I have a very special love affair with movies and as I grow older, I realize that my love begins to see the nuances and the subtleties of beauty that a younger me would have overlooked. The action scenes and the dramatic soap operas give way to a riveting performance that is all stillness and a movement of the eyes.
August: Osage County isn’t and is something everyone can relate to. There are people who may have been lucky enough to have kind parents and have heard of “emotional baggage” in passing, just as a catch phrase on daytime television.
And then, there are the rest of us who have seen, felt and experienced things that do not necessarily qualify as “understanding.”
There is nothing wasted in the dialogue and there are subtle shimmies of a unmasking that are so heartbreaking that as awful as Violet Weston (Meryl Streep) is to her entire family, you start to feel sorry for her. When she tells the boot story (where she asked her mother for a pair of beautiful girl boots for Christmas and opened her present to find a pair of used and dirty men’s boots; her mother couldn’t stop laughing for a week), it reminded me of people I’ve met who should have had a bit more love in their lives growing up. And in that very moment, it reminded me that instead of feeling sorry, I had to do something.
So I reached out to a friend I hadn’t talked to in easily ten years. He is someone I always felt I failed, especially when his mother had passed and I wasn’t there. I wrote how I missed having lunch at his house, filled to the hilt with trinkets and items from the places he and his partner have visited. How we would eat ciabattas and pastas, sprinkled with cheese from his home country of Uruguay. And as I wrote the mail, I realized that every time he had gone somewhere with his diplomat partner, he would always bring me back something: a book, a pendant, a piece of pottery.
And it dawned upon me that apart from my parents, he was the only other person to give me so many gifts.
Now to be clear, I am not one of those gold digging bitches. I have no time nor interest in such pursuits. But when I went mentally through all those things I wanted to take back with me to the States, I realized that there were a lot of thing from him.
I told him all this and told him how much I valued that large part he plays in the life I want to take back with me.
He wrote back saying that if I do not go visit him (presently in Jerusalem), he will have come to me and bring me another gift, which (in his words) pales in comparison to our friendship.
When you read something like that, you realize that for all the shit people in the world (much like Violet Weston and her mother), there are those rare gems that you would be idiotic not to take care of. If you don’t, then you get what you pay for.
At 39, I am still learning about life and deep down I hope that I will not be stupid enough to forget to tend my garden of friendship. As corny as that sounds, it is the only way I can properly describe this quirky little patch of my life. I consider myself a poor gardener but with very resilient rows of life.
I don’t have a green thumb but I’m working on it.