~ James Thurber, The Secret Life Of Walter Mitty
Okay, I finally watched the “new” Secret Life Of Walter Mitty, recommended by a good friend three years ago. .
I loved it! From the soundtrack to the story to the acting to the scenery and most importantly, to the message — it all spoke to me.
Walter works at Life Magazine, where there is the coolest quote in the lobby.
And it flashes up many times. At first, I had to rewind a few times to read it over and over. (The glory of the rewind button of second chances.)
I love all of the quote. Today, I decided to zoom into the later part, “to find each other and to feel.”
People seem to be afraid to feel today. I remember when Princess Diana died in 1997 and everyone was crying all over the world, mainly people who had never met her — I immediately thought — it is a chance to feel something, to openly weep — things we are not encouraged to do.
In all my writing classes in person, there has always been one person who sheds a tear or even students who will not read because they fear shedding a tear. I always say the same thing, “It is okay to cry, it means something needs to come out through a tear.”
It took me quite a bit of therapy to be true to my own feelings enough to release them. I remember going to basketball games in college where my boyfriend was on the team and not being able to even cheer for him, I was so held in check by my self.
Fortunately, I worked that out or god knows where I would be now. I used to go to my therapy appointments and within 15 minutes I would be unable to stop crying. Appointment after appointment, my bottled up feelings washing my face clean. And for me that was the point of the therapy, although I didn’t quite know it at the time — to allow myself to feel openly and without embarrassment. Sometimes, we don’t know the point of something until years later.
Related to that is a topic I wrote about in an application in early 2016 for a program. I stated that I thought loneliness was one of our greatest problems, one that few talk about. Interestingly enough, I read an article last week in The Boston Globe Magazine that reported how lonely middle age men are because they don’t see their friends much anymore due to overscheduling of family things. Apparently, men don’t want to admit it because they feel like losers.
It seems that many of us, even those with families, might need to find each other and dare to feel. When we are young, we tend to surround ourselves with other young folks. Then we start to pair off, take on time-sucking jobs and those friendships get lost in the shuffle.
But it isn’t good for our health to feel lonely. Perhaps, as a gesture of kindness we could reach out to an old missed friend with a phone call and a real invitation for coffee with a real date written in our date books. (Not just saying, “oh, let’s get together.”)
Did anyone ever hear about the old Pewter Pot restaurants located throughout New England. You could go in and sit with people you didn’t know, which was kind of the whole point of the place. I visited a neat place in Prague where that, too, was the point of the beer hall and foodery, to deliberately go in there and sit with folks you did not know.
That we have so many lonely people in a world exploding with people suggests that we’ve forgotten how to reach out to people and be human. Are we that afraid of each other?
PS, Maybe a multi-age painting program to meet new folks?
For children 8+
For parents and grandparents who want to join them.Everyone loves making these tiny little paintings! I started painting tiny little paintings a year ago and found them tremendously liberating as an artist. I took more risks and it paid off. Golly, now I want to have a tiny little painting art show.
Kids of all ages also gravitate to the tiny little paintings. Recently, I did a program at a local library and the teens loved it. They created such gorgeous paintings. All were unique and spirited. You can seem some examples if you follow the link to my web site, although I forgot my good camera and was just learning on my new phone.
Date: Wednesday, April 20
Place: Cheryl Cohen’s Mosaic Art Center, Holliston
Cost: $49 for new participants/$45 if returning or signing up for a least 2.
Attitude: Adventurous, Freeing, Fun.
More info, to read the words of previous participants or to register, please click