I went out to see this movie because I think that Garry Marshall & company did a wonderful job on Pretty Woman, and I expected another great show. I was not disappointed. But theater often mirrors life, at least the theater I visit often does, and so I began thinking. Thinking leads to pondering, and pondering generally leads me to writing. Thus, this bit of reflection.
I've been around for a while. Seen a few things, been a few places. By no means have I been everywhere, nor seen everything, but some things.
Love is an interesting emotion. Especially for bards. When I say "I love you", I cannot conceive of a time limit. I don't love you for this year, or for this decade, or for this century. I love you. It is a timeless emotion, at least, it is in my world. So, if and when I ever get married, I'm planning on removing the "'Til death do us part" bit from my vows, at least -- because my love won't stop just because the person I love is gone. I've lost people I love -- my paternal grandfather, a couple friends from college -- but it doesn't stop my love for them. It just means that the person I love has moved on to a better place. And I've lost people I was romantically involved with -- I still love them, but the love has cooled to a fraternal affection from the heated passion of romance.
Where am I going with this? I'm not really sure. It's late at night, and I should probably be going to work soon, but I needed to write. And I don't even know if anyone will ever read this. (If you do, and care to comment, feel free to mail me.) But I figure that for someone to know me, it might be interesting for them to get inside my head for a bit. So I write. And I publish it online.
So the basic premise of the movie is a cynical reporter who's out to save his job by writing about the bride who runs from the altar -- and he ends up wooing her and watching her run out on him as well. One scene, in particular, rang true for me. That was when Ike (Richard Gere) said to Maggie (Julia Roberts) that she wasn't being accomodating or supportive, she was being a chameleon. (paraphrased) That she didn't even know how she liked her eggs -- she just had whatever her current beau ate.
I wondered, at that. Wondered how many of us actually know ourselves, and let others know us. Wondered how much of what we show others is actually a mask and how much of that mask we are even aware of. It's interesting, as well, that the more a person sees beyond the mask, the more we tend to get defensive around that person -- somehow, they don't see what we expect them to see, and it makes us uncomfortable. In some cases, it may be so uncomfortable that we start avoiding that person altogether. But it is these people who we should spend the most time with -- as long as they accept us; if they do not or can not accept the real person behind the mask, then it is better for all concerned that contact be reduced or broken off altogether. If they do accept us, though, it is an amazing thing.
The acceptance of our true self, behind the mask, whether in part or in whole, is something that can bring out our fullest potential. While we are working on maintaining our masks, we spend valuable time and effort on keeping this carefully constructed image together. Instead of spending time with our fellows, we try to find a way to separate ourselves from them, while maintaining the illusion of closeness.
I don't know. I believe that the masks can come down. "It can't rain all the time." --Hangman's Joke, The Crow. But the masks are comfortable -- and we fear discomfort. To let others see ourselves, we must also see ourselves, and this can be quite disconcerting. But if we never let the masks down, we will never know true closeness, and that would be a wretched existence.
May you have the strength to allow others to see behind your mask.
And may you never thirst.
I remain, as always,
In service to His dream,
--The Wandering Bard--
01 August, 1999