I have watched Groundhog Day several times over the last few months. I had to purchase it because Phil Connors’ absurd hero character resonated with me so thoroughly that the need for purchase became obvious. I’ve seen myself in Phil at times since the pandemic started, trapped in a version of the same day. I’ve found it validating and comforting (in that weird way) to sink into an exaggerated version of my own sense of reality.
I love seeing how Phil’s experience of waking up to February 2nd (EVERY DAY) goes from confusion, to anxiety, to throwing himself into the depths of despair, only to turn it all around once he is able to connect with the power of love. I love how his ability to connect with love changes his way of being, allowing him to refocus so that he can learn to find joy in the things he can control, ultimately making choices that connect him to himself, to those around him, to his love interest Rita, and to the many life-affirming opportunities around him. And what an ending, with Phil reaching an enlightenment of sorts, freeing himself from the (likely self-made) prison of February 2nd through learning how to love. What a film. I invite you to check it out or rewatch it if you have the time, bandwidth, and interest. Those are all hot commodities, I know…
So anyway, we have this incredibly nerve wracking election coming right up in the midst of a pandemic that just won’t quit. We’ve been marinating in a muck of grief and anxiety and isolation and now this election is almost here. Times are really tense. We’re anxious, scared, and many other things, including, I hope, hopeful.
With Phil in mind, I invite myself and us all to remember to focus on that which we can control (that very obviously includes voting), to be especially mindful and gentle with ourselves and others, and to connect as firmly as we can with the people and various communities where we experience love in this world.
I hope you will consider finding connection through some of the UUCC, local, and national election week events we’ve listed on our website. And if these options don’t appeal to you, or the timing doesn’t work, or your bandwidth is too low, I hope that you will take care of yourself and others the best you can.
I don’t think the election could bring this country a fully liberating February 3rd experience like Phil had. The United States is not Phil Connors at the end of the movie. That’s such a tall, unrealistic order, and a parallel I’d love to draw but can’t. But my hope is that following the election, it feels like a big step in that February 3rd direction. Here we go. Fingers crossed.
Holding you in my heart,