Thursday, April 9, 2009

Thoughtful Thursday: Alternate Realities

Let's go in the Wayback Machine to Tuesday, shall we?

Alternate realities as portrayed by Sliding Doors, remember? Also the hotness of John Hannah, but let's move on to more philosophical observations.

I'd been thinking of the film as similar to The Double Life of Veronique, the focus of a blog called Brasserie Alizé. But it turns out they're not really that much alike. TDLOV is - well, I'm honestly not sure what it is, because I haven't seen it yet. It's on order. I've read several reviews, and it's intriguing, but I can't grab hold and characterize it for you yet.

Maybe I won't be able to do so even once I've viewed it, but I will certainly give it the old college try.

Where does that expression come from, anyway? I mean, my Mom uses it all the time, but where'd she hear it? Sigh. I am so ADD. While looking up "old college try" here might make for an outstandingly interesting post, I DID promise you something about alternate realities. Let's go back to the comments on Tuesday for more fodder to pontificate.

I don't embrace regret, but I do wonder and really, who doesn't?

(I, for one, am not going to lie to you.)

I guess I can live without knowing because despite the decisions I would do differently, I'm pretty happy to be where I landed.Delete

I actually go out with Lisa every once in a while, and I can attest she is a happy person. And a thoughtful person, in both senses of the word (kind to others and a deep thinker). So in our non-scientific poll, we have 1 who admits to wondering about other paths that might have been, but content with her lot in life.Delete

Blogger Mrs. Chili said... The bit you posted from Four Weddings gets me EVERY TIME.

Sometimes, I feel a little like I DO live in more than one reality; like somewhere, a little bit of my soul split off and took a different course and, if I'm still and quiet, I can hear the lessons it's learned transmitted back to me.

Aha! The plot thickens. We now have 2 who admit to wondering about alternate realities. Plus there's more than contentment, there's learning going on, and a reference to horcruxes (But I doubt Mrs. Chili has committed unspeakably evil acts like He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named in order to have the soul splitting; her writing is too lovely). This is intriguing. Anyone else ever have that multiple reality feeling? The transmitting reference reminds me of the Dennis Quaid movie, Frequency. Anyone else ever see that except me and Professor X?
Bee said...

That scene from Four Weddings is SO memorable, isn't it? I knew what you were referring to the second that I read "Stop all the clocks . . ."

As for alternative realities, or roads not taken, I often think about how nearly I avoided meeting my husband -- blind date; had just ended a long-term relationship, and didn't really want a new one. His English-ness decided it! And that brings me to John Hannah -- who has sweet droopy eyes.

My reason (you, too, JaPRA!) for not being prejudiced against Texans has spoken. Three out of three commenters wonder about alternate realities. And this one feels gratitude for not being on that other road. My buddies are all blessedly blissful. That makes me glad.


I loved Hannah's performance in Sliding Doors. and it was a great movie. One of the few movies I've purchased. It plays out that question we all contemplate from time to time.

As for your question, I'd have to say no. I don't believe in destiny. I think of myself as a romantic, but I guess I'm a logic bound romantic. Life is random and so never boring or predictable.

A fourth wonderer, who also seems content, and addresses the question of destiny with a shake of her head. While appreciating the charms of Mr. Hannah. :)

Lisa said...

I'm so glad you told me to come look! This made my night! I love John Hannah. And that scene in Four Weddings and a Funeral brings me to tears every single time.

This is a great post. I waver between thinking that some things happen for a reason and thinking that everything is random. I never get very far with those lines of thought before I'm flat on my face in confusion.

The John Hannah fan club is growing by leaps and bounds. I only hope that Lisa hasn't skinned her nose. Acknowledging randomness vs. believing my mother's phrase (everything happens for a reason) - those are two very different places. No wonder Lisa is bewildered. Me too. But she avoids my alternate reality question. Very slippery.

Kathy Amen said...

What was so great about Sliding Doors was that the earth-changing thing was such a minor, overlooked event! Who knows what will change our lives forever?! (And--spoiler alert--that would be a good movie to include in your list of good movie pathos, would it not?)

Kathy's the fifth to wonder about the wee things that change one's life.
She's right - it would be a good movie to include.

So I wasn't getting any male commenters, and I sort of wondered about that. Then I had what my friend Alexandre would call an "A-ha moment." I needed more delectable bait! Some beautiful woman would bring the boys running. So I replaced John Hannah with Gwyneth Paltrow, and waited, and the comments came rolling in....
from more women.

Hello, thanks for your email! First of all, I love John Hannah. Also John Cusack. I really liked Sliding Doors, from a "cinema therapy" perspective, as a great example of the low-grade emotional abuse/crazymaking/codependency that can occur in an unhealthy romantic relationship. "I can't write without you"--manipulation heaven.

Nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition.

Nancy has this great blog, Fumbling Toward Serenity:musings on the quest for happiness. I'd discovered her while preparing to write on Tuesday. She has a fun analysis of Sliding Doors on July 9, 2008. You should go visit her. She is very smart, but like most counselors, she doesn't answer your questions, just gives you some thought-provoking observations. Articulate and intelligent, but shielded from revealing anything about her own reactions. I mean, these are great points about the therapy value of the film, and will be extraordinarily helpful to me in constructing my class. But do we know whether she thinks about alternate realities or destiny? No. Still, she's AWESOME.


