Julie Lyles Carr: Processing....

Monday, May 24, 2010


Love it or hate it, Lost came to an end last night.

It had more pre-game coverage than the SuperBowl and better commercials (if you're a Lostie, you had to love Target's take on Lost ads...brilliant.)

I'm still trying to process all the twists and turns, plot mechanizations and hidden messages.

But this much I think I have figured out.

We are a culture that needs to talk about what comes after this life.

Our storytelling in this era is violent. We do love our high-def car chases and crime scenes and blood and gore. Our adventure movies and sports and shows traffic in the drama of the destructive.

And we like to tell ourselves we are unique in this, that our generation exalts the violent more highly than our predecessors.

We're clearly not too well-educated in the epics and sagas of the past.

The Greeks and Romans have anthologies of crimes and passions, wars and intrigues. But in their epic tales, they also explored over and over the ideas of afterlife and reward and punishment.

We don't talk so much about that.

And while a Greco-Roman mini-series was never complete without a tour of the River Styx and Persephone and Hades, we tend to want our epics completed with our hero intact, a life rebuilt and a heart still beating.

We're a little weak that way.

And I suppose that is what was so gripping and unique about Lost. There will be plenty of analysis of the writing of Abrams and Lindelof and Cuse. There will be probing aplenty as this modern day Odyssey is dismantled and dissected. And all that will be a fun ride for true fans.

But in the end, what I find most compelling is this: that a culture that doesn't enjoy self-examination and consequences and hard questions about existence and eternity bought into this six-season story.

We like to push it down.

We like to keep the spotlight on this present existence.

But we cannot deny that He has set eternity in our hearts.

And our souls do long for glimpses of that view.

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