Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
Based on a comment from Sunday's post of Hoppipolla I just finished watching Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. I just got a shiver down my spine. This movie reached into my spirit like Magnolia did and Memento didn't.
Read line 209 of Alexander Pope's "Eloisa to Abelard" (here)
Five years ago, my wife and I saw Magnolia with four Australian friends at University theatre at UBC while Dar was working for World Vision's Vancouver office and I was studying at Regent. I cried a lot after that one. I could barely walk back to our student housing. I kept doubling over in tears and snot. I couldn't walk straight. I don't recommend the movie. It tore my guts out and I don't think I'll tell you why. We didn't have children yet and I had been dealing with some childhood stuff.
Two or three years ago, I saw Memento in Waterloo, Ontario with a worship band from BC after they had led "worship" with my youth ministry and "marketed" their school. In our home, the students cracked out their sleeping bags and dvd collection. Some of the guys were ranting and raving about Memento being their favorite flick. I sat there dumbfounded through the whole movie. Why had these guys seen this a dozen times?
Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind made me think of anyone I know who has lost someone they love to premature death, drug abuse, mental illness, or alzheimers. And, what would it really be like for people to hear what they really think of each other, and all those reasons why they want to erase each other from memory? Fascinating! For anyone who has seen it, the resolve at the end of this film didn't bring me back from the place the movie had been taking me to with relentless "fade to black". I got good and lost. And I won't be back for a while. This film got into my brain. I don't mind being nudged and influenced by decent art.
It's a bit like being mystified into darkness by a poet, enchanting sunset, revolving hope, cold shadows, silhouette, glowing furnace, gleaming Western sky
The power of memory is great, very great, my God. It is a vast and infinite profundity. Who has plumbed its bottom? This power is that of my mind and is a natural endowment, but I myself cannot grasp the totality of what I am. Is the mind, then, too restricted to compass itself, so that we have to ask what is that element of itself which it fails to grasp? Surely that cannot be external to itself; it must be within the mind. How then can it fail to grasp it? This question moves me to great astonishment. Amazement grips me.
People are moved to wonder by mountain peaks, by vast waves of the sea, by broad waterfalls on rivers, by the all-embracing extent of the ocean, by the revolution of the stars. But in themselves they are uninterested.
How happy is the blameless vestal's lot!
The world forgetting, by the world forgot.
Eternal sunshine of the spotless mind!
Each pray'r accepted, and each wish resign'd;
The memory of the righteous will be a blessing,
but the name of the wicked will rot.