Tag Archives: possessions

The Things We Leave Behind

Carl's ballastFunny how a computer-animated kids’ movie can make you think, make you weep…

…the image of a grumpy, squarish old man pushing all his worldly possessions out his front door so that he is light enough (literally) to go on the adventure he is meant to have.

If you haven’t seen Pixar’s UP, that image won’t ring a bell, but I hope it still rings true:  a person with a lifetime of stuff suddenly realizes that it is weighing him down.  He jettisons ALL of it, so that he can pursue–again literally–an important relationship, and maybe even save a life or two.

UP posterI’d seen this film two or three times already, but got to watch bits of it daily last week as I introduced it to my granddaughter.  Like most movies she sees for the first time, she then asks for it every day for a while, and I get to know it very, very well. (This makes it important to only present her with quality movies–and Pixar films generally stand up to many repeated watchings.)

I didn’t expect to be suddenly choked up during that scene on the fifth or sixth viewing, and to have to hunt for a Kleenex. But it suddenly struck me as such a graphic image, such a powerful metaphor. How easily we get tied to our possessions, the detritus of a lifetime.

How much of what I hold onto, I wondered, thinking of it as blessing… is actually a burden?

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