In case you didn’t know, last weekend was THON 2014. I wish that each of you were able to be there, but if you weren’t, I wish I could put into words how incredible, life changing, awe inspiring, hopeful, beautiful, and truly astonishing it was, but I am not capable of that, and I don’t really think anyone is. You can’t truly capture the smiles on the kid’s faces, the hope that radiated from the parents smiles, and the love that filled the BJC. No picture or video can share or show what it was like to be present and experience THON.
I do not just share this with you simply because I am still in awe of last weekend, but because I realized afterward, that I took little to no pictures during THON, and I was a little upset with myself. However, as I prepared to write this blog, I found the quote I had chosen to use during this blog post. Over break I had the pleasure of seeing The Secret Life of Walter Mitty with two of my favorite people and my best friends, my mom and my sister. This movie tells the story of Walter Mitty as he tries to find a picture that Sean O’Connell says is the quintessence of life. However, throughout the journey Walter does not only find the picture that is the quintessence of life, he truly discovers what the quintessence of life itself is.
Now back to how this relates to THON, and my lack of pictures. While in the Himalayas, in the incredible scenery captured by the incredible cinemetography of the film, Sean when confronted with the “ghost cat” that has never been photographed, instead of taking the picture, he puts the camera down. Walter asks him when he is going to take the picture and Sean replies profoundly,
“Sometimes I don’t. If I like a moment, for me, personally, I don’t like to have the distraction of the camera. I just want to stay in it.”²
This was what I felt during THON. I did not want to have the distraction of the camera, I didn’t want to be thinking about finding the perfect profile picture, the perfect shot to Instagram, I just wanted to be there. I wanted to soak up the all that was in that room: joy, life, hope, family, magic, wonder, and love.
This movie is simple and beautiful, and while it was not at the top of the charts, I think there is a reason for that. As Sean said in the film,
“Beautiful things don’t ask for attention.”²
The things that hold beauty in life, are not always those that are on stage, those that get hundreds of likes, or that are on the cover of every paper in the country. Beauty is found in the quiet, in the moment, in the back of the crowd, in the quiet tears, in the calm of a snowy morning, in the silence of late night walks, and in the heart of our little wonders who fight cancer everyday. These children even when their bodies fail them, their spirit embodies life to the fullest, they embrace life, they live by the motto of LIFE magazine seen in the Secret Life of Walter Mitty,
“To see the world, things dangerous to come to, to see behind walls, draw closer, to find each other, and to feel. That is the purpose of life.”²
While we have so much to learn from these children, like them we can embrace life with a smile on our face and courage in our hearts.
“Life is about courage and going into the unknown.”²
1. WeLiveFilm. “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty (2013) – Official Ben Stiller Movie Trailer”. Online Video Cilp. Youtube. Youtube, 7 Oct. 2013. Web. 25 Feb. 2014.
2. “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty”. Dir. Ben Stiller. Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation, 2013. Film.