter and the sadness, the hope and the grief. We see a fullness of life lived side by side with one another as an adventure — exciting because we never know where it will go, tempered by the ordinary, almost prosaic, cup of coffee over the breakfast table.
That’s real life, and it’s worth living.
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