What grips me about the character is that he challenges ignorance of a particular kind… one that links one thing with another too easily, and too completely – that fails to see the people beneath the rubble of politics validated as worthy by a zero sum cultural mindset. It has felt to me lately that we are societies at war constantly, even at the micro levels, seeking out daily bloodshed in comments sections and Facebook bombing one other with causes. Are we covering despair and fear, by “raising awareness?”
Or maybe we, like stars, are just naturally moving farther from one another. Maybe that’s OK. Maybe a new way of being is asked for… something elegant that embraces our increasingly haunting aloneness (Her and Gravity being great stabs at this question), as well as the chaos of diversity. Something that makes way for intimacy across great distances.
In the maybe-only-slightly-bigger scheme of things, only billions of years from now, our Milky Way will merge with Andromeda Galaxy, and stars will be clustered closer than we can conceive of. Should human or other beingly eyes emerge again after that transition, the vast dome sky will be thickly blanketed by starlight, leaving those eyes to connect tiny shapes of darkness, rather than distant twinklings of light. If I understand relativity (which I don’t, completely), from the perspective of light itself, nothing moves or happens or exists, at all.
Who is served by our playing small?
My way used to be, to hook on to Genius where I found him, and fall through a trap door. That wasn’t quite right. I have some time to contemplate a new expectation now – not settling, not fixating, preserving tenderness, admitting that I appreciate – even need – shelter. But shelter more like crab shells that need the sky, the sand, and expanse of sea, as much as me.
“She had studied the universe all her life, but had overlooked its clearest message: For small creatures such as we the vastness is bearable only through love.”
Oh yeah, Brody.
There are hundreds of conflicting desires and stories erupting from Brody at once, but the image that stays with me, is that of a man in prayer, nurturing a devotion he cannot share. Waking early, tiptoeing out, finding his sajjāda and washing his hands, he and that moment are stripped of agendas, submitting to an intimate mystery. It is a ritual preserved through many rings of time, and one that many in my country see as inherently dangerous. That we’re all engaged in millions of rituals every day, every minute (most of them mindless, unchosen and unexamined), eludes the willfully closed-minded.