I got to watch one of my favourite animated films of all time again today on the Disney Channel.
There are two scenes which especially stood out for me ~
This scene is simply beautiful. It’s amazing how without any dialogue at all, just the same progression of notes and chords can produce emotions ranging from the happy and joyful to the sad and pitiful. It’s probably the combination of rhythm, dynamics, the leaving out of certain notes in a chord to make it sound less full and conveying that sense of emptiness in Carl’s heart when his wife is gone, and definitely a lot of emotion and care by the animators themselves that produced this truly wonderful work of art. It really is one of my favourite scenes of all time and just further proves that the genius artists at Pixar are producing insanely great work, and that Steve would have been immensely proud of them. He was very, actually. The track, which they repeatedly play and remix accordingly throughout the film, is called Married Life.
The next scene is no less beautiful, showing photographs and memories of the times Carl and Ellie shared, but all the more revealing and insightful even, containing many life lessons to be learnt. At this point of time, Carl has achieved what he set out to do from the very beginning – to travel to and have his home situated right next to Paradise Falls. However, he doesn’t feel satisfied, not as satisfied as he felt he would be. Truth is, when he flips through the book of memories with Ellie, his late wife, he realises that getting to Paradise Falls didn’t matter that much after all. It wasn’t the end that actually mattered; what he really treasured and enjoyed were the daily adventures with Ellie, be it saving up for their trip to Paradise Falls, or ending up using those savings instead to repair a roof or replace a flat tyre. The journey, it turns out, was the reward. Not the end. Life isn’t always about getting to the end. And that journey ended when Ellie passed away, and the house is, as Carl puts it, is ‘just a house’. It didn’t matter anymore whether the house managed to end up situated beside Paradise Falls, as the true reward was the journey through life with Ellie. And that’s the way life is, so we might as well enjoy the ride.
I’ve been reminded recently how fragile life is, and it’s a real reminder to how we all live our life. We take things, people, for granted, we worry about tomorrow, the future, and we regret. We don’t live in the present, we take each passing moment with friends and people as part of the usual routine, and we complain and grumble about daily grievances, such as school or work. We should really be giving thanks for all that we have, every friend that we know and love, people we meet and pass on the street, the music we hear passing by street buskers, the morning sun and air we sometimes forget to notice, and just about every passing moment of our precious lives. Maybe that’s why I’m trying to focus more on the arts now, as the arts is really the thing that requires all of your senses and emotions, and is when your mind is the most resonant with what your senses are feeding it, and hence, when you are fully alive.
I’ve been reading a Bible reading plan for the past week or so entitled ‘Toward a Fearless New Year’, and one day’s message really spoke to me on how we should be thinking about fear and anxiety.
Nine Promises for Battling Anxiety
Knowing all these just keeps me feeling relieved and blessed, and determined to make the new year count, not by any external expectations or rewards, but by truly living and being thankful for all I have, and just enjoying the ride, for that in itself is its true reward.