10:30 pm was eerie at my house. As the bass note echoed throughout the house and the LOST graphic swirled to meet us one last time, everyone got up and silently and numbly left. No conversation. No reaction – either positive or negative. One of my daughters tweeted later “she was still lost.”
As I read the Twitter reactions, it seems a mixed bag. One tweet: “I’m so glad I bailed on LOST back in season 3! Writing yourself into a corner without an escape plan is just not a good idea.”
I totally disagree.
To me, it was the best television season finale of my life. I vividly remember myriad series finales tinged with bitter disappointment.
I found the LOST finale brilliantly satisfying yet filled with paradox. And I’m totally okay with that. Here’s why…
First, every one of my predictions came true. I’m quite happy – and possibly a little smug – about that. Especially the first one.
“I think all the characters left alive will return to the real world realizing life leads to freedom from the fear of death, which in turn is the freedom to live. They will have a new understanding of what it means to live in the moment, neither anticipating the future nor regretting the past.”
Once you clarify the meaning of life and death, you will be able to trust them both. People that can’t distinguish between life and death are doomed to live on the island – forever.
Every human situation is a mixture of both life and death. A happy sadness. A delicious agony. And the big truths are usually complicated. The producers had enough guts to write themselves into a corner. Great writers (and great dreamers) do it every day.
We are a paradox of darkness and light, life and death, insecurity and security, weak and strong, coward and hero. Every action we perform has some quality of life to it, and yet a foreshadowing of death.
When we realize and accept there is nothing perfect in the world, as Jack did, we find peace in the world. It was a beautiful thing to watch Vincent the dog, sensing peace and contentment, come and lay beside Jack after his heroic deed.
It takes a heroic act of courage and extraordinary humility to accept a paradoxical world. Suffering breeds these qualities. Whether we like it or not. Deep suffering results in deeper joy – if you “choose” to let it. Let the words of Jacob reverberate “it’s your choice”.
After fifty years of life’s ups and downs, I am beginning to understand the paradox. I’m not saying I like it – just that I better understand it.
So for this older and grizzled me – the polar bears, number sequence, Ben’s schizophrenia, time travel, and myriad other unanswered questions are inconsequential. Fun, imaginative and entertaining, yes – but inconsequential.
What is consequential are the human universals.
We do live in a “sideways” world. A place that is imperfectly perfect. The paradox of life and LOST gives me hope. I have not suffered – whether self-inflicted or not – for nothing.
“I want to live realizing life leads to freedom from the fear of death, which in turn is the freedom to live. I want to have a new understanding of what it means to live in the moment, neither anticipating the future nor regretting the past.”
And that, my friends, is a paradox I choose to get LOST with.
What do you think?