lone survivor


a friend and ii went to see “lone survivor” yesterday on the big screen (thankfully). it was definitely a bracing experience. ii’m sure there have been enough reviews written about its being based on a true story by the survivor of a mission in afghanistan although ii haven’t ready any of them. ii saw a short trailer of the actors- mark wahlberg, taylor kitsch, ben foster, and emile hirsch along with the director speaking with the author and main character marcus lattrell in a loft somewhere and ii was hooked.

ii have absolutely no desire to compare marcus’ traumatic and heroic journey to any other specifically. his abilities, determination, ingenuity, grace, and most of all his bravery are a gift he continues to share with us through his tale and his living. the human spirit that carries us along the thread of this life is so often much more resilient than our egos every allow us to be. in my opinion this is the case with marcus’ journey.

his story left me speechless (or speckless as someone had posted on facebook) with awe and humility and not at all sure of my real ability to keep trudging forward in the face of this level of adversity. there seemed to be a few layers to this story, but the intimacy of friendship and family leaps out front. our hearts adapt and change to mirror our circumstances and ii never realized what a survival mechanism this is. becoming a part of the military sector requires adaptation in order to stay alive. training is hard, but it is only practice for the actual work which can be both waiting and actual combat. ii walk from the theater quietly back to my life, but this film and it’s stories remain running in the background of my mind.

the glaring hypocrisy involved in the national mindset around how much we ask of them and how little in comparison we are willing to give them after they have given me a fresh perspective on my own participation in my own views. ii don’t believe ii have ever contemplated this with required focus.

then there is the monolithic trauma that is depicted here. my belief is that the actual event involved much more hypervigilence, fear, and confusion that was able to be captured on film. those emotions and the chemicals that race through our bodies and its receptors leave a deep dark impression like a large lightning strike on the landscape which may take the remainder of a lifetime to get beyond.

littrell’s telling of this story is one way he has addressed his demons created on that mountain on the other side of our world. my heart, our lives, and hopefully his- are stronger and wiser because of it. lone survivor – marcus littrell, his journey, his book, and the film feel like a quietly immense and abundant gift. 

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