During our three months at KI, we watched a lot of movies. It was our choice of evening leisure. I think we all looked forward to the end of the day when we could change into our comfy clothes, sit around the fire and watch a good flick. We had to flop between guy movies and chick flicks but normally we tried to choose a neutral movie that everyone would enjoy.
We watched children movies like Minions, Big Hero Six and Monster's Inc. We watched movies we'd seen a thousand times like Pitch Perfect, Blind Side and Wedding Crashers. There were new movies like Ant Man and Divergent 2 and there were old movies like Breakfast Club. One crazy night we watched Wanderlust, Age of Adeline and Zack and Miri Make a Porno. I was the only one that noticed that we had watched 6 hours of movies.
When Matthew found an American classic at the library he rented it. Maggie had never seen the film but Matthew and I assured her it was hilarious. The movie was Napoleon Dynamite and Maggie hated it, even after we explained the brainless humor.
We watched a few educational movies as well. Frost vs. Nixon was a good one about the Watergate scandal and Richard Nixon. Another good one was the Nelson Mandela story. We learned about his personal life and the struggles he went through to gain peace in South Africa. We also enjoyed watching the DVDs of an Australian television series called “Jillaroo.” It was about five urban women who moved to a ranch and learned how to be Australian cowgirls. It inspired me so much that I wrote a whole blog post on it.
One of my favorite educational movie series was a History Channel film called, “The Men Who Built America.” Each episode included stories of several American moguls who helped shape America after the civil war. We started with Vanderbilt and his railroad monopoly then moved into John D. Rockefeller and his Standard Oil venture, followed by Andrew Carnegie and his feat with steel and J.P. Morgan investing in Edison's electric lightbulb. The series ended with the fall of monopoly and the introduction of Henry Ford's automobile for the masses.
I loved the series because it really capitalized on the American entrepreneur. Each man had moments of insight and courage. I thought about the creativity it took to move past the present and how awesome these men were for bravely doing just that. The economy and business structure is completely different world than it was back then, but the base principles remain the same. If you have an idea and the aspiration behind it, you can make it happen in America.
At times I wondered if our television watching was pointless, like it was turning our brain into mush like mom said it would. But then there are times when I remember the good in movies. The feeling you get at the end reminds you that everything is going to be okay. That deep down you will always know what's right, what's true, what's important. And then for a brief second you can exhale, because the problem has been resolved.
Life on Kangaroo Island was kind of like that; like the feeling at the end of a good movie. Life was pure and simple and reminded you of what was important. Not the money, not the stuff, not even the make up or the clothes, just being. Being is the most important thing you can learn. Being yourself and loving those surrounding you in the present. No one is promised tomorrow and you never know when your time to leave the island and start a new journey will come. You have to pour into people as much as the current situation allows. It's now or never, truly.