By Caitlin Kelly
Have you seen Elysium yet?
It’s the summer blockbuster starring Matt (swoon) Damon, (who worked out for four hours a day to get ripped for the part) and Jodie Foster, scary-mean in gray silk Armani and speaking excellent French.
The director, Nell Blomkamp, also did District Nine. His vision is dark, terrifying, sardonic.
One detail I enjoyed was Damon’s exoskeleton, although I confess with no shame that during the gross, gory surgery scene when it’s attached to his body I covered my eyes. The sound effects were bad enough.
I kept muttering: “It’s just the Foley guy. It’s all post-production.”
But once he’s girded with his external hardware, he becomes seriously bad-ass, practically invincible.
Made me think how handy this would be.
We all have — and need — exoskeletons of one sort or another, something external that strengthens and fortifies us for the fight, whether yet another Monday morning or something much nastier and bigger.
Maybe it’s prayer.
Maybe it’s your granny’s wedding ring, worn on a necklace.
Maybe it’s your Dad’s handgun.
Maybe it’s your husband’s hugs.
Maybe it’s yoga.
Maybe it’s playing your cello/guitar/flute really loudly.
Maybe it’s a glance in the mirror at your newly-defined abs, or the curve of your pregnant belly.
Maybe it’s a small hand tucked into yours or a wet, black nose snuffling you awake at 5:30 a.m. to go for a walk, now.
I love, oh, how I love, this poem by Blake, set to music as the glorious hymn “Jerusalem” in 1916. We played it at our wedding:
Bring me my Bow of burning gold;
Bring me my Arrows of desire:
Bring me my Spear: O clouds unfold!
Bring me my Chariot of fire!
What’s your exoskeleton?
What helps you stay strong when you are scared and feeling small?