on going to the cinema

There’s something special about the cinema.

It’s the queues of people and the anticipation in the air. It’s the smell of buttery salty popcorn and the rows of colourful sweets, which you rarely ever buy anywhere else.

It’s the thick blue or red carpets that are so impractical for a venue selling popcorn, yet so necessary to the whole experience.

There’s the rush and competition to grab the best seats. The careful balancing of your popcorn, your sweets, your drink, your bag as you get yourself settled. The comfort of those big chairs that you sink into and the hugeness of the screen.

The lights go down and the trailers roll. And there’s something almost church-like about these next two hours don’t you think? Everyone watching, involved and riveted on the same unwinding action. We scream and jump simultaneously. There’s the tears – both the surreptitious sniffing to protect egos and the unashamed snotty balling – and the laughter. The shared emotions and the shared story told.

And then occasionally, the clapping at the end. There’s no one here to thank personally, but sometimes an experience is so good, so transforming, that thanks has to be given even if it’s not heard.

I once read a short article in O magazine where the writer (Oprah or one of her many elves) recalled going to see Peter Pan with her young daughter, and the moment the children all started clapping in intense enthusiasm and determination, to save little Tinkerbell’s life. The writer talked about it as one of those moments, when you suddenly can’t miss the everyday shining magnificence of life, the ordinary awe.

I remember that short article every time I walk in to the cinema and it reminds me that these ordinary moments, the little everyday pleasures, they are the very centre of life, the source of much of its joy.

And since I am chasing joy this year, perhaps I need to keep reminding myself, keep opening my eyes to the ordinary awe that’s all around me.


photo source: pinterest