Wait for life to reward you with a standing ovation

Accepting quiet moments of truth

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My favorite movies are the films where not much happens except for life itself.

They simply chronicle the way ordinary time unfolds for people. The characters gently drift down a stream of consciousness with no particular direction in mind, without the mechanics of a plot, a dramatic three act structure, a formal narrative arc, an action packed car chase or a predictably grandiose slow clap crescendo that wraps everything up in tidy cinematic bow before the credits roll.

These movies feel spontaneous. They flow with a nice naturalness. Like documentaries with invisible cameras and no professionally trained actors.

That’s why they resonate so deeply with people. Because they mirror real, authentic life. They honor man’s search for exquisite ordinariness.

Which is especially refreshing in culture where every thirty second advertisement chews up the scenery and brutalizes its viewers with an onslaught of contrived melodramatic choreography to sell another bullshit product they don’t need.

Look, there’s no doubt that story are the tools that help human beings structure and interpret reality, make sense of life and bring order to a world that is confusing and scary. The human brain is psychological primed for narrative.

But if we spend too much time disappearing down the rabbit hole of our own mythology, we lose sight of the fact that in great movie of life, not that much happens. And when it does, there’s no award winning audio engineer standing by to cue the orchestra.

Our job, then, is to be open to the whole journey. To stay in step with the natural rhythm of things. To gentle with ourselves when we get stuck. To trust that the waiting part of change is necessary.

Beattie said it best in her book about the journey to the heart:

The desert cactus that blooms briefly once a year doesn’t consider all the moments it is not in bloom wasted. It knows that the rest of the year is beautiful and important too.

Closure is an illusion. Life a collage of disparate images pinned together less by narrative force than by states of individual feeling.

Will you wait for life to reward you with a standing ovation, or accept its few quiet moments of truth?

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Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag
Author. Speaker. Strategist. Inventor. Filmmaker. Publisher. Songwriter.

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