Community Columns

Don’t give up on life’s possibilities

While my son Jeff and his fiancà e, Olga, were visiting from the West Coast, we happened to catch the movie “Unfaithful” on TV. It starred Richard Gere, Diane Lane and Olivier Martinez.

The storyline is a typical one: Diane Lane’s character (Connie) has an affair with a dashing Frenchman (Paul) played by Olivier Martinez. Her husband (Edward), played by Richard Gere, begins to suspect his wife’s infidelity, and the rest … you’ll have to watch for yourself.

Viewing the torrid love scenes between Connie and Paul left little to the imagination. Ordinarily these scenes wouldn’t faze me; however, watching the bedroom happenings with Jeff and Olga is another story. I’ll save further commentary for a future column.

Back to the movie.

I’m not passing judgment on the affair; lord knows, we all have skeletons rattling around in our closets. Essentially, the movie taught a great lesson. In a moment of rare insight, Connie imagines this possibility: Instead of succumbing to the affair, she waves a wistful goodbye to the dashing Paul and takes a cab home.

In reality, everyone who breathes is overflowing with unlimited possibilities. I’m not suggesting that we should all go out and have a fling. Rather, I’m referring to the open vista of possibilities that can take us beyond our self-limiting behaviors.

Did you achieve all that was possible or is that possibility buried under layers of life? Stroll back in time, and conjure up those dreams that excited you. Is there a stand-up comic waiting for a cue? Do you have a novel lurking inside of you? Did photography motivate you? Or … ?

C’mon, we all have them. I’ll go first.

I wanted to be a detective as far back as I could remember. I think my interest was piqued when I began reading Nancy Drew mysteries. I never missed an episode of “Columbo,” “Quincy” or “Cagney and Lacey.” Currently I watch “The No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency.”

I thought that being a gal private eye was very glamorous. Shrouded in mystery, I imagined myself wearing dark aviator glasses. For added panache, I would drape a silk scarf across my head and around my neck and shoulders. Cracking cold cases would be my forte. I can hear the groans of those of you who are bona fide detectives. Not so, eh?

New possibilities crop up when we give to a cause outside ourselves. What does it take to ask (and mean it), “How’re you doing?” Sure, there’s the risk of getting an earful of the same-old, same-old, but just think, for a few moments we can turn on the light for someone who may be metaphorically sitting in darkness.

Possibilities are endless when one decides to mentor a kid. We may argue, “What? You’re kidding. I raised my kids.” Yup, I get it and I’ve said it! Take it from me, witnessing an Aha! moment coupled with a dazzling smile is better than, well, a new pair of red shoes.

Sometimes possibilities come disguised as obstacles. We all know folks who are all about “if only.” If only I were younger, if only I had graduated from college, if only … (fill in the blank.) “If only” is another masquerade for fear, and fear limits life’s possibilities.

Recently I found myself engaged in “Life-is-passing-by-too-quickly” chatter. Afterward I realized that time is relative; it passes neither quickly nor slowly … it just passes. And who calls the shots? Folks, we can get what we want or just get old, not only chronologically old, but really, really old.

Grace Murray Hopper, a pioneer in computer science, aptly said, “A ship in port is safe, but that’s not what ships are built for.”

By increasing our vistas, new interests may come our way or old possibilities may resurface. And who knows, someday you may read the following headline in this paper: “Celia I., private eye, cracks cold case.”

Wouldn’t that be a hoot!

Ms. Iannelli is a resident of Jamesport.