Got Lucky

December and January are months in which I enjoy tucking in to movies and books. When the snow is here. When it’s cold. When the sun sets at 5:00.

Some of those movies and books are really compelling. They stay with me. Like I’ve welcomed them as renters in a particular neighborhood of my psyche. I enjoy seeing them in the morning and having tea together. Some of them are just so so. I’m not really drawn into the movie but I’m curious where they are going to go with it. I want to know how the director, etc. is going to get themselves out of the jam that is this unengaging story. Or if it’s a book, I tend to read faster, skimming sentences at the beginning of paragraphs and making it an exercise in speed reading. I’d rather have the compelling tea together, to be clear.

The “got lucky” part is that I’ve just watched a movie and am almost done reading a book that I’m guessing will be on my “best of” lists for 2017. The book is “Big Magic” by Elizabeth Gilbert (of Eat, Pray, Love fame). It’s a book given to me by a friend a bit more than a year ago with a really lovely and inviting inscription. It’s been sitting on my reading table most of the time since then. I’ve known where it was. The moment for reading it arrived three days ago. I wanted to treat myself to something on a Friday afternoon, 3:30. It was this book. Big Magic has fantastic and accessible gems of wisdom (my pages are very dog-eared) all around the theme of creativity and living a creative life. This book supposes that we humans are creative beings by nature and that our creativity is fundamental need. Further, that ideas live as a life form and are looking for human hosts so as to be born. This is good, right. If I had a nickel for every good idea that came my way that I loved but didn’t give enough attention to such that it “moved on,” yup, I’d have a wheelbarrow full of nickels. This book is compelling and inspiring and inviting. And I found, honest. I can’t wait to see the friend who gave me the copy and catch up together.

The movie is called Captain Fantastic, starring Viggo Mortensen, with outstanding roles by his on-screen children. This movie was also recommended to me by a good friend (the most enjoyable books and movies come from friends, hmm….). There are many important and compelling themes to me, embedded in the story. The relationship between nature and civilization. The perpetuated myths and habits that are numbing the crap out of much of western society. Need for village and need for forest — that’s how my friend described it. It’s sweet. It’s tender. It’s bad-assed. It’s intelligent. It’s confrontational. It’s enough to stir much in me and call forth in me courage to challenge systems and beliefs, most of them residing deeply in me, but let’s be honest, being enacted in many contemporary organizations and systems.

And so it is, 2017 arrives. After two weeks off from writing, I’m at it again. I got lucky with a great book and a great movie out the gate. Plenty to carry me into the year with some heart, some meaning, and some honesty. Glad for friends. And yes, some luck to0.