Coming of age is a human process that virtually everyone goes through, no matter where one lives and under what conditions. It’s a time of wonder, exploration and challenge as we examine and seek to understand the world in which we find ourselves. It’s an odyssey that’s generally as diverse as the various surroundings in which we reside. Yet there are also elements quite common to each individual’s particular experience...
How does one survive when the world is falling apart? What’s more, how does one accomplish that when simultaneously assuming a significant new responsibility? That’s a rather full plate to handle, and making decisions on how to proceed may be difficult, if not overwhelming.
When faced with difficult situations, it may be tempting to want to turn a blind eye, willingly choosing to remain oblivious and ignorant. By tuning out and wallowing in our own complacency, we have an opportunity to lull ourselves into distraction and denial, hoping that the wishful thinking spawned from such practices will somehow materialize into a bona fide reality. But what do we do when we realize that’s not going to happen, when we understand that we’ve squandered opportunities to solve the issues facing us?
It’s truly astounding how we can sometimes blind ourselves to what should be obvious. Yet, if we let our imaginations run wild, we may fall prey to delusional notions that leave us sitting in the middle of a mess that’s nearly impossible to rectify.
When we move toward – or pass – our prime, we may begin to look upon ourselves and our accomplishments with some dismay, especially if we haven’t lived up to expectations. With the clock ticking ever faster, we might well look upon our circumstances with melancholy and disappointment, no matter how well or how poorly we may have done. But we need not be stuck with a grim future or a legacy of regret.
Knowing when to hold on and when to let go can be a frustrating, anxiety-ridden exercise, especially under highly charged conditions. The feelings involved might even leave us emotionally paralyzed, unable to make a decision in either direction, simply because we’re left overwhelmed and locked in place.
Our interpersonal relationships are among the most prized aspects of our lives. They’re cherished gifts to ourselves and to those we care about, and preserving them is of the utmost importance. But what happens when we drift apart, not necessarily because of intentionally malicious acts, tragedies or other negative influences, but simply because of circumstances brought about by separation of time and distance. Can those connections be sustained or, if needed, rebuilt?
“Miss Juneteenth” (2020). Cast: Nicole Beharie, Alexis Chikaeze, Kendrick Sampson, Lori Hayes, Marcus M. Mauldin, Akron Watson, Liz Mikel, Phyllis Cicero, Lisha Hackney, Mathew Greer, Jaime Matthis, Margaret Sanchez. Director: Channing Godfrey Peoples. Screenplay: Channing Godfrey Peoples. Web site. Trailer. Being stuck in our circumstances can be a horrible fate. Such stalemates keep us mired in unsatisfying conditions, preventing us from moving forward. But what’s even worse is not realizing that we are stuck, an exercise in ongoing frustration examined in the new generational drama, “Miss Juneteenth.” In 2004, Turquoise Jones (Nicole Beharie) was proudly crowned Miss Juneteenth, the top honor in a beauty pageant staged in honor of the 1865 freeing of the remaining Black slaves in Texas, two [...]
“Ordinary Love” (2019 production, 2020 release). Cast: Liam Neeson, Lesley Manville, David Wilmot, Amit Shah, Melanie Clark Pullen, Esh Alladi. Directors: Lisa Barrows D’Sa and Glenn Leyburn. Screenplay: Owen McCafferty. Web site. Trailer. “Love” is a word we often bandy about rather casually without really giving much thought to what’s behind it. That can be unfortunate, since such a practice frequently sells it short, giving us a diminished perspective on what it actually can do. Fortunately, there are tales out there that shed a bright light on the subject, showing us what it can achieve when employed skillfully and deliberately. So it is with the new touching romantic drama, “Ordinary Love.” Middle-aged couple Tom (Liam Neeson) and Joan (Lesley Manville) [...]
“Dogman” (2018 production, 2019 release). Cast: Marcello Fonte, Edoardo Pesce, Nunzia Schiano, Adamo Dionisi, Alida Baldari Calabria, Laura Pizzirani, Aniello Arena. Director: Matteo Garrone. Screenplay: Ugo Chiti, Matteo Garrone, Massimo Gaudioso, Marco Perfetti, Giulio Troli and Fratelli D’Innocenzo. Story: Ugo Chiti, Matteo Garrone and Massimo Gaudioso. Web site. Trailer. Few among us would deny the attraction we feel for a sense of personal power. It enables us to direct our destiny and shape the existence we want for ourselves. But it also comes with a temptation, one that can easily get out of hand if left unchecked. And it carries consequences, especially if we misuse it in our dealings with others or our community. It’s an issue that the residents [...]