The Phantom, Monk and Me

I love to watch a good movie - especially one that involves complex characters. The Phantom of the Opera is one such movie. Saw it on Christmas a few years ago and was blown away by the music even though I have seen the stage production several times. Watching the movie I came away better understanding the Phantom. The Phantom, like most of us, is pretty complex - hard to dismiss as just an evil person.. in the end someone more tragic than evil.. more wounded than wounding.. if you can look past the mask.

And in the vein of strange characters I think of the obsessive compulsive Detective Adrian Monk (of the USA network show "Monk").. this TV detective show junkie has been watching it since it first aired.. there are two more weekly installments left in the series. A few years ago, to my horror, I began to identify with Monk. I saw myself in Monk's obsessiveness and became quite uneasy when I realized how compulsive I am at times.. just ask my wife.. I can be one compulsive and obsessive dude

But I wasn't always this way - at least I didn't think so. From my mid-20s to my 40s I fancied myself a person who lived life free from the bondage of religious rules. Then one day as I was entering the parking garage at work I became aware of something - I had rules of where I parked ... almost always parked in the same spot or at least the same area. This was the beginning of an awakening of sorts - the beginning of a terrifying journey of self discovery analogous to a trip into the Phantom's labyrinth.

The Phantom, Monk and Me - all a lot more complicated than I want to admit. Most of my life I lived in the Black and White world of Right and Wrong. I really didn't like color because, like the gray areas in life, color is not absolute ... it does not fit neatly into a rigid paradigm ... and most of all I cannot be 'in control' if I cannot separate black from white and right from wrong ... with color it is all irrelevant. The Phantom can be both good and bad.. Monk can be have a sickness and yet be healthy.. and I can be okay even when I don't have all the answers.. it is not an either/or proposition.

I think that when we stop looking for the black and white in life we might begin to appreciate the full spectrum of life's color.. and maybe get a bit comfortable with being uncomfortable.


  1. Comfortable being uncomfortable. Sometimes I can be...depends on the setting. But I like this...

  2. Bob, what an interesting and insightful post. I've seen the movie Phantom of the Opera several times.... and I'm strangly drawn to the Phantom...he is truly intreiging.

    I never got involved with Monk! But I'm a NCIS fan.


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