Monday, January 25, 2010

Avatar and Finding Your Snow Geese

James Cameron's completely immersive spectacle "Avatar" may have been a little too real for some fans who say they have experienced depression and suicidal thoughts after seeing the film because they long to enjoy the beauty of the alien world Pandora. Jo Piazza, CNN
Ummm, yeah. Please take another read of that excerpt, followed by a moment or two in which you allow yourself to give a little thought to this statement provided by a CNN news story found at

So, yes, I've seen Avatar 3D on the IMAX and most aspects of the film are above mediocre. But the beauty portrayed is simply amazing and unlike anything else. James Cameron utilizes flourescent and neon coloring in a way that I have never experienced--natural, magical and breathtaking.

So I can somewhat understand how a person may need a moment to readjust after witnessing that extent of beauty for nearly three hours, leaving it behind only to enter a dreary Seattle day.


But I have a very important piece of information to share with the rest of humankind:

It wasn't real. The planet of Pandora is imaginary.

I know, I know. Take a breath. Absorb it. Take it in. This is not a joke. Avatar is a fictional movie with the purpose of entertainment, which it fulfills very well. But again, it is not real.

And I'm sorry, but to compare our blessed Earth with computer generated images is ridiculously moronic and unfair, just as if you became disheartened after spotting a stallion because it had no wings, no color-changing flesh nor a twisted horn crowning its head. Stupid horses. Stupid regular earth.

More realistically, it is similar to those who are incapable of finding beauty in their own body or the forms of others as they have seen too many air-brushed magazine covers.

What is so ironic is that one of the main themes of Avatar is the appreciation of nature, which our society is so obviously lacking. Living in suburbia outside of a major city, I can appreciate how this lack of gratitude can come to be. I don't always seek out the beauty as I drive by Fred Meyer and the bank. Alicia Keys refers to New York City as a concrete jungle and it is very difficult to be aesthetically inspired by the concrete that we pass day after day after day. Surely an actual jungle would much more easily provoke a sense of awe.

But just as everything else in our lives, it is our intention, our disposition, our sentiment, our philosophy and our thoughts that so strongly affect our view, our perspective, our mood, our slant and our mindset. 

Think of it this way: 

Your thoughts become your thoughts. Your mindset becomes your mindset. 
Your mood becomes your mood. 

This past weekend, I was lucky enough to spend a couple of days with Jenny for a trip to Bellingham and back. On our trip home, we ventured off of the main highway for a lazy lunch in La Conner. As we winded our way over to the quaint town, we suddenly found ourselves in the midst of hundreds, maybe thousands, of snow geese on the fields. After rolling down our windows, I felt the crisp breeze on my cheeks and listened to this choir of birds sing simply to sing, tears brimming at my lashes. It was a moment I will never forget.

But we could have. We could have kept our windows shut tight, continued chatting, remained unobservant of our surroundings or not allowed ourselves to be affected by them. They're just birds. It's not like they're purple or anything.

Oh how sad I feel for those who cannot understand this. And I realize that anyone who actually became depressed over Avatar was most likely depressed to begin with for probably much more serious reasons, making this type of appreciation all the more difficult.

But for anyone who ever finds themselves waking up on the wrong side of the bed for no good reason at all, who at times finds themselves irritated with the stupid sky that rains or with the lame-ass seasons, maybe try to find your snow geese. It helps. For my mom last week, it was a rainbow. As simple as that.

Be on the lookout.

I didn't have my camera when we experienced this, but with the permission of the photographer Jim Goldstein, I have included some photos that he took near La Conner in 2007. You can see more of his work at

1 comment:

  1. I saw this piece on CNN about the post Avatar depression. Gotta love the 24 hour news cycle in what they have to dredge up to report. Thanks for linking to my photo. To save your viewers a click feel free to include the image in your post. Hotlinking to my copy of the image from my server is fine by me and actually preferred. Enjoy and it's great to hear of someone else enjoying the beauty of the chaos that are the geese near La Conner.


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