Last night my husband and I saw Les Miserables at the movie theater. We hardly ever go, but our kids gave us gift cards to the Regal Cinemas. Can’t turn down free tickets 🙂 And I cried most of the way through. I wish I would have stuffed more hankies into my pocket before I left home. Why? What moved me?
For twenty minutes before the movie started we listened to ads for maybe a dozen movies. Not one that I would want to see. Insulting comedies or end-of-the-world type action shows with lots of violence and killing made viewable for “appropriate” audiences. These types of movies are popular, yet they are not really for me.
But Les Miserables. My heart melted. I admit I have never read the book. It was too long. Too historically detailed. I never could get into it. However, the screen play brought Victor Hugo’s story to life for me. The beauty of the characters, the people, who could love without hatred or envy or greed, who were willing to run or to die or to suffer for something bigger than themselves, or for the ones they loved. Even to hang themselves upon the crucible of the law. This is what we are as humans at our most raw, at our most hopeful, at our most complex, at our best.
Sitting there in that movie theater, soggy hankie in hand, tears streaming down my cheeks, absorbed into Fantine’s heart-wrenching singing of her life story as she lay broken in the box of her wretchedness, I realized that this is what I wish for my own writing. To touch into the truth of what we live through as humans, to not be ashamed of my own hope or despair or inspiration, to not be afraid to share it, and to bring it vividly to life because it is begging to be spoken and I can’t not do it. It takes courage. And this is what I wish for myself.