How Watching “Luca” Made Me Want to Live Again

Maybe I am ready for the surface

Photo by Tiago Ebisui via Unsplash

On Saturday, June 26, 2021, after my fingers tapped away feverishly at my laptop and my eyes scanned several articles to which I set free into the world of vigorous reading, I slouched in my favorite chair — my heart at ease and mind ready and succumbed to the gift that is Luca. Disney+ has become my refuge — my place of entertainment and subtle peace.

Over the last few months, I’ve enjoyed viewing Raya and the Last Dragon, Soul, and various Pixar “Shorts” that have placed me in a state of sheer calm, maniacal laughter, overwhelming sadness, or complete satisfaction. But it was Luca that reminded me of what it feels like to want to get back out into the world.

Without spoiling the movie (too much), I will tell you it is of a young sea creature who befriends another and the two of them leave their home in the ocean’s deep to temporarily live on land among humans. Both of them yearned to scratch away at the surface and explore a world about which they had no actual knowledge.

Trying to meet their goal introduces them to a town of avengers who make it their life’s work to rid their waters of “sea monsters” and they find a friend in a young girl who has a goal of her own. Giulia/Giulietta gives the two friends a spark they needed and through no fault of her own, causes Luca and Alberto to fall into a verbal brawl that opens their eyes and changes their hearts.

But it was Luca that reminded me of what it feels like to want to get back out into the world.

If you are a sentimental being, then I assure you, this animated film will pull at your heartstrings. There is a connectedness to truly living and the longing to explore everything the world offers at every angle and from my chair — I felt the need to get up and out into a once locked-down-and-plagued-realm and live — seriously live. I haven’t felt this way in a long time.

From the deep, I saw myself swimming to the surface, gathering my pre-COVID-19 self, picking a place on the map, packing, and getting in my car to head straight to that very spot. I envisioned traveling again — more importantly; I wanted to travel again.

I wanted the fresh air of the mountains hovering around me. I wanted the expansiveness of the unfamiliar to reach out to me. I wanted . . . to feel free again and to act on it with no regrets.

I felt the need to get up and out into a once locked down and plagued realm and live — seriously live.

I wanted to be Luca.


As life would have it, things are slowly trying to reopen and people are re-familiarizing themselves with their favorite places — if those places are still up and running. They are taking flights to see family members. They are reconnecting with friends and holding newborn babies. Many of them are seeing and meeting with relatives who they have not seen in over a year.

While watching Luca, I wanted to be among this crowd too. I want to shed a bit of skin and drive back down to Asheville, North Carolina, or Southern Virginia or the tail end of Georgia. I saw myself with my carry-on, phone, earbuds, and books, boarding a plane to Alaska or Washington or Texas.

I think I’m ready to live.

I wanted . . . to feel free again and to act on it with no regrets.

The movie has a variety of quotes sure to stick with me as the future introduces itself. A few of my favorites are:

“Look me in the eye. You know I love you, right?” This is from Luca’s mother, Daniela, as she tries to make him understand why she does what she does for him — his safety is of the utmost importance in her eyes.

“Silencio, Bruno!” A mantra/motto for Luca to say — gifted by Alberto to get him through his fears — sort of a way to speak to that inner voice inside you that constantly hounds you and attempts to get you to not do what you intend to do.

“You got me off the island, Luca. I’m okay.” This is also from Alberto as he bids farewell to Luca right before he takes the train to go to school with Guilia.

“I’m not crying, you’re crying!”

I didn’t think an animated film could reach its hand out to me, lift me from my disillusioned state, and show me I can live again and I should at least try. Trying is the hardest part, though, isn’t it? I am one step closer to willing my body to press itself against the world. I simply have to put on my shoes, tie them, and place one foot in front of the other.

There is a world out there slowly opening back up, ready for me to take a damn chance. Maybe it is time I emerge from the deep and make my way to the surface. But then, I learn about new variants of a virus that blows through every system it touches, leaving people forever changed, and I am hesitant again.

I don’t want to be. I just am.

And then there are days when I shake myself free from my prison and say, “Let me just grab my mask, hand sanitizer, and various supplements, notepad & pen, music, and Jernee. I have places to go, people to see, and living to do.”

“Fifteen minutes at a time, though. Fifteen minutes at a time.” Deep down — in the wells of my wavering spirit, I plea not to pressure myself. And I won’t. But maybe, just maybe, it is time.


Originally published in Age of Empathy via Medium.

Last Night, I Watched the Salt-N-Pepa Biopic and Thought of You

All-knowing Moon

And how odd was the image of you that crept into the recesses of my mind as I looked on at a bond that began quickly, kept up with the changing of the times over the years, then pent itself into harm’s way by backing into a proverbial wall. Years later, that wall was torn down and those same souls who’d bonded quickly built the strength of their love up to a level that none of us can touch.

That is Salt. That is Pepa.

That is missing you. That is remembering graphic pictures sent to my phone. Skintight jeans cuffed at the ankles. Spaghetti strap tops. Fishnet stockings covering naked legs and supple ass cheeks. No panties . . . You were a voluptuous work of modern-day art and I salivated at your will.

Beckoned and Called.

I was younger then. Way younger. And I hungered for you. Those flicks kept me satisfied when distance had been too much to bear. I knew you were probably watching the biopic last night too and being overly-critical.

I was Salt. You were Pepa. And the difference between us versus them is we had lust pockets purging our friendship into a nasty ball while we allowed our feelings to turn into something bigger. I fell too hard, though. Something I was prone to doing many moons ago.

