Our Squid Within
"Adversity doesn't just build character, it reveals it."
During a recent visit my 30-year old son, Tyler and I watched Arrival at a downtown Denver movie theater. A male friend of Tyler's had recommended the film by texting "has made me a better man." So the two of us watched it together, and though it is too early to tell, I think Tyler's friend may be right.
Without spoiling the movie for anyone, and while I think all men should watch it, it sends a pretty powerful message for women as well. On many levels the film grabbed me to my core. And as it turned out, the plot was the perfect catalyst for my son and me. Afterward the credits, the two of us sat in the theater to discuss its many multi-nuanced messages. Arrival's main multi-layered messages reminds us how understanding is essential for humanity's survival. The central theme is summed up early in the movie:
"Language is the first weapon drawn in a conflict."
The story reveals how in the face of adversity mankind's destructive impatient, reactionary impulses are human's most destructive adversary. And while the story often displays male impulses as destructive, it shows how female perspective and energy are also vital as humanity faces its greatest foe - ITSELF!
Squids inking and floating a message to humans.
Recently Jeff, a male acquaintance of mine, asked me why I hated men so much. As an experienced actor, Jeff said my energy, facial expression, tone of voice and body language changed when I spoke about men. I chuckled at his observant and insightful comment. I responded "That I do not hate men. What I dislike is their anger and elevated sense of authority and righteousness. And I clarified, "I actually admire male energy, ingenuity and strength, especially when they accept difference and embrace understanding."
I knew right away Jeff's perception was valid, but I wasn't sure of how my expression had conveyed that message. So I began to reflect on his words. I admitted that I had learned that when I felt male angst and anger, I was not liking myself. My resentments would manifest when I felt out of control or a stressful situation was not to my liking. I knew some of my past reactions arose from my discovering and disliking these traits within me.
Though I have yet to see another film, Hacksaw Ridge, based on a heroic pacifist in WWII is playing across our nation at this time. It seems so timely and relevant to our world right now. The trailer suggests to me that men are heroic when they stand up for peace. Some pics of men friends who spent time on Mystique seeking peace.
Jared stands tall on Black Point piling, Exumas.
Clint steering Manatee Pocket.
Galen with Ellen on Warderick Wells hike, Exuma Marine Park
Jared on Bell Rock, Cambridge Cay
Galen preparing a Bahamian meal.
Ron returning to Florida from the Berry Islands, Bahamas
Clint returning to
Port Salerno, Florida
Jared balancing coconut
Jared back from early evening paddle near Cambridge Cay, Exumas
With Craig post lunch in Chestnut Hill, Pa
Tyler, Meg and
near the swimming pigs on Big Majors, Exumas
Hopefully before a real alien arrives on Earth, males can deduce the most meaningful of messages that affect our future. Films, books and documentaries may send powerful messages, but they will only resonate when more humans begin to face their own personal aliens.
When will men learn? When will they examine and recognize their inner alien? When will they listen, understand and respond appropriately to worldly wisdom and sage advice? Maybe they could start by reprioritizing. Maybe they can see how their waring way do not work.
BTW - A squid's or cephalopod's ink is a dark pigment released into water as an escape mechanism. Their ink creates a dark, diffuse cloud (much like a smoke screen) which can obscure a predator's view, allows the cephalopod to make a rapid retreat by jetting away. This reaction is their way of communicating fear, defensiveness and a way to protect themselves against any perceived danger. Octopuses have also been observed squirting ink at snails or crabs approaching their eggs. Also squids have 3 hearts, do not live long lives and none of them understand human time.