Almost Avatar

February 9, 2010

I’ve hesitated on Avatar, I’m not sure why. It actually reflects, I’m sure of it now, my own inner work through Movie Yoga. Here’s the first reason for not being able to get to it: It reminds me of how I felt when I saw Almost Famous, by Cameron Crowe, his heart-felt, seriously close to authentic recreation of a bad-ass rock time in the late Sixties — a barely veiled reference of Crowe’s to the Allman Brothers Band and his time on the road with the group as a Rolling Stone reporter.

What makes it tough for me was that I was there in Macon at that time — when the band was not yet off the ground. And knew them before the first album came out, and we hung together — they were some kind of mentors for me — and it represents some of the most poignant formative years of my life. The problem I have with the movie is that it’s too close to home. I have so much of myself invested in those days that I have this unreasonable reaction of ownership of the experience. It was so special that it is hard for me to share. It hurts in some way I’m not quite in touch with to go there — too exquisite, like I can only handle that it’s there in me — too precious to bring out.

Almost Famous was almost perfect — so perfect in fact that I have not been able to go back and see it again — a serious breach of my own Movie Yoga code — oh he who sees every movie he loves twenty times or more, like revisiting a museum over and over to see a work of art. Okay, this was supposed to be about Avatar. But, you got it, it’s about Almost Famous. And I swear I had no idea I was going to write about Almost Famous when I sat down to this thing — had not made any connection whatsoever with that rock film. It’s just what came out.

Oh, man, I’m feeling just a little bit awed here. You see, this is what I’m talking about — the power of our feelings and movies — what they mean to our lives — and how healing can just blossom when we least expect it. I’m not saying I got a handle on this one yet. But I’m closer to it than I’ve ever been. And it also helps me understand why I haven’t seen Avatar but twice, on IMAX — even though I absolutely adored that movie. So, anyway, here’s the intro to my long-delayed piece on Avatar. And I hope maybe why I needed to do this first will be clear to me after I get through the next part. That’s how the Movie Yoga game works sometimes — we get blindsided. We get big-time surprised. And for that I am totally grateful.

It tells me something about transformation — that it’s beyond my control — that it’s bigger than I — that it’s coming from some place deep in me that knows me better than my surface self could ever pretend to. So, thank you, Almost Famous. Well, it’s almost Avatar

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