Gods of Egypt
I did not even know this movie was coming out until I caught the title at the end of a movie trailer commercial while sitting in a restaurant in south Texas. The title alone was enough to get my attention! So when I returned home I went to see it. I went to see it the night before teaching my course, Intro to the Gods and Goddesses of Egypt. I went to see it after a very manic few weeks of photography focus and work. I went to see it and it stayed with me so deeply.
Sitting there in the theater wearing my 3-D glasses I was unsure of how I was going to like it. When a movie is about a subject matter so close to your heart you watch it like it is your own child and want everything to be portrayed in the right way and not patronized. I knew a lot of the actors portraying my family of neteru...Gerard Butler as Set, Bryan Brown as Osiris, Chadwick Boseman as Thoth, Geoffrey Rush as Ra, and Nikolaj Coster-Waldau as Horus. Wow! What a great cast! And to have Gerard in the role of one of my closest neteru, Set...???!!!
The reviews I read initially before going to the movie were a bit lackluster in light of this amazing cast and storyline of the battle between Horus and Set but I tried to keep an open mind between the mediocre reviews and intimate nature of the film...my ancient home and family of Egypt. The computer graphics were amazing and I loved the animal forms of each of the neteru. I loved the depiction of Ra battling the Apep each night. I loved the humorous personality of Thoth. I loved the symbolism of the sands of chaos within the pyramid of Set. I loved the Sphinx's position inside the chaos of sand. Not too far into the movie I was hooked and loving the personalities of each of the gods.
Some of it began to hit me, too, and I questioned things...like the chaotic, murderous, rule-the-world mindset of Set. Because of my own experiences with this lovely being, my heart screamed out,
"He's not chaotic!"
"He's not evil!"
"He's a great teacher and leader!"
"He has a loving and compassionate heart!"
Easy there, girl!
Within the movie, Set confronts Ra toward the end of the movie after removing the eyes of Horus, the heart of Osiris, and the mind of Thoth effectively gaining power as a God of Gods. Ra reminds him that he is a God and the Ruler of the Desert but Set is not content with that. He wants to be MORE. He is good at ruling the desert but he looks at what everyone else is ruling and sees his own gifts and place in the world as something Less Than.
Therein lies the compassionate loving message of Set. Love the gifts you have. Appreciate what it is that sets you apart from the rest of the world and makes you unique and a wonderful contribution to the world around you. Don't get caught up in the downward spiral of the Comparison Game...you know, the one where everyone else does everything better than you do?
That is exactly where I had been the past few weeks. I love photography ... and I'm good at it ... but I want to be better at it. I look at the work of other photographers and ooohhh and aaawwww and feel both inspired ... and Less Than. I read books and learn how to better use all the bells and whistles on my camera and how to better use my computer to enhance each image in post processing....but there is always more to learn, more to master, more to understand.
I am a gifted and talented photographer whose work is enjoyed by non-photographers and well-known photographers alike. I forget that sometimes.
I came across a picture of the Sphinx in 1878 emerging from the sand and wrote this about it on my Iseum of the Divine Isis Within FB page a few weeks ago...
"We are all emerging from the sands of our life experiences. There are times we are engulfed. There are times we cannot see. There are times we are hidden even from ourselves. But time changes everything.
The power of the Sphinx is inside you. His wisdom is hidden inside the sandstorm of your life...it will emerge. Close your eyes and watch his power come to life for you...."
In light of this movie, this is perfect. Horus, after having his eyes gouged out in battle with Set, hides himself in a shrine away from the world and becomes hidden, even from himself. He is led back to his place of power and belief in himself throughout the movie by a 'mortal'. ... through the sands of chaos. Never underestimate how you can change someone's world...even the world of a God (aka, someone you hold in high regard and give your power to).
Eddie the Eagle
I knew this movie was coming out and knew I wanted to go see it. I totally love "underdog" type movies and, again, with this cast, how could you go wrong...plus it was a true story!
