Thursday, May 19, 2011

Life and Equilibrium

Awhile ago, my friend Hailey and I had a movie night. She recommended the movie Equilibrium, which I had never seen before.

She also made me watch Made of Honor, but that is a whole new post worth of material, so I will stick to Equilibrium today...

The premise of the movie is essentially this: A remnant of humanity has survived the worst war that humanity has ever known. The remaining populace is so scarred that they seek sanctuary in a drug called Prozium, which essentially rids the individual of feeling and emotion.

It was, after all, human passions, vices, and emotion that nearly destroyed the world in the first place. The natural solution is to remove the destructive tendencies by removing emotion altogther. Another aspect of this new 'liberated' society is to destroy anything which could illicit emotion as well; this means books, artwork, music, etc.

There are still some within this culture who refuse to conform to the status quo, and they are ruthlessly hunted by the authorities who are lead by clerics. Clerics are the elite class of fighter. They are badass dudes. Trained to exterminate for the greater good. To bring peace to the nation of Libria.

Meet John Preston.

Preston (played by Christian Bale) is one of the finest clerics Libria has ever known.

As fate would have it though, Preston misses a doseage or two of his Prozium, and the remainder of the movie weaves together the events of the dutiful cleric-turned renegade.

One of the most profound moments of the movie is when a conflicted Preston enters a dialogue with one of the 'sense criminals' who were rounded up earlier...

Mary: Let me ask you something. Why are you alive?

John Preston: I'm alive... I live... to safeguard the continuity of this great society. To serve Libria.

Mary: It's circular. You exist to continue your existence. What's the point?

John Preston: What's the point of your existence?

Mary: To feel. 'Cause you've never done it, you can never know it. But it's as vital as breath. And without it, without love, without anger, without sorrow, breath is just a clock... ticking.

There have been many throughout life that I have desperately wished not to feel. Life would be so simple. So easy. These things we know as emotions present us with vast and turbulent waters through which we have to sail.

Life can be just brutal for one who has to feel.

Yet, emotions themselves are cause for us to celebrate. Even in the hardest of times, we feel deeply and it is such a beautiful thing.

I want to share just a small story with you from my own life:

As I walked to work this morning I felt the warmth of summer setting in. The warm air juxtaposed the cool breeze. It was not too hot. Not too cold. Just right.

I smelled the freshly cut grass. The clippings were sprinkled all over the sidewalk. I walked past many different yards. Some were scraggly and unkempt, some were rich and green and made me want so badly to slip off my shoes and let my feet become accquainted with the soft springy earth.

Passing by a textured brick building I saw a streak of sunlight falling on one side of the house, throughout the day it will expand until the entire house is consumed with light. The stones will greedily suck up the warmth given by the sun, and from dusk, till even after dark the stones will retain their warmth. I want to place my hand on the house. To feel the bumpy brick tickle the pads of my fingers.

I breathe in the air. Fresh. Clean.

I look at the sky. Blue. Clear.

I take it all in for today will only be so long, and then today will be gone. There will never be another one like this...

Tonight I will probably grill out. Sit back and listen to the sizzle of cooking meat. Drink a Mountain Dew and let the sugary, carbonated bubbles trickle past my tongue, down my throat. I will watch the sunset, and admire the pallet of color splashed across the sky.

It is the simple things in life.

The things we miss on a daily basis.

The things that really matter.

As I think about these things I want to shout, to dance, to laugh, to cry...tears of joy.

I've been given life. Life!
It's so beautiful.
So precious.
So fragile.
And it's been given to me.

And with this life comes feeling. Maybe not always the best feelings. It can hurt pretty bad sometimes. But to skip this and become void of feeling the warmth of the sun, the cleansing of the rain. The joy of triumph. The closeness of love. The excitement of adventure.

All these have been given to me!
Life without feeling is no life at all.
Feeling is the heart of the Creator, coarsing through our veins. Our hearts break. But his breaks more.
Our hearts burst from love, His consumes with His love.
It is our connection. Our humanity that is derived from feeling.

And it has been given to me!

And to you as well...

May we live today remembering to feel fully, to embrace the hard times and to linger in the good.


LAENA said...

Loved this. I love reading people's reactions to the everyday world around them, when they really pay attention. Beautiful.

And something tells me she didn't have to work too hard to get you to watch Made of Honor ;)

Josh said...

Thank you for your comments! Yeah, Made of Honor was pretty decent. ;) Equilibrium was definitely better!