Thursday, November 12, 2009

Body Language

The main characters in some of the greatest movies of all time use body language to powerfully dramatize an attitude of acceptance.

Julie Andrews, face aglow and whirling around on an open meadow, stretches her arms out wide and begins singing at the top of her lungs: “the hills are alive with the sound of music”…(movie scene fades away).

A young Civil War officer, badly wounded, sits astride a beautiful horse. Opening his arms wide, and asking forgiveness of the Almighty, he sends his horse running, one last time, across the front line of the enemy…challenging them to end his life.

A young man lifts his female companion up and steadies her as she clings to the railing of the ships bow in front of her. Her eyes are closed. He encourages her to let go and open her arms wide, and then open her eyes. She finds herself high above the ocean surface, nothing else in view, not even the ocean liner beneath her. She smiles and accepts the full impact of all that her senses are absorbing.

A Russian Jew, in the throws of an oppressive regime, standing in his barn, flings his arms wide open and begins to dance and sing about what he would do if he were rich.

One more. The scene is modern day New York. A shopkeeper is closing the front door of her empty store for the last time, the same store where she spent many happy childhood hours with her mother who is now deceased. As she looks one last time into the empty room she catches a vision of the past. Her mother is holding her under the arms and twirling ‘round and ‘round.

All scenes from movies and not real life - or are they? Maybe I should rephrase that to ask, “or can they be?”

We can “body language” ourselves through life on this planet in one of two ways. We can fold our arms across our chests and live a closed-off life. Or we can choose to open our arms wide - embracing life, and our fellow man, with an acceptance that encircles the globe.

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