only in the movies

When my husband and I lived in NYC, we'd go to the movie theatre near our apartment for an extra special experience.

While this theatre looked rather like any other...

with the same seats, same decor and same concession stand,

there was one distinguishing feature that set it apart from the rest: 

the audience.

In this theatre, the audience LOVED to interact with the characters on the screen.

Such was their commitment to these interactions that you'd swear the action unfolding upon the big screen was taking place in real time...

right before your very eyes.

Not only that, but the audience seemed convinced that their input could absolutely affect the outcome of the story.

And husband and I hunkered down and enjoyed what seemed to be TWO shows for the price of one. 

We smiled as our fellow audience members hurled

sage advice,

dire warnings

and colorful opinions

toward the actors on the screen.

When I think back on those times, I realize that the audience was completely and utterly invested in the film and the characters they were watching.

The audience became part of the film.

They played a role in the whole experience.

And it became as real to them as their big toe. 

For that hour and a half in the theatre, the line between fantasy and reality was deliberately and deliciously blurred.

While I could never quite bring myself to participate at that level,

on an emotional level...

within my own mind...

I could become just as invested in the characters of a movie...

particularly if they were experiencing emotional turmoil.

In fact, on many occasions my husband had to console me as I wept and cringed my way through the drama and action unfolding before me.

In those moments of emotional intensity, I truly felt what I felt,

 in real time

and I became completely invested in the character's well-being.

On another level, however,  I remained fully aware that none of what I was seeing and feeling was actually real.

My husband, is a whole other story.

He seems never to be confused between fantasy and reality at the movies.

Ever cognizant that he is watching a film with actors portraying characters, he can easily flit between the story on the big screen and the happenings that may be occurring within the theatre itself.

So as you can see, we have

three separate experiencesand realities created with essentially the same circumstances.

And so it seems to me,

that we experience the outside world on a continuum of sorts; measured against the level of awareness we have for the role thought plays in creating our experience. 

Sometimes we blur the much so that we truly believe that what we think is what we see.

Other times, we see that we are feeling our thinking...but in that moment it still feels so very very real.

And still other times, we are able to see the outside world for what it is - a projection of our thinking - pure creation from the inside-out.

And while we can't always control how we will see the movie in our minds...

sometimes it is enough to know...

it's all just a movie. ;))

P.S. To Britta - a fellow "sprinkler" at the movies!

P.S.S. A Big Happy Birthday to Anne. xx


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Lana Bastianutti