Spectacle, Part 2
I’m a sucker for a spectacle.
Karen and I watched Hamilton on Sunday afternoon. The story, the music, the staging moved me. The musical portrayed not just a historical perspective, but also told a very human story. The human story moved me. A good story has always moved me. I felt reassured that things in this world still move me.
I’m a sucker that way. The bigger the stage, the more captivated I become. I like football. I like my team. I really like it when my team makes it to the Super Bowl (four times in the last six seasons). I REALLY like it when my team wins the Super Bowl (three times in the last six seasons).
In December, Harrison and I went to the Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio. We’ve been before. We went primarily to watch the highlights of the game on the enormous HOF stadium experience. You may recall Super Bowl LIII as one of the most boring Super Bowls in history. I will remember it—potentially—as the last time the Patriots win the Super Bowl in my lifetime. Even knowing how Super Bowl LIII ends, I could feel my heartbeat in my forehead. Even knowing how the game ends, I shed a tear watching the super-slow-motion replays and the glory of the victory on that stage.
I told you, I’m a sucker that way.
We prefer a bigger spectacle to a small one. We prefer the bigger screen, the bigger stage, the bigger accomplishment. The bigger the achievement, the bigger our sense of satisfaction, perhaps the bigger the tears that flow, too.
These days of quarantine and isolation have taught me that the smaller scale spectacle is no less spectacular. There are no bad sunsets. They all contain a glimmer of a dying day and the promise of a new one. There are no moments wasted talking to the people we love. They are full of extraordinary ordinariness. There no exchanges not worthy of laughter. Our tragedy is too temporary to not appreciate the comedy.
Dabbs Greer enjoyed a fifty-four-year career in film and television. You’ve probably never heard of him, because if you did, you’d never forget the name “Dabbs” and because he made his fifty-four-year career in Hollywood doing ‘bit parts’. Dabbs took roles with too few lines, too little screen time, and not enough glitz for actors with bigger egos and bigger contract demands. Dabbs once said, "Every character actor, in their own little sphere, is the lead."
Perhaps this is something we can take with us to the other side of 2020. As much as I love a large-scale spectacle—like Cam Newton leading the 2020 New England Patriots to Super Bowl victory because no one believed he could do it—I will embrace the small, spectacular sunsets, the small, spectacular conversations, the small, spectacular ordinariness of these days.
I’m afraid we will miss it when its gone.
I love you.
I need you.
I hope for you.
Please be safe.