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Movie theater memories

Social Chaos: Bill's Briefs

Last week, after enduring 25 minutes (I timed it) of commercials, I saw one film; furthermore, a Coke and a tiny bag of popcorn cost more than the ticket. Leaving the mall’s 13-theater complex, I thought about what it was like before the malls mushroomed across the nation and destroyed the vibrant downtown area of many American cities.

I pined for the days when the top department stores were actually right on Main Street along with the shop for notions and sundries, the five and dime, the Green Stamp exchange and Woolworths. If you find these references as mysterious as a soda fountain or lunch counter in a drugstore, ask a senior.

I miss most the wonderful movie theaters with their extravagantly opulent lobbies and two, even three, balconies and don’t forget the inevitable grand organ and “free dish night” that sad, failed attempt to overcome the TV invasion.

So huge and gorgeous they were called palaces and would bring laughter and relief from one’s troubles for the grand sum of 25 cents. That got us a double feature, newsreel, previews, the serial with its weekly cliff-hanger ending, cartoon and, if lucky, we followed the bouncing ball for a few minutes. A total of at least three hours. What a bargain for a quarter; what Saturday afternoon freedom for mothers.

Great memories, but I always had a question. The men hanging around the smoking area in the men’s room were there when I peed before the movie and there when I peed after … didn’t they want to see the movie?

Would’a, could’a, should’a – a time-wasting trio

Thoughts concerning “would have,” “could have,” and “should have” are a waste of time. They are dealing with past events which did not happen and are not going to happen. Live with it. Equally unproductive is to over-think, fantasize and/or worry about future events which haven’t happened and may never happen.

With this in mind, I recently realized how foolish it is to spend time with the impossible task of rearranging the past as well as the equally impossible task of arranging the certainty of the future.

By attempting such activities we often create for ourselves stress, unhappiness and sleepless nights.

Release from these conditions is found in a core concept of both ancient Buddhist teachings and the recent developing theory of mindfulness (Google: mindfulness psychology) which is being increasingly used in a variety of circumstances especially depression therapy and treatment of anxiety disorders including Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

The emphasis is on refocusing one’s thoughts and concentrating on the present. Not what happened in the past or what might happen in the future. Now is the ultimate point of concentration.

Take a quiet, restful period and focus, think (dare I say meditate?) about just that moment, the now, and you, your body, your surroundings. Practice will bring a calmness and acceptance of yourself and your world as it is, not what was or what if or what may be.



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Posted by on Dec 6, 2012. Filed under Bill's Briefs. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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