I remember seeing Away We Go in the movie theater with my husband. We were catching an early matinee while the kids were in school, and at 10:30am on a Wednesday in Union Square most of the seats were empty. The few people that did join us were older, the color already drained from their hair.
The movie started, and we laughed. And no one else did. That's such a strange feeling. I leaned over and whispered to my husband, Why aren't they laughing?
At first I tried that thing where you hold the laughter in, only to have it erupt out of me a few seconds later, by which time it was truly inappropriate.
After that, I just let myself go, to laugh or to cry or to be however I was in each moment.
There have been maybe a handful of movies over the years that have not just moved me, but rearranged me, as though some internal tumblers shifted and fell into a new place. This was one of them.
I felt choked up as we left the theater and I fumbled for words.
If I could do that--make a movie that leaves people present to the beauty of life and the possibility of love--then I might actually consider writing one.
It wasn't because I wanted to get into the movie business--in fact, it was despite my desire to stay out of it. That moment, that feeling or experience was what I wanted to give someone--where the gratitude of being alive crashes over you and the miracle of having one another hits you in the chest and you grab the hand next to you and hold it just a little tighter.
Something moved from background to foreground that day. A dream took one big step closer.