I was dreading writing today. Seriously regretting this stupid commitment to writing every day. How could I possibly be expected to say something every single stupid day? I was feeling grumpy. In need of pasta and chocolate. Just generally sort of wanting to pout and hide for no particular reason. Until a story uplifted me.
I just watched The King’s Speech. What a truly splendid film. Exactly the kind of quality of detail you expect from a great British film. And, of course, superb acting all around. I kept hearing that Colin Firth was a no brainer for the Oscar, and I have to say, I quite agree. But the thing that makes this film so great to me is more about the way it made me feel.
The first act of the film is quite charming, but has no real guts. Just quaint British royalty being proper and royal and all that nonsense that they seem to do so well. But when Bertie is faced with the prospect of becoming king and emperor, when he cannot escape his destiny and finally begins to make himself vulnerable to someone, that is where the film truly takes off. The courage and true friendship that Bertie and Lionel share is marvelous.
But aside from this film itself, I was reminded yet again of the importance of stories in our lives. They open a window into the lives of others, but more importantly hold a mirror up to our own souls. Perhaps it is my love of words, of stories, told through books, film, music, dance, theatre, or any other imaginable medium, that gives me such an odd concept of my place in the universe. I’ve always had odd notions about this idea that we call God. These stories serve as a constant reminder to me that we are all connected. And not just at this moment, but throughout time. In every story I have experienced, I’ve seen a bit of myself. How can we want to hurt each other once we’ve seen ourselves in other people around the world and throughout history? I cannot help but believe that there is something that we don’t understand that connects us all. I don’t know how to conceive of a universe where that is not true. I cannot accept a world where we should not all love one another.
Joseph Campbell said “God is a metaphor for that which transcends human understanding.” He dedicated his life to stories and found God there. I do, too.