Sunday, August 29, 2010
As I watched a movie earlier today (the movie matters not, but it was RKO's 1936 Mary of Scotland with Katherine Hepburn and Frederic March - a strange, over-acted, pondering thing directed by the legendary John Ford)... where was I...
Oh, yes... as I watched a movie earlier today, I noticed a candle burning center screen. As the flame flickered, I watched the smoke slowly rise, billow and curl (that's how good the movie was!).
As the actors came and went on screen, it occurred to me that they could repeatedly perform this scene over and over again... nothing unique about their actions; but that candle, that singular element burning unbeknownst to them on the table - that was unique. Its actions were singular. They were one-of-a-kind, never to be repeated. It was the most alive and real thing on that screen.
We are always being told how wonderful we are. How special, how unique. But are we?
As I sit in my apartment, I realize that if I wasn't sitting on this couch in this apartment watching my TV and typing on my MacBook... someone else would be in this apartment. My MacBook would have been sold to someone else and be elsewhere having other things typed on it. My TV (which I won in a sweepstakes from "Men's Health" magazine back in 2004) would be drawing electricity from elsewhere as well, with someone else's eyes peering at it. My burgundy couch from (the now defunct) Wikes Furniture would be in some other room somewhere else, too.
The point is, they would all still 'be' - still would have all been manufactured, shelved and sold. Nothing unique in their existence. Nothing as singular as that flickering candle from 1936.
Or am I wrong? While their existence is not in any sense unique, their existence together in this one place is unique. Is singular. They were all brought together by me. I am the one constant in their life and I am the one variable that, had I been changed out for another, would have resulted in a completely different end result.
The someone else who won the Sharp Aquos from "Men's Health" would most likely NOT be the same person who put the burgundy pull out couch across from it in this North Hollywood apartment. The odds are astronomical.
The only thing that overcame those astronomical odds was me. My existence. My uniqueness.
I therefore must be like that Hollywood candle from over-seven decades ago. While the scenario around me continues unaware of my place in the scene, I am there. Center stage. Burning brightly.