Fade to Black

The smell is always the first thing that hits you when you walk into the cinema. As the aroma of warm freshly made popcorn darts up your nostrils, you excited with anticipation to see the latest film. Maybe with your friend, your man, woman, whoever- just looking for some entertainment on a rainy winters evening. I find myself thinking about all i have taken for granted, missing the smallest of actions in a time where we weren’t really allowed to do anything besides the shops, work and home. 

It got me thinking about movies. In their simplest way possible, a movie is made of three constituent parts. When put together in the correct order you get the plot line of the movie. We have the beginning, where you are introduced to all of the characters in the movie and are able to gain an understanding of them. Most notably this is the period most important for forming that emotional, empathetic connection with the character, from the hero shining a light on all that’s good to the anti-hero questioning the motives of modern society. If the writer wants you to notice someone or something in that movie, they have to find a way of showing you how important it is without telling you. Telling you will only serve to lessen from the experience of watching the movie and make any sort of investment in the character lost to being “told” how to feel. 

The middle is where the plot line starts to be hashed out more. We know who the characters are now, so what are they going to do? How will these characters interact? Will their interaction be a positive or negative influence on these characters ? We can all see from the films that Sherlock Holmes and Irene Adler are both heavily influenced by one another, but are both are fully aware of the soft spot they have for one another. Positive or negative reactions to growing events isn’t something that the writer gets to choose, no matter how badly they wish to dictate the terms of this growing chemistry and connection. 

The ending of the movie is a complex algorithm to solve, for as much as the beginning is the most important part of the movie, the ending is often the one thing that people will remember the most. This will be the part of the movie that people will post on social media about, the part of the movie they will talk to friends about. This is the part of the movie that will mean “:you have to see this movie!” or “don’t bother- the ending is just dreadful.” This, ultimately, has to be your big finish. This is what you want to be known for, remembered by. 

In the end though, as is the same in every movie, the last words are spoken and the camera pans away for the fade to black…

And silence prevails.

Movies give us the means to tell stories of a life well lived in a short space of time, showing us that as much as we want them to go on forever, everything always ends with a fade to black. There will come a time when you will close your eyes and never open them again, this the only thing you can be sure about in life. Death and taxes are guaranteed, but everything else is yours. 

Take any character in a movie. Imagine if they were a real person, they have no idea that thousands, millions of people are watching the story of their life. Why not live your life in the same way? Sherlock Holmes loves Irene Adler, this is undeniable, if someone sat the other side of the screen disagrees- is this ever going to stop him pursuing her as he does? No. If you didn’t think Captain Jack was ever going to find the treasure- would he stop looking?

Of course not. So why do you stop at the first idea someone else thinks you shouldn’t do something?

Some movies are amazing, filled with action. Some make you clap with joy, some will make you cry harder than you ever thought you could. As it fades to black, just before the credits roll, it ends. It always ends. Everything you have ever felt, every experience you have ever had is another movie in your franchise. Maybe you got beat up in that movie, maybe your heart was so broken it may never be put back together again. It made you feel like you will be alone forever, or surrounded by those who love you. It will be everything, and then it will be gone. Moments, blown away like smoke, like sand through your fingers or breath on a mirror.

The thing about everything that people want to forget is that it’s going to end one day. It may be today, it may not be tomorrow, a few decades from now or even in 60 minutes time. Everything has a time limit, nothing will last forever. The joy of a great movie, the glory of good food with someone you love or an experience with friends you will remember forever. In the end, just like every movie, there is a fade to black.

But just because there is an end, doesn’t mean we don’t get to dictate the architect of the movie. You are the producer, director, writer and the main star. What movie are you writing for yourself? Would you go and watch it- or are you writing in fear of that silence…

and the Fade to Black. 

Yours, with love as always.
D. R x

Truth or Fear

Good evening ladies and gentleman

I will be the first to admit i spend far too long lost in my own thoughts. I could spend hours up there, barely even noticing the world happening around me. It’s as if I’m wandering the skies of a rainy day, jumping from cloud to cloud, thoughts coming from here and there, left and right dodging as if the rain would melt my soul.

