Because all experiences are valuable.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

The Curious Case...

It is finally April. Am I the only one who thought March seemed to go on a very long time? And whatever happened to coming in like a lion and going out like a lamb? A 42 degree lamb, apparently. Oh well, if I can't find something better to write about than the weather, I should hang it up...

Last night, MJL and Reid and I watched The Curious Case of Benjamin Button. One of MJL's favorites, and Reid had seen it once and loved it, but I had not seen it. I'm thinking my impression begets a blog on The Curious Case of Sylace's reaction to Benjamin Button. I was very moved by the subtlety of the cinematography and the art direction. You know I can't watch a movie without analyzing the costuming, and I thought the design aesthetic was striking in its functional simplicity. Restraint was key, and yet historical accuracy was precise. In other words, there was nothing jarring that took me from the emotional and psychological elements of the character development. So why would I call this a curious reaction?

I had heard all good things about the movie from those I knew who saw it. I meant to go see it in the theater, but it just slipped by me. Reid told me I simply had to see it, but to be sure and take kleenex with me; it had even made him tear up.  Some other girlfriends told me it had them bawling at the end. Now, I had read some reviews that said it was too long and drawn out, and I had heard reports from male friends that they didn't enjoy it and just didn't get it...but those were mostly from sources I view as the general antithesis of my moviegoing opinion, so in effect, those were positive reviews as well!  (lol, Sylace logic)

I didn't cry. I didn't tear up. I did not perceive any sadness in the situation between Daisy and Benjamin. Watching her hold him, a small baby, as he died- and in full and final recognition of Daisy- I was possessed of an inspiring sense of rightness, of the obviousness of the truths of human experience. I said to MJL that I have thought before, often, of how I wished I could experience those I love as babies- to hold them for just a minute. In the calm of the infinite vulnerability of an infant, and the way they look at you with complete and utter trust- and I look back at them with unconditional love and protection. I had this experience twice with my boys. I know I will have it again some day with grandchildren. It is a future goal of mine to be a fabulous grandma. It is only fair...because I only got one, but she was worth her weight in gold. And my mother was so good for my boys as a grandma.

If you had asked me a year ago if I ever had a thought for being a grandparent, I would have said jokingly...only the fears of a mom of two teenage boys. But no, the thought would have been a distant future consideration. I have a lot to do on my path yet, but I know with all possible confidence that I am on the right one, because Benjamin Button evoked in me a sense of generativity.

We learned in Human Growth and Development that Erikson's Psychosocial Crisis of Middle Adulthood is one of Generativity vs. Stagnation.  Generativity is evidenced by growing in concern for future generations, what one is achieving and providing for them. Stagnation is increasing frustration with a lack of  one's own productivity that actually results from egocentricism and unwillingness to help society move forward. Successful resolution of this psychosocial crisis results in the adaptive ego quality of Caring. If this is mumbo jumbo to you, don't worry. I would have known what it meant before this class, but I still might have rolled a jaundiced eye heavenward at the concept of the psychosocial crisis. But now I am a convert. There are some valid additions to be made to Erikson's theories, but I think they are frickin' genius. How's that for sociological commentary?

I really loved the movie... I can't put it in my top 25 or anything, largely because I adore Forrest Gump. I should do another post on my expose of Winston Groom as the perpetrator of a thinly disguised "homage" (I'm being nice!) to this brilliant short story by F. Scott Fitzgerald. I read both the book of Forrest Gump, and the sequel... and I have to tell you that the first book was marvelous, and the second was just awful. I couldn't figure it out!! Why was the sequel so poor? Now I know!! Because Fitzgerald didn't write a sequel to Benjamin Button. However, the merits of Tom Hanks, Gary Sinise, Sally Field and Robin Wright propel Forrest Gump into my top 25 in spite of my new knowledge. Maybe I am being unfair... there is a concept that says that an idea will emerge when it is time, and if one person doesn't bring it forth, another will. It explains why so often an invention  or critical step forward is reached by more than one person, independent of each other, at the same time...

Victor Hugo, a visionary the likes of whom society rarely sees, said this, "Nothing else in the world... not all the armies... is so powerful as an idea whose time has come."

I am experiencing an enthralling confluence of ideas whose time has come for me. The always present, but finally awakened, nurse in me wants to hold you all with unconditional love and protection.

And to you, MJL, inspiring me yet again with your triumph over egocentricism...I don't care how you got to be who you are or how long it took you, or what you had to wade through to get here, I only thank God that you did.  
"The greatest happiness of life is the conviction that we are loved; loved for ourselves, or rather, loved in spite of ourselves." - Victor Hugo

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