I watched Moneyball tonight. It’s the sort of film I hope I’m able to write someday, although it takes actually finishing a screenplay for that type of thing to ever become even a remote possibility.
I’ve enjoyed baseball for years. It’s important to note that “enjoyed” is not equal to “followed.” For me, there’s nothing like a summer game played when the sun is high in the sky, the beer is ice cold and there’s not a cloud for miles. At the end of a season, I can’t recite stats or tell you about the teams. But I can tell you whether the beer was decent, or watered down.
I digress. It’s not that I want to write a story about baseball. It’s that the driving force behind the movie, which was all about taking risks and caring enough to believe, is something that is rarely taken to heart in our own lives.
There’s a line from the movie that, I feel, speaks to why this is the case: “The first man through the fence always gets bloody.” The fact that I’m bothering to quote the film could be chalked up to good screenwriting, but in this case, I give the nod to plain old truth. Truth, whether in film or in the middle of broad daylight, is something that silently and without physical contact smacks you in the face, leaves you dazed for a few seconds, and then inspires some head-nodding. Truth is what makes you assess your life — or just the day’s events — instantaneously. Truth inspires action.
While the idea of forging your own path and becoming bloody in the process isn’t ideal, it’s often far more rewarding than waking up one day and realizing that the path you’re on isn’t fulfilling.
The beauty of film is that it has a chameleon-like quality about it. It takes on varied relevance for each person depending on where their heads, hearts and lives are at. For me, today I am thankful for the power and art of cinema which enables simple truths to take on new meaning, and which has just inspired some game-changing of my own.