So, this weekend I binge-watched The O A on Netflix.
I enjoyed the hell out of it. I'm going to try to tell you why without spoiling the story for you. (I don't believe in spoiling stories for people unless they've been around forever.)
I adore it when characters do shit that looks crazy from the outside but they've provided plausible, logical reasons for that behavior. The "Is it real or is it Memorex?" story schtick is one of my faves. (And if you've read my work, you'd know that already.) I enjoy stories where the characters' logic is very carefully laid out for the reader/viewer and once they're onboard...it's called into question. I know some people don't enjoy that because it feels like a betrayal. And if the story stops there, I'd agree with them. However, I'm definitely onboard when, in spite of being deeply unsure about the crazy action, characters make that last ditch effort anyway, and somehow it pays off. I adore the uncertainty of whether or not any of their belief it was real because ultimately, it doesn't matter. The crazy thing still worked for whatever reason.
That's life. It's messy. There are no pat answers. There is only what comforts you. That uncertainty comforts me.
Every time I think about stories like this one, I consider the big things I've accomplished in my life. For example: my writing career. Initially, like all beginners, I had faith that one day all the wacky shit I had to do to become a writer (attend workshops, talk to strangers, bare my soul on the page--things that wouldn't make sense in any other context because IT'S A FUCKING LONG SHOT--would pay off. Everyone around me with very few exceptions told me that I was crazy to invest my time and money this way. Everyone, including my family. (Dane excepted. Melissa Tyler excepted.) I continued to work toward my goal of becoming a professional writer even when I'd lost hope that such a thing would ever happen. (I believe that was around year five or six.) Guess what? It did work out. I did become a professional writer with a literary agent and a big five publisher. How did I do it? It's one of the favorite questions beginners always ask. It's a good one.
Because I don't know. The truth is, no one knows.
Was it due to perseverance? Faith in myself? Was it Fate? Can anyone know? Me, I like to think it was perseverance and talent. But there are a lot of people with the same level of dedication and talent that never make to where I am. That's the story of every single success in the world. If those who succeed are completely honest, they'll tell you the same. We want to think we're in total control of our Fates, but the truth is...we aren't. That knowledge is unsettling in the extreme. Some people can deal with that level of chaos. A lot can't. I like to think that's why we have religion. It answers the unanswerable. Is it truly the way reality works?
What if the way things work is merely by acting as if they do work a certain way? If I have a dream and I wish to make it come true, I believe that there will be opportunities available for me to make that happen. I start actively looking for them. When I find them, I act upon them. Over time, all these little actions build up and you arrive at your dream. Of course, this is life. We don't exist in a vacuum. There are always others in persuit of their dreams and goals and still others working against their own best interests because of short term thought. (Destruction is always easier than creation.) Your dream might conflict with theirs. Something or someone might get in your path for whatever reason. There is always that risk. There's no explaining why that happens. It simply does.
Let me ask you, if acting upon that dream costs you nothing and harms no one, does it really matter? To me, it doesn't. I understand why for some people it does. But for me, it simply doesn't.
And that's why I enjoyed The O A. A part of me wants to believe even though another part simply can't. But...I act as if I believe anyway. (And some would say that's what makes me a Burned Hufflepuff.)
is a Science Fiction and Fantasy author living in Texas.