Sunday, November 28, 2010

Tangled: Finding a New Dream

We took the kids to see Tangled yesterday, on a somewhat spur-of-the-moment plan to celebrate Jason's insane month of non-stop travel and meetings being a thing of the past. Jason's parents sent the kids movie passes for Halloween and we were waiting for a kid's movie with good reviews in order to spend the ridiculous amount of money required for a family of four to see a movie that lasts an hour and forty minutes (without the passes, we calculated it would have cost us $68 for the four of us to watch the 3D movie and share a medium popcorn and a medium pop - ridiculous is the only word that comes to mind).

The movie was released on Friday to strong reviews, so we expected big crowds, but going to the mall a month before Christmas on a Saturday afternoon wasn't the brightest idea we've ever had. Jason dropped Ava and I off in front of the theatre to get tickets, popcorn and seats, and we were all settled in munching happily twenty minutes later, and he was still circling the immense parking lot trying to find a spot. He eventually found one, on the opposite side of the mall, and ran with William on his shoulders to make it moments before the movie began.

The lights dimmed and excitement was in the air as nearly every seat was filled and you could feel a palpable energy in the room. I felt William's weight on my knee and glanced at Ava in the seat next to me, her eyes behind her black 3D glasses glued to the screen. Jason and I smiled at each other over Ava's head, and I felt a surge of gratitude for our family. It's been a hard month where we've been disconnected more than connected, but at that moment, we were all together in one place, sharing an experience that would become a good memory stitched into the fabric of our family history.

The movie began, and it didn't take long for me to feel swept up in its current. I respond to themes in movies and literature, and this Rapunzel story was about two things that are near and dear to my heart: dreams and identity. It was about following your dreams no matter what, and knowing who you really are and not hiding that from the world. I felt as though I could've written it myself with what I've learned so far in my thirty-seven years, and anytime we identify powerfully with something it creates a deep imprint on us.

There is a scene in the middle of the movie which I found astonishing. Rapunzel and Flynn are in a boat, waiting for something to happen which she has been dreaming about her entire life. Moments before the event occurs, she begins to worry that maybe it will be disappointing and not live up to her expectations. Flynn says gently, "When this is over, you'll find a new dream."

That line struck me as powerful and true, for I don't want to ever stop dreaming. There is always another dream to pursue when one is accomplished. We look forward to something, and when it happens we don't have to be disappointed, because there is going to be another event to anticipate. As a kid, I felt blue after big events like birthdays or Christmases, but as an adult, I understand that the sky is the limit when it comes to dreams. We can always aim higher. As long as our reach exceeds our grasp, we have more to hope for and work toward.

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