Tamara and I watched the most unnecessarily long and boring movie that I've. Ever. Seen.
It's Robert DeNiro's directorial debut, The Good Shepherd. Don't see it.
But if you really want to go see it, don't read the rest of this. Spoiler alert - you have been warned.
The story line could have been interesting... it's about the slow-grinding of a man's soul, the penalties of bad choices and what could have been, and loyalty. Trim 90 to 120 minutes from this plodfest and it might have been interesting - and you'd still have about 90 minutes of movie leftover.
Instead, I felt like I was living 20 years of his life in real time.
But consider: why do we aspire to the things we do? Do we do it out of a desire to please others? A desire to keep our word?
If you watch Edward Wilson throughout the movie, the only time he becomes animated is when he talks with his college flame, Laura. It's the only time that I recall him truly smiling. Of course, this is long after he marries the wrong woman. But she was his heart. And she talks of the life that she wanted for them - that he could be a poet and teach in a small university town. You can see the flicker in his eye at the hint of what that might be like.
At the end of the movie, he finally reads a suicide note from his father. It tells him to pursue the life of his dreams and to be happy. But now in his late 40's or in his 50's, Edward is in the exact opposite place.
He's pleasing no one. Not himself. Not his long-dead father. Not his wife. Not his true love. Not his child.
So what's the point?
What are your dreams? What do you see yourself doing? Are you in the right place? If not, how do you get there?
Start moving yourself in that direction - today. Fearlessly.
If you've ever read the book, Orbiting the Giant Hairball, there's a great two-page drawing in the middle of it that depicts this very phenomenon of the grinding of one's soul. I'll try to scan it later, but on the left is this free-spirited joyous being and he slowly migrates into a cardboard corporateman, absent of all life. I wrote about it earlier here, about 500 posts ago.
I no longer paint at lunch at work. I worry about what others think. I no longer ride my bike to work. Good gravy - I believe that I've lost sight of who I am. I have some work to do.
I'm glad that I watched the movie.