Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?
Never has the late, great Mary Oliver’s inquisitive poetry felt more appropriate, the final line from her poem “The Summer Day” repeatedly floating throughout Clouds, the inspired story of the late, great Zach Sobiech. The movie follows the final days of the teenage boy whose cancer diagnosis becomes more of an impetus to live fully and with grace as opposed to surrender or punishment. It’s a story of doing your best with the hand you’ve been dealt, as opposed to folding altogether.
Passing just weeks after his 18th birthday, the Minnesota miracle man — check that Disney reference before you go — spent his last days on this Earth teaching plenty of grown-ups that all we have for certain is this very moment, and not much else, but even more not to waste it.
Zach’s musical claim to fame, the movie’s namesake song “Clouds” talks about being down (down, down) and needing someone to lift him up (up, up). And as the story goes, Zach, played beautifully by Fin Argus, shows us how to fly a little higher and, by the end, leaves little pieces of himself with each and every one of us long after the movie is done and even longer since he’s left us.
The Justin Baldoni sophomore directorial, debuting Friday, Oct. 16 on Disney+, offers people a chance to know Zach and share in his inspiring story so that they, too, may more seriously consider what this life means and what they hope to do with it by the end. It’s also a shuddering reminder that none of us are immune to an ending, falling on the heels of a year that has humbled so many and continues to do so every day. All the more reason Zach’s story is a necessary one.
As you continue to drift through the days of your wild and precious life, see if you, too, can drift up, up, up towards greatness. There in the clouds is where you’ll find Zach.
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