One of my favorite stories this year is about the day I discovered a small cross in the middle of the front seat of my car. It somehow arrived in my locked car while I was shopping at Whole Foods. I was on my way to my heart doctor who told me during my appointment that I had recovered from my heart attack.
I loved telling this story and listening to my friends search for logical explanations. I was up for believing anything, including the unexplainable.
The other night I was searching for my red gloves which were not where they were supposed to be. So I was going through every pocket of every coat in my closet looking for them. From one pocket I pulled out a small white box. I did not recognize it at all. When I opened the box there was a tiny gold Hindu figurine inside. Forgive me for not remembering who gave me this gift.
So now I have the cross and the little buddha. I figure I'm in good shape for 2014.
Oh, those many times I've sat on my couch and dreamed of winning the lottery. I even have my favorite numbers picked out with their secret significance giving them special powers to prevail. I'd accept my winnings graciously and give most of it away to people and causes that I yearn to support. And yes, spreading some cash around at the end could certainly help to heal a lifetime of missed accomplishments Of course, none of this has been enough to actually take me next door to buy a ticket. Just dreamin'.
So, with the movie Nebraska, the idea of an oldster's odyssey to cash in his winnings was an appealing plot line. And, much of this film tackles difficult themes so well. It dances with balance on the thin line between finding humor in people being themselves and making fun of others. For us city dwellers, it exposes the composition and culture born of those bare roads and fields that we call "fly over country."
There's a keen eye working here so I was ultimately disappointed that the ending gave way to unwarranted sentimentality. Too bad.
As the credits rolled, I turned to my friend Margaret and said: "I feel so lucky to have been born into a family interested in knowledge, culture, and beauty." And that thought has stayed with me.