Thursday, January 30, 2014

Marvel's "The Avengers" (Part I)

I don't know what it is about the Marvel superhero movies that makes me love them. I'd almost rather watch one of them than anything else.

The paradox is that as much as I love these movies, I also hate them.

Here's why.

I'm a writer, a poet, now a published author. Watching a movie or reading a novel that is a phenomenal work in staying power, epic grandeur, in-depth characterization, genuine theme, and all the rest, drives me green with envy.

I want to be able to write like that. Something that readers keep reading into the night, long after they should have fallen asleep, because they can't stand not to know what comes next. Something that makes the characters come to life, so that readers "rejoice with those [characters] who rejoice, and mourn with those who mourn" (Romans 12:15).

Books that fall into this category for me include Little Women by Louisa May Alcott and Into the Darkness by Barbara Michaels, among others.

Usually I envy movies more than novels because I'm a visual person, so whatever I watch stays with me longer and affects me more viscerally: the Lord of the Rings trilogy, The Hobbit movies, any of the Marvel superhero movies, Apollo 13, Step Up.

I envy Marvel's The Avengers. I don't watch it very often because it drives me crazy with dismay and depression: Will I ever be able to write like that?

I once read a book by a Christian author who wrote that moments of discontentment remind us that this fallen world is not what we were meant to experience. It's supposed to drive us to do our best with what we have during our time on earth.

I didn't like that. Too neat for me. Maybe true, but so far, I haven't found a way to channel my discontentment with my inadequacies into the kind of productivity I know I'll need if I'm ever going to turn out something as spectacularly staying and genuine as all these books and movies I envy.

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