Endgame (And Learning to Go Quietly)

My 21 year-old son suggested that we see this movie last night. Avengers: Endgame. I was glad that he asked. He’s recently moved back from college and doing a something together to mark his return was something that I wanted to do. This kind of movie isn’t really my genre. Not my son’s either. We’ve both laughed together at the new releases of Marvel Studios movies, sharing our loss of interest in that kind of story. It’s worth thinking about, but not for now. What is in the current collective psyche that seeks and is satisfied with inner or outer super hero? What is it in me as individual? OK, that’s the teaser. For another day.

This movie was released two weeks ago. It’s grossed billions of dollars, literally. It has a plethora of stars in reprised roles. I kind of liked it that I didn’t know all of the characters or the story lines. I know Iron Man and Robert Downey Jr cause I kind of liked the role from, what, 15-20 years ago? Truth be told, I did not expect much from this movie. Again, not really my genre. I expected boatloads, galactically, of action, special effects, sound quality, animation. I expected it to be stimulation overload and a bit confusing in the intensity. It was all of that, particularly in the second 90 minutes of this three hour film. But I did want to go with my son. He was returning. And returns matter. It was a well-done movie, I’d say. Rather impressive.

Part of what I enjoyed in this film that made it impressive to me is that I didn’t expect to see the vulnerability of these super human characters. Because the infallibility of them is what turned me off from the genre many years ago. It was impressive though, to see these heroes in their worry. In their depression. In their surrender and giving up. It was quite interesting, and relieving to see real doubt. It was good to see some subdued quality in the film that wasn’t centered in galactic action. It was good to see some parts that were as simple as peanut butter and jam sandwiches and super heroes with eyes that have been well-cried.

Ah, well, that’s all a movie. And a cultural experience. And a return of my son. Marked.

I’ve long had a developing relationship with silence. I’ve been challenged, culturally, to welcome, or trust, in a quality of lessened noise. It’s what makes me hesitate with movies like the one I saw last night. I recently wrote this poem (well before seeing the movie) that speaks to a skill needed in times like these.

I suppose I’d like to think that there is a quality needed these days, an avenger quality, to reclaim the simple.

Remember How To Go Quietly

Maybe the world is just noisy,
a cacophony of stimulation overload. 

Maybe it is essential
to remember how to go quietly.