Sunday, December 31

The Hours

Last night we watched The Hours. One of those things where when you first begin watching, you cannot remember the story, recall the names of the characters, or even remember why you were initially so enthralled with it ('it' being 'The Hours', and 'Mrs Dalloway' - at least, to some lesser extent). Then, of course, you do remember, once a friend reminds you and comments about your crap memory (I am only 16 – surely it can't be that bad? Selective, naturally, but bad? I'd not've thought so.) And you get excited, you stop prodding the chocolate fondue with those sticks (because, by this point, the fruit has all been devoured, and all that is left is the remnants of the two huuuaaage bars of Tesco milk chocolate), you don't have to worry about prodding yourself in the mouth with the stick, you ignore the dog, forget trying to coerce it to jump up onto the sofa, forget the stash of Celebrations in your pocket, and allow yourself to be absorbed into the film. A rare moment for me. Normally, as everyone here knows, I have the habit of talking through films, recounting lines I already know, or texting through it (only my credit is severely depleted, so I couldn't possibly indulge in this last night).

Okay, let’s cut the crap. (And be glad about it, too.)

A few sentiments that stuck out from the film/ which I thought: 1) without death, we wouldn’t value living one little bit. So it is actually a good thing. And without death, would we actually have any motivation? I don’t think so; most likely, it’d be procrastination at its best. And perhaps existentialism would stand up even better… which is rather depressing. So now I shall move onto something else.

In the film, Mrs Woolf was said to have two lives – one which she lived normally, as most people do, and another which she lived through her current story. (If she had several current stories, perhaps she would even have more lives?) It made me think about two quotes (which, given my gloriously crap memory, I cannot recall exactly – but maybe someone can help me out if you are reading this and know them? Or maybe you’ll just understand enough anyway, even though I can’t credit the quotes… anyway…) Two quotes: one about how writers write themselves and their desires into every story, how it is impossible to not; the other about how every novelist only writes the ‘same’ novel repeatedly – that is, I think, that there is so much about themselves deeply ingrained which they cannot, no matter how much they try (to no avail!), pull out of their novels. It is simply there, their ‘self’ (/one of their ‘selves).

I wonder whether this is what also attracts people to reading, indeed, film-watching, too – escapism, of choosing another life to live in, even if it is not really your own – if you can trick your mind into thinking it is, because you want to so much, is that so awful? Maybe this is our thing with holidays, too – how many people have more pictures of holidays, of rare moments, than of their daily life? You may argue that this is because they are more likely to forget them if they are rarer; not so, I believe; if they are rarer, they automatically will stand out in the memory more, as some sort of irregularity in the patterns which bind together to make that we call our life. Why don’t we have more pictures of the things we do again and again, and delight in them? Why don’t we enjoy making breakfast, or tidying/ rearranging our rooms? Is it so difficult? Yes, they’re repetitive, but only so much because we choose to make them so.

Another thought (and I realise my ramblings are unrelated, but blogging can be whatever you want it to be, can’t it? God, I realise that’s a stupid question; questions are generally asked more for confirmation of the already-known than for any new knowledge, are they not?) was about when people say ‘I can tell you anything’, or, even richer, ‘you know you can tell me anything’. Really? How, given that a part of our self is always even hidden/ repressed from our very own self, can we be expected to reveal all to another self? We cannot be expected to. Perhaps using some sort of psychological technique a person can prise another open; but normally, in daily conversation? Crap!

This is not, however, necessarily a bad thing: who doesn’t find intrigue alluring, in how many adverts is mystery portrayed as something fascinatingly sexy? Again and again, you’ll undoubtedly find. And would we really want to know another person so well? You may disagree with me, yet, I cannot help but think that when stripped away/ known well, every person’s civilised walls will break quite easily, that we will be shown to be purely animalistic. Hardly surprising, given that we are animals. Cultured, perhaps, but animals nonetheless.

Take away our ability to speak, our ability to converse with language, and what would we have? Civilisation as we think of it, remaining? I doubt it. Much as I hate it sometimes though, when there is an obligation to talk (and this, surely, springs the joy of being lost in a city, a sea of people, mulling around, together and also fantastically independent), an expectation to make sense, it must be obvious to anyone how much I adore language. Not only am I dependant on it, as we all now are, but, I’ve an inkling that I’m a little more so than most (so long as I can write, it’s all good; let’s ignore the thought of being unable to)… the page is where thoughts can slip through being curtained, and it provides a medium for them to be tidied, played around with, seen on, naked but for the riddle of rhetoric.