You guys. Soccer moms have it really tough.
I am laying on the couch. Mainly because soccer is outside, and I am never going outside again. There’s pollen out there. I can no longer deal, I tell you. Watching your little ones push a ball back and forth for an hour amidst vicious attack pollen is KILLING me.
And then, I remembered:
Television. Television fixes everything.
Also: Great Happy Fuzzy Memories, y’all, Netflix is KILLING me.
But in a good way.
1982. I saw this movie with my friend Josie McGlaughlin. I can distinctly remember coming home afterwards, walking into my bedroom and laying down on my bed. The windows were open. It was a summer evening with that magical, slow warm glow that summer evenings do so well. And I laid there, staring at the fluttering curtains, reliving every moment from that movie. Something in it seemed to peel something apart in me. It was just that magical. And yet, just that real.
I can’t really explain what happens when my creative heart dives into something inspiring. It’s like the first time I saw U2 in concert. Or when I first caught Anne Lamott reading from Bird by Bird on CNN Books (yes, I watch CNN Books. A lot. Don’t judge.) Or when I read Alan Rickman’s goodbye letter to his character, Snape, and the Harry Potter movie series.
Oh guys. This post got all sad. It’s just that, it seems to me, this year hasn’t been fair. Too many deaths of too many bright creative souls. Some of our best storytellers are gone.
And so, the movie E.T.
I was going to watch this movie with my boys. I really was. But they had all headed out for a bike ride because they are annoyingly energetic and they no fear of killer pollen. So, I eyed E.T. waiting for me so patiently in my Netflix cue…I thought I might wait…
Nope. I pushed play. And right there, on my couch, I experienced the five stages of grief as I watched Elliot deal with the terrifying backyard garage. As he freed the frogs and kissed the girl. As he sobbed over E.T.s shriveled, lifeless body.
And as he soared.
I see the movie now from the eyes of Elliot’s tired mom, finding her way as a single mom with two small kids. Oh, and with an extra terrestrial who has taken up camp in her kid’s closet.
Ya’ll. I’m not gonna lie. The ugly cry happened.
Hosmer, the dog not the player, was the only witness. I think at one time he got up, fetched a tissue, and brought it over. It was just that bad.
E.T. is amazing because it has great heart. And it offers all of us hope, even as we’re sobbing at the end, because E.T. does have to go home.
We know. We know. He has to go home.
When Robin Williams died, I cried. Philip Seymour Hoffman too. I fell in love with Hoffman’s work when he played the nervous, young screenwriter in David Mamet’s awesome movie, State and Main. I found too much of me in Hoffman’s naivete. The crying? It felt a little silly, I guess. I had only known these artists through their work. But they are creative types, and, so, we are linked. They put their work out there for us, and it fed my soul.
David Bowie. Prince. Joey Feek. Glenn Frey. Pat Conroy. Merle Haggard. Michelle McNamara. All have gone home.
And I guess I needed a good cry about it. And, to be comforted, at the movie’s end with its soundtrack that swells in triumph, and hope, that these creative souls’ music and movies and passion and heart, are all still just reminding us,
“I’ll be right here.”