A landmark attraction in Palo Alto, the Stanford Theater is a cinema treasure by all accounts. Its splendid Greek/Assyrian style interior is dazzling enough; the mighty Wurlitzer theater organ, played during the intermissions, gives an added feeling for nostalgic refreshment.
If you are bombarded by the violence and sex in today’s films, the Stanford Theater is a perfect place to retreat on weekends and enjoy the classic movies from Hollywood’s Golden Age. It showed many of my most favorite movies, from Casablanca, to Roman Holiday, to Gone with the Wind.
Last weekend, we went back to the Stanford Theater for Billy Wilder’s Sabrina (1954), featuring Audrey Hepburn and Humphrey Bogart. The movie itself is an age-old fairy tale story about a chauffeur’s daughter (Sabrina) falling in love with the estate family’s son. It is Audrey Hepburn’s timeless charm and beauty that still catches the fancy of millions of men and women.
When her father Fairchild told Sabrina (Audrey Hepburn) that she was trying to reach for the moon, Sabrina responded with such a confidence and demeanor:
“The moon is reaching for me.” *
It was like a ray of gleaming sunlight that enlightened my entire world. I found this line incredibly empowering. Like Sabrina, so often, we are looking for things from outside to fulfill ourselves. We want to find that perfect man, the ideal job, etc., but we neglect the importance of nurturing the light from within. Like Sabrina, when we strive to be the best of ourselves, instead of reaching for the moon, we are letting the moon reach for us.
It was my epiphany then, and still is today. I dream the impossible dreams, and reach for things that are seemingly beyond my reach. I will always remember this line: the moon is reaching for me!
* For those who don’t remember the detail or who haven’t had a chance to see this movie, here is a little background: Sabrina, the daughter of a chauffeur who live in a large estate of a wealthy family, was hopelessly in love with the family’s playboy son – David, who hardly noticed her existence. After her return from Paris, Sabrina evolved into a beautiful and sophisticated young lady and finally won the attention from David. Her father, very much concerned of daughter’s unrealistic infatuation for David, said to her: “You are trying to reach for the moon.” Sabrina replied: “The moon is reaching for me.”
lifestyle, movie, Audrey Hepburn, Sabrina, Stanford Theater, epiphany
I asked the dawn: “Where is the dewdrop that wet my lips last night and was suddenly gone before the sunrise?”
The dawn smiled: ‘It’s in the lightness of breezes and fragrance of flowers.”
I asked breezes and flowers: “What is the color of my love and that shall never fade?”
The breezes and flowers whispered: “It’s the color of the Spring that is dancing on the hills.”
I asked the hills: “How many more peaks and valleys on my path before I reach the blue sky?”
The hills echoed: “As many as you can endure until your inner and outer strengths lift you high.”
I asked the sky: “Why did the most innocent eyes, that are as pure as you, have to see the agony of death?”
The sky wept: “The eyes of the innocent see beyond death – they see the ocean.”
I asked the ocean: “Where is the vastness of your mercy now that I only taste the bitterness in you?”
The ocean sighed: “Without bitterness, how would you know the sweetness of joy?”
Finally, I asked God: “What is the happiness of life when it is full of tribulation?”
God answered: “The meaning of life is rejoicing in the face of adversity.”
— Dedicated to my friend Jennifer and others who face the great difficulties in life with amazing strength and grace.