I think it’s my sentimental mood which makes me name this after a Neil Diamond song. Sad, depressing movies with happy endings tend to make me get sentimental so I apologize beforehand. In search of inspiration to finish this semester still somewhat sane, I watched What Dreams May Come. If you get past the weird casting of Robin Williams, the movie is very moving and visually stunning. It is also one of those movies that makes you stop and think and remember.
I remember watching Dogma, another film that deals with the afterlife, in a more irreverent way or course, but that’s besides the point. My best friend from home and I watched it together, I think it was the summer between 9th and 10th grades. We’d just survived Global Studies and a brief introduction to most of the religions of the world by our nutty but dedicated teacher. A was in her “super Jew” phase as she called it and I was a recent convert to “Krystalism,” i.e. all the good parts of all religions we had just learned about mushed together. I mostly wanted an excuse to still celebrate Christmas while doing Taoist exercises and reading the Torah. Not that I ever did any of those things simultaneously – I just liked the idea that I could.
What Dreams May Come brought back that discussion vividly for me because I remembered my faith in that conversation that I could believe in whatever I wanted and I would be OK. As I long as I believed in something, anything, it would be better than nothing at all. It’s funny all these years later (OK, so it wasn’t that long ago but it feels like ions), I haven’t changed in that belief. Call me irreverent or damn as I know some people would, I refuse to believe that that makes me somehow doomed or out of the loop or missing some vital experience in my life. I remember watching A in high school and wishing I had a background like that, a deep connection with a religion, with something bigger than me. I think that’s where Krystalism came from, my need to connect with something larger, something that would watch over me. Years later, that would fondly come with the smite button more often than not as my PP friends can attest for you. In the end though, I still have that idea of a larger than life presence. I don’t think it has an religious affiliation to me. It is simply a friend always there when I need it to talk to or to laugh with. I know I must cause some pretty long laughs. I’m not sure what this makes me or what to call the final product of my faith but I do know I would be lost without it.
I told you this would be sentimental and at the very worse, nostalgic. I find the closer I get to the real world the more I miss those summers and those theoretical discussions which made us feel so very clever and grown up. It’s one of those life’s ironies that come back to bite you in the ass when you least expect it. At least I wasn’t one of those raring to get to adulthood. I was perfectly happy at a kid, thank you very much. Adulthood isn’t fitting quite so nicely most days. But every once in awhile, I do like to look back and laugh and see that maybe I haven’t changed that much…maybe I haven’t changed that much at all.