The extraordinariness of being invited was more than the fact that a 20 year old would possibly want to spend a Sunday afternoon with a grandparent. It was more than sharing tears and movie snacks together.
In the restroom following the show there were groups of teens wiping their mascara stained faces and trying to gather composure after clearly being physiologically activated by the highly emotional content of the film. Hey, I could feel the intensity in my body; the blood pumping in my chest leaving the heavy-heart feeling, the dryness in the eyes after being flushed with tears, the wrenched stomach. I was very aware these are all signs of emotional activation and that at those times the more cognitive parts of the brain just are not quite as online.
After a short walk, then driving in the car the extraordinariness of the day became apparent. I asked my granddaughter what she got out of the movie. “I don’t know”, was her response. Being the totally annoying type of grandmother I am I, of course, had to keep probing. I knew she did know but the initial response is what a lot of parents, grandparents, teachers etc. get from adolescents/young adults. I also knew that it is hard to access our more cognitive, rational side of our brain when were are in an emotionally charged place. But, it is also amazing to find that little crack, the line where the emotional brain is active, vulnerable and then just enough of the rational brain is also...at the same time. So, I asked her again, got the same reply. I kept asking. After about five tries I started to doubt my instinct. Was I at fault here in my persistence to find that fault line that would make her shake internally just enough to open up?
Finally! The magic! With a little help from her adept iPhone skills (cognitive brain back online) she informed me of a connection of the movie with Shakespeare (you’ll have to find this yourself) and her passionate, tender thoughts generated by the movie (the deep emotional brain talking).
Fault lines appear worldwide, especially apparent here in California. There are faults in people. Apparently after seeing this movie there is a fault in astronomical lineup of heavenly bodies? But, are all these really faults? Is the crashing and apparent misalignment of the stars really a fault? The pain, the tears, the death, the frustrations…are they really mistakes?