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Friday, February 5, 2010

up in the air

I know you'll help us when you're feeling better and we realize that it might not be for a long, long time
But we're willing to wait on you
We believe in everything that you can do if you could only lay down your mind
I want you to try to help yourself
Take the time to take apart, each brick that sits outside your heart
And look around you
There's people everywhere
And though they don't always show it they're just as scared
And we'd be more prepared if you just pulled on through..Sad Brad Smith

i have come to love this song. it's light and a bit frothy and the lyrics speak to me of working with people with addictions. at first, they struggle with the simpler tasks, such as sleeping regularly, feeling angry, being tired. it takes a while for many of them to be able to participate in the world with others. that's how it was for me.

i went to see george clooney's "up in the air" last weekend and found a surprise or two. i hadn't read much about it, but i had seen a clip and i loved some of the banter between the clooney character and his "intern". lighthearted, smart, and a bit poignant, i thought - this can be an easy sunday afternoon. that much held true. there was an exchange of tit-for tat that was endearing to me. and jason bateman has found his way into my "i like" column in almost everything he does since he has grown way past the familty sitcom genre into parts that are grittier and a bit more dimensional.

and i get that the very timely topic of downsizing, pirate firings, and corporate cowardice in confronting the concept that they have actual individuals with emotional dimension working for them makes for great theatre.but i didn't expect the dimensions illuminated in the clooney character at all. i guess i just hadn't expected it. he is past the upper half of his career, certainly being well over 40. he has remained non-committal in his relationship to most of the world. his apartment reflects that he has no adornments or memorabilia or emotional entanglements. he just has assembled the bare bones of a living situation. a bland 1-bedroom  apartment with a forgettable sofa and a kitchennette that doubtfully ever have life breathed in them. this all reflects his life as being "up in the air" with nothing to tie it down.

but the real surprises for me was the shift in his priorities that starts to take place as the plot unfolds. his "dream job" taking him to acquiring his 10 million miles in the sky, is in jeapordy of being whisked into the past tense as technology offers a telecom option for his company to produce their services. no more hotels on the road, no more free miles, free rooms, free drinks at hotels, and no more casual liasons he has been honing as his skill set. as he struggles to keep his lifestyle in his realm, he begins the process of considering attachments in new ways in his world.

his younger sister is engaged to be married and he is invited to the service. a verbal lashing from his sister, layered with his career shakep cause him to begin to consider actually becoming an emotional part of his family and attend the services. he meets a fellow traveller on the road and begins an affair which he lets move to a more interior level. the techie junior he takes on the road with him to mentor with his wisdom and wiles of freelance termination seem to telescope a naivete and consequence of his former unattached lifestyle. and we witness his deadpan hurt as he realizes he does not master these more intimate relationships as he did the transient ones that occupied his life prior.

i found the film tender. much more than i anticipated. and it spoke to me personally about the journey that we take in this life. so many lessons i have learned are about the shifting of relationships and situations. letting go is something we continue to work on until we finally do let go altogether. the relationships we create, however, seem to populate the pages of our life. for my money, the depth of those relationships, the intricacy of those stories, is much of who we are and what we contribute. this is only a theory though. the real answer, no doubt, is still up in the air.

today's sound choice is from the "up in the air" is sad brad smith with "help yourself". the lyrics quietly and vividly illustrate the frozen aspect that the clooney character finds himself cocooned in.



1 comment:

Java said...

Another one I want to see...

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