I’ve never thought much of it because i thought everyone was like it.

I am an over thinker, in simple terms. I have never been a fan of such a contrived, rather simplistic way of explaining something so notoriously complex, but that is how this is understood or defined by our wider society. I look to understand, for without understanding, we cannot learn. I welcome mistakes and expect anything but perfection, for a desire for perfection will make only for bitter disappointment.

The thing that i often struggle with is what if you are never able to understand? Maybe there are aspects of life, love and everything in between you are not supposed to understand, or should just never expect to be able to? Moreover than that- what happens if your understanding is just…wrong?

The only way i can think of it to describe this issue is for it to be akin to a cycle. Again and again, doing the same thing, the same way for the same length of time and expecting a different result. This in itself is the definition of madness, yet its something I’ve stuck to in the same bloody minded fashion for so long now. Truth is after a certain point it’s hard to know and harder still to believe there can be anything else.

It’s from this lack of understanding, created from an obsession in gaining understanding (irony) that creates fear, an anxiety that builds the walls higher and pushes everyone you know so far away you feel like you’re going to be alone forever. This life I have created, this idea of myself, the cycle i feel like i’ve been living on for so long, is all my own doing. This is what i’ve always said about Thinking Evolution- we must learn to understand and then critically the part i’ve been missing- we must then evolve.

For from this evolution comes surprise.

Surprise is a mad mad thing because to an anxious mind surprise it is a powerfully terrifying concept. Surprise is often not part of the vocabulary of the anxious, it generally being substituted with”unpredictable.” When you feel like you need to be ready to go and be prepared for any situation or possibility, when you spend a long time thinking of every possible scenario, however ridiculous you imagine them to be because the alternative is you wound up in an “unpredictable” situation. This can never happen.

In my experience is this no more appropriate with people. There are a lot of people that have a role to play in my life, that serve a purpose and are useful as an acquaintance. Do i know that many people? Do many people know me- the real me? I am as close as to myself in these words stretching out across the screen, but does anybody really believe that- what would they ever imagine me to be?

Those i know, those i trust- i love them dearly, would do anything for them and trust them with anything. Those wonderful, mad, eccentrically brilliant human beings are proof the cycle isn’t the only method for learning about life. They really are the best of me and i wouldn’t be half the man i am today without them. What if there was another way of breaking through those walls i’ve built so high- surely they are proof of this?

So, this may have happened. I’ve always believed you make mistakes for a reason, so you can rectify and improve from them. I do what i can to gain impressions of people, then, because trusting someone is a remarkably rare thing for me to ever do and then maybe they become something more to you. To come back to an earlier point- what do you do if you may have been wrong- what if you fell for a ruse she plays so people can’t see her- the same way you have been for longer than i can remember.

Maybe i do it to protect myself- or my “peace.” Or maybe I’m just scared of caring about someone i don’t know a whole lot about? I’ve been off the mark with this person so many times its near impossible to pinpoint. She, in many ways, broke the cycle. It’s happened before, but only now have i realised the cycle of behaviours has been a consistent issue for this long.

I wanted her to be something she wanted me to see, because the alternative is someone i might just care about. I’ve always wanted to not care- about anyone. Instead just on the “let them live and ruin whatever they do for as long as they like, but i’m just not built like that.” I wanted her to hate me, because hate is predictable and can be explained. I once treated people like broken jigsaw puzzles, tasking myself to be the one to put the pieces back together. This time, someone surprised me, thats all she did. She surprised me.

She broke a part of me ultimately. Im not saying we are going to be the best of friends but between her and a friend talking it through with me, something needed to change. Breaking a cycle thats been in place longer than i can remember.

Again, my friends, always the best of me.

Fail better…be better – Peter Dinklage.

Yours, with love as always.

D. R x