Monday’s Shorts: Moment

12 12 2011

Today’s word is moment.  The word means a particular point in time or having important effects or influence.  The word comes from the French moment which comes from the Latin momentum meaning movement, moving power.  Interestingly, the combination of the two definitions seems to fit the Latin defintion, e.g. an instance with important effects, or moving power.  Grape soda reminded me of this most recently.

In the Disney movie Up, the protagonist, Carl Fredricksen, is shy, but he has the heart of an adventurer.  He mets the extroverted Ellie on his way home from the movie theater after learning his hero is accused of being a fraud.  Ellie gives him a grape soda cap as a badge and changes his life.  The movie moves quickly through their life together with scenes depicting various events including their marriage, pregnancy, and miscarrage.  After that tragedy, they remember their original dreams and create a plan to live it, but they get interrupted by life and never get to live out their dream.  Sadly, Ellie passes away leaving Carl a widower.

Why did the combination of the two defintions of moment remind me of grape soda?  The badge that Ellie gave to Carl as children is what Carl holds on to remember the wife of his youth.  Eventually, life goes for everybody except Carl.  Time changes around him, but because of his love for Ellie, Carl lovingly maintains their home (and Ellie’s memory).  Even when a developer offers him big money, Carl continues to cherish her memory. But he stops living in the moment.

Until a moment strikes.  Or more importantly, Carl strikes a man for messing with his memories and for that mistake, gets remanded to a nursing home.  Given the momentum of that forced change, Carl starts living in the moment again.  He creates and executes a crazy plan to float his house down to Paradise Falls in the South America.  He has adventures along the way, gets rid of all the cherished reminders of his wife, and loses the house.

You see while pursuing his life-long dream, Carl meets Russell (who is basically an over-eager cub scout).  Russell comes to Mr. Fredricksen trying to earn his final badge to became a Senior Wilderness Explorer.  Russell, in his desire to achieve that feat, finds himself on Carl’s porch as the house floats to South America.  Through another series of adventures where Carl learns that the boy’s father is absent, Carl risks everything to save Russell from the antagonist, Carl’s childhood hero, Charles Muntz.

Carl eventually saves Russell, and Russell earns his final merit badge.  The moment that makes the movie so touching is the award ceremony.  Carl stands in for Russell’s dad and gives him the “Ellie” badge.  They eventually fulfill another of Russell’s wishes, by eating ice cream and counting red and blue cars.

Russell made a difference in Mr. Fredricksen’s life.  Essentially, Russell helped Carl remember that all we have is right now, this particular instant in time, this moment.  And each one should be full of important effects or influence.  I believe that is what the bible tells us, as I talked about here.

What moments are you missing by living in the past or worrying about the future?  Come to the Cross, let go of your past, grab your own cross,  bear it, lose your life, and find the adventure of now, this moment!

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2 responses

12 12 2011
Jim Hedderly

I like grape soda……but it sounds like this movie is a real tear jerker so in keeping with not adding any additional non-compulsorysadness to my life, I’ll pass on this movie. It’s all I can do to tolerate my wife’s attraction to watching “Criminal Minds”. That is a disturbing program to me……….on second thought maybe “Up” may not be the downer that criminal minds is.

12 12 2011
Greg Poppy

Clever line there at the end :-), Up is typical Disney/Pixar goodness. Just the right amount of humor and heart.

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