John Ege

'A Wonderful Life' VS 'the Kid'

Blog Post created by John Ege Employee on Nov 28, 2016

I don't have a flux capacitor. I've long hard for it. I have even, on occasion, wished I had never been born, even with having watched "A Wonderful Life" every year that I can recall having years. Saying that probably requires contextual information, with an accompanying list, that I don't wish to provide, not because I don't want others to understand, but I don't want to justify, rationalize, the perspective because that's actually not the point of this post. Dreaming about time machine probably goes back before meeting the book "the Time Machine" by HG Wells; the original movie was much better than the remake though I found the latter visually stunning in parts, but still, "Time after Time" and "Somewhere in Time" strike me has powerful movies that had me daydreaming of alternative pathways to a better tomorrow by revisiting the past. Even Star Trek had their time travel episodes, which was kind of odd because the future was already a Utopia, but it also opened pathways to alternative universes, and if fantasy life counts for anything, I have lived many lives on many planets and still I am traveling!


By the time I got around to seeing 'The Kid" starring Bruce Willis, I was already on a pathway to health. But it made me see things and revisit things, and today I still can't watch that movie without crying, and it's a good cry, not like the crying that comes when watching the 'lion king' or 'up.' (Which is still a good cry, just kind of sad.) And, yes, I cry at cartoons. Um, are cartoons actually time travel machines? Changing one's perspective is also kind of a time machine, a way of processing and integrating the past. Until 2 and a half years ago, I would have blown the past up, the heck with the consequences. (Envisioning Magnum PI blowing up Higgin's matchstick 'bridge over river Kwai' which was craftily built over a season for a nice set up to escalating pranks. (Whistling it now...))


2 and half years ago, something happened. I had a son. The son has not changed the past, but our interaction patterns reveals how far I have come, and how far I have yet to go. And it occurred to me, I no longer need Clarence, a second class angel, to try and convince me otherwise. And quite frankly, I suspect Clarence would say, "Yeah, some of that sucked." And even with better perspective, an adult perspective, there is just no way to water down stuff that sucks. Dead puppies suck. Babies with cancer suck. It is what it is. And if there is a continuum of happiness slash sadness, I had lived a majority of my life right below neutral, the highs allowing for some happiness, but the lows went a little too low. The set point shifted some time ago and now mostly I ride right above neutral, touch higher happiness, and can still touch sadness; it's necessary. And I have touched joy, discovering that is on it's own continuum, not crossing happiness slash sadness continuum, As cliché as it sounds, we need both happiness and sadness together. There is no measure otherwise. And so, here I am at Christmas, formalizing what I had been contemplating over the last 6 months or so, that no matter how bad it was, perceived or actual, no matter what befalls me presently, and no matter what trial I face next, I will endure and bear it with dignity, because I love my son. I actually got to see a movie at theatre recently; Doctor Strange. The Time Loop scene, where he endured countless deaths in order to save the world was like harmonic resonance: that rang true. I would now not only time travel, but I would re-endure every experience without the minutest change to guarantee I meet my son again. That is love.


It is also a measure of change; something Christmas is supposed to be about. The promise of a better day has arrived. The promise was probably with me all along. Not a Star Trek utopia, but you know, I can't find any evidence that Gene used the word 'utopia' as an absolute, but rather was arguing that we, humanity in the future have grown up. Does this mean I have grown up? Maybe just a little? I still want the time machine, but only cause I want to zip ahead to get my flying car, and go back and feed the dinosaurs, just like we feed the ducks and the squirrels. I still want my spaceship. I still want my dreams. I just recognize that there are others involved. In writing this, I am not even trying to persuade anyone that my past perceptive or even this one is the correct perspective. It's just the way I see it now, and it is accompanied by a certain emotional quality that is striking. Star Trek and Christmas has always been synonymous for me, don't know why. Maybe the blinking lights. I so love blinking lights. Except the red one over the door that has an awfully loud klaxon telling me that we're under attack by the Romulans and likely to be dead at any moment, but that's just fun, roller coaster times, right? What's life without drama? (Shields up, red alert.)


I do wish that everyone can experience this on some level. Merry Christmas.