Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Chasms and Second Chances

A new television program called Resurrection premiered the other night. I am rarely, if ever, enticed to start watching something new but this commercial drew me in and so, I set the DVR. The premise of the show is that people who have died start appearing again, resurrected, if you will, at the same age they were when they passed. So a young boy who died thirty years ago is reunited with parents who are now in their 60s and a man meets his adult daughter who is now roughly his same age. Make sense? I suppose the dramatic tone of the commercial appealed to me, the incredulous looks on the actors’ faces as they discover their loved ones, in the flesh once again, standing before them. It’s almost like time travel, isn’t it, the idea of visiting someone at another time in their life, in your life? Second chances and new hope.

The other day I was participating in a chat online and told another author that her novel seemed to deal with memory, perception and regret. These things are reservoirs in my own writing, I said. Maybe they are for every writer. We stew in the chasms that exist between people, don’t we? Sometimes the chasms are created by death or the passage of time; sometimes, they exist between people living in the same home. We like to pay close attention to those things that might make another squirm—uncomfortable moments, unrequited emotion, loneliness. When you create different characters existing in the same story, you have to think about perception and how our memories might differ from someone else’s. You have to consider what your characters might do, if given another chance.

And that’s the appeal of that television show, I think. Don’t we all wonder if we’d be the same person if given another chance? Would we do something different? Would we treat someone differently? These daily contemplations are part of the human condition. I watched the episode of Resurrection last night. It was intriguing but will end up being driven by the mystery of the individual deaths and the overall mystery of why these people are returning, more than by character interaction and revelation. But it did have a good amount of that, too. Someone assessed it as "Touched by an Angel meets X-Files." That's probably fair, although I never watched either of those. I liked this one enough to see the second episode, enough to think about it and write this. That’s something.


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"As soon as we express something, we devalue it strangely. We believe ourselves to have dived down into the depths of the abyss, and when we once again reach the surface, the drops of water on our pale fingertips no longer resemble the ocean from which they came...Nevertheless, the treasure shimmers in the darkness unchanged." ---Franz Kafka