Last Saturday afternoon, whilst feeling a little lethargic, I slumped in front of the TV and watched a 1958 Western called “Cowboy” with Glenn Ford and Jack Lemmon in lead roles.

I haven’t watched a western since I was a young boy of about ten, and as I watched the film I recalled my younger brother by two years coming down to watch a western wearing his cowboy outfit, with guns holstered and stetson atop his head asking our Dad as the film started, “Who are the goodies and who are the baddies Dad?!”

As I sat watching the film last Saturday I was struck by the economic purpose of the cattle drive to Mexico and then back to Chicago and that the loss of beasts from the herd had a financial impact on those who had responsibility for it. I had thought it was all about cowboys (the goodies) shooting the Wild West Indians (the baddies).

This idea of seeing things afresh with clearer eyes speaks deeply to me of this current time in my life when as I confront my emotional difficulties, old understandings and rigid forms of interpretation of the world around me are constantly being challenged with a new openness and clarity which has at its source a deeper calm within me.   

So, I realise metaphorically that my old view of goodies and baddies is too simplistic and childlike and that on some level I have carried childlike rigid beliefs of right and wrong, good and bad and acceptable and not acceptable with me until now – my time of liberation and truth.

What will you watch to provoke within you, a response that will call on you to consider the world around you and the life within you with a new and liberating perspective!

My brother at 8 years old “Bang Bang – You’re Dead”

My response at 10 years old “No I’m not – you missed!”

My next blog will be “Goodbye Kiss”

William Defoe

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