Divine Right 6:12 p.m. 2005-05-29

When I first moved back to Atlanta, after living for a year in Lafayette, Louisiana (going to grad school), I lived alone in an apartment in Smyrna. I was already pretty much dating my future husband, and had joined his church - a conservative Presbyterian Church.

Now, my husband is a pretty intellectual guy, and he mocks me endlessly about my constant references to pop culture. Still, I will stand by my view that many important lessons in life can be or have been learned in a movie or in your above average sitcom. I will often interject into a conversation phrases such as, "Oh, it was just like that episode of Gilligan's Island where..."

So, save me your mockery - I get enough at home. But I digress.

Around the time I was attending USL, a movie came out called Breaking the Waves, starring Emily Watson. I didn't see it in Lafayette, but it intrigued me. When I first moved to Atlanta, Cable TV was trying to wile me with free Showtime and HBO, and one night, I stayed up until 3AM to watch this film.

I have a friends who are very interested in the cinema and filmmaking, and often I feel guilty about my movie choices. Now, I am not some depraved Adam Sandler fan and I detest movies that are supposed to appeal to the younger generation - did I really just say that? I will admit to seeing Eurotrip and Dodgeball - the former was bad, and the latter was amusing. I am still trying to forget a matinee showing of Real World: The Movie. Yikes - I must have been insane!!!

What I am trying to say is that I generally go for the middle-ground. I loved The Motorcycle Diaries, and Traffic, and I am glad I saw City of God. But I prefer lighter fare. Believe me, there are plenty of reasons to cry in real life - I don't need to pay to see them.

I will let you read the review linked to Breaking the Waves, but I will hint at the thing that struck me. The gist of the tale is that Bess, the main character, believes that she is communicating directly with God. She truly believes that her prayer to God to bring her husband back to her results in his paralyzing accident. Then, she begins to believe that her new task (having sex with strangers) is bringing about his recovery.

I found the whole movie very disturbing at the time, and I have been recalling it lately. Having pulled away from my new church for the time being, I am still looking for guidance. I am reluctant - resistant even - to read the Bible, but I do a lot of meditating. I also have the feeling at times that I "willed" my marriage to happen. Any setback - and there have been many - I blame on myself. I know that this is unrealistic and melodramatic, but it's the way I feel sometimes.

In a previous entry, I referred to my fascination with divining - or fortune telling. I find that when things are uncertain, I have a tendency to overdo this bit - constantly looking for validation that the path I am on is the right one. On the one hand, I feel more connected with what my life purpose is to be. On the other hand, I have to be aware of being led astray by my own fantasies.

Actually, this is the most I have ever expressed about my spiritual feelings. I cannot say that they are "beliefs" exactly, but I do know that many of the things I like to believe do not fit in with any specific denomination. I like the community of church, but in the one I belonged to I often felt judged. Maybe it was just me, judging myself.

By the way, I don't ever want to see that film again - but I feel the same way about Gorillas in the Mist. Just too much pain for me to bear. Call me a cinematic wuss - I don't care. I will just rebut with a situation from Sex and the City!

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