Monday Musings…Dialogue with the Door – Liberation through Netflix

Have you ever felt like you wanted to escape? Maybe it feels like you never get a break. Or the expectations that life has put on you are mounting and it just seems impossible. Or maybe you wake up every morning with a feeling of dread, thinking “how am I going to get through this day?” let alone the week or the month. It feels like nothing is going to change, there is not enough time, not enough breathing room, and so the thought of escaping is pretty tempting.

The reality for so many is that you just can’t leave school, work, or your family, and board a plane to your long-dreamed-about vacation destination. And that thought alone makes you feel even more trapped. But many people I know have found an incredible and relatively cheap opportunity to escape temporarily when they really need a break. It’s called…Netflix.

What an amazing invention! For a small monthly fee, you can watch a wealth of movies and TV shows, right in the privacy of your own home, at the time (day or night) that works for you! No need for cable. No need to go out to the Cineplex. No need for company even. What a convenient way to escape!

And so, the question for this week asked those who stopped at my door about their favourite thing to watch on Netflix. The door filled up rather quickly that week, letting me know that people hunger for that time to unwind and maybe even enter a “Netflix marathon”. What used to be reserved for the rigorous sport of physical endurance that few could aspire to, now has a sedentary twin that the masses can participate in and feel good about! The twin’s training involves agility in mastering the remote, comfortable and non-restricting gear for proper movement when reclining, attention of steel to analyze the landscape in view, and refreshments that will provide sustenance for the journey. The odd time, a bystander may hand you a beverage to keep you hydrated for the race, and that is important, for the true Netflix champion does not quit until an entire Season has been watched in one sitting! This is no small feat!

When the first motion picture was invented in the late 1800s (The Horse in Motion, 1878), the window to the world opened up for education (this film examined the question as to whether all four of a horse’s hooves are ever off the ground at the same time while running) and entertainment. Somehow watching actors on a screen was relatable and allowed the viewer to experience wonder, expand their thinking, and express their pent up emotion. In other words, movies, then and today, allow a person to escape for a second, a minute, an hour and beyond into a world that triggers their imagination, as one of the door visitors wrote. Whether it is a window or a TV screen, our imagination gets to sail away, far from the present reality and into the realm of possibilities. Movies allow us to shift what is crowding our head space, and redirect to something more liberating. And when you only have a few moments, you can escape without guilt or exorbitant cost.

So if you are needing an inexpensive means of escape, my fellow cellar dwellers gave some suggestions. One is even written in an Asian manuscript. I thought that was so cool! If anyone can read it, please tell me what it is!! But as one of them wrote, sometimes the best entertainment is looking out the window to the world around you and letting your imagination sail away….

This week’s song, on this theme, is Christopher Cross’s 1979 hit, Sailing. It’s a song that not only did I grow up with, but that helped me escape into a mental marathon, as Netflix was not an option :) So as a kid, I regularly stood on my bed staring out the window on many a night listening to his lilting voice and the meaningful words of this song, and imagining a brighter future. This was my escape from reality to the promise of a new hope. That Season of my life had a fantastic ending – I climbed through that window, never looked back, and sailed through rough waters into my Season 2 marathon!

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