Wednesday, June 26, 2024

A little rain

We watch movies and serialized dramas. We read books. We’re riveted, compelled by the artistic rendering of human pain. We cry for the people in these stories, we cry with them, knowing from our own human walk how agony scrapes us bare. We can’t look away when we see life mirrored in this way. It doesn't matter that the stories may not be real, because we know that somewhere, someone is suffering in the ways portrayed. I’m thinking tonight how pain is part of our human journey. We incarnate here to experience it, because without it, how would we ever know the sense of joy. How would we ever grasp the feeling of surpassing peace. I need to learn to not fear emotional pain, mine or my beloveds. To not shrink from it. To allow it and to know—really know—we will not be destroyed by it. Into each life, a little rain must fall—my mother often said this, quoting Longfellow. Tonight, as I brood on the ineffably sad ending of One Day, the fourteen episode Netflix series I just finished watching, the memory of her murmuring these words comforts me.

The photo is of Ambika Mod and Leo Woodall, who play Emma Morely and Dexter Mayhew in One Day. The series starts slow, and I actually stopped watching at episode four, a bit exasperated by some of the characters' choices—perhaps I was too far away from my own misbegotten youth to be sufficiently patient with Emma and Dex's twenty-something confusion and missed cues. But my daughter and nieces urged me to keep watching the will-they-or-won't-they love story, which spans fourteen years. The series did get better from that point on, with each character's growth and story arc holding my interest till the end. I have some issues with the Dex character's family and background being fully explored and developed on screen, and the Emma character's family and background being missing in action, but I'm still glad I stuck with it, and it certainly afforded me a good cry. Possibly all sorts of other sorrows jumped on board, recognizing their chance to escape captivity in that convenient release of tears.

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