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Old 03-21-2010, 06:38 AM
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This is the Avatar Testimony thread, post what was your life like before Avatar, how you came to see Avatar, and how the movie affected you and how you have changed because of Avatar. This is my testimony (I wrote this a while back because I felt it is a necessity to write down my feelings and emotions. I did mention the time I joined the Avatar Forums, but things have obviously changed since I wrote this (this was written back in early January).
I'd love to hear all your testimonies! Sorry about the long read.

Before December 18th my life was on a rollercoaster. I was just letting life take me wherever I was destined to go, a course built by someone else. A course where I just sat down and let it take me wherever the owner designed for it to take me. My life was happy. I had no reason to be sad, upset, or depressed. I graduated high school in 2009, and started college in August of 2009. I was going to Universal Technical Institute to become an auto technician, because I loved cars and heard it’s a great career to have if it’s something you love. Every day when I started college was the same; wake up at 6:30am, clock into work at 8:00am, work till 12:00pm, start class at 12:45pm, and get out of school at 7:00pm and go home. I was fine with school, I love learning new things everyday that I can put to use in my future job and at home, but work was a little blah, boring. Same thing every day for four hours (I know could be worse); receiving files, organizing them, and filing them away in cabinets. That’s for $8 an hour, although I couldn’t complain it was a job where I could earn money. So that was my life on coast, pretty much satisfied with almost everything but for the most part happy. I am 19, single, and never had a girlfriend, so I had an empty feeling in my life. Never hearing a girl say to me “I love you” with all her heart. It’s a dream that I have, and I know one day will come true.

It was a Monday at work when I saw an advertisement for Avatar coming out on Thursday, and the picture made it look incredible! I haven’t heard much about it; I saw a commercial for it a while ago but forgot about it. I figured that through trial and error that I enjoy movies was better when watching it open minded, not knowing anything about the movie, so I told myself no trailers and no research, I just had to wait until Friday opening night. But I just wanted a picture for my computer (see I’m already breaking a rule) so I found a picture of Neytiri (whom I did not know of yet) crouching during the scene when Jake is fighting to make a tsahaylu with his Ikran (which I did not know of yet as well). But she (Neytiri) captivated me! Everything about her was so attractive! I saved it as my desktop background, and the more I looked at her I started to have these fantasies in my head (not sexual mind you, but just spending time with her) then I started coming up with stories about us. So I opened up a new Word Document and started typing. I wrote all throughout the week. All the time during work and college I would think about that beautiful alien girl, fulfilling my romantic fantasy of our relationship building, and us confessing our love for each other, to have her want me, need me. It satisfied my soul to write my feelings down.


Finally Friday came. The entire day I could not get the idea that I was finally seeing Avatar out of my mind. It seemed like the longest week of my life. Constantly I would think back to the alien girl (I named Kinirah in my story) and me and our love. I wondered what she would actually be like in the movie. I wondered how this movie will make me feel…


My class ended at 7:00pm, and the movie theater was a couple blocks from my school and the showing was at 9:00pm. From my school to my house was about 15 minutes, and the theater was in the complete opposite direction, so I decided to go to the theater and wait it out, maybe talk to some other people in line (I love arriving early for movies to wait in line outside the theater door, seriously I do). So I arrived and bought my ticket for Avatar in 2-D at 9:00pm (at the theater I went to new movies get huge screens as it is, not as big as the IMAX 3-D screen [which is 6 stories tall at the same theater] but way bigger than the other screens) and I was so far the only one in line for the movie. So I listened to some trance music from my iPod while I waited (I love techno, trance, electronic, calm relaxing music by the way). Finally 9:00pm came and they opened the doors. My heart race increased as I walked through the doors and sat down in my seat. I asked myself now “did you know what you were getting yourself into?” I did not know what I was getting myself into when the movie began.


