Last week we saw the new Richard Linklater film Boyhood. It’s on everyone’s minds. Having grown up in Central Texas (my hometown of Dripping Springs even gets the briefest of mentions), I found much of the movie mirrored my adolescence…only, of course, we didn’t have the Internet or Facebook or cell phones. But, I’m not the only one finding the images from the film stuck in my head. What is it about this movie?
Watching the film is like flipping through an old family photo album that covers an entire decade. It’s like watching your mom age right before your eyes. It’s like seeing yourself with chubby baby cheeks and then acne and then braces and then suddenly coming out of your shell all in three hours. It’s recognizing that you see yourself in the kid on the screen, but the also noticing that, wow, you really relate to the parents.
For most of us, this feeling can be unsettling. We like to ignore that time is passing. In this film, 12 years are wrapped into 3 hours so, unless you get up and walk out, you just can’t ignore it. These people are getting older! These people are making bad decisions! These people are doing dangerous things and (lots of times) nothing bad happens! These people are falling in…and out…of love! These people are having the times of their lives for now and then tomorrow who knows what will happen. So yes, it’s unsettling, but it’s also uplifting. It puts us all, the young and the old, right in the same place…or at the very least, headed in the same direction.
In the final scene, a young girl (a new character perhaps on the edge of taking a leading role) says (I’m paraphrasing), “You know the saying goes, ‘Seize the moment,’ but I think it’s more like the moment seizes us.”
Maybe it’s a bit of both. A two-way street.
Sure, sometimes we seize the moment and make it ours, but perhaps if we do life well, we find that we’re surrounded by moments that have the potential to seize us.
I like this twist on that famous line. I like the way in which it sounds like a call to wake up, to pay attention, to say “yes” a bit more to what’s happening around us. I think there’s a happiness booster in there too. A little less doing, a bit more listening and, I’d like to think, a lot more following your heart. Who knows, there may be some adventures out there just waiting to take you along for the ride.