Saturday, March 26, 2005

“Get busy living, or get busy dying.”

The Movie: The Shawshank Redemption, 1994 (Frank Darabont, director and screenwriter, from the short story “Rita Hayworth and the Shawshank Redemption,” by Stephen King)
Who says it: Tim Robbins as Shawshank inmate Andy Dufresne; Morgan Freeman as inmate Ellis “Red” Redding
The context: Andy says this to Red first, before he escapes from Shawshank Prison; Red says it later, embracing his own freedom.
How to use it: To snap out of it.

One afternoon last summer -- I don't remember exactly when -- I was moping around my apartment when the Inner Critic asked, "Well, what would you be doing if you weren't depressed?"

The Inner Critic cannot be ignored, so I thought of several things I might be doing if I weren't feeling so hateful about life, the universe, and everything.

"Okay then," said the Inner Critic, that vicious tramp. "Let's just pretend you're not depressed, and you go do those things."

So I did, and the weird thing was that once I was in motion, pretending not to be down, I wasn't blue any more.

Spring's like that. Everything is dead and grim and gray, and the planet keeps turning anyway... so as long as we're all here, the trees seem to say, we could think about putting buds out. It wouldn't hurt. We'll just poke a few new shoots out of the ground, see what happens. If we don't like it, we can always go back to bed for a while. Yeah.

So they do, and they discover that it's actually pretty nice out, and the sun's shining and the rain's not too bad and the birds have come back to see what's what, and it might be worth putting in a little more effort. Try a few flowers. Maybe some leaves. Heck, go for broke! New branches! Trailing vines! Let's get busy!

Until ultimately, of course, everyone's exhausted and goes back to bed with a hangover. Not that I would know anything about that.

And today, at least, that part of the story is still six months away.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

To quote Clint Eastwood in _The Outlaw Josey Wales_, "Dying ain't much of a livin', boy."

May we all be inspired by today's blogto live. As for me, I'm going down for a nap.
-- Ed