I just finished half-ass watching the Oscars and I realized I had only seen 2 of the 9 nominated Best Pictures. That made me want to rent The Tree of Life from my On Demand list. So I did. I’d been wanting to watch this movie for a while now but hadn’t really been in the mood. Well, tonight, after 2 glasses of wine, I decided to rent it. And it’s a weird little movie. I’m about an hour into it and believe me, it took all the strength I had not to comment on it 30 minutes ago. It’s a weird flick. The first 30 minutes of it are space shots from NASA with meaningless commentary meant to pull you in for the next 2 hours. So far I’ve enjoyed it though. It’s a beautiful movie! The visual aspect of it is lovely and I adore the music.
And on a day like today I especially like the dialogue where I’ve paused it. It has the main boy questioning God in prayer, “Where do you live? Are you watching me?” while in the background he’s praying “Help me to be thankful for everything I got; help me not to tell lies…”. It’s beautifully accompanied by a piano based soundtrack. For some reason, after only an hour, this seemingly boring movie has touched me. It’s already made me cry!
And this one moment of habitual prayer, such as “help me Father” and “Bless my family” with the integrated cries of the human heart like, “help me to be humble” and “help me be honest”. It’s actually pretty true to the human plea. There have been many nights where I have prayed that habitual “bless my family” prayers with the commentary of “help me to be honest” running in the background. So many nights of that underlying plea to “let me be open, Lord!” and “give me the backbone to speak my mind!”. It’s interesting to see that type of forethought come through in a movie. Because, honestly, I’m not the only one who thinks such things or needs that type of help.
Every now and then we all need a little nudge to say what we’re really thinking; what we’re really feeling. And it can be hard! Especially if you think that your opinions will be negatively received. Man, I can’t even tell you how many times I’ve kept my mouth shut just because I didn’t want to be negatively criticized! It’s pretty embarrassing. And it makes me ashamed to think of myself as a strong woman when I’ve had such moments of extreme weakness. And I have had A LOT of them! That’s one of the problems of being a people pleaser. Because even if you aren’t actively pleasing someone in your life, you’re probably altering your life course so that you don’t at least disrupt the waters. I’ve been on this course for quite a while! Believe me, I don’t think anyone has been happy with my choices since 2008. And if half the folks new what I did to get to that point they would probably disown me! Gotta love the unknown paths that we all take. No one really knows anybody, do they? We all think we do, especially family or friends, but the truth it, we all have things that we don’t share. They may not really be bad, but they may not be public knowledge. And yet, everyone thinks they know better than you. It’s interesting. Especially since no one is completely honest. We all have these personas that we portray to specific people. You know who I’m talking about, you’re probably reading this right now.
You’ve lied. You’ve expressed concern when it wasn’t fact-based because you actually had no idea what you were talking about. Or who you were talking about.
It’s amazing how much we think we know just because we’re older. Age has nothing to do with it. You either know us, or you don’t. It’s as simple as that. It’s about experience. And you can have a hell of a lot of experience at 16 or 26. It just depends on your life.
Anyway, The Tree of Life got me thinking. I haven’t finished the movie yet but that simple prayer in that first hour really got my mind churning.
“Are you watching me?”
The real question is, “Are you proud of what you see?”