My husband requested a comedy when I went to look for a movie at the library yesterday. Among other movies, I found Mobsters and Mormons, a movie that is part of the subgenre of Mormon Cinema.
In it, Carmine Pasquale, a New York mobster, and his family have been moved to suburban Utah as part of the federal witness protection program. I worried for a while that he and his family were going to be converted by the end of the film. But no, they remained Catholic and just opened a scrapbooking store (sorry to ruin the ending). As non-Mormoms who’ve relocated to Utah, we found this movie kind of fun to watch, but I don’t know how amusing it would be to people who aren’t part of the culture at all. There were some fun inside jokes. And it’s always fun to watch Mormons poke fun at themselves. I heard an interview with a Mormon author who suggested that it would be an improvement if Mormons could start making fun of themselves like Jews and Catholics have learned to. I agree. Plus, it makes the movies a lot more enjoyable.
One of the lead actors in Mobsters and Mormons was also in a film I saw on TV shortly after we arrived in Utah. This movie was called The Best Two Years, and was about missionaries in the Netherlands and the challenge of maintaining one’s faith so far from one’s family. I found the film moving. I don’t know. I just like Mormon cinema. And I think it was a gentle introduction to the world in which I’ve found myself for the past three years.
This week has been a real journey for me. My aunt died last Sunday. I feel sad about her death, but I also find that there’s a change in me that isn’t altogether unpleasant. I have some trouble with anxiety and depression, and I go through stages in which I wish I could just fade away. Watching the situation with my aunt and seeing what happens when someone really chooses that path has helped me feel grateful for my life and the sometimes painful process of just living. Having seen what fading away really looks like, I know that’s not what I want. It’s opened up a lot of positive things for me. I feel a sense of expansiveness, of connection, like I felt at my Aikido class this past Monday. I even ordered dinner for the whole family at Barbacoa and didn’t feel overwhelmed and anxious. That’s probably silly, but it’s a big step for me.
Even just the enjoyment I felt with all of our musical activities yesterday is a change for me. I like it.
One more day in this month, then it’s time for a new focus. We’ll be flying to Florida on February 1st, but I plan to schedule some blog posts to publish during our travel time. I’m anxious about our travel, as I always am, but I’m also hopeful and excited for the trip. It will be interesting to see how traveling and visiting family feels with this new perspective I have. And if nothing else, there’s a beach in our future. (I won’t think too hard about the oil that’s likely still contaminating the water in which we’ll be swimming.)