I tend to be quite sensitive when it comes to the messages I perceive around me. A movie I watch or even a book I read or song I listen to all have the potential to move me deeply and make me think about what they convey. This also means I can only tolerate certain messages when I’m stressed, tired or upset. They are times I prefer to curl up on the sofa with a positive book or lighthearted kids movie, rather than exposing myself to the wars of the universe and plight of mankind.
I really noticed this once again coming back to Pakistan last week after my 6-week trip to Europe. I was really tired, drained by travel but also by a lot of time with lots of different people and just felt like I had a lot to digest and was emotionally strained. I knew I would soon have to dive into lesson planning and needed to be wise in using my energy and recharging. What did I do? Besides sleeping, cleaning my flat and listening to music – I decided to chill in the living room with a feel-good kinda movie. I ended up watching something a friend had recommended, “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty”. (Spoiler alert) All I knew was that there were epic landscape scenes in the mountains. A volcano. A sweet longboard scene. Sounded safe to me. (Ok, after about fifteen minutes of watching I confess I read the summary just to make sure it had a happy end…beard guy was getting on my nerves, but I only do that in emergencies…honest!)
In the end I was surprised, though. I had just expected to find a fun movie, but really loved the whole feel of the story, the main characters with their quirks and especially all the beautiful little moments. That moment when Walter imagines his crush singing “Ground Control to Major Tom” and decides to brave the odds and runs to the helicopter. That moment where he offers his mom’s cake to the warlord to gain passage over the mountains. And yes, that moment when he straps rocks to his hands and goes down the winding mountain road on a kid’s longboard! But I think my favorite moment is the one when he finally finds Sean up in the Himalayas, in search of a rare mountain lion. When she appears, Walter asks Sean when he plans to take the shot and Sean replies – sometimes I don’t. Sometimes he just likes to enjoy the moment. When he really likes something, personally, he doesn’t want the lens to get in the way.
In a time of endless selfies and instagram and who knows what…I find it refreshing to not capture every moment. Don’t get me wrong, I love pictures. But especially since my camera broke about a year ago, I began to indulge in that freedom of not taking the shot. Just living the moment. Now my brother recently gave me a phone with a pretty sweet camera (thanks again!) and I really am excited to take more pics and hopefully share some beautiful moments and places soon…but I know I won’t share everything. At times I’ll decide to put the camera aside and just cherish the beauty of a moment by being in it. Chase a ghost cat and keep her to myself. Beauty that often goes unappreciated; if you don’t take care to look closely, it might pass you by.