Monday Morning Musings:
“but looking through their eyes, we can see
what our long gift to them may come to be.
If we can truly remember, they will not forget.”
–Miller Williams, “Of History and Hope”
“Manliness consists not in bluff, bravado or loneliness. It consists in daring to do the right thing and facing consequences whether it is in matters social, political or other. It consists in deeds not words.”
a holiday based on Celtic and Christian traditions,
Americanized by collecting and eating as much candy as possible,
we see a Swedish movie
followed by dinner at an Indian restaurant
where the Diwali candles
from the celebration the night before are still on display.
(Multi-culturalism at its best.)
In the near-empty theater,
two women choose the seats directly behind us to talk—
throughout the movie,
fortunately, not too loudly.
The plot of the movie is familiar,
the curmudgeonly old man turns out to be not-so-curmudgeonly,
but the way the story is unveiled, and the acting itself
make it fresh.
We care about this man
who does not know how to show his emotions,
except through anger, scorn, and impatience,
His father did not cry or show much emotion either,
though he loved his son,
love shown by teaching him how to repair Volvos
and how to behave decently while cleaning train cars.
Ove, the old man, learns to love again, even while planning suicide,
helped by a pregnant Iranian refugee,
he learns again the bonds of friendship.
Both words and deeds are important.
We go to another movie about a man.
This time without a father, poor, black, gay
living with his drug-addicted mother.
It could full of clichés, but instead,
it is a bleak, but perhaps hopeful movie,
a poem of a movie, lyrical, with magical cinematography,
a great score, and wonderful performances.
The camera lingers on faces and places in this
focused completely on its characters,
though it deals with universal themes,
and moonlight and the healing power of water.
Three different actors portray the main character in three episodes,
as the boy, known as “Little,” the teen, Chiron, and the man, “Black.”
The film never preaches or moralizes,
but the theme of what it means to be a man is central.
He is bullied because other kids sense he is gay, different,
not one of the pack.
A local drug dealer becomes his father figure,
a strong man, who does evil, but also acts with kindness.
a mixed, flawed being.
Little/Chiron/Black’s friend admits to “wanting to cry” but not actually crying,
because boys don’t cry, but he is also tough and tender.
My husband says to me, “I didn’t want the film to end.
I want to know what happened after the end.”
We walk around Old City,
I see this sign
Sign written on a trash can in Old City, Philadelphia
I wonder about it
This message to the world.
I think about a candidate who uses his position of power
to spread hate, to bully and denigrate people.
It seems obscene here, walking past these historic buildings,
where men and women have fought
for freedom and liberty.
The “Founding Fathers,” not perfect men,
some held others in bondage,
but still, they gave us a foundation
that it troubles me to see trampled
by ignorance and hate.
It took courage for them to sign the document, declaring independence.
I think of my own father,
not a perfect man either,
a man who enjoyed his power as a man,
he was the prince of his family,
his mother and sisters doted on him,
and he enjoyed having women wait on him,
yet he thought his daughters—and granddaughters—
could do anything,
be anything they wanted.
And yes, I saw him cry.
My dad and I when I received my Ph.D.
Women are not better than men
and men are not better than women
white is not better than black
black is not better than white.
Love is love is love is love is love is love is love.
Girls and boys,
need to know
need to learn from history,
the good and the bad
to remember, so that they will not forget,
so none of us will forget
to show with words and deeds
to do the right thing.
We saw A Man Called Ove. And we saw Moonlight.
Don’t forget to vote. #LoveTrumpsHate