“Quite often… it seems like we’re not getting anywhere, when in fact, we are.” What a wonderful reminder.
It is our lot in life to try to find the right ways to go, the right things to do, and the right answers.
Despite that, it can seem that we spend a lot of our time on trivialities, sometimes repeating the same tasks or thinking the same thoughts endlessly. It is easy to grow to feel that we are at a standstill.
However, though not what one would expect, is it in the midst of these perceived standstills that we often think, grow, and progress the most.
One of the most strange, memorable, and enchanting movies to come out of the 1980’s, and Jim Henson’s workshop, depicts this truth time and time again. Labyrinth is a reminder that things are not always as they seem, and that it is these seemingly meaningless or difficult experiences that prepare us for the things that really matter. It also teaches us to be careful what we wish for.
Labyrinth follows young Sara, who, in frustration, wishes for her baby brother Toby, to be taken away by goblins, and has her wish granted. Sara encounters the goblin king, Jareth, and says that her wish was a mistake and asks that her brother be returned to her.
Despite the king’s advice that she should forget the baby and move on, she insists that she cannot.
He tells her that she can have her brother back if she can solve the Labyrinth and make her way to his castle at the center within 13 hours. She sets out on her quest, making friends with the cowardly gnome, Hoggle, the monster, Ludo, and the knight, Didymus, along the way. With their help, Sara is able to face the puzzles and trials that Jareth and the labyrinth place in her way, and to learn that she is stronger, smarter, and more capable than she ever realized.
Jennifer Connelly and the legendary David Bowie lead the cast, augmented by the incredible puppetry work of Jim Henson and the Jim Henson Company. Together, they were able to create a fantastical and compelling world suitable to dazzle adults and children alike with an unforgettable soundtrack, most of which is performed by Bowie himself.
While 2020 was a year full of trials, hardships, frustrations, confusion and the aforementioned standstills, it was also a year full growing, and changing for me. With my invitation to unite our families in watching Sara find her way through the labyrinth and learn about what matters most in her life, I extend an invitation to each of us to begin this new year looking back at all we have been able to overcome, changing, and telling the past, as Sara tells King Jareth, “you have no power over me.” (Wood is a Serve Daily contributor.)