Thursday, November 4, 2010

May He Live In Peace-In Review "Charlie St. Cloud"

I tried pretty hard to stay away from all of the fanfare about the movie based on the book "Charlie St. Cloud" . I was intrigued by what little that I had read about the story, and if you agree with me, we all know that the movie is rarely as good as the book. In fact, at times, the movie just butchers the story, leaving little shreds of what was actually put from pen to page.

I succeeded, I still haven't seen the movie and I'm not sure that I want to. I couldn't put this book down. I kept thinking, there is no way that movie is going to capture what I received from the story. I may be wrong, and who knows, if a friend says, "hey lets watch this", I'll probably cave.

I read this line, "Splotches of phosphorus streaked the sky in a stormy fireworks show" (pg 55) and thought, I love reading books that include phrases like these. It's a simple one, but still.

As I've done with every review I've written, I'm not going to give away the entire content of this story, and definitely not the ending. If I do that, you may not read it. And I want you to read it.

When I got to the meat of the story, it made me think about the afterlife. What really does happen when we die? Is there really an 'in-between' world where we can exist, and then decide when we're ready to cross all of the way over?

Charlie made a promise to his little brother, Sam. "Promise you won't leave me" Sam says to him. I learned quickly that Charlie is the type of person who doesn't break promises. But here's the thing; Sam is no longer amongst the living. Told in an amazing way, the story leads you to understand that there is something unbelievable happening. The two brothers have found a way to spend time with each other, every evening at dusk. In order for this to happen, though, Charlie has to be there at dusk, every day. Otherwise Sam may "disappear" forever.

I totally understood Charlies decision. But then he meets Tess, a captivating woman training for a solo sailing trip around the world. Then, it's as if he slowly begins to realize, "have I really chosen to live?" (come on, you didn't think there wouldn't be a girl did you?)

When I read interesting stories like these, that have no bearing on my life story in any way, I still find a way to make them plausible for me. No, I can't see "ghosts", I don't really believe in them and don't need the universe to change my mind. Would I like to see loved one's that I've lost, to have a conversation and be around them? Well I think the answer is, of course I would. But there will be a time and place for that, at least I think so.

But right now I'm living. Trying to live life out loud anyway.  Not be so afraid of things, relationships, getting hurt, all of that nonsense. It's very easy to not let myself get too close to someone. But, just like Charlie, I, at times, ask myself, "have I really chosen to live?" So what if I get hurt. It's not a perfect world, this I know. But I can make my world as perfect for me as possible, by just being myself.

There was a tug and pull all the way throughout this story, reading about Charlie wrestling with the two worlds.

Find out what he decides, get the book. I recommend it.

See you soon,

PS Tess named her boat "Querencia", a Spanish word that is hard to translate but basically it applies to where one feels safe. Wouldn't it be cool to have breakfast on a boat like that, sailing across ocean waters?

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