Like many introverts, I'm a big fan of sci-fi and fantasy. I read so much and watch so much that all of these ideas swirl around in my head. I'll mention some of those influences. Hopefully one day a novel will come out of it. So, I was really excited to see the movie "Arrival" with Amy Adams and Jeremy Renner. I can't find the words to describe just what this movie made me feel. It was thought provoking, moving, mind-blowing, awe-inspiring. Somehow those words don't convey the full meaning of my experience. When I was leaving the theater, after all the credits mind you, I asked the teenage guy cleaning up if he'd seen it. He said no, not yet but he'd heard that it was slow. I said that it wasn't an action movie but it was excellent, thought-provoking and I loved it. Who knows if that would appeal to a teenage boy. But you should see it. It's one that I plan on buying the DVD of, not just streaming. This isn't a review though, so much as an exploration of the effect this film and others had on me.
Spoiler alert! Unfortunately, I have to use some spoilers in order to explain myself. You see, a theme in the movie is time. And one of Amy Adams' lines near the end of the film is directed towards Ian, Jeremy Renner's character. She asks him "If you could see your life from beginning to end, would you change anything?" Because she can see her life from beginning to end and she sees that he becomes her husband and the father of her child and the pain of losing that child. Would you choose to live a life you knew would be full of pain and great sorrow. His answer to her is "I think I would share my feelings more."
Life is so uncertain. I don't know what the future will bring and I can get caught and stuck in the fear that uncertainty causes. Everyone does. Is it the not knowing or the pain you anticipate happening that makes it so scary? Both probably. There are so many ways people deal with certainty and uncertainty both healthy and unhealthy. I get stuck and have to work hard to push through the fear and move forward. It's not really a reflection of who I am, the infinite Jess. It's a reflection of how I deal with time as I understand it and trusting the universe to have my back.
This film had me sitting in the seat while the credits are rolling, feeling so much and thinking about the question she asks him and his answer. If you knew the story of your life from start to finish would you change anything? Sharing my feelings more. That's something I talk about a lot because I know the value in it and I'm also working at it. I'm working on my fear of uncertainty. That question and the answer and the fact that she does choose that life was and is inspirational to me. Somehow it released some of the pressure and the fear. To accept what comes with an open heart. To focus my attention on living the moments as they come. To not worry so much. It gave me permission to live. To release this fear and the restraint of time. To connect with something greater than myself. To connect with the universe.
So many things recently have gotten me thinking about the nature of the universe and time. I like the idea that it's non-linear. Time moves back and forward on itself, that we're connected to a greater energetic system that is outside of time. But also that the universe moves so slowly when seen as linear. I recently saw "Doctor Strange", which was highly entertaining but not nearly as thought-provoking or poignant as "Arrival". It's not meant to be. But I did take something from that as well and was sad when it ended and I had to return to my regular life with it's problems and fears. The imagination and creativity are awesome. The ability to create your world was a super power in the movie and seems unattainable. Then I watched the first episode of "Cosmos" on Netflix. How in the cosmic calendar, humanity is only in existence for the last minute of the last day of the year. Where one days equals 40,000,000 years.
When I think my life isn't moving fast enough or the things I want haven't happened yet, the cosmos reminds me that time is relative and the universe moves at it's own pace. I do believe that there is a higher power at work. Whether that's God, or a system of energy we don't fully understand surrounding us, that's not for me to say. But there's something greater that we're only slightly aware of. The point being that I have a belief that there is a greater, infinite force at work. What's happening in my life and in the world is all for our own spiritual growth. There is something to be gained from every interaction, every experience, good or bad. I'm of the opinion that we are spiritual beings on a physical journey. There's a purpose to what we experience. Our greatest task is to learn and to grow with each life we live. And to feel the joy life brings.
These are the kinds of big conversations I've had with my Dad since I was little, about the nature of life and the spirit. I treasure my talks with him and I am so grateful when I meet people who also ponder the greater meaning of life, whether they are like-minded or not. There's so much more out there and happening than we understand. Isn't that amazing. That unknowing. So that's how I manage to shift out of my fear uncertainty. Reflecting on the nature of the universe, how I'm connected to something greater, a higher power that is looking out for me. It's there to help me grow and learn, to become a more vibrant, joyous person. What's the point of worrying when the world is there for me to create. I would probably choose the life that I have even if I knew what was to happen from start to finish but I have to agree that I'd share my feelings more. There's something to be gained from everything we go through, if we can only believe and see it and enjoy the moment.