Sunday, March 2, 2014

I Want to Live

So I just finished watching the Oscars. As I've stated before, I don't watch movies much any more, certainly not in theatres -- the potential for a triggering episode is far too great. But I love the glitz and the glamour and fancy dresses so every year my daughter and I watch the Oscars. This year we were especially pulling for Frozen to win for Best Animated Film and Best Song -- and it did. Yay! I'd read about several of the other nominated films (I was very happy to see The Lady in Number 6 win Best Documentary Short Subject) but the sum total of my movie-going this year was to see Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters, Despicable Me 2, Monsters University, City of Bones and Frozen. (This was actually WAY more movies than usual and every one was seen with house guests; we had LOTS of visitors over the summer!) Animated films tend to be "safe" for me -- and I have a child and Godson that were clamoring to go to the movies.

Even films I desperately wanted to see, like Gatsby, I didn't see in the theatre. In the case of Gatsby I *knew* there was a horrific fatal car wreck because I've read the novel several times, after all, I'm a Long Island girl. I did eventually buy Gatsby and watch it in the safety of my own home, secure in the knowledge that at least I knew when the crash was coming and it wouldn't sneak up on me. That's the worst, the being caught completely unaware, like I was that day. The costumes were fabulous, Catherine Martin totally deserved her win. The score was also amazing, in my opinion, but wasn't even nominated. Gravity won; the film seemed to be picking up all sorts of awards tonight which is weird -- I don't think it would have been on my list of films to see even if movie theatres didn't terrify me.

Anyway, the actual *point* of this post was that while the award darling of tonight's Oscars was Gravity, the critically acclaimed movie going into tonight's show was 12 Years a Slave. Definitely not something I saw. I can't do violence or bloodshed. It makes me sick now. But it was *the* film everyone was buzzing about and it won for Best Picture, so eventually I will probably try and see it as I have on my Bucket List to view every Best Picture film. During the acceptance speech, Steve McQueen said that the film's message and the hero's legacy was the following:

       "Everyone deserves not just to survive but to live..."

That is so very true when it comes to everyone who has been through a trauma. We spend so much time just trying to survive, we forget what it's like to actually live. We don't have the time, the energy, the patience for it. We are so focused on just making it from this moment to the next moment. For us the concept of one day at a time can be overwhelming. It's one hour at a time, one moment. Let me just get through this very moment without exploding, without having a panic attack, without lashing out, without reacting inappropriately, without screaming, without doing something that is going to make someone look at me, judge me, say something to me. Let me just be invisible. It takes so much effort. I don't have time to enjoy a good meal or a good book or a board game with my child or a stroll with my significant other. Hell, I don't have time to cultivate a relationship with someone I can call a significant other. That's not living. That's eking out a survival. I don't want to survive; I want to live.

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