Sunday, February 21, 2010

Moving Between Lives

Have you seen Avatar?  I held off, basically pooh-poohed the idea, but Tom thought it might be a fun outing for the five of us.  Some of the crew find themselves disoriented when at an IMAX cinema, dealing with the 3D -- it was not an issue at all. Others (me) worry about the violence in the movie, because that's what they show on the trailers to try to sell it to the younger males, and so much of movie violence can be gratuitous.  Others are always up for a movie because they LOVE popcorn, and there's always something to drink in the noxious drinks department as well!   And we feel as if we missed a few movie outings last year, mostly because of the cost.  I managed to get a lot of movies with my wonderful library card, but we did miss some of the latest and greatest.

Well, I'm a fan.  The technology is impressive.  Put on the wacky glasses and the little jelly-like life force creatures appear to be floating around the audience. The sparks from the burning tree are all around, as are the glowing plants that make up the night life of the Na'vi people. The flora is a gigantic rain forest, and brings back so many beautiful visions. The story line is basic -- good vs. evil, technology vs. nature, the blossoming of love in the midst of learning about oneself, the triumph of those who live honestly with their world.  And all in the framework of the amazing 3D technology.

The ability to move between lives is an intriguing concept.  If you haven't seen the movie, stop reading.  Several of the main characters use a new bio-technology (it's 2154!) to do this in the movie.  One does it under the pretext of bring information back to the military industrial corporation that has moved its operations to this far-flung planet to bring back a rare and precious metal.  The military contractors are there to ensure that business will proceed as required to feed the corporate requirements back on earth.  He ultimately finds the life on fictional Pandora much more desirable, especially when he truly learns about communicating with all of nature, using his braid as a conduit.  He also finds love.

The opportunity to move back and forth, between the life I had last year, and the life I have here has an allure.  I can see why the rich and famous move and fly around as they do.  It keeps things fresh, keeps them connected.  We had so many beautiful connections and learned so much last year.  Yet we were still "us".  We are who we are.  But it's hard work ("yakka") to keep all the connections alive.  I've been thinking about Thomas Wolfe's book You Can't Go Home Again where the main character left, came back to outrage (because of a book he'd written), left again only to gain fresh insights into his identity.  The scientists in the movie move back and forth using bio-technology to gain insights into the lives of the people of the planet Pandora.  Ultimately one returns to the new life, to his new identity.  I will continue to think my way back to my world here... given the changes of last year, I anticipate more movement.

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