Simba, I am Your Father.
Get it?! James Earl Jones was the voice of Mufasa and Darth Vader! I can’t actually take credit for that – my son said it when we were watching Field of Dreams and I pointed out that James Earl Jones was the voice of Mufasa. I did my best Mufasa impression and said “SIMBA” in a deep, James Earl Jones voice. And then my son said, “Simba, I am your father.” Which made me laugh because of the whole Darth Vader thing. I always laugh really hard at things that probably wouldn’t make other people laugh. Silly jokes and stupid puns are my favorite. Have you heard the story about the fake noodle? It was an impasta. (Laughed hysterically!)
So, this post is really about the movie we watched on Sunday. My son loves baseball and he watched the Sandlot five times last week. I told him there are other baseball movies and Field of Dreams instantly popped into my mind. I’ve always loved that movie and I hadn’t watched it in many, many years. And once I mentioned it, I REALLY wanted to watch it. I asked my son over and over for several days if he wanted to watch the movie with me. I squealed with joy when he finally said yes!
(SPOILER ALERT – If you haven’t seen Field of Dreams, watch it before you read this. I basically give away the whole movie. Also, if you haven’t seen it, have you been living under a rock?! KIDDING – kind-of!)
In the movie, just before Ray Kinsella decides he must kidnap Terence Mann, he says, “You once wrote, ‘there comes a time when all the cosmic tumblers have clicked into place and the universe opens itself up for a few seconds to show you what’s possible’.” I almost fell off my chair when he said that. Okay, okay, I was lying on the couch and I didn’t fall, but it certainly caught my attention. I watched the rest of the movie with the perception that it was a metaphor for the universe and the law of attraction. Think about it….if you build it, he will come. When you start to work towards creating your own story, your own life – the other pieces show up when you need them. They fall into place. What you focus on is what you get.
Ray Kinsella hears this voice that tells him what to do. He follows his gut instinct and doesn’t give up – because this is his chance to make something amazing. In the end, a deep wound in his heart is healed and the people come. Even more, he realizes that he is already living in heaven on earth. He has everything he dreamed of – a loving, supportive wife, an amazing kid and this beautiful farm in Iowa. That’s the part where I lost it. Yes, I am a huge sap and cry at just about anything, but the floodgates opened at this exchange:
John Kinsella: Is this heaven?
Ray Kinsella: It’s Iowa.
John Kinsella: Iowa? I could have sworn this was heaven.
Ray Kinsella: Is there a heaven?
John Kinsella: Oh yea. It’s the place where dreams come true.
(Ray looks around and over at Annie and Karin)
Ray Kinsella: Maybe this is heaven.
Here’s what I just learned from a movie I’ve watched a million times before:
- We all have voices. Maybe we aren’t Ray Kinsella crazy – walking around asking other people about the voices. But, we all have them in some form. Maybe it’s in dreams. Maybe it’s in thoughts that pop into our head while we’re meditating, or driving, or showering. Maybe it’s a clear sign we get when something beyond ironic and coincidental happens. Maybe it is an actual voice we hear when there’s no one else around. But these are the voices/things that tell us we are going in the right direction. They give us answers when we have questions and doubts. Listen to them.
- The universe (which I’m now calling my field of dreams) puts the people in our lives that we need when we need them. Ray and Annie go to a meeting at school about burning books, some of which happen to be written by Terence Mann. Ray realizes he needs to go talk to Terence. He ends up thinking he didn’t need him after all. (If you’re not following me, you need to rewatch the movie. Now – go do it now.) And then Terence Mann steps out in front of his van. They think they fail again when Doc Graham won’t come back to the field with Ray. But then they pick up a hitchhiker on the way home who just happens to be a young Archie Graham. Ray is upset again when he doesn’t get to go out into the field with the players, but then gets his own special visitor. I know – it’s far-fetched, but you can’t tell me that you haven’t, AT LEAST ONCE IN YOUR LIFE, had someone show up at the right time and the right place just when you needed them. Pay attention to who shows up.
- We help each other. We need to help each other. This movie is one big cluster of people helping each other! Ray helps Shoeless Joe Jackson play baseball again. Ray and Terence help Archie Graham get his one shot at batting and winking at the pitcher. Archie Graham helps Ray when he saves Karin from choking on a hot dog. Ray actually also helped Terence by bringing him to the field where he was asked by Shoeless Joe to come into the field to see what was out there (reigniting his desire to write). Annie helps Ray all along by providing unconditional love and support. And finally Shoeless Joe helps Ray by bringing his father to the field. Maybe it was Ray all along who helped everybody by following this dream of his. But in the end – he helped himself. He felt tremendous guilt and hurt about how he left things with his father. The movie ends with Ray and his dad playing a game of catch, while the cars are lining up to come to the field. We are blessed by the love we give. You’ll find your joy in helping others find theirs. Just try it.
- We are already blessed. Some people are living their lives so that they make it to a place called heaven. Now, I don’t doubt that heaven exists. I do think it’s a place where only love is present and we’ll be reunited with everyone that has left before us. However, I think far too often we neglect to see the love we already have now. Beauty surrounds us – we just have to look for it. Count your blessings – I bet it’s a long, long list.
Damn. This movie came out in 1989, when I was ten years old. For the past 25+ years, I thought it was just about baseball.