I’ve had this picture in my mind on and off during the past few years: I’m in a movie house, but I’m in the projection room, standing with the Projectionist. Before us, in the darkened room there are several screens, each with its own life movie going on – you know – the life situations that are unfolding, the life dramas we’re all familiar with, the people that we know or get introduced to in a new scene…
As I’m watching the different movies, I feel compelled (and sometimes I choose) to join at a particular point, moving out of the Projectionist space into the movie itself. Once I’m in the movie, like all the actors, I forget that it is actually a movie, and it becomes real to me – normal life. I get sucked into all the dramas, feel all the heart wrenching emotions, get confronted by really scary stuff. It’s not make-believe and I’m real and authentic .
But then, at some point, as suddenly I had immersed myself into this movie, I’m removed again and I’m back into the projection room, again standing with the Projectionist, looking at the movie continuing and knowing that my part in the movie was over, or maybe temporarily suspended. I’m not required or don’t wish to be part of the story as it continues to unfold. Those are the times when I rest, when I heal, when I let go of the memories of the dramas that I was just part of. Often there is a sense of relief “Thank God it’s only a movie!”
Then there are times when I’m back in the Projectionist’s room, unwilling, frustrated that I’m not in my own movie any more. I’m frustrated with this double life, with this “then I’m in and then I’m out” dual perspective. It seems that everyone else is part of his or her own movie except me. I only get to play parts in other people’s movies, temporarily experiencing life as everybody else (and usually dealing with the difficult bits!) I’m left to watch, observe as the movies continue without me.
But then, if I do get my own new movie, what would my movie look like? What would the experiences and the storyline be? Who would play in it with me? No doubt some of the actors in the other movies where I made guest appearance would do the same for me… But what story do I want to script?
Is it totally up to me to script the story, or will it be written for me? In our previous paradigm of life (or the old Game as I’ve called it before), I think the basic outline of the story was a given, the main characters were all lined up and the actors signed, the challenges and obstacles carefully planned beforehand.
Now? I don’t know. There is this new open space, ripe with all kinds of creative possibilities…and a new kind of responsibility.
I’m left with the question, and I suppose a choice: is my life movie a sum total of all the parts I play in other people’s movies? Or do I get to have my own once again, this time where I’ll be the script writer, the director and the protagonist all in one?
It will probably be a combination of the two, as with everybody else, I suspect.
I also wonder about Spiritual Oscars.