I like J. Hannah too. Not long after I saw Sliding Doors, I ran into him in Liberty's in London (as ya do!).

We were on the stair case. I thought it so good of him not to stop me and make a big fuss in public.

Gifted Typist makes me giggle. But I do wonder - why didn't she trip Hannah and make him live in her house forever? Not that I'm saying I would, you understand. Hey! wait a minute! Another avoider of my questions. These people are getting unruly.

dianne said...

I really enjoyed 'Sliding Doors' and yes I have often thought what my life would be like if I had chosen a different path or made different choices.
I did a post on that very same thing on my blog on March 13...I have often wondered 'what if'?
Remember that beautiful poem that the Colonel posted on Nature Diary 'Love at First Sight' by Wislawa Szymborska about parallel lives and how we might have just missed an encounter with someone we could love by a second in time, that we may have touched a door handle or rang a bell that the person had also done before us but we would never know...I have often wondered if that pesron exists for me. ♡

Dianne's response does not surprise me. Her blog, Here is My Heart, often has a wistful tone about the what-might-have-beens. So she is my sixth wonderer, and my first sometimes sad one. I hope that good things come to her. Or that she goes out and grabs some good things. But that's a topic for another day, I think; the going in search of your bliss in a sneaky way. Yes. I will share my incredible insights on that (distilled from my mother's expert advice) some time soon. I wish I could go back to Nature Diary and look at that poem she references. But the Colonel has taken the blog down, which is a very fink-like thing to do. If he doesn't want to keep posting, fine. He could simply announce that he is leaving it up as an archive, but it will not be updated. But to remove it entirely....

Anyone else out there have a favorite blog totally disappear? Why, there oughta be a law.....
Hey! What's the source of that quote? I honestly don't know. I googled it and came up with 6,810 hits. But none of them seem to answer it. Okay, the first two don't answer it. Then I got bored. Will someone please tell me?

Oh, and feel free to talk about the post too.

What was it about again?


Rachel Fox said...

Good luck with Veronique. I would have to say it is one of the worst films I have ever seen! The only scene I liked was the one with the singing...apart from that...well, I'll let you judge for yourself.

Mrs. Chili said...

I don't know about horcruxes. I don't tend to think of my soul as being a contiguous entity; part of me exists here in this body and parts of me - however many fit into the eternity of it all - are elsewhere, seeing, learning, and growing (and, occasionally, giving me important information).

What REALLY bakes my noodle is the idea that ONE CHOICE changes everything that comes after it (and the wondering if A didn't happen so that B could happen next). Would I have met my husband if I'd not met my ex? Would we have ended up with a different child than Punkin' if we'd conceived in August instead of September (or July instead of June, in the case of Beanie)?

The ripples intrigue and delight me.

Gifted Typist said...

Mmm,yes, shoulda don't the Stephen King thing with Hannah. Just think of the publicity. I coulda been famous.


dianne said...

Here is the poem I was referring to, it is such a shame that the Colonel did not leave Nature Diary as an archive we could all return to from time to time...

Love at First Sight

They both thought that a sudden feeling had united them
This certainty is beautiful, uncertainty even more beautiful

They thought they didn't know each other
Nothing had ever happened between them
These streets, these stairs, these corridors
Where they could have met so long ago?

I would like to ask them if they can remember
Perhaps in a revolving door or face to face one day
A "Sorry" in the crowd, a "Wrong number" on the 'phone?
But I know the answer - No, they don't remember

They would be surprised to know that chance
Has been playing with them for a long time now

Not quite yet ready to become their destiny
It brings thems closer and further apart
Crossing their path and stifling a laugh
Then escaping a little further away

There were signs and indications
Even if they were not recognized
Three years ago maybe or just last Tuesday
A leaf flying from one shoulder to another
Something that was lost and then found
Who knows? Maybe a ball in a hedge from childhood?

There were door handles and door bells
Where one touch covered another
Two suitcases checked in, side by side
One night the same dream, forgotten on waking

But every beginning
Is just a continuation
And the book of chance
Is always open in the middle.

by Wisława Szymborska

Kathryn Magendie said...

I am slipping on by -- saying hello -- flying on the wind -- having no regrets (okay, a few - okay more than a few, but I can live with it! )

Kathryn Magendie said...

PS - yes, as to your comment on TG blog -- I have seen Mt Hood fade- i've seen the disappearing mountains -- :)

Lisa said...

First - thank you for the link

Okay - how's this. And this might get to be too much info and people who know me would be made very uncomfortable by this, but here goes.

I got involved with someone a couple of years ago - someone I shouldn't have. About three months into our friendship, we discovered that we'd met briefly in 1987 in JFK. Weird, huh?

Could it be that we were meant to be together? Because we can't be. Are we together in another reality? Who knows. The whole thing is a muddle, though, and cannot be pursued in this life, now.

Anyway, I keep thinking there's a fictional story there to be written. I just don't know how it ends.

I feel like I just overshared. Sorry about that.