I’ve been thinking a lot and often lately about the move Contact. You know, the classic Jodi Foster movie from the 90s based on Carl Sagan’s book?
There’s a scene towards the end of the movie when Ellie Arroway is hurtling through the wormholes of space in a contraption designed by aliens but built by humans. Built by humans who improvised on the design by welding in a secure chair and safety harness. But then Ellie accidentally lets go of her keepsake compass and watches it float gently away while she is being wracked back and forth in her chair. So she unbuckles herself. Loosens herself from the safety harness, floats up from the secure seat.
It is then, and only then, that she is gently brought to the true purpose of her journey.
The lesson of that scene has been applicable more than once in the past few months, but probably no more so than right now. Here in shadow of this worldwide pandemic, we ourselves are hurtling through new territory, wracked back and forth by the headlines, the fear, the uncertainty. Slowly changing course while wondering and worrying at this new direction.
But somewhere in all of that, we have to find a way to let go. Like Ellie, bravely let go of the familiar things on which we rely to get us through, rise up, and see what happens next.