I almost got hit in the crosswalk this morning by an SUV. I was in the right, so I threw my hands up and stood my ground as the maniac drove around me (my light was green, he was running a red light). It was only two minutes later when I had calmed down that I realized how stupid I was. You can be dead and still be right.
Today, when I think of a teacher’s chalk covered hands, or a painter’s multicolored features, or even a mechanic’s greased fingernails, something sparks. I see their hands and I know that they’ve the spent day creating something, building something, making something work and it shows with what’s left on their hands.
If I could only use one word to describe this movie, it would be “lovely”.
It is a movie full of nooks and crannies, with the story gently bubbling up to fill all those spaces.
Every now and then, it fills in a spot I hadn’t realized was there. And I am surprised and delighted. And I am also filled.
It’s the story of four women, strangers living in a cold and rainy and dreary London. They come together through newspaper advertisements to rent a castle in Italy for the month of April. Each lady is looking for a temporary escape from her London life, and in one way or another, they are running from their loneliness and unhappiness.
In one of my favorite little scenes, it’s raining when two of the women get off the train in Italy. Rose asks, “How is this different?” Lottie answers, “Well…this is Italian rain.”
On the one hand, wherever you go, there you are.
On the other, sometimes we do need the illusion of distance between ourselves and our problems in order to get a better perspective on both.
But there’s one scene that stops me in my tracks every single time. It’s a moment in which Lottie and her husband Mellersh have finally come together as a couple. Mellersh brushes Lottie’s hair as he talks to her, a loving gesture that conveys the intimacy bourgenouing between them.
Mellersh: In my profession…a man is always helped by having a clever and attractive wife. Lady Caroline thinks you’re attractive…so do I. —Lottie: Do you think I’m attractive, Mellersh? Mellersh: Yes I do. One thing puzzles me though…why weren’t you attractive sooner?
This always makes me think about the relationships in my life and how I value and nurture them.
And how I don’t.
Am I seeing the beauty that’s right in front of my eyes? Or do I need to adjust my perspective?
The passive American consumer, sitting down to a meal of pre-prepared or fast food, confronts a platter covered with inert, anonymous substances that have been processed, dyed, breaded, sauced, gravied, ground, pulped, strained, blended, prettified, and sanitized beyond resemblance to any part of any creature that ever lived. The products of nature and agriculture have been made, to all appearances, the products of industry. Both eater and eaten are thus in exile from biological reality. And the result is a kind of solitude, unprecedented in human experience, in which the eater may think of eating as, first, a purely commercial transaction between him and a supplier and then as a purely appetitive transaction between him and his food.