Monday, August 29, 2011

What If?

I realize the world cannot be changed easily and the past is over or done or unchangeable. However, there times when I wonder what if? Perhaps I think this way because I've lived through many events, personal, historical either specifically to the United States or to the larger world.

Some people seem to need to undergo the consequences of their life's experiences to develop character or appreciation for life or perhaps to become a stronger more focused person.

Likewise, events to happen within a nation that alters it for a long time. Sometimes, some events are so traumatic that they affect the future growth or development of a nation. I wonder what direction the trajectory of our national growth and history would have been IF JFK had NOT been assassinated. Would we have pulled out of Vietnam? Would we have decreased the development of militarism in our country? Would we have found things not associated with war as the focus of our investment in our country?

I ask myself these questions because all to often we do not appreciate the possibilities that one human life can do for the rest of us. One life can affect many for good and not war and fear mongering.

When I see all the wars our country has involved itself in, I shudder at the loss of lives, opportunities for peace, invention of things that are NOT lethal. All this and more can still happen but our thinking as a nation needs to change. People in this country cannot operate on fear of the "other" the "alien" etc. I do not refer to our border issues when I say this. I refer to the reasons used as an excuse to fight wars.

I thank the powers that exist for Obama and Hilary Clinton's efforts at a new kind of diplomacy. Now that things are moving along in the Libya situation, perhaps people can focus on a better life for the citizens of the USA.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Libya Freed?

I have been out exercising, watching movies or doing just about anything to avoid watching or listening to the news. These days the news depresses me as I realize there is very little I can do to impact the world for the better.  I just learned via Al Jezeera and the Huffington Post that Mr. Gaddafy's sons have surrendered to the rebel forces and that soon the terrorist from Tripoli will be gone.

Well that is one less war for our country to engage in. For this I am very happy. If more of us could find ways to create peace and love for our children and grandchildren's generations, I'll be a very happy woman.

Like all things in the media, I will take this news with a grain of salt until tomorrow or later just to be assured that the war in North Africa is over. Of course, then we must pay attention to the disruption between Egypt and Israel. People with long memories and unjust causes will always exist. So wars are always a potential threat to all of us.

May God bless the human race and grant us peace. It is not as if we are aliens to one another. The only differences are those of  language and culture. Other than that, we are all human.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Colin Firth

It is true that Colin Firth is a very handsome man. I first saw him in Valmont. Later I saw him in the Arts and Entertainment channel's production of Pride and Prejudice, subsequently he was in Bridget Jones parts 1 and 2. He was charming in The Importance of Being Earnest and Love Actually. He demonstrated his comedic talent as well as his singing in the movie based on Oscar Wilde's story. But his performance in  A Single Man topped the others I'd seen him in. I even prefer this film to The King's Speech, which also demonstrated Firth's acting skill. Perhaps it is the English reserve which bursts into something else in each character he's played lately that has made an impression.

As I age, I require good movies for when the print seems to small in the books I have yet to read.

Viewing A Single Man

Tonight I actually watched the entire movie, A Single Man.  I'm glad I spent time with it because it highlighted  truths about the human condition that I'd failed to notice in my first view of the film. I believe I failed to focus on these truths or true to me experiences the first time because as often is the case distractions entered my mind while viewing the film for the first time. I engaged with many other things to truly appreciate the themes of the movie.

Although the story is about a man who has lost his partner of 16 years, the grief, the sense of loneliness, the need of human contact are true of us all. I do not need to be a homosexual male to see the grief that overtakes a person at the loss of a truly loving partner. It is hard to suddenly realize that you must continue on your own. Interestingly, in his final day, George visits an old female friend, whom he's known for many years, is propositioned by a handsome Spaniard at a liquor store ---George was buying Tanqueray Gin for Charlotte--and later George spends a good night with one of his students talking about being born alone and dying alone and in fact spending the rest of our lives alone locked in our bodies. I would say locked in our minds. By the end of the film, George has his moment of revelation that fits with his student's statement about the importance of living in the moment and relishing the joy of life whenever it comes. Connections to other humans on a deep level wind up being the things that truly matter in a human life.

I liked the movie because it shows character development throughout it. As an avid reader and movie watcher of long standing I really enjoy those films where focus is on character first and plot second. I could envision this movie with a different ending. Why because the young student becomes a possible person with whom George could begin a new chapter in his life. Yet the end is perfect because what he had with Jim was perfect. Anything else would not be better it would be survival. And in my estimation survival can be a heavy thing in one's life.

I know this because in my life I have survived to find myself alone and very much involved with thinking. Like Charlotte in the film, I no longer have a regular job. I work on line and I miss the face to face interactions with my students. Unlike Charlotte, I don't think I have the energy to deal with teaching full time again.

I see it more profoundly now that connecting deeply with friends and sharing thoughts and times that are important to them as well as to me are those nuggets of time we treasure and in fact define part of our purposes in living.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Reminders from the Past

I've made a sad realization within the past few days. So much of my life has been spent on achieving something outside of myself that I neglected to love myself as I do others. A few days ago my youngest daughter, Elizabeth, found the picture on the right, which she photographed with her cell phone camera. That is the reason the picture is so unclear. The point of this entry is that I did not recognize the young mother. I never spent time looking at myself and caring for myself. This picture is a total repudiation of how I thought of myself. It also is a total vindication of my Mother's idea that women should try to leave the house looking a little "made up".

Thank God my hair was fixed in this picture or I doubt that my Mom, who took the picture would have let me get away with unkempt hair.

My daughters do a better job of "putting on their outside faces" and of keeping themselves at a healthy weight. Unfortunately, I have neglected myself. So now I must create more time to fix up when I leave the house.

I sure hate to say this but Mom was right. I should take care of how I look for myself's sake as well as for my children.
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