About two hours and forty minutes later the title Avatar came up onto the screen, I See You started to play and the credits rolled. I sat in my chair absolutely stunned. “Did I see… did I really just see what I just saw!?” I asked myself. I was absolutely blown away, his movie was incredible! My feelings were off the charts, my emotions overflowing so much I didn’t know what to do! All I could do was just sit there and think, but my thoughts were all over the place! Next thing I remember I’m at home in my bed, but I couldn’t sleep, the movie played over and over and over in my head! I tossed and turned all night long, but I found no peace from the movie, and I was okay with it. The movie had me stunned out of my mind! The days progressed, and still I had sleepless nights, I had to see the movie again and again, I saw the movie about four times just that week! The planet Pandora was a place that I could only see in my imagination and on the T.V. screen. I close my eyes and I see the Bioluminescence of Pandora. To me it’s heaven. The Omaticaya people are a clan I wish I could live with. Just the way their lives went everyday was to me paradise. They didn’t surround themselves with asking for things in return, no greed for money, no dispute between each other. They did things without asking for a reward. They didn’t have drama between them (until Jake Sully showed up at least but they got it all situated). Jake is now my role model, because no matter how dark the situation seemed, no matter how hopeless, he kept going. He kept persevering to fight for what he thought was right, for the girl he loved. He fought against his own race because of what he believed in, and that takes true courage! Neytiri is my dream girl. Everything about her in the film was incredible. Not only were her outer appearances breathtaking, but her inner beauty, her personality, her passion to fight for what was right, to protect the ones she loved. She struck such a vibe in my heart and soul, when she mourned over her father’s death, when she was crying when the RDA destroyed the Tree of Voices, when Jake explained why he was really there and she felt betrayed, my heart shattered into a million pieces. I cried at those scenes, and so many other scenes in the movie. But Neytiri stole my heart and soul, she always ends up in my mind whenever I close my eyes or my mind starts to wander. Everything about her was so beautiful, internally and externally. The relationship Jake and Neytiri shared was so beautiful; it struck my heart and soul deep. Their relationship is relationship I hope to one day have. They loved each other so much; I smile every time I think of them together. Their soul connection for each other, the way Neytiri risked so much for Jake, like when Tse’tsu was standing over Jake when his Avatar was unconscious and Neytiri threw him and crouched over Jake, ready to attack anyone who threatened Jake. How Jake gave up so much to save what was truly beautiful. The mate scene was so beautiful and so well played out. I could go on forever. The overall movie was absolutely breathtaking… literally. Sometimes I will think back to the movie, and sometimes I will feel short of breath and get major chills. An example is the scene in the beginning when Jake says, “Up ahead is Pandora…” and it shows the planet Pandora. I think back to the movie, and the epic adventure Jake has… he has no idea what he was getting into, like me before seeing the movie. His love, his hate, his sadness, meeting Neytiri, his life will never be the same again, and it takes my breath away to think he’s living the life I’ve always wanted. I have never cried in a movie before, but I cried all seven times I’ve seen this film. I was devastated when the RDA shot down Hometree, I cried when Jake and Neytiri mate, I cried during the war scene, I cried at so many other scenes, not just because a lot of it is sad, which it is, but because it’s also happy. Jake living the life I dreamed of living, him being happy, Neytiri being happy, it’s all so incredible to me.
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Old 03-21-2010, 06:38 AM
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After the first night of seeing Avatar I had sleepless nights, thinking about Jake and Neytiri and their deep emotional love for each other, the sadness throughout the movie and the happiness, both which made me cry. I would toss and turn all night, but I didn’t mind because I had a week off from college and work for Christmas break. I bought the Avatar soundtrack to satisfy my desires to see Avatar again. The soundtrack like the movie gave me feelings and emotions which I cannot explain, but not as deep as Avatar. I saw the movie a total of about four times just that week. I felt really alone in my emotions and feelings towards the movie, because none of my friends had the same feelings for it as I did. Because of that I found seeing the movie by myself a way better experience, I found it a lot satisfying to express my emotions during the movie. Then I stumbled across the Avatar Forums and never looked back. The forums are the friendliest forums I have ever been on. I can post my feelings and emotions and people won’t judge me or discourage me, but instead they will talk to me, discuss my feelings and emotions, they care. I have made numerous friends, some which are very close, and I am thankful for them, my friends here, my family, and my life (although I wish I could be a Na’vi on Pandora, but I am still thankful). And now I am joined to the Tree of Souls as well, because slowly the Avatar Forums just didn't feel like home anymore.


