Every human being is unique, different, and distinctive.
The imaginary world of movies pretends to celebrate this fact, and maverick protagonists are popular. But their problems aren’t our problems, and their issues are rarely if ever solved in a realistic, believable fashion. Too boring.
In the real world, we battle with constant pressure to conform, much of which is thanks to those movies, “reality” TV shows, magazines, and celebrity Instagram feeds. If we don’t watch it, we’ll focus on being cool more than anything else — driving the right car, wearing trendy clothes, speaking savvy jargon, and walking along — head bobbing and body twitching to the music in our ears (how cool is that?) — as we pretend to be in a movie of our own.
But in focusing on being cool, we are in severe danger of no longer being ourselves.
The artwork, Light of Zion, celebrates the beauty and . . . idiosyncrasy of being ourselves.
A young woman walks through the landscape of Zion National Park in Utah, but, contrary to conventional and logical expectations, she isn’t wearing sporty attire and hiking boots.
Rather, she dons heels, long dress, a gauzy wrap — an ensemble more appropriate to a party than a hike.
“That’s weird,” observers think. “If she twists her ankle she deserves it.”
Such is the reaction people get when they choose to be themselves — when we follow our heart, walk the path set before us, think and question, pursue our goals, dream our dreams. To outsiders, what we’re doing looks unrealistic and incongruous — unconventional and illogical — and there is always that helpful person who assiduously points out to us the challenges, drawbacks and difficulties we face, as if we had not thought of them, nor dwelt upon them, ourselves.
But there is a fine line between “facing reality” — which to the helpful persons consists of giving up on the fantastic and settling for the confines of a box — and diligently moving forward to achieve something difficult, in the face of improbable odds.
In the movies, it’s all tucked up and solved in two hours.
In real life, it’s a daily walk — a walk of beauty and grace, of determination and grit, of distinction and aplomb. And for some, sandals instead of hiking boots.
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