"It's time to come together.
What's important is not what's gone, but what remains."
-Glenn Close, as the narrator of HOME.
Until 5 minutes ago, I'd never cried while watching a movie about the earth.
There's a first for everything, I suppose.
It's not that this movie was necessarily so different from the other movies I've seen about the need to save the earth...it was spectacular, for sure. The cinematography was unlike any I'd ever seen, the images so beautiful, so graphic, so intense....the score, Glenn's voice, fit so perfectly to the images and the messages being delivered. It left me hurting, and overwhelmed, and a bit scared, like many...yet ultimately, re-inspired to be the change, to inspire the change, that this earth, that our species, that nearly all living beings in the world, need for survival.
Admittedly, I was reluctant to watch it. I saw it posted on my friend's Facebook wall and thought, "Huh...another environmental movie that will probably leave me feeling hopeless, overwhelmed, and wondering what my efforts are really going to be able to do to make a difference." For some reason, though, I clicked on it, and started watching. I had no intention of watching the whole thing, much less more than just a few minutes...it was 11:30pm and I had to get some sleep to be ready for Kaya, bright and early. Yet the music drew me in...relaxing, mesmerizing, and somehow curious--I was on the edge of my seat for a good long while, wondering about the direction, and ultimately fascinated by the story of life.
And it got me thinking a lot about this challenge I've chosen to speak to Kaya in German.
When I first decided to raise Kaya bilingually, my intention was to inspire in her an understanding for the world's cultures, an insight into the fact that we, as U.S. citizens, aren't the center of the universe. This is still my goal, and has been for the past two years.
But after watching this movie, I'm reminded of the shift I'd like to take in the presentation of my aspiration.
My tears fell because, for the first time, I was less overcome with fear and more in touch with the connection that I am to the rest of life. The initial realization didn't come from this movie--I took a course last December that helped me realize how unified we are, as humans, as living things. Once I realized that I didn't need to be better than everyone else, and that I wasn't better than everyone else, I suddenly felt the amazing connection to the people that I had, before, shut out with judgment and criticism. It was pervasive, really. This way of being didn't allow me very much connection at all, with the rampage of my judgments. Now that I recognize the severe interconnectedness between all of us, however--especially between those of us that have never met as well as those beings that don't use language to communicate--I can now feel the challenges and the triumphs of creatures that I'd previously been alienating.
Thus, in watching a movie where I'm reminded of how many people will be affected if the water levels rise around the globe, it no longer works to tell myself, I live an hour and a half from the coast--I don't really need to worry so much. In the past, that was my way around the fear. It was my way of disconnecting from the reality of what could be if I don't do something, if all of us don't do a lot of somethings.
This is what I hope to inspire in Kaya.
And naturally, in the rest of humanity, too.
We are ALL connected.
What I do, affects you. And you, me.
If I can keep this connection alive, then I can stay afloat above the fear that causes the overwhelm, and thus, help others do the same. And from there, action can follow.
I know I will continue to worry at times, and focus on the minutia of German vs. English. But maybe, just maybe, this movie can continue remind me of what really matters in life right now: assuring that Kaya has a beautiful earth upon which to raise her children bilingually, should she choose such a path.
HOME: On YouTube
I hope you watch it as soon as you can make the time.
And then send it all over the world!
(of ALL of the topics that could have been addressed at our Unitarian service this morning, The Web of Life was the focus, and thus the inspiration for me to add the following poem by Chief Seattle...)
Teach your children what we have taught our children--
That the earth is our mother.
Whatever befalls the earth befalls the sons and daughters of the earth.
This we know.
The earth does not belong to the earth;
We belong to the earth.
This we know.
All things are connected, like the blood that unites one family.
All things are connected.
We did not weave the web of life;
We are merely a strand within it.
That which we do to the web of life,
That same we do to ourselves.