My life has definitely been changed because of this movie. It was a wakeup call, a slap to the face. Because of this movie I have gotten more in touch with my emotions and feelings. I let them flow a lot more. I cried at work while listening to the songs Quartich and Destruction of Hometree! And it felt good! I cannot remember the last time I cried before seeing Avatar, but now every time I see Avatar I welcome my tears! I welcome my tears whenever I feel like crying. I don’t just blissfully go through my days now, I think to myself a lot more. I debate with myself in my head; I have conversations with myself, like a narrator in a movie. I take beautiful things that I see here more to heart. I cherish things more in my life that I see and experience daily. I have learned to respect peoples opinions, I try not to judge them as I would not like them judging me for my obsession for Avatar. I still wish I had some sort of adventure in my life, this movie hasn’t really left me depressed, more like down some days, some days with a mild P.A.D. Just dreaming of Neytiri and Pandora and Jakes epic adventure left me wanting more of Avatar, wanting to see it and experience it more, wanting to live the life Jake lives. Other days it leaves me really happy, just the thought of Avatar will bring a smile to my face, a chill down my spine, me to shed a tear, or leave me out of breath… or all four! I still cannot even begin to explain the emotions and feelings this movie gave me, but they were absolutely incredibly mind blowing and life changing! James Cameron has truly captured my imagination, soul, feelings, and emotions with this movie to an extent I cannot even explain. This is hands down my favorite movie of all time!
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Old 03-21-2010, 01:43 PM
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Very beautiful and moving read Stanley, oél ngáti kámeie tsmukan.

I'll keep mine short and sweet. I'm not much of a writer...

Before Avatar, my life was a world of mindless consumption and mediocriy. I would go to college, do some work, come home and play on the PS3 until I felt tired and went to bed. My life had no variety at all and I largely kept my emotions supressed, throwing up a barrier whenever I was questioned about them.

And then I saw Avatar.

This completely turned my world upside down. The Na'vi seemed to have it so much better than me. A life that was worth living. Not for the money, the big house or the fancy car, but for the emotions - for the journey of life. Something I felt was impossible in our modern culture. I just wanted to live there with the Omaticaya, to be one of them and to escape this drab, cold and ruthless world. I got hit very badly by PAD but this too was kept very, very private. And i'm not going to lie, I did (only very slightly though) consider suicide.

A few days later, I found the forums. It was a place where everyone was supportive, kind and considerate. It was the first group of people who could See me, and while I did express some of my raw emotions and I was cheered up immensely by the wonderful people, most of the really difficult stuff remained inside. I pushed it to the back of my mind and put it down to a 'phase' I was going through.

Until one night, my parents noticed my college work was slipping, I was falling behind on deadlines and they decided to have a 'discussion' with me about it. Soon enough, what began as a small chat about college work had become a full blown discussion about how I felt the world was dead, that culture and true love no longer existed and that happens on this planet is "You're born, go to school, get a job, work for 40 years to get a pension, spend the pension and die". I didn't want to live like that, even if, as my parents said "you have experiences along the way". Sure, maybe you do have experiences, but the end goal is still the same and ultimately, what have you achieved? And all you'll ever be remembered by is a plaque with your name on it. From this, I decided I wanted to do something with my life, to leave some kind of mark on the world and to help make it a better place. I decided to go volunteering in Bourneo, to help the people who live there while at the same time experiencing the beauty of our Earth. (Leaving January 2011)

It felt like a monumental weight was lifted off my shoulders and I fell very deeply into PAE, something i'm still having massively now. I now let my emotions, words and feelings flow out in various mediums, I feel all the energy that the world has to offer and i'm getting more in contact with nature, with a world we once knew. I will admit, I still wish in my heart of hearts that I could be a Na'vi. But I can, in spirit and mind, if not in physical form.

I now see that the world is beautiful and cherish every single second i'm on it.

And it's all thanks to a film that took me to a new place and, more importantly, the people who shared the experience and supported me during my darkest hour.

Oél ngáti kámeie, aytsmuakn sě aytsmuke, ulte irayo...

