Simon: “Man, the world ain’t supposed to work like this. I mean, maybe you don’t know that yet. I’m supposed to be able to do my job without having to ask you if I can. That dude is supposed to be able to wait with his car without you ripping him off. Everything is supposed to be different than it is.”
* * *
The police helicopter is omnipresent. Every situation, every relationship, every day and every night has its dangers.
Like the night you decide to avoid the traffic after the game and take a shortcut home. Your car breaks down on a deserted street in a dangerous inner city neighborhood. Before you know it, some gangbanger holding a gun is forcing you out of your car.
Your son is flirting with decisions that will ruin his life, and maybe yours too.
You jog through the city where scary looking homeless strangers step out from behind dumpsters and startle you.
You’ve done something wrong, and now you are feeling pressure from the consequences of your actions.
Your teenager is stretching his wings, and you are about to walk through a door into a new season of life so filled with unknowns you don’t know how to feel.
You’re having a conversation with your wife, and you slice your finger open with a knife while cutting vegetables.
You bandage it. Out of the blue, the earthquake hits, and your neighbor has a heart attack. The lights of the departing ambulance flash on your stunned face.
You close your eyes.
Even your dreams are filled with frightening specters.
Claire: “The world doesn’t make any sense to me anymore. I mean, what’s going on? There are babies lying around in the streets; there are people living in boxes, there are people ready to shoot you if you look at them. And we are getting used to it. The world is so nuts it makes me wonder about all the choices that we’ve made.”
* * *
And yet there are epiphanies, moments of profound insight and clarity when it seems another world, another power is breaking into this world of fearsome dread.
A stranger shows you kindness and becomes a friend.
New life unexpectedly comes into your home and marriage.
A traumatic experience transforms your approach to life.
A blind date leads to love.
These positive happenings make you think you should give back a little, help out someone else, get involved, make a difference, even change yourself for the better. But you have to be careful. There are unintended consequences.
* * *
* * *
And so we make our choices. We change, we don’t change. We find a way to survive and go on.
We make connections, we watch them play out. We deal with the crap. We delight when love takes root and grows.
Claire: Everything seems so close together. All the good and bad things in the world. Everything.
I feel it in myself even.
* * *
In the end, we stand, with our little lives, before something as vast as the rocks and cliffs of the Grand Canyon, and we can imagine the ancient stones laughing at our little tragedies and comedies. And somehow, affirming the value of it all.
Simon: So what do you think?
Mack: I think… it’s not all bad.
Grand Canyon (1991)
Directed by Lawrence Kasdan
Written by Lawrence and Meg Kasdan
Starring Danny Glover, Kevin Kline, Steve Martin, Mary McDonnell
Twentieth Century Fox