I saw the movie, Avatar, recently. Now, whatever you think about the movie and plot as a whole, and whether you are able to suspend your disbelief about it or not, I can say that it affected me deeply.
I didn't expect anything of the movie except significant visual impact. We saw the 3-D version. It did not disappoint. It was beautiful and breathtaking. What I didn't expect was to feel truly inspired by the lead Na'vi female character, named Neytiri.
She is strong, mentally, physically and emotionally. She is connected with nature and respects and appreciates the animals that are killed for food. She shows compassion. She has grace. She expresses a strong sense of faith and belief. She is respected in her community and she is aware of her peoples' history and memories. She is daring and brave and happy.
Since seeing the movie, I hold her image in my mind, asking myself "What would she do?". This question pushes me to try harder, to complain less, to try new things, to express what I think, to be loyal to my values.
The movie also reinforced my need for more peace in my life. I need to carve out physical space to do yoga, to write, to meditate, to think, somewhere quiet without technology or interruptions. I want to connect more with nature, to heighten my awareness of the beauty around me, even in the dead of winter. I want to improve my connection with memory and ancestors and stories and identity.
The Na'vi greet each other by saying "I see you." Joy wrote about this on her blog recently, too. Susan Scott in Fierce Conversations (p.92) notes this phrase in use by tribes in South Africa who say "sawu bona" (I see you) and respond with "sikhona" (I am here). Scott says "The order of the exchange is important: until you see me, I do not exist. It's as if, when you see me, it brings me into existence." It emphasizes the need for presentness and connection. I need to remember this, to focus on being present and on seeing people more clearly, to truly listen and connect.