Evelyn: Nothing here has worked out quite as I expected.
Muriel: Most things don't. But sometimes what happens instead is the good stuff.
- The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel
Sunday, June 3, 2012
Everything will be all right in the end...
Everything will be all right in the end... if it's not all right then it's not the end.
- Sonny from the movie “The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel”
“Delightful” is what one of the film reviews said, and I concur. Many moons ago, when I first saw the preview with the above line, I added it to my very short “must see” list. A lovely romp through India with a stellar cast of veteran actors, it didn’t disappoint. Illuminating the “Golden Years” and the potential for a last great hurrah (or series of hurrah’s) is another reminder that it aint over til the fat lady sings. These fine people thwarted their predictable path into frailty and leapt into the absolute unknown of a life in India. Unlike so many movies these days, the dialogue languorously explored themes we all deal with which aren’t often reflected in the media. The real deal. Obviously, I am a fan of the real deal.
This film reminds me that this current iteration won’t be the last adventure of our lives. There will be many many more. Some chosen, others not so much. It’s packed with life lessons and reminders of what really matters. Stuff such as love, trust, hope, faith – and yes – that it can all end in a nano-second. In a society where we have marginalized the elderly, it’s nice to be taught. Yet, as my mom has always says, you feel like the same person inside, it’s the image in the mirror that keeps changing.
As summer is signaling its arrival, I am attempting to slow down time. Summer is quick and precious in Colorado and I don’t want to hurry through any of it. As I age, I become less and less a fan of long cold winters. And a long cold winter in Flame might be enough incentive to head south of the border. Lying in bed thinking about the movie and the passage of time, I aspired to explore “big themes” in my writing this morning. Instead of inspiration as I crack open my Mac, I feel congested. My cohort this morning is melancholy and a screaming neck which after 2 months without my tempurpedic pillow is crying foul. (And yes, I finally ordered a replacement!). With a notion of what I should write this morning, I fizzle instead of sizzle. I know it’s good practice to move through all sorts of awkward spaces as a writer, so I keep my fingers moving as an exercise in dedication – and know that many edits will follow...
As I click away, the notion of some internal clock signaling it’s “time to be in the lesson stage” of this process or some such B.S. starts to emerge. I didn’t get the handout with the proper timeline to move from one stage to another so I am not sure if this is true or not. From whence do I feel the pressure? My friends’ patience seems to continue but the reoccurring concern of wearing people out with our “process” rears its mean-spirited head. I did have one person give me an “at least you _______” statement this week. Mostly, I ignore these well-meaning sermons. “At least you got out alive”, was this one. Like we don’t already know that... I really do know I am lucky, we are lucky. And, I really do know that the most recent offerer of this platitude was well intentioned. Do I sound angry? Maybe… A little irritated? Well yes…
Where we are now compared to 2 months ago is night and day. The shock has mostly gone, the reality has set in, we are making fledgling plans and we have put down roots (and now a flagstone patio) at our land. And, it aint over. We are 2 months in. Right now, I am telling you this but mostly, I am telling me this. I need to hear it. My mantra for others has frequently been a reminder to be where they are. I am so aware of the ins and outs and ups and downs of a healing process and I implore my people to ride the ride and not attempt to be anywhere other than where they are at the time. Now, I need the reminder. And, I need to know you really believe that. That’s it’s not just some thing we humans say to each other but we actually mean it.
Herein lies the rub. A fear: if I seem like I am doing “well”, then people will think I am “through” and then expect me to be on the “transformed” side of this journey and then there won’t be space for my angst or moods or upset. (I need a run-on sentence with excessive use of quotation marks to illustrate this concern). In response, I plead: can I please have a year? Can I have a year to be unwound, to be returning to form, to be in the unmanifested? May I have the space to be inspired or inspiring in one moment and the space to be a lunatic the next? Can society bear that? Can my acquaintances tolerate that? And most importantly, can my inner circle really be with that? I surely hope so.
I am not ready to be on the other side of this. I don’t want to have to know. I don’t want to have this all figured out. I want to be a wanderer for a while longer before I know who and what I will be.
I glance out the window at my still forming Flagstone patio and the two lovely souls who are bringing it to life. My dogs have chosen to rough house in the sand pile that is supposed to be the base layer of the patio. They have spread the once neat pile around leaving doggy footprints and a bit of a mess. Should I stop them? Should I seek to neaten, tidy and control what’s happening? The men don’t seem to be missing a beat even as 200 pounds of dog tumble into their space.
Not every character in “Marigold Hotel” was wrapped up and resolved in the end. If the movies can leave some strings untied, I suppose I can too.