Friday, March 2, 2012

Sharing Stories in the Dark (Slice 2)

I don’t know when it started, but going to the movies by myself has become one of my most loved escapes. I don’t go as often as I did a few years ago (when I averaged a movie per week), because real life, real story, outweighs what happens on a screen. But I still love stepping into a different world, seeing how life looks through other eyes. And while I like the social nature of going with a friend or a crowd, I LOVE going by myself, being part of a semi-connected audience that might laugh and cry together, but won’t ask, “What did you think?” at the credits.
That’s the real gist of it, I suppose. Beyond the atmosphere (the friendly dark settling in, the perfect fixation of sitting just close enough to catch the full screen in your peripherals), I love the level of community. We are strangers sharing stories in the dark, and we will go our different roads home and remain strangers, but for a couple hours we will be tied up together in someone else’s world.
I went to see “The Artist” earlier this week, and completely loved it. As a verbose sort, I am enthralled when someone can craft a beautiful, engrossing story with so few words. And I was glad I saw it in the theater: there was something perfect about sitting in a mostly-empty theater, sharing this dip into the past with a handful of anonymous reactors scattered behind me.
I think I love other stories so much because they remind me that I’m writing my own. Sometimes I think about God’s focus on each of our stories in this context. It’s an imperfect metaphor—an audience has no power of deus ex machina—but I think there’s a note of truth to it: that He, in his infinity and immeasurability, sits in the third row, just close enough to see everything, and pours Himself over us like laughter and tears.

7 comments:

  1. I love that you do this. So many people are too afraid to go to the movies by themselves. I don't know why.

    When I lived in Manhattan, I used to go to the theater by myself all of the time. I saw more things that I can even remember by myself from off-Broadway shows to Rent. I have to be honest with you... I loved it.

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  2. I like what you said on the sidebar:
    "Jesus has followers; I just have friends who share the road."
    There's something I never liked about the word "followers."

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    1. Yeah, there's just something cultish about it as a descriptor/verb...

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  3. OMG, me too! I LOVE going to the movies alone! Wanna go together-alone?

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    1. Haha YES. We can totally do that. :)

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  4. I have yet to go to the movies by myself, but you are inspiring me to try it now! Also, I just watched the trailer of The Artist last night!!! I didn't hear much about it since the Oscar's buzz recently (since I'm overseas). I hope I can see it too!!! I love how you connected the last part to how God pours Himself over us like laughter and tears. I'll be thinking about that as I get ready for church this morning! :)
    jee young

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    1. Haha, glad I could inspire, Jee! Definitely see "The Artist"--it's excellent. I'm convincing myself I don't need to see it again in the theater... By myself, of course... :)

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