Saturday, August 15, 2009

Connecting Beauty, Music, and 500 days

A while ago I wrote about some of the closest people I am connected with. I want to expand on that a little bit, but in a different way.

Beauty has a way of grabbing my attention. A recent memory that sticks out in my mind happened just a few weeks ago. I was driving home to Idaho from California. My dad was asleep in the back (he had been the main pilot all morning) and I had taken over the wheel in his stead. In the passenger seat sat my girlfriend, Kona. We kept each other entertained by playing various types of music and having even more various conversations. At one point in our discussions I looked over to my left for a split second. What I saw completely and utterly consumed me. A small mountain stood about 4 football fields away, and above this mountain were broken clouds; like shattered glass the sun peaked through and was reflected off of the clouds onto the face of the mountain resulting in one of the most beautiful things I had ever seen. My attention was completely taken over by this magnificent light show. Coupled with the most amazing girl in the world sitting by me and talking, this memory sticks out in my brain as being one of sheer beauty. Beauty has a way of grabbing my attention.

So does music. My favorite songs are ones which can only be described as epic. Two bands which write epics extremely well, in my opinion, are Anberlin and Mae. I'm gonna talk about Mae, but please do look up Fin and Miserable Visu by Anberlin.
One of my favorite songs by Mae is called "The Fisherman's Song". To me it so accurately portrays the heart of the writer, and I love the message. On top of that, the lyrics are written in story form which help me connect immensely. Listen here.
I am an incredibly visual person, and yet I couldn't imagine life without music. As I write this I'm listening to my "Sit Down and Relax" playlist on Pandora. I've found it a great way to connect with myself today.

I was apprehensive about going to see "500 Days of Summer" with my parents and our close friends tonight. I didn't really know what to expect, but I figured a free movie is always worth it. I suppose I was right. That being said, I would gladly pay extra to see this masterpiece. It really connected with where my mind has been the last few weeks; connections.

People. Music. Situations. Friends. Jobs. Movies. Life.

Thinking about all the connections baffles me. It's not really a matter of fate or predestination to me (the way I figure it, God knows everything no matter what I believe.) Really, to me what it comes down to is whether or not I want to acknowledge the connections. Fate? Chance? Phooey. If life were a slot machine I would hate to pull that lever. It's like people are totally willing to acknowledge all the Cherries or BARS lining up perfectly but refuse to instead see the beautiful constelation of life that all our intercrossing lines make.
Life is actually a whole lot safer to look at as a slot machine. Pull the lever; you win some, you lose some. Often it's a whole lot harder to take those losses as building blocks, or at the very least see that they've made me who I am today.

500 Days of Summer emphasized this point for me. No matter what I tell myself, life really holds no accidents. The movie is artsy, beautiful, saddening, vulgar (at times), and flat-out well written. Unlike many chick flicks, this story follows the guy. Also unlike many chick flicks, it holds no happy Hollywood ending. The trailer boasts "this is a story of boy meets girl," and also includes "you should know upfront, that this is not a love story." That's why I don't believe 500 Days of Summer is a chick flick at all. It's too big for that label. It's an epic.

But don't take my word for it. Watch the trailer. Then, go watch the movie.


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