You pointed that out. My kind of love was not what you had been seeking. Still, you threw your bait at me and I swam to it like an eager fish. I had many nets. If I could have chosen, all of them would have caught you.

We didn’t part ways like adults should have. You stopped talking to me when you figured out the way I love could never satisfy you. I found that out five years later after dreading another ghost. It’s hard tracing the tracks of someone who never leaves footprints.

The music of our youth reached my ears and “The First Ladies of Hip Hop” reminded me of you and what I put you through and what you put me through and I wanted to pull them both into an embrace and tell them how brave they are for shooting the shit publicly and apologizing to one another for their wrongdoings.

We could NEVER be that mature.

Non-Fiction Saturdays

I Am No Legend

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Art by Lauren Bending via Mixkit.co

I thought I would wake up to a ghost town–to people actually abiding by the suggestions of experts and personnel equipped to follow and track COVID-19, however, restrictions are being avoided and noses are pointed upwards at them in defiance as if to say, “This is my life. To hell with you people telling me what to do with it!” As of Friday, March 20, 2020, the state of North Carolina had 137 cases of COVID-19 and the numbers are steadily rising.

Heading out to work, the roads are still as busy as they have ever been, however, when I pull into my organization’s parking lot, there are fewer cars parked–fewer patients are keeping their appointments. We actually had several walk-in X-rays today and I thought to myself, “Why the hell are you guys even here? It’s not emergent. The back pain that you’ve had for years now can wait for two more weeks.” Then, I thought–“It’s calm now. The storm hasn’t hit. People are getting everything done before they actually aren’t able to do so for quite a long while.”

I understand the rebellion, but I DON’T UNDERSTAND IT, if that makes sense. This is not something people can see, touch, or control–it hasn’t directly affected us with a vengeance yet, so most are testing it. Most want to know if it’s REALLY real. And I am over here silently screaming to myself, but also to these people, “JUST LOOK AT THE NUMBERS, PEOPLE! WE MUST DO WHAT WE CAN TO PREVENT THE SPREAD OF THIS THING!” I imagine myself not being heard–a voiceless voice in the crowd, sheltered by disobedient adult-children who fear they will not get their way.


 

SyFy.com

Really, if I am honest, this reminds me a bit of I Am Legend. Of course, we don’t have the undead seeking out our blood, fearful of the light of day or ultraviolet rays, but we have a virus, a contagion, sweeping our nation in droves, and I think acting on the side of caution is wise. At this very moment, there are at least five people outside my building, huddled together, talking and laughing–having a good old time. I have my windows up for a good, night breeze, and I hear them. I wonder how many of them have even done what they have been advised to do. How many of them in their group are preparing for what could be the wildest thing we have ever experienced?

The dog and I cuddle together on my big chair like we do most nights. I turn to a good movie or read a book or we relax in the beauty of the essence of each other and we keep our distance from others. I walk her, speak to my neighbors in passing, and we come straight home. If I did not have to work, I would not leave my apartment, save for the duty of walking the Little Monster. I have my essentials. I have all that I need to survive for two-three weeks without having to go to the grocery store.

As much as I can, I am adhering to the advice and to the restrictions. Due to my job, as of today, I still have to work. We still have healthcare to provide. Our docket is not made up of only emergent cases as we have been advised to have, however, we have pared-down our schedule and many patients have canceled their appointments. I have to work tomorrow and it is a very short day. I will start my day there at the gig at 06:15 am and will prayerfully end it before 13:00 pm.

I have this feeling that when I get to work, not all sixteen patients who were on the docket before I left will be there. I have a feeling the number will be around nine patients. We shall see.

Be safe. Be careful. Abide by the restrictions implemented. Take care of yourselves, people. Peace.


 

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No Road To Recovery

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Closed Eyes|Odilon Redon — circa 1894

An Experimental Audio Micro-Poem

We have been stripped
of the lives we knew
 — thrown into
the lives we hate by
keepers who do not know
what it means to be kept.


Originally published in Other Doors via Medium.


*Author’s Note: The Powerhouse introduced The Handmaid’s Tale to me and I have found myself binge-watching every episode, trying not to let myself become too angry with each new dive into the “fictional” lives of women who have been stripped of the lives that they once knew and forced into the lives of those who want nothing more of them than “miracle babies.” I cannot fathom what it must feel like to be raped on a consistent schedule with empty rhetoric and twisted biblical scriptures as reputable reasons for their drastic and inconceivable ways of life decided by those in power or considered the “Upper Echelon” of the U.S. of A.What’s even scarier? It feels like we could be headed in that direction.

How The Bee Taught Me About Connection

Bumblebee is finally online. https://rarbgmirror.xyz/torrent/vmnr3zy join list: AllThingsTV (9 subs)Mention History..  I'd still recommend seeing it in theatres, if you can afford.
Courtesy of FunkyJunk.com

It must be a dream come true
to find someone who lends you
your voice when it has been
s t r i p p e d
from you.
the depth of love
cloaks itself in soft touches
and understanding,
a hand that caresses
the weary, aching parts–
she oiled every crevice
and he pulled the last bit
of fight from his spirit
in her honor,
but for the world.

Music and its healing power
brought two different beings
together.
it seemed like fate,
the moment the right
song was chosen to
c o n n e c t
what otherwise would have not
been connected.
I watched love
push itself from the
surface, up through the
chutes of terror, and
manifest into light.

And it all happened with
the Bee.