Thank you, Patricia

Thank you, Patricia!


The Man Who Invented Christmas, movie cover, uploaded by David Lee Crites
The Man Who Invented Christmas, movie cover, uploaded by David Lee Crites

For our anniversary this year, since we are 1,500 miles apart, Patricia and I exchanged “care packages.” Patricia is a pro at these. They are often built around some timely theme, and are always cute! She could write a book on it! (maybe I’ll suggest it to her…)

This year’s anniversary care package included a DVD of the movie, “The Man Who Invented Christmas.”

To put the meaning of this movie, and its target, into perspective, if there is a movie version of A Christmas Carol available that we don’t own, I’d be shocked! It is absolutely one of my favorite stories! Period. We have Albert Finney, Henry Winkler, the Muppets, Patrick Stewart, Mr. Magoo — the list is huge! One year during the holidays we watched a half dozen versions, back to back.

So this movie instantly became “I gotta see this!!!!!!!” After an exhausting and frustrating week, instead of going to bed early (a gift I reward myself with on occasions like this), I stayed up and watched this movie (while imbibing on the treats Patricia included in the box…). I loved the show on many levels, but this isn’t a movie review, so I’ll leave most of those details for others to happily discover as they watch it for themselves — which I highly recommend! The point that made me love this movie all the more (and, yes, I’ve already ordered the book it was made from) is something I always thought was peculiar to me, but is an integral part of this story:

the reality of the characters, and how they interact with the author (the “liveware,” if you will)

[NOTE: I am a Computer Engineer, so, yes, I will be using “computerese” — things like liveware to reference real people, vaporware to indicate things that are imagined but not real, etc.]

Ever since I can remember, I have had a cadre of “folks” who were part of my life. Where they came from, and who they were, if, indeed, they ever were liveware, is unknown to me. That cadre has grown over the years, with more being added than going away. Many of these individuals are as real to me as my family members. Don’t get me wrong, I was never under the delusion that these characters were real, only that they really existed, even if it was just in the recesses of my own little world.

The most poignant moment in the movie, to me, was when Scrooge started to explain to Charlie what was actually going on in the real world. That moment hit me like a a baseball bat! I’ve had, and still have, shamans of my own, who, especially in my youth when I was still trying to discover why I did not emote as others did, and what it meant when they were going through these silly gyrations, guided me through the maze of incomprehensible liveware interactions. I did not always listen, but when I did, the wisdom of these vaporware folks standing by me as liveware folks were interacting with me, always seemed to led me through the maze correctly.

At that moment, this was no longer a movie of Charlie Dickens struggling to get another “best seller” book written, and became a very intensely personal vision of my own struggle to do the same thing! Since I have started writing, and, especially, since I have started pulling my thoughts on stories together, these old vaporware folks have started filling up my work environment, each wanting a part in my writing. There was a scene in the movie where Charlie walks into his writing room, and it is packed with his own vaporware folks, sitting on every conceivable flat surface! How often I have sat at the keyboard surrounded by my own “spirits” urging me on.

If I am permitted the luxury of pursuing this writing career as I want, my readers will meet them, one by one, as I release them from the confines of vaporware, and turn them into bookware — characters the world can come to know.

This new vision of my longing to be a full-time author crystallized before me as I watched the rest of this movie, and even afterwards, as I sat there staring into the void, pondering on just what this all meant to me. I guess I have to say, as I sit here typing this blog post, that I have always been an author — I just had to grow up enough to realize it.

So, Patricia, I have to say “thank you” for this wonderful movie! It is easily the most meaningful gift I have received in a long time! It has given me a number of wonderful things:

  • The absolute reality that I am not the only one whose vaporware are as real to them as the liveware are.
  • The understanding that having shamans in your group of vaporware is not only not unique to me, but can also, through some mystical conscious-to-subconscious medium, provide a meaningful link between me and the liveware around me.
  • A glimpse into the struggles to bring your words to life.
  • And, at the same time, a feeling of comfort as I realize that my vaporware, as real as they might otherwise seem, were never mistaken by me for liveware; I never screamed or shouted at my vaporware; I never threw things from the real world at my vaporware folks — there was always a clear and distinct delineation between them.

So even though, from time to time, I questioned my sanity as I carried around a village in my head, for whatever reason (when the student is ready, the master appears), this movie has given me a new “handle” on the situation, and I am moving forward more happily and resolutely than before!

So: Thank you, Patricia, for this wonderful, and timely, gift!

To everyone else: go watch the movie! It’s great!!!