Words I Don’t Want to Say

 

Image Source: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2615482/Richard-Linklaters-groundbreaking-movie-used-actors-12-YEARS-tell-touching-story-boy-growing-up.html

Image Source: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2615482/Richard-Linklaters-groundbreaking-movie-used-actors-12-YEARS-tell-touching-story-boy-growing-up.html

The running length of the film was close to three hours.

Perfect, I thought.

It’s true; I have a strange affection for long movies. It isn’t logical, I know, but if the running time is over ninety-six minutes, I am more inclined to see it.

I handed over cash in exchange for a matinee ticket to Boyhood, bypassed all movie theater fare (because God knows a pregnant woman does not need another reason to empty her bladder), and settled into my seat, fully expecting to enjoy the next three hours of my life.

Boyhood was filmed over the course of twelve years, a coming of age story shot as the actor himself comes of age, albeit playing the role of fictional character. To me, this was too great of an artistic accomplishment to pass up seeing on the big screen. Of course, in full disclosure, Ethan Hawke was cast as the boy’s father, and it may as well be publicly known: I’ve had a longstanding obsession with him ever since I watched Before Sunrise as a teenager. Anyway, as I reclined in my seat, I was sure the movie would impact me, alter me somehow, and I wasn’t wrong.

But I wasn’t exactly right either; at least, it didn’t happen the way I expected it to.

The entire film was gorgeous, maybe even the most perfect movie I’ve ever seen from a production standpoint, but I wouldn’t recommend it as a must-see.

Why?

Well, I don’t know if many people would appreciate it or enjoy it. The film is understated, it is slow, it is even repetitive at times; it’s all the mundane and life altering moments that span the twelve years of someone’s life. It reminded me a lot of my own life, not the happenings in my childhood and teenage years per say, but the pace at which events unfolded. Mistakes, milestones, housing and school transitions…they don’t often come rushing in all at once.

Boyhood wasn’t like movies I’ve seen in the past year which caused my mind to spin in what ifs and God, I love that and I wish and that.is.beautiful, no, my mind was not abuzz, but rather keeping time with the measured pace of the script until one moment, toward the end of the film.

Mason, the main character, is moving out and carrying the last few boxes out of his mother’s home. His mother is sitting at the table, seeming to accept the time of transition her youngest child is going through, and the time of transition she is going through. Yet, there’s a moment when she is overcome with emotion, she herself even surprised by it, and when her son asks what’s wrong, she simply replies, “I thought there would be more.”

I thought there would be more.

I let a deep breath sink my body a little lower into the cushion of the chair.

Oh.

Hmm.

I watched the rest of the film play out, but I clutched the phrase, promising to consider why it was the only concrete thing I would take away after three hours spent with this story.

I stayed seated through the end of the credits, as I often do when I go to the movies by myself, and I mulled over the words. I didn’t turn on the radio when I got into my car to drive home. I let the lament make its way in me until I knew for certain why it struck me.

I never want to say those words, it’s a simple and as complex as that.

And not wanting to sit at my kitchen table someday, saying, “I thought there would be more,” it’s not about living life with no regrets or about living life to the fullest or any other commonly touted cliché. It’s not about treasuring every single moment as a parent, as a woman, as a friend, or as a human because that’s also cliché and impossible. God knows I have regrets and I have not pressed the breath of life out of every day I’ve been given and some days I don’t have the ability to treasure the moment, but I don’t think that’s the point.

What if I lived as if there was always enough? 

Maybe Enough is a spiritual practice, maybe it is for me anyway.

I am enough.

I have enough.

I will be given enough.

Breathe in acceptance.

Breathe out the need for more.

Amen.

{What about you? What words do you never want to say when you examine your life? Thanks for reading.}