Irayo.
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Old 03-21-2010, 02:17 PM
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Stanley, I was thinking just last night about my journey the past few months, my chance at a second life, and how much Avatar has been such an enormous part of it all, and this morning, here was this thread! :nsmile: I really enjoyed reading your story! What an incredible thing, to have such a major shift in perspective from two hours and forty minutes in a theater.

My story started about a month before I even heard of Avatar, the beginning of November. Things had been going badly for me, my health was not good (thyroid issues) and I was fighting some major depression issues (also very likely thyroid related). My doctor was not helping, and any shift in my medication made things worse...I was slowly resigning myself to the fact that I was just going to have to feel badly for the rest of my life...that what I felt was just going be what my life was like from then on. I can hardly describe how that felt to me.

I was out of energy, out of hope, but I found a new doctor anyway, at the beginning of November. Right away he found a lump in my thyroid and scheduled an ultrasound...which led to a biopsy...which found cancerous cells in my thyroid. I'm not even 30 years old, and it looked like I had cancer. My doctor recommended surgery and set up an appointment with the surgeon so we could get the ball rolling. (To make a solid diagnosis, they needed to either do another needle biopsy...NOT FUN for the record, and if they found more cancerous cells, they would still have to take it out)...or just take the thyroid out and dissect it.)

Anyway, between the biopsy results and the first meeting with the surgeon, I found out about Avatar. The trailer looked pretty neat, very pretty, and my husband and I decided to go see it when it came out, not opening night, but the next day. I met with the surgeon the day before Avatar came out in theaters, and we set a date for surgery...January 6th. I was scared, things were moving fast, but I started to feel a lot more hope than I had in the previous two years...there was something wrong and something could be done about it...I might not have to feel bad for life!! I was poised and ready for good things to start happening.

I went to see Avatar with my husband...two hours and forty minutes later, I was shocked, stunned, shaken, moved...I don't really know quite what I was, but I was speechless. I was feeling so many things that couldn't even be named. I wanted to cry, and scream, and laugh, and hide for a week where no one could see me just to figure out what the heck had happened to me. The seed was planted and the obsession grew.

Two days later, I talked my husband into seeing it again. I felt the same after seeing it for the second time and started searching for somewhere I could talk about the movie at least...I never thought I would be sharing what I felt.

I found the iMDB boards. Bad move. I felt really abandoned and alone reading the stuff written there, but it was about Avatar so I stuck with it for a couple days. Then I found a link to the Avatar Forums on a thread there (interestingly enough!), and I was bowled away. People liked the movie and were talking about it respectfully, even talking about some of the same things I was feeling, putting emotion into words...I lurked for a couple days and finally joined the forum on New Year's Day, five days before surgery.

I was really taken in by the sense of family and community building there, and I wanted to reach out to everyone before going under the knife, but I didn't have the courage. Thyroid surgery is a pretty simple procedure, and thyroid cancer is one of the easiest to treat...I guess I felt silly for being so scared. Things could have been worse, and I didn't want to complain and be scared and ungrateful for my luck.

My days on the forum before surgery were a great comfort to me, all the same. I went to see Avatar by myself twice before going into the hospital, the first time I had ever seen a movie in the theater more than once, and the only time I had gone by myself. The second time was the day before surgery..I'll admit, I had never had any kind of surgery before and didn't know how I would react to anesthesia, and knowing the risks of any surgery...there was always a chance I wouldn't wake up. I wanted to see Avatar again and feel everything at least one more time.

Seeing Avatar and reflecting on what I was feeling, I finally realized that what I was feeling was a desperate longing to be the person I had been years ago...open, honest, patient, ready to share love and understanding, being kind and respectful...all of the things I had lost sight of over the years. I was inexpressibly sad at finally feeling that loss, and suddenly feeling the task of getting it all back again. The movie kept reminding me of it all, making me feel it again and again, pushing me to make the changes that needed to be made.

