A Traveler’s Terrene

You only live once. What are you going to remember the most?

Truth through Simplicity September 23, 2009

There is something about the sense of freedom and adventure that makes my heart jump and wild butterflies soar around my tummy like that of a first kiss. The idea of letting everything go and falling into the unknown is exhilarating–it makes me feel present in this world, it makes me feel alive.

Small things can spark these feelings of liberation: a powerful push of a car’s accelerator, an unexplored hiking trail, a secluded swimming cove or even a simply designed movie poster.

“What is so special about this movie poster?” one may ask, “it is just a house suspended in air by a bunch of balloons.”

“Oh, my dear friend,” I would like to say. “This illustration represents freedom. Imagine for a moment that you could just leave everything behind and explore the world. And, not even in the traditional sense–you wouldn’t need to go through all of today’s politics of selling your house, packing your things, organizing your accounts–oh no, you could simply tie balloons to your house, lift off and be gone. No hassle. No fuss. Simply–a flight of freedom.”

Now I haven’t yet seen the film–it will be released next month in Italy–but, you can bet that I will be one of the first customers in line when the ticket booth opens. Like Disney/Pixar’s last film WALL-E which contains important messages regarding environmental destruction, reliance on technology and obesity; Up also contains messages about today’s American society, and specifically about our common state of thinking in the Future instead of thinking in the Now.

In this story, Carl and Ellie meet as children, fall in love, are inseparable throughout adulthood and share the same dream from when they were young–to explore the South American jungles. But, jobs, health issues and daily life get in the way and before Carl knows it he is old and widowed and has yet to fulfill his dream. Yet, although life sometimes gets away from us, there is always the Now to make a change. And, at 78, Carl decides that Now is the only time he has. So geared with thousands of balloons tied to his house, he let’s himself be lifted UP…UP…and AWAY, to start his adventure and to finally live out his dream.

This message, although told through a simple animated film, is an important one. Each day we have the opportunity to live life how we want to live, yet many of us let go of the balloon we hold in our hands–our dreams–to fulfill the practical side of life with the intention that “someday I can hold start living, someday I can hold that balloon again.”  But, this is pure madness. You don’t hold in your hand, “someday”, you hold in your hand “now.” That is all you have or will ever have. It’s as simple and as complicated as that.

Think about your dreams. Don’t let them float away like a stray balloon; instead, take those dreams, hold them tight, and let them carry you UP.

 

Daily Challenge: Express your Love January 6, 2009

This was the first New Years in two years that I didn’t have a kiss at the stroke of mid-night.  And, although I sometimes miss having a special person in my life to share these moments with, I was very content to wrap my arms around my friends in big hugs and watch as others couples shared a sparkling moment to express their love for one another.  

The whole kiss at midnight may be cliche’, but any moment you take to show someone you love him/her deserves some credit. After all, there are those individuals who don’t typically express themselves and a tradition like this which forces them to show emotion can mean the world to the recipient if emotion is a rarity.  

And, for those relationships where emotion is not a rarity, you still have the ability to sweep your partner off his/her feet. I had the sappiest grin on my face and made uncontrollable “cooing” sounds when my friend came up to me moments after her midnight kiss with her boyfriend of five years and told me it was one of the best kisses of her entire relationship.

“WOW!” I responded, while thinking to myself how incredible it is that after five years of kissing the same two lips there can still be a shock factor that stirs emotions you’ve never experienced, or long since forgotten, and which take your breath away leaving you stunned like a deer staring into a pair of shiny fluorescent headlights, unable to move and frozen mid-stride.

Love is an extraordinary gift and the best part it is a present you can give for free! It can be through a hug, a kiss, a special note or a simple smile. Although special occasions are good excuses to let a person know they are cared for, don’t rely on them as the only time you need to express yourself. When you happen to think of someone, let them know they were thought of; when you see someone, tell them they are cared about; and when you’re in love with someone, let them know with a touch…a kiss…or a magical moment that they will never want to forget.