Thursday, May 22, 2014

On Contemplating Life, Art and Purpose

Yesterday I finished watching a movie called Before Midnight.  It's the third movie in a trilogy directed by Richard Linklater, starring Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy.  I still remember watching the first movie in the 90's when I was in high school.  It was a vhs rental from the local video store.  A treat for a lonesome friday night when my friends weren't doing anything, and my dad was playing in his band at a bar until the wee hours of the night.  Before Sunrise had an impact on me then, and it still does today.  I was enthralled with the scenery and conversation in the movie, like I was transported into a moment of someone else's life.  I loved the grittiness of it.  How the characters weren't physically or mentally (who is) perfect.  It made me want to get out of my comfortable skin and go traveling.  I wanted to see old cities, hop on trains, drink wine in parks and banter about life. I wanted to be spontaneous.

After watching the third installment last night, I started to become obsessive about what's important to me in life again.  Sometimes these things get lost on our paths.  It's also hard to be you, and only you after you become a mother.  Somewhere between diaper changes, night feedings, lack of sleep, you can lose yourself.  It's not to say motherhood strips you of your identity, but rather it alters your life and how you perceive what's important.  In Before Midnight, Celine and Jesse have a monstrous fight that appears as a fire that keeps getting more kindling tossed into it.  I loved watching it unfold and viewing the male and female perspectives in their relationship.  I found that I couldn't exactly side with one person or the other.  At one point Celine expresses that there was a point in her life where she created.  She liked to sing and play guitar.  Jesse remembers when she did that, and tells her that he loved that about her and that she could still do that.  Celine disagrees, because her responsibilities of being a mother and wife override her passions.  I can understand that too.  There was a time in my life where I loved to play the ukulele, attend yoga classes, and swirl a hula hoop around.  I haven't don't much of those things, or other hobbies of mine since my daughter was born.  I miss doing, creating, and connecting with communities.  But on the opposite spectrum, I look at the things that I have done in life and think how lucky I am.  I see my family and love them to pieces.  I tell myself balance will come.  I just need to stick it out and live heavily on one end of the spectrum for a while until I am less needed, and I can explore me again. 

I really enjoy Linklater's films, especially the 'Before' series.  I love hearing Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy discuss their passions about acting, script writing and progression of time and aging.  Even though they are not exactly in my age grouping, I still feel like they are apart of my generation.  Somehow, that is important to me.  I want to exist around people who know and remember what it's like to not have cell phones, google, email, gps, online shopping... all those luxurious conveniences that I think are slowly destroying many things that are key in life.  Things that are important, like communication and community.  Simply said, his movies make me think, and remember what's important in life.  I'm such a sucker for these arty movies. 


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