Friday, December 25, 2009

Up in the Air

As I recover from getting the wind knocked out of me by "Up in the Air," I realize that it sacked me just as it shows so many people being sacked. I was enjoying a wonderful romantic comedy plotline and laughing more than usual. I was feeling connected to the movie and to the person I was with. And then, wham, I'm cut loose, left alone, adrift. Wondering what the hell happened. Having proudly protected my independence for so long, I find myself deluded that I have become part of something and understand that I am just a parenthesis in someone else's life. Still isolated. It is a devastating feeling: a powerful movie, to inspire such loneliness.

Rebuttal the next morning: Yes, what a powerful movie. But the difference between the George Clooney character and myself is that I have a home. I have a wonderful home with wonderful friends -- I have many longstanding connections with people where I am part of the narrative, not a parenthesis. My home is not isolating: it's not a special passcard, it's not a single seat on a plane. It's expansive and inclusive. His life was so isolated that meeting a (perfect) partner is a random and rare event. My life is grounded and is defined by a breadth of communities and affection.

Once again, a powerful movie, to bring us to such an experience of isolation.

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