I used to think love was all about having similar movie tastes, similar sensibilities, liking the same seasