A break in the momentum

We live each day with momentum. We meet strangers and we see in their eyes an ocean of infinite possibilities, of newness, of what could be. We are drawn and we feel alive again. And then we forget. We forget all that was once familiar. In these snippets in time, we have hope — hope that we can start anew. Then we go home, and alone in the shadows of ourselves, a disruption in this momentum occurs and we experience a deep sting. All of a sudden, all the remnants that had been buried deep within the walls of our psyche, begin surfacing again.

I see in Hannah and Tomasz’s romance a reflection of many lives unmasked. After all the years of living separate lives, of being married and having families and starting anew, they still long for each other in the depths of their soul. Time for these separated lovers is at once the distance from the earth to the moon, and the subtle brush of the wind against one’s cheek. It sings of distance and impossibility, and of closeness and all things possible. Hannah goes to the laundromat and hears a voice of a familiar youth on the television screen, and suddenly, time collapses as the memories of yesterday become the breath of today — a break in the momentum we call life.

In all our vulnerabilities and frailties — our humanness — we’re one and the same. We go to work, eat when we’re hungry, sleep when we’re tired. But at the end of the night, when a fellow is alone with the recesses of his thoughts and the hidden crevices of his soul, he experiences himself, an experience that’s uniquely his. Paradoxically, he’s simultaneously an island and the sea comprising that island. He’s aware that the atoms comprising his body and soul are traceable to the stars in the galaxies. Yet in his deepest pain, he feels himself alone. As human beings, we can empathize or sympathize with others, but can we ever experience all that they’re experiencing? The mind imagines itself in a fire and the body irks in pain. But even then, that pain is only relative — until it’s experienced.

In the final analysis, we each have something we hide from the world, something we guard closest to our hearts; and for some of us, it’s that very thing we try to hide even from ourselves — that very thing that would set us free — until time and experience reveal that we’re not invincible, nor are we immune to death, and that there will come a time when our bodies will no longer be warm in all its sanguine liveliness, a time when our bodies will become ashes and dust. And the one who thinks himself free? Unless he’s reached a heightened state of self-awareness, he’s a fool. And the one who claims that things have always been the way they are and continues on with his banal existence? An even greater fool — a coward.