Saturday, January 29, 2005

Lost in Translation

I'm in the middle of watching Lost In Translation. It's the kind of movie that just tugs at me. There seem to have been a large number of that kind of movie coming out. The kind that lays bare the discontent that runs rampant throughout the world. I haven't seen the end yet, but it seems like, whatever the conclusions people make, everyone's wondering. Like in the title phrase in the movie, As Good As It Gets. Jack's character is in psychologist's office lobby and he asks of all the waiting, struggling, and disheartened people, "What if this is as good as it gets?" People wonder for half their lives who it is they're supposed to be and what it is they're supposed to do. It seems like they spend the other half trying to justify how they never figured it out. Somewhere along the line they decide that it's too late. The dream they were hoping to dream, even if they could really grasp it now, it would be too late. It's never going to happen. For myself, I can't decide if I have some sort of personal Legend that I'm supposed to fulfill or if I just have an arrogant sense of my own importantce. Billions of people in the world who just go through life, not even sure of why they're there, too afraid or too dense or too lazy to even ask the questions. Too cynical to believe in answers. Myself, I have a faith in God, particularly in Jesus, but that has become just a place to stand on, and my purpose, it seems, is too blurry for me to comprehend. I don't know if that's because it actually is a difficult thing to find or if some part of me is just what I said before about everyone else. Too lazy or selfish or proud or afraid or dense or complacent. I've heard that anyone at any time in their life is capable of fulfilling their personal legend. (for anyone who's read the Alchemist). But what do I make of that? I don't know if that's the key to humanity's problems or just plain naive. The amount of people in the world confounds my imagination. I like to observe people. I've listened to people talking to each other, and it just strikes me who people are always so concerned about their own little worlds. What if I lived my life like it wasn't my life that was important? It's true, though, that we can't go getting concerned about things that we're not going to actually affect in any way. That's no more than pageant contestants talking about world peace. We can't practically live our lives that way. On the other hand, what if I truly believed that every single action in my life mattered. What would it be like? Sometimes when I think about it, I know that I fear how unpleasant or boring or arduous it would be. I don't know if that's a realistic fear or not. Perhaps if I were really brave enough to live my life that way, my discontent and discouragement would disappear. Maybe. Or maybe I'd just end up distracting myself from it instead of really dealing with it. But I think of all the things that people are doing in life, all the junk that people fill their lives with, just to make themselves feel better for a while. From drugs to face-lifts to magazines to booze to just about anything. Is it possible to just celebrate life? I think it is, but usually I think that isn't what we do. Well, those are just some of the things on my mind.

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