Everyone must see the movie SECRETARIAT and then figure out why you cried throughout .....when there was nothing sad in the movie. What was all the crying about? I was crying, people around me, crying. About this horse called Big Red. Later named Secretariat.
Was the horse shot or put down?
No! He retired peacefully to romp in the field with the ladies.
Then why is it such a moving movie with all of us crying?
I may have written the answer to this in an earlier book, and I may not have. But please see the movie to find the answer. And take anyone with you who needs a good cry, but not a sad cry. A cry of joyful rage, or raging joy, the tears that come when the soul sees itself for the first time.
Terry Hill loves horses like this. Terry is a writer who lives all over the world and who has been a friend of mine since we met each other in the sixth grade in Birmingham, Michigan. His short story, "Cafes Are For Handicapping," features an intriguing character named Joe Warner who liked to tell stories about horse racing. They were true stories.
Joe Warner told the story of being in the press box at Belmont when Secretariat put away the Triple Crown by 31 lengths.
"And I looked beside me when he was coming down the stretch at all these hardened, cigar-chomping New York newspapermen and they all had tears running down their cheeks like little babies. 'Course I couldn't see too clear myself for the tears in my eyes. I was 23 at the time. And it was the first Triple Crown in my lifetime. Imagine that."
That story brought me even closer to this question I've been asking all my life. Why do we cry when we see huge accomplishments? Why do we cry at weddings? Why do I cry when the blind girl jumps with her horse in the movie "Wild Hearts Can't Be Broken"? Or when the Titans win the game in Denzel Washington's "Remember The Titans"? Why did those sportswriters cry to see that big horse win by 31 lengths?
This is my theory: We weep for the lost winner inside of all of us. In these poignant moments, we cry because we know for a fact that there is something in us that could be every bit as great as what we are watching.
We are, for that moment, the untapped greatness we are seeing.
But we get tears in our eyes, because we know the greatness isn't being realized. We could have been like that, but we aren't.
This movie reminded me of The Deuce Lutui Story. Deuce was in bad shape, coming into camp overweight and screwed up in his heart. He described himself as "the Lindsay Lohan of pro football." Then he met his Jedi coach and look at him now. Destined for the Pro Bowl: www.tbolitnfl.com.
Because he created himself to be the best offensive lineman in the NFL.....creativity......his coach Steve Hardison saw in Deuce what Mrs. Sweeney saw in that beautiful horse they called Red.
Terry Hill also gives public talks on creativity. His own work in advertising and public relations throughout the years has won countless awards and, as one might expect, he presents some learned and sophisticated formulae for "creating." But he finishes all his talks by saying it is really a simple thing to be creative----all you do is "get your stars out."
That's how you tap into the untapped you.
His reference is to Seymour: An Introduction by J.D. Salinger. Seymour is writing a letter to his brother Buddy who has chosen to become a professional writer. Seymour tells his brother that writing has always been more than a profession, that it has been more like Buddy's religion. He says that Buddy will be asked two very profound questions when he dies about the writing he was doing: 1) "Were most of your stars out?" and; 2) "Were you busy writing your heart out?"
Terry Hill's advice to his audiences on the subject of creativity is to make sure you "get your stars out." This is another way of saying let the stars that are in you shine freely. Don't force them out, just let them shine. This idea is also expressed in the song "From the Heart" written by Richard Leigh and Susannah Clark:
"You've gotta sing like you don't need the money
Love like you'll never get hurt
You've gotta dance like nobody's watching
It's gotta come from the heart
If you want it to work."
Although Hill's audiences are usually advertising people and writers, his recommendations apply to all of us. Our lives are ours to create. Do we want to create them in a lackluster way or do we want to be inspiring? When we write our plans and dreams, we need to write our hearts out. In shooting for the stars, it's time to get a bit wild. Wild hearts can't be broken.