What is forgivable?

June 16, 2010 § Leave a comment

The film Magnolia asks this very important question.  While filled with monstrous characters and despair, is everything forgivable?  I first saw this movie 7 years ago with my (platonic) friend Joe.  It was Valentine’s Day and neither of us were dating anyone, so we spent it drinking champagne, eating strawberries and watching Magnolia together.  Why we didn’t pick a happier movie, I’m not sure, but I also don’t remember being that disturbed by it.  I watched it for a second time last night to study the nurse’s character (a bit of homework from teacher, Ian).  But let’s set aside that for a moment.

I met with my writing group tonight.  During my critique, I got a case of the giggles.  I had written a scene in my book which teacher Ian made us read out loud.  To be honest, reading it out loud made it sound incredibly cheesy and dumb and silly.  I could not stop laughing.  Then, he had us ad lib the scene.  The second time around, my characters came to life and created tension and Ian was blown away.  I hate acting and was hesitant to try it, but it was a great exercise.  It certainly was pleasurable.

Another topic came up in class tonight.  The idea of humans existing in duality–in the natural and supernatural.  That humans can both be existential (What is the meaning of meaning?  Nothing!), but also believe in God, eternity, the whole shebang.  I do believe in God, and I believe in Jesus and the Resurrection and therefore I do have hope.  But here is what I wonder.  I wonder that if a person is existential, is then the world less depressing?  Hear me out.  Watching Magnolia was kind of depressing and unnerving last night because I kept thinking: But there is hope!  It’s not just chance and coincidence!  So, in believing in hope and being subjected to a world of despair is frustrating, depressing and unnerving for me.  However, if I were an existentialist, then watching Magnolia might only confirm what I already believe: the world is what I make it to be, a world of chance and circumstance and therefore might not be as depressing or unnerving.  I wonder if I wasn’t that disturbed when I watched Magnolia as a 21-year-old because I was more of an existentialist then.  I’m not advocating giving up hope or becoming agnostic.  It’s just my thought of the day.  Sorry if that’s confusing.  It’s late.  Goodnight!

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