It's time to talk about alternate realities.
And look at a very cute Scotsman. Here he is!
(Blogging tip: frontload eyecandy to incentivize readers to keep slogging through one's very deep and oh-so-important thoughts.)
I've been trying to come up with ideas for five week Mature Learning courses I can pitch to the local community college. For some reason I thought of sad movies about death. I'd bill it as "Mourning at the Movies!" or "Cinematic Kleenex!"
Don't worry; no one I know has died recently. I just like stories that move me, and believe my students do too.
Naturally, I thought of Truly, Madly, Deeply and Always. Excellent flicks. But there's also a great scene in Four Weddings and a Funeral, when Matthew gives the eulogy for his lover, Gareth, by reciting an Auden poem. It's called Funeral Blues. Watch and listen:
It's a great sorrowful moment. The editing is brilliant. The grief-filled expressions on the dead man's parents' faces go straight to my heart. The actor, John Hannah, is brilliant. I think Auden would have loved his recitation.
John Hannah is also very cute. He reminded me of someone. I checked for other clips of him on youtube. He did a film called Sliding Doors with Gwyneth Paltrow. Watch this. Does he remind you of anyone?
I'm thinking John Cusack. Only with a really cool accent.
You're thinking, "Wait! What about the alternate realities?" That's where Sliding Doors comes in. When Helen (Paltrow) attempts to board a London Underground train, the plot splits into tandem parallel universes. In one, she catches it before the doors slide shut, and she arrives home to catch her boyfriend cheating; in the other, she misses it and her life plays out quite differently.
Who among us hasn't thought "if only this one tiny thing had happened differently, my whole life could have been different?" You, there, in the back, shaking your head "no." You are such a liar. Of course you've had that thought skitter around your mind at some point. Don't lie to me.
I'm not just talking about the conscious decision moments, small or large. The choice of which college to attend, who to marry, this salad dressing or that one, what shall we name the baby, where should we go on holiday, should I have one more drink before driving home, the red blouse or the pink one, the high road or the low road (note clever injection of Scottish lyric)...they all make a difference, to be sure. And some of us agonize endlessly about whether we've made the right decision or if things would be ever so much better if only we'd made a different choice.
This is more about externalities that influence our lives. The things over which we have virtually no control, but which affect our path. We do control how we respond to those things. So we're not totally helpless, merely buffeted by outside forces. But there is still an alteration. That is the fascinating part of alternate reality stories. You ARE fascinated, aren't you? These sorts of speculations can keep me entertained for hours. Surely you feel the same way.
Sliding Doors' logline is "What if one split second sent your life in two completely different directions?"
It's ironic, given that there's a certain convergence of plot events at the end. Which leads me to my next question: Do you think that some things are inevitable, meant to be, and that regardless of what happens, eventually they're going to occur? Do you believe in destiny?
Whoa, this is one heavy post for a Tuesday. Lucky you, Wordless Wednesday is tomorrow. But it's only a brief respite. Thoughtful Thursday is just around the corner.