Through the Eyes of A Chimp
We know that monkeys are amazingly smart and we know they’re curious but what if, on top of all that, we discovered that they liked to watch movies. Imagine. If you haven’t guessed by now, I’m kinda taken with all things primate, not just because they’re cute and endearing but because there is something that binds us humans to those chimpish creatures. Just ask a scientist if you don’t believe me
But back to my “what if” - Monkeys and Movies. I know for sure their playfulness would only add to the experience because when it comes to movies, playful perception and a child-like imagination goes along way to deepen our experience of movie-watching. Curiosity should be a gift of the spirit – I know, I know, they say it killed the cat but curiosity combined with joy is an invitation to enter life with spirit; and part of that invitation is the call to interact with reality and a big part of reality is the stories we tell ourselves both on the page and on the screen. Another word for curiosity might be enthusiasm and this quality is often the very thing that gives us the courage to go places where angels fear to tread. Sometimes watching movies is a disturbing and scary endeavour – it shows us things about the world and about ourselves that we don’t always want to see but if the movie is worth anything we will be glad that we took the risk, despite the accompanying feelings of discomfort and unease. The great ones will make us stop and take stock of our lives, they will create in us hearts and minds that are self-transcendent as we get to know a world bigger than ours, they will make us laugh and sometimes they will make us sad, they will touch us with the spirit of gratitude, joy and reverence.
I’ve read and heard that people who encounter monkeys also come away changed, self-transcendent, happy and sometimes afraid but grateful, touched and in awe. I don’t mean to romanticize these creatures, because I know they also have their dark side, but having a monkey as a guardian spirit to watching movies is invaluable. All those lovable and mysterious qualities that they bring to life is their gift to us, they inspire us to remember life is a playground full of characters that both befriend us and threaten us, surprise us as well as deepen us and we are left with an imagination made new.
So I tip my hat off to the Monkey – their love of play and exploration is infectious and for me that is the best way to enter the many great stories of cinema.