Empty Seats and Heavy Hearts

Mockingjay Part II, and the endings are all tied together
The colors are blurring until the emotions have no tether
Why does it hit with such force, now so much later
And of course, I’m falling apart in the theater

I have never identified with Katniss Everdeen more than I have at this exact moment. I can’t make any more speeches about it, I can’t watch the cycles of brokenness go round and round. These games have to end.
Bits and pieces and flashes of scenes are all that come back. I remember first hearing about Philip Seymour Hoffman. I wasn’t even remotely close to being familiar with who he was, simply due to limited exposure. Plutarch Heavensbee was the only role I saw him step in to. But the memory haunts me all the same. A sudden death, articles of discovery. A realization and deepest core conviction that these celebrities are as messed up as us, and they need someone to bring the light in. The birth of crazy dreams. Watching the Oscars in disbelief. Glimpses of glamour, quick screens of names, but empty seats and hearts that will never be the same. For one family, that year was drastically different than the picture, and all was forever altered. Chris Hemsworth in a audio book worthy Australian voice. A soul crushed by the weight of them not knowing there is a choice, there is joy.
Thus the birth of crazy dreams. One that my heart threw me headfirst into, ignoring the damage of the road.

How many others sit and these theaters and miss the message of what’s on the screen? It’s both curious and breaking. And infuriating. So many emotions stirring inside and threatening to take over. Boy, I would fight for these characters. For their justice, for the justice of the whole system. The biggest anger, the most violent red coloring my vision to see it all righted, so that they could all live lives of freedom and not watch it die. So that it wasn’t just about the luxuries, or the heroic acts, or the need to play another games. So that survival wasn’t all consuming, so that everything wasn’t so inverse and backwards, like peacekeepers who cause harm.

Everything within my body was on the edge of my seat. Ready to take action and charge into the scenes. To rewrite endings and join the fight. To heal relationships and protect hearts that were bruised. Gale’s loss of composure after Katniss’ goodbye had me dazed.

Protect like Finnick. Be kind like Peeta. Be true like Katniss. Be bold like Cinna. Be strong like Boggs. Be fierce like Cressida. Be gentle as Prim. Brighten rooms like Effie. Defend like Gale. Contribute your part, be uniquely you.

It’s okay not to be okay about this. People hurt and we carry part of that with us. I don’t know what this means moving forward into my future and the rest of life. Except that this way of living needs to keep drastically changing. People need to know there is something worth fighting for. I may be one small voice, but I can be someone that helps show them. To find victory and celebrate life, to become hope and fight for good, to bring light even in the darkest of moments.

The highs and lows of this life are breathtaking and gut wrenching. The story behind the story drives things home with piercing sharpness. Like nailing a ticket into the wall. Definitive, exact, permanent. And tonight, I remember the article Empty Seats at the Oscars and the heavy heart, then and now, that pushes us all forward to show hope, to fight for hope with everything in us.

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