Sherlock & Wilberforce (& Benedict).
WARNING: Contains spoilers about Sherlock. Well, not really. But kinda.
One of my biggest weaknesses is that I don’t live my day-to-day life with gusto. I don’t always seize the day. Mr. Keating would be appalled by the way I spend some of my days. But this month, I’ve discovered/re-discovered two characters who inspire me to live more passionately.
We all know how obsessive I am. When I love something, I get hooked on it pretty easily, and I just can’t get enough. That’s what happened with Sherlock. For those of you that don’t know, it’s a BBC television series, and it is incredible. I have the desktop background and ringtone to prove how dearly I love it. (Available here if you’re interested.)
I knew it would happen, but I wept during the finale of the second series. WEPT. Not openly…I hid myself with a blanket. Cried a bit at the beginning (tried to hide that too), then WEPT at the end. I knew what was coming. If you know the Sherlock story, you know what’s coming, and I did, but it got me.
This obsession included a renewed interest in Benedict Cumberbatch, my on-again, off-again celebrity crush of the last 5 years, who of course portrayed – and subsequently caused me to fall in love with – William Pitt the Younger in Amazing Grace. A few days after we watched the series finale of Sherlock, I was asked for my top three movies of all time. The aforementioned film tops the list. [The response to this was, "Really?? It was good, but not favourite-movie-of-all-time good…" I explained that when a film changes the course of your life, it tends to hold a special place of honor. My story even made the AG website. Click the green to see it!] Naturally, these two incidents made me realize it was high time I saw Amazing Grace again, and at the end, I cried. After seeing this film 100 times, full-sized tears came streaming from my eyes. I know most of the dialogue by heart and STILL it moves me.
My natural instinct was to be ashamed. Ashamed that I was crying over a fictional television program. Ashamed that I was crying over a film that I’ve seen over and over and over again.
But I decided that I didn’t want to be ashamed, so I searched for explanation, rationale.
I mean, I love all things Sherlock; it says so in my Twitter bio. And I could go on for pages about why that’s the case….but the much more difficult question is this: Why do I really connect with it? Why does it REALLY move me?
Then, at the end of Amazing Grace this last time, while I was still wiping tears away, it hit me – I’m crying because this story is about love and sacrifice and perseverance and justice and freedom.
And these are the things I want my life to be about. If I’m so passionate that I want to be known for this, then it SHOULD bring me to tears. It is right for me to be moved and to weep and to feel it deep inside my soul.
Maybe Sherlock’s not quite so inspiring, but still, I think that what I love so deeply is that in everything, Sherlock displays passion, perseverance. And in the end, he displays a willingness to even sacrifice himself. (Well, sort of.) He goes all out, every time. And that in itself is inspirational.
So, the problem isn’t when I cry after experiencing a beautiful story; that’s not silly or shameful. The shame should come when I’m not giving my all, when I’m not loving wholeheartedly, when I’m not sacrificing, when I’m not persevering, when I’m not fighting with everything that i have for justice and freedom.
And when stories like these impact me this much, I need to stop seeing them just as entertainment, but see them as precious, powerful, and gorgeous reminders of how I’m meant to live.
Also, this is my new favorite video of all-time ever. So full of awesome I can hardly stand it!