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A Movie Review, But Not.


I feel so compelled to write something so meaningful and influential right now, but some things you just can’t put into words. So let me just write, and we will see what comes of it. Yesterday I watched a movie called Glass Castle. It was one of the most moving movies I've seen in a while, and something I just stumbled upon while scrolling Netflix on a Monday night. This might be written more like a movie review than anything, but I really have more to say than that. Because this movie got me thinking, and that is what I have to write about. So, keep reading while I give you my honest perception of the movie.

The plot line followed a girl and her family along on their life as they moved from place to place due to the fact that the dad couldn’t keep a job. The dad was an alcoholic. But in my opinion, he was so, so, so much more. Underneath every behavior is something deeper. In his case his addiction was a way to cope with an immense amount of pain stirring throughout his body. Not only was it his pain, now it was his whole family's pain. His wife and his four kids experienced his abuse and neglect throughout his relationship with each one of them. In the last few days of his life, he was isolated. Isolated to only himself. His daughter, who he had been fighting with prior to this, came to give her last goodbye while he started to drift away. For the first time in a few days he sat up and started talking. He admitted to her that he had lived in fear of himself his whole life, and that it had been a pretty terrible place to be. When we can’t tolerate it anymore, we cling to control or numbness in order to survive. Alcohol abuse is a clear example of this.

His daughter witnessed every aspect of his life. The abuse and the hardship, but also his love for life itself. In one scene of the movie, he and his daughter stood next to a burning fire as he protected her from the “monsters” that surrounded them in the desert. As he peeled a bandage from a burn she got a few days prior, he looked at her with the utmost passion in his eyes and told her that she and her family had a,“fire in their belly”. Although they had very little to survive, they had this fire that carried them along. Maybe the fire started from trauma, fear, and neglect… but it was still a fire. This made me think about my own life. I hope it doesn’t take me till my dying days to find that fire. The fearless fire that drives me closer and closer to myself. Nobody can live a life fearful of themselves, and I myself am no exception. So underneath my own fear, there is a fire somewhere. I just have to find it.

Later in the movie, the daughter left her fiance, eager to find herself again. After playing back old memories with her dad, she realized something about him. He wasn’t afraid to be purely himself. Because when pain takes over - all you have left is your bare bone self. When the flesh and muscle that covers you gets ripped away, there is no hiding. What are you hiding underneath your flesh? Is it something you don't want others to see? Or even perhaps something you don't want to see yourself? My bare bone self has fire, spunk, love, drive, creativity, but just like the dad in Glass Castle… a lot of pain. The more I try to hide my bare bone self, the more she shows up. And right now, I think my bare bone self is a little bit more prominent than my flesh covered body I can become at times.

And maybe my bare bone self doesn’t need to find herself again. Maybe I just need to stay lost for a while and let myself not know the answers to life. Because to pretend like I have found myself, and to pretend that I have these answers is something that leaves me completely and utterly confined. Confined to a fake version of who I am. So if I am messy, then I will be messy. And if I am messy the rest of my life, then at least I can say I am being true to myself, and nobody's expectation of me. In the end, being me is what creates the fire. The fire filled with chaos and passion. Just like the dad from Glass Castle.

Another concept that was alluded to within the movie was the importance of inanimate and non-tangible things. After the dad died, the kids started reminiscing about who he was, and the things he did for them growing up. As an alcoholic, all the family's money went to alcohol. There was no spare money for food and other necessities. As far as toys go, there were none. The kids talked about how their dad would get them stars for christmas. They could get all the stars they wanted, they just had to look up. Little did the kids know, this was a forever gift. Because while other childrens gifts became worn out and destroyed over time, thiers was just hanging there in the sky, untouched. The tangible doesn't last forever, and I guess that brings me to my next point.

Art. Art is something that can be tangible at times, but the feeling that it can bring is often something so intangible that it becomes almost…well…abstract. Artists often create from a place of pain. Some things in my opinion, are better left unsaid. Because the degree to which something can be explained only reaches a certain point. Maybe that isn’t true for everyone, but for me, it is. Not to say writing isn’t a form of art, but if I’m being honest with myself, I think I need a little more practice to call this a form of art for myself. That is why I dance. Take all of this with a grain of salt though, because guess what? Not everyone uses art to express pain. There are so many people that are in pain and struggling to find a way. You just have to find your way… and that may be different than the person sitting right next to you.

So to say the least, this movie was sort of an eye opener for me. It made so many good points and is something many people can relate to. Whether you have dealt with alcoholism yourself or not. It shows the light that comes out of darkness, and the love that comes out of pain.

Quick little PSA: I would love it if you added yourself to my emailing list so you could get updates every time I post! Go to my home page and enter your email at the bottom. I would love to keep sharing, and bring you with me through life. ALSO: keep in mind, you can also comment and message me via my website. So If you want to get in touch, I would love to talk:). Anyways! That is all for now, and keep on livin’!!

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