Reflections on an In-Flight Movie

It’s about 8:00 pacific time, and I’m somewhere just over Witchita on the way to Honolulu. The in-flight movie just ended–50 First Dates–and I’m now I feel like I’m in a different place. The last few days have been hectic and getting three hours of sleep last night got me off to less-than-perky start to this trip.

But now this romantic comedy set in Hawaii has put me in the mood to travel and to see life from a different angle for a little while. In the movie, Adam Sandler’s character falls in love with a woman whose short-term memory is impaired such that she wakes up every day thinking it is the day after her accident. She has no recollection of whatever happened the day before. The movie’s point is well taken–happiness is being able to wake up each morning with a new sense of wonder, to figure out ways to fall in love over again.

From one angle, the movie is about writing (and movies) and the roles they play in reminding us who we are and who we were. It was ten years ago now that I was last in Hawaii, and it didn’t occur to me until just now to reread my journals. I looked at my pictures to remind myself what places I had visited, but it doesn’t tell me who I was at that time. What was I thinking and feeling after being in China for the summer? What were my impressions of that place?

What if I wrote about my daily life with the urgency Lucy does, knowing that this is all she will have to go on the next day? Perhaps I rely on my very flawed and spotty memory too much, and on my writing too little.

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