Lessons learned vicariously

On a sweltering August Sunday, I treated myself to a three-movie marathon. With 18 choices I decided on “The Kitchen” with Melissa McCarthy, “The Other Side of Heaven 2” starring Christopher Gorham, and “The Art of Racing in the Rain” with Kevin Costner.

Jennifer Goble

Looking through the movie trailers, I chose “The Kitchen” because it was filmed in Hell’s Kitchen, the west-side of my favorite city, NYC. Choice #1 involved three strong women and was not what I expected. It was everything I didn’t like: guns, blood, and violence. I made the
wrong choice. My hands covered my face several times as the story evolved.

The next movie represented the opposite extreme. “The Other Side of Heaven 2,” was about Mormon missionaries who believed faith and prayer erased all illness, danger, and conflict. I too believe in the power of prayer, but this movie was a little over-the-top. It was pollyannaish, but it did calm my angst after “The Kitchen.”

Lastly, I found delight from seat E5 in Theater 14. “The Art of Racing in the Rain” starred Enzo, a Golden Retriever. It was a story about love and racing cars told from a dog’s point-of-view. Kevin Coster was Enzo’s voice. This movie made me cry—more than once.

The three movies reminded me of life in general and reinforced what I knew to be true.

Even when prepared, life isn’t always what you expected

You can walk out of a bad movie, but, similar to avoiding life experiences, you might miss something great.

Thoughts can shift the drama of life, and the terror in movies (“It is just a movie!”)

There is usually goodness shining through the nastiest stories

Well thought out choices don’t always prove to be good decisions

Some things are too good to be accurate and verge on unbelievable

Fantasy engulfing reality is food for caution.

Dogs ARE human

Some people cause pain upon pain after death, unnecessarily making life more difficult

Love is real and lasts forever

Tears keep our heart from bursting

Life is a combination of horrible, vanilla, and perfect.

I’m not saying life is a movie, but when I turned off my phone, settled in with popcorn and soda, and let darkness plus surrounding sound envelop me, emotion bubbled up in my chest and solutions to life emerged. It was a time when my five senses of see, smell, taste, touch, and hear were activated. Focused, I gleaned lessons from both fiction and stories of truth.

I left the theater in the cool of the evening, knowing I could be a tougher woman, keep my faith in balance, and dream of getting a four-legged best friend.

Until the next time: Live while you live.