I am just home from watching the film, “About Time” with Bill Nighy, Domhnall Gleeson, and Rachel McAdams. Yea, this sounds as if it will be a movie review, and maybe it will. It was greatly enjoyable. I was laughing loudly and weeping copiously, for reasons that are probably quite universal, but felt incredibly personal. It involves a young man’s struggle to create a happy life through a rather unique ability which effects his attempt to find love, build a family, and see the great love of his father. It includes a piece of music which is incredibly significant to me and the movie was recommended to me by a person of equal significance from whom I have not heard in a great while.
But the most significant part of the movie was its final point. That the benefit of being able to travel back in time, attempting to redo mistakes or make things “better” is not in the actions, the attempts, or the changes, but in appreciating the now, the small little moments that so often are lost to us because we are so busy creating something in our heads.
On the Quote Page here there is a fitting one by Marcel Proust, “I watched the trees gradually withdraw, waving their despairing arms, seeming to say to me, “What you fail to learn from us today, you will never know. If you allow us to drop back into the hollow of this road from which we sought to raise ourselves up to you, a whole part of yourself which we were bringing to you will fall forever into the abyss.” Another, from whom I can not, at this time remember, is “There is grace and beauty constantly falling all around you. Put away your umbrella.”
We can not expect to treat pain and loneliness with joy and comfort. Not hearing from someone you love…hurts. Not being able to see someone you looked forward to visiting is a disappointment. But these things happen. What I can say is that within and through all the moments of pain and loneliness, sorrow and regret exist unrelated moment of beauty and joy, if we are open to them. These moments are the grace which allows us to exist. They are the nutrient that allows us to be loving confident creatures, willing to step forth to fully live our own lives. They give us the strength to move through the criticism of those who do not understand, and accept that we are the only ones who can live our lives, so we might as well do it fully our way.
Just as it is true that when we stand by a lake looking at the reflection of the moon on the water, truly no one else can see the exact reflection that we see, these moments of grace and beauty are there totally for us, no one else. That is profound, and something for which we should be creditably grateful.
Enjoy your Thanksgiving