Surgery did go well, and I went home to recover, no work for at least two weeks, and of course I came right back to the forums. They helped me heal. :nsmile: They helped me forget about the slice in my neck, for a little while each day. Ultimately, I was allowed to drive once I could turn my head comfortably, so Avatar became a driving force to get me mobile again...I wanted to go see the movie again and remember it all again! As I healed, I also started feeling better. Whether that was physical or mental, I'm not sure, but I honestly didn't care much. I was feeling better! I had hoped for it, but I don't think I really believed it until I started to feel it. I kept reading such beautiful things on the forums and found that I wasn't the only one who felt such incredible emotions. I can honestly say for the first time in my life, I didn't feel alone. I felt understood. I felt I could share my emotions and let go of the fear that kept me from saying much. I was set free.

My journey has slowly taken me to the point where I *do* feel more like the person I used to be, the person I *want* to be, and the kind of person who can live without fear, say things from my heart, and try and make the most of the life I have. I live every day with the knowledge that the cancer could come back. I may not live to old age. I want to make the most of every day I have. I really do have a second chance at life, and I'm learning how to embrace it, and the messages from Avatar help me do that.

For me, Avatar has been the launching point of my second life. It is inextricably linked to me, now. The movie, the community, the messages are all a part of me now. Thanks for reading my novel, and for being my family.
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Old 03-21-2010, 02:22 PM
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Fkeu'itan, I hear you, too. I am continually overwhelmed by how much this movie has done for us. So much good has come from it. So much change, sometimes painful, but for the better.

I see you, my brothers.
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Old 03-21-2010, 02:35 PM
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I read your post Wanderling, but won't quote for space reasons.

It was again, a very beautiful read. I still feel odd calling this a 'movie' because clearly it was something far more.

Oél ngáti kámeie.
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Old 03-21-2010, 07:28 PM
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Wow, all of these are wonderful posts. For me, it was different. Before Avatar, I was worried about the world and some of the terrible stuff going on. I have a friend who was always telling me about this or that terrible things. I also was more involved in watching what was going on in politics. I noticed on some of the websites that I frequented that they were talking about Avatar but it was all negative stuff. I decided to see it for myself but sadly, those negative comments about it stayed with me so I ended up seeing it in 2D with those comments in my head.

My first time was sad. I didn't enjoy it much. However, I couldn't get the movie out of my head so I went again, by myself and watched it in Real 3D. It was much better. I went with an open mind. It started to grow on me. I noticed some of the smaller things and some of the nuances of the movie. I fell in love.

How has my life changed? Well, don't go back to those websites. They left me with a bad taste in my mouth. Also, I want to love more and be a better example of love to others. I also have become more environmentally conscious.
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Old 03-21-2010, 11:23 PM
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Wow this is some well written posts with a lot of feeling. I see big part of myself in what I read. I'll make an attempt at posting my feelings. It is so difficult for me to lay it out as I have a thousand thoughts swirling through my head. I try and not end up with a bunch of chaotic ramblings.

I also was stunned after the credits ended. I didn't know what to think. Over the next day or two I had a chance to process what I had experienced. I tried to reach out to those around me to discuss it. Other than my wife I there isn't really anyone in my life who can understand or deal with this kind of thing. After the news stories about depression, I searched and found this place. I hoped to be able to help those so afflicted as I know all too well what the depression is all about. I started reading and I was amazed at the wonderful group who make up these forums (AF and ToS). I ended up learning things about myself that I did not know at all before. I send out a big thank you to all as I have gained so much in my time here.

How has my life changed post Avatar? Well in most ways not a whole lot. I've been living the "thinking" life for a long time. The questions about life and existence that are a common theme here have been my constant companions for my whole adult life. It started with deep existential depression that only relented when I surrendered to it. I learned a lot along the way, but over the last several years I kind of forgot about a lot of it. Avatar woke me up.

It's more the small things for me. I have been much more affirmative of others. I try to show the way and lead by example. I am in a more positive frame of mind most of the time. People have noticed and commented on it. I don't try to explain. I've noticed that I am sleeping about an hour less a night. It's not like insomnia though. I feel great. I've not made any conscious effort, but I consume much less alcohol. I just don't have the desire. It's like I have new found purpose in life. I thought it was only going to be a temporary thing, but it's going on two months now. I like this much better. If I can stay here I am never ever going back. I will work every day to stay where I find myself now.
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