Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Longing for sunshine

Even though this lethargic feeling has a name, Seasonal Affect Disorder, I'm not comforted enough to pull myself out of the doldrums and move! Every gloomy morning that presents itself when the bedroom drapes are opened motivates me in one direction: to the sofa under the afghan with an old movie on the tv.

I love movies. Not all of them, mind you. I'm not really into action stuff and don't like any films about boxing (which I believe should be outlawed). Every year when the Academy Awards are presented, I lament that I've not seen one film that's nominated. They are too new, thus requiring a schlep to the theater, the purchase of tickets and the gamble that I'm not sitting in front of folks who use the movies as a chance to catch up with all the local gossip or to complain about their lives. At home, I curl up on the sofa, usually with my cat next to me, and get lost in the story. Often, my choice is almost inadvertent... luck of the dial, so to speak. Like yesterday.

I had grand plans for the day. So much would be accomplished! There was laundry, ironing, some cleaning and grocery shopping. When I opened the bedroom drapes, darkness and rain greeted me and immediately sapped my energy for chores. As I pulled the sheets off the bed, I flicked the remote and checked the guide for a listing of what I could use as mind-numbing fare for the work ahead.

Instead, I found myself staring at Liam Neeson, one of my favorite actors, portraying Oskar Schindler in the famous film Schindler's List. I'd always vowed not to see the film, despite its awards and raves. Shame for what humanity can do to humanity, for the silence of those who could have prevented or stopped it, deep and disturbing sadness for those involved, including the descendants who have this doleful history upon which to build their lives... all of those emotions determined early on that I would not see the film. Until yesterday.

Needless to say, nothing was accomplished except for the clean sheets. Even when the movie ended at about noon, I was still there, still in the power and emotional aftermath of Steven Spielberg's work. There was nothing in it I didn't know from history except the actual work of Oskar Schindler and the results of what his courage prompted him to do. I couldn't help thinking, as I watched him at the end of the film, grieving that he could not have saved more people, of the world leaders who could have saved millions, not just eleven hundred, had they stood up against Hitler, taken action against his genocide and motivated the rest of the world to condemn that man for the evil he was.

The Holocaust wasn't all Hitler's fault. He instigated it, of course, but he has help carrying it out. Not just from the famed SS or the Hitler Youth or any of the groups about which we learned in history classes, but from the leaders in the western world, the Pope and other religious figures and ordinary people who heard rumors of the slaughter but stayed silent and did nothing.

Today, I see that The Jane Austen Book Club is on HBO. As an Austen fan, I would dearly love to lose myself in that one, too. Lighter, easier on the psyche, certainly. But the work still wouldn't get done. And we now need milk, cereal, cat food and loads of other stuff. Rain or no rain, I have to go out.

Maybe there will be something really good showing this afternoon!

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