Monday, September 6, 2010

Escaping into Books and Movies

Last week as I spent time with my family, grieving, and remembering, and saying goodbye, I realized why books and movies will never truly go out of style. More than just forms of entertainment, they are a means of escape, a way of stepping out of or away from the stresses or hardships of every day life.

Funny thing: As we spent the day at the hospital on Monday and Tuesday, there were at least two copies of MOCKINGJAY in the waiting room, along with two or three other books brought by various members of my family. (Yes, we pretty much dominated the room—large families tend to do that.) Not that any of us read much, but we all had that desire, that need, and at one point or another, we all tried.

Friday after the funeral , I had this intense urge to go to a movie. Something funny, happy. Something that would make me laugh. Not because I didn’t respect all the funeral proceedings or the fact that so many people were grieving, but more because I was also grieving and needed an escape. A laugh. A release other than tears. (Okay, also, I wanted salty theater popcorn.)

Books and movies offer an opportunity to step out of one world and live in another, for just a few hours at a time. Regardless of what’s happening in our lives, the break we get from stepping temporarily away helps give us perspective and new clarity of mind.

Isn’t that the whole point? I mean really, that is why we read, right? To step into someone else’s world, experience life through someone else’s eyes. To gain knowledge from someone else’s experience. To grab hold of someone else and ride the roller coaster with them—even though we know these people aren’t real. We feel what they feel, want what’s best for them, and more importantly, we want the best possible outcome for their situation and conflict.

And at the end, we’re able to close the book and move on, get back on track with reality, hopefully rested enough from the issues in our own lives that we’re able to focus and progress.

Have you found this to be true for you as well? I’d like to know how reading has helped you escape.


Tess said...

That is exactly the point...of why I both read and write. Thanks for sharing this...hope you are doing well.

lotusgirl said...

I feel the same way. I hope you're able to escape into a nice book or movie. I long to be able to provide that escape for others. That's why I write.

Elana Johnson said...

Exactly. Sometimes reading/watching movies can remind you of how good you have it in your life. And sometimes they simply provide a way out of the mess of your life -- at least for a little while.


David J. West said...

My condolences for your brother.

Great post. Reading has helped me escape and also opened vista's of perception, helping me to think about life in a new way.

Bethany Mason said...

I've totally found reading and watching films an escape. Since my M.E. has started getting worse I've watched a lot more films and you just explained to me why - because I can forget the pain and the problems for a little while and live in another world.

ali said...

I think this is absolutely true. ((hugs))

Carolyn V. said...

I agree. It's very true. I love that when I am feeling overwhelmed I can pick up a book and get away. It's good to escape at times. =)

Nichole Giles said...

Hi everyone! I really mean this. Since Friday, I've been to two theater movies, rented three DVD's, and started reading a new book on my TBR pile.

Whatever else is hard, I will always have an escape. I love it.

Thanks for all your comments and emails of support and friendship.

Angie said...

I'm glad you've found some solace with movies and books. It is so nice to have them. I have had many times when I just had to escape my situation in a good book or movie, or in thinking up a book I want to write. Hope you are doing well!