I went to see it after a couple of manic weeks working on my photography. I went to see it the night after seeing Gods of Egypt. I went to see it after an amazing afternoon teaching my course, Intro to the Gods and Goddesses of Egypt. I went to see it after being totally and undeniable dissed at a local photographer event. Yes. Totally dissed. Totally ignored. Totally nobody.
This is a relatively easy movie...fun, light hearted, inspirational, and the character is absolutely adorable! How that casting director found those kids to look so much like the adult Eddie, idk but absolutely brilliant!
The story of Eddie is that he is a young boy with leg troubles and wears a brace for a lengthy period of time...but dreams about being in the Olympics. Once his leg is good to go and he gets on skis for the first time, he is hooked and dreams of being a skier in the Olympics. His dad throughout the movie is NOT his biggest fan or his biggest advocate and says really harsh things,
"You're not an athlete!"
"You'll never be Olympic material!"
This really doesn't seem to deter Eddie. He works on his skiing and eventually tries out for the British ski team for the Olympics. Even the Olympic committee doesn't believe in him and changes rules to exclude him from being a part of the team.
This really doesn't seem to deter Eddie! He decides he will do the long jump in skiing and since there is no British team in place for that, he is in! But the British Olympic committee doesn't believe he is good enough to represent his country.
Did I mention...ouch?!
This really doesn't seem to deter Eddie. He packs his things and makes his way to a training facility in Germany to train and compete...no coach, no money, just himself and his dreams and his belief in himself that he can do it.
Of course, this is Hollywood and a GREAT true story and Eddie gets the chance to realize his dreams and compete in the Olympics....but he decides he is going to compete in the 90 meter jump, which is taller ...AND he has never tried it before this one moment in the Olympics in front of the whole world. He takes the elevator up and gets an amazing pep talk from another skier on the way up...that they don't jump to win...they jump to be their best.
So, there Eddie sits at the top of the jump, skis on, helmet on, goggles propped on top of his head and all that is going through his head are doubts and the words of negativity...
"You'll never be Olympic material"
He shuts it all out and pulls his goggles down over his eyes and goes for it...setting a new British Olympic record (which is waaaayyyy less than other jumpers are doing that day) but he is so thrilled with his efforts and his personal success that he gives a heart-felt and genuine happy dance, winning over the crowd.
He is an inspiration.
I left that movie in tears and cried all the way home. I felt so defeated. I felt like I lost touch with my dreams and just doing the best that I can with what I've learned and done so far. All those other photographers' work I'd been looking at...in business 20 years or more. Me...barely 5 years in! And I'm so much better than I was 5 years ago...hell, I never EVER shoot in Auto, and haven't for at least 4 years!!!
Remember Kung Fu Panda 3 a few weeks ago? That message to just be yourself? That your unique gifts are what it takes to be successful in the world?
So, all of that hit me like a wall of bricks and the processing and holding all of that message literally debilitated me for about 2 days. I couldn't get out of bed. Then I couldn't get out of my apartment. I had to come to grips with it all and let it all settle in.
Even Isis had moments where she forgot herself and couldn't function because of the deep processing of her grief and letting go of negative thinking. But she remembered her way back.
If Isis can do it, I can do it.
If Isis can do it, so can you.
More Inspiration, when your Strong can't get out of bed....with Lady Gaga
From Lady Gaga on surviving: "The first day of rehearsal with all the survivors I could barely get myself together. My body was wrecked with inflammation and pain, crying and shaking the whole walk to the stage. The whole night before I did not sleep. The fear of knowing I would finally face that I belonged in that group. I told them I was so sorry I couldn't be Lady Gaga for them, that I couldn't even get dressed. I could barely get through the song, couldn't hit any of the high notes. Hair wet, sloppy tee shirt jeans uggs, tissues. They all hugged me and told me that it was okay because it was more real this way, that they understood that they were in pain too. They told me they were there for me to support me because they believed this message needed to be heard. Without them I never could have felt strong. They accepted me for me, at my lowest and that was good enough for them, so somehow through the magic of their courage they made it good enough for me too."