July 26, 2008

Spontaneous Date Night

Yesterday morning, I left for work with the expectation that I'd be going out that night with a girlfriend. I had the date wrong. When I got home, I walked the dog and then read a while waiting for Jrex to get home. For all I knew he'd be in lab until late. I was content to read so it didn't bother me either way.

He came in at 7:30 with fast food dinner in hand, happily surprised to see me. Normally, if we're both home, he cooks, I clean and we eat together sometime between 8 and 9:30 pm. Obviously, that ends up filling the evening. Here it was 7:40 and we'd both eaten.

"Let's go see Dark Knight!" I suggested (strongly). He agreed.

Three hours later we were both a bit shell-shocked. It's an amazing movie, but the pressure and intensity never let up. The movie does a great job capturing the darkness of humanity, but also the thread of hope that brightens the darkest hour. In classic post-modern style, the good guy isn't all good, Batman has his selfish/insecure sides; Heath Ledger made the Joker a sympathetic character in the midst of total amoral chaos. By the end of the movie you see them as separate sides of the same coin. Both outsiders, both alone, both driven by a need to change the world. Just in different directions.

It made me even more sad that Heath is dead. He was obviously an extraordinary actor. I wonder how playing the Joker impacted him. The role seemed so dark, so all consuming; what was happening in his mind after such a movie? I'm reeling after only two and a half hours, what happens after months of inhabiting that zone?

The movie left me wondering what choices I would make in an extreme situation. I'd love to think that I'd only ever choose the good, but I have enough darkness in me that I can't assume that. It seems to shock many of my non-Christian friends when I say that I believe anybody is capable of anything. If one's idea is that everyone is basically good, then I guess that is a shocking concept. However, I believe we're all flawed and given the right circumstances, we could fall. That's one cool thing about the Bible: it shows each person's weaknesses. Israel's greatest king, the man after God's own heart, was a liar, a backstabber and a thief. Jesus' closest follower was a coward when all was dark, stuck his foot in his mouth all the time and yet was 'the Rock'. I stand in the company of the broken and I'm glad. I just wish Heath had found light when all seemed dark.


Mama Nabi said...

I kind of like that we both posted about goodness in everyone - mine was to convince others (and myself) there there IS good in everyone and yours is to say that despite the good in everyone, we are all also flawed. (Right?) Hence the need to remind ourselves in the presence of human flaws that there is good somewhere in there. I love being in sync with you; I vicariously pretend that I, too, am a spiritual person. :-D

It is incredibly sad when someone so talented is gone so young.

I've also always wondered how guys can wolf down their food in 10 minutes! Yay for spontaneous date nights!

Mama Nabi said...

(oh, and happy birthday...)

mplscuz said...

Thanks for this...J and I saw Dark Knight this past friday and we could not help thinking along the same lines.

Heath brought a lot to that performance. I wondered what happened in the Joker's (and more so Heath's) past that made him strive to share that pain with everyone...it is hard to see the light when you go so far into desperation.

Thanks again for the great post :)

Aimee said...

Great post. Lots of good stuff in there.

Sounds like you had a great birthday! Thanks for your comment over at my place; I've responded there instead of here because I didn't want to interrupt the content here.

Your points on the movie and specifically Heath bring a lot up, regarding how actors need to decompress after performances such as this, all the way to the realm of mental health, in addition to the great points you make about spiritual things.

I think we'd all like to hope that people are all inherently good, but in doing so, we forget that we're ALL fallen and in need of what God offers us through his Son.

Beloved said...

I believe that too--that anyone is capable of anything. I didn't used to think so and had a (imo) more judgemental attitude about choices that others made, but I've witnessed many people doing things I'd never dreamed they were capable of, and my rose-colored glasses have cracked.

Watching the Dark Knight made me really sad because of Heath. He was so talented.

Anonymous said...

It's been three weeks since a Sojournering blog. I'm having
serious withdrawal symptoms.