Max: Why isn’t the issue here who I am?
Uncle Teddy: Because, Maxwell, what you do defines who you are.
Max: No, Uncle Teddy, who you are defines what you do, right Jude?
Jude: Surely it’s not what you do, but it’s the…the way that you do it.
Listening to the song Yesterday by the Beatles, got me to thinking about how you can take a string of events, songs, blog posts, etc.. and turn them into a whole story. When I first watched the 2007 movie Across The Universe, starring Evan Rachel Wood, Jim Sturgess, Joe Anderson, to name a few, I was totally blown away by the way the director, Julie Taymor, strung along Beatles songs to create a fabulous story. I thought: “I bet the Beatles had no clue their songs would turn into an out right STORY!”
One of my favorite parts is about Prudence. She is hiding in the closet, and her friends are concerned about her and start knocking on the door. When she doesn’t come out, well, the gang starts singing “Dear Prudence” in turn, the song took on a whole new meaning for me and I fell in love with it all over again.
This got me to thinking about stories. About how we can take a string of events from our lives and turn them into our own biography or adapt them; thus, turn them to fiction. Just like in Across the Universe, when we lay out our tales, and place them together, the perception of our own life can become something magical, tangible and exciting. My life may seem boring in my head at times, yet really it is not. If I took just the series of accomplishments, and some sad parts, then strung them together in a movie, I bet it would make a great “rags to rags to riches” story.
Another example is the story of Pi Patel, in the Life of Pi, a book by Yan Martel, and now a feature film. I asked my daughter last night if she wanted to rent it this weekend since she didn’t read the book, and asked me “Is it a true story?” I said I couldn’t tell her anything about all Pi’s adventures.. it is “that” kind of movie. She replied “Well you can tell me if it was a true story or not?” Stumbling on what to say I replied: “Well, umm.., I don’t know?”
I know The Life of Pi is a work of fiction, yet anyone who has read the book is (spoiler) left with a feeling of this could be true, and switching to the ending one wants to believe. I prefer the original tale of excitement and adventure over the story Pi told the officers at the end.
“If you stumble about believability, what are you living for? Love is hard to believe, ask any lover. Life is hard to believe, ask any scientist. God is hard to believe, ask any believer. What is your problem with hard to believe?” ~Yann Martel, Life of Pi
So what makes your story believable and exciting? If you have watched both movies, were you left with a feeling of belief that something even higher was at work? I think when it comes to creating anything, stories, art, photography, The Universe is guiding us. Call it our muse, guides, angels or God.. We are compelled to create.. and our stories of our own creation.
Today, take some time to replay some of your life chronicles in your mind or while journaling. Do you believe them? Do you think you can turn your life into an extraordinary adventure? I know I am going to try. I feel most first time author’s string parts of their lives in their works of fiction. I mean we go with what we have experienced… we run with what we know for sure, and that my friend is the end of this story.
Now I want to rent Across The Universe Tonight… maybe I can watch it online 😉
What do you think?