Saturday, June 29, 2013

contentment adventure


I went to see Before Midnight yesterday and while I'm sure there are as many interpretations of the movie as there are viewers (which is what I love about this trilogy) I was so struck by how unhappy the character Celine is. We've been listening for the feeling tone of conversation in my awesome MBSR class and for me there was no missing how lost Celine is. How much she's lost herself and her happiness. I knew the look on her face because I've seen it in the mirror, thankfully not for many years. But I intimately know the anger that comes from feeling like a trapped animal, fighting for its life and not knowing what that life is. I send a heart-felt prayer to everyone who finds themselves in that difficult place.

It's a place Michael Gates Gill knew intimately, too. The son of long-time New Yorker writer, Brendan Gill, graduate of Yale University and a creative director at a top advertising firm, Mike Gill was in his fifties when his life fell apart. He lost his job, his marriage ended after he had an affair and he got the woman pregnant, and he was diagnosed with a brain tumor. Not knowing where to turn, he found himself accepting a job as a barista at Starbucks when he visited a store that happened to be having a job fair. His daughter recommended he keep a journal during this challenging time, which became the book How Starbucks Saved My Life. I just finished his follow-up book, How to Save Your Own Life, this week and the message of service, contentment, and simple enjoyment of life resonated really deeply with me. I'm so grateful to be in a place in my life where that is my story.

And I know this would make Julie Delpy roll her eyes, but I wish I could give Celine a copy...