There are days that make us ache: days where nature wreaks havoc with hurricanes and/or earthquakes; days where madmen bring pain and death with bombs and/or planes; days where loved ones die from illness, injury or age. These are days that come with living in our current world. Sadly, these days are unavoidable: nature and madmen will always find ways to wage their heartless way. We can only make the other days be the best they can be. Be kind, be loving, be generous. And, on the bad days, seek solace where we can.
I think film and theater are a great solace. We feel good watching a movie we love; it’s like an old friend, bringing a sense of consistency, stability and familiarity—things we need at times of struggle. Watching actors play characters who laugh, cry and wend their ways through adventures connects us to the world in a powerful way: we learn from their mistakes and the ways they differ from us and feel camaraderie and recognition in what we share with them—even if the characters are animated or non-human. We sit for a time, safe and at peace, taking in the stories that move us and remind us that life is full of more things than we can imagine.
So I posit that film and theater be embraced as a blessed balm for difficult days; that each can draw your mind away from your troubles, possibly provide solutions and, at the very least, remind you that you are not alone. They cannot heal the infirmed or rebuild the destroyed, but they can bring comfort and fill us with a sense of wonder and awe, examples of courage and kindness…and lessons of heroism and humility. And that’s a good thing.
What are your comfort films or plays? Leave a comment and let me know.