Sunday, November 27, 2005

WITFV27: Life

I know.

It sounds corny. It's a corny thing to be thankful for. But this evening, I'm very thankful for it.

Tonight, we went to see RENT. I've been looking forward to this movie since I first saw the trailer, but as it approached the release date, I became more and more skeptical. Would a film be able to capture the incredible lyrics and music of the late Jonathan Larson?

Alli and I first saw the musical in 1998 (or was it '97?) in Des Moines at the Civic Center. The musical was touring and we had seen lots of advertisements for it in our small Iowa town where we were attending college. We had a couple of friends who had seen it and highly recommended it, so I got us tickets and we went to "the theater".

I was so taken by the story and the musical that I went out and bought the soundtrack. Alli got sick of me listening to it over and over again.

It's weird. I can't figure out what it is that makes me identify with this story so much. I've never been a starving artist like the characters in the movie and I've never been diagnosed, nor have I known anyone who was diagnosed with HIV. But this story rings true to me because the characters in it are real and they are dealing with real issues and real life. RENT captures the early '90s extremely well (as I remember them) even though the musical did not reach the stage until 1996.

What makes this story resonate so much is that the main characters create a family that is non-traditional, but functions as a support group and I think that everyone looks for something like that in their life. I'm fortunate enough to have that familial support in my life. Not only that, but I'm so thankful to have a life as blessed as mine is.

RENT is about finding life and love amidst the chaos of life and love. It's about struggling to find the one thing that makes everything worthwhile through it all. That thing may be different for others, but for me, it's love. And I am truly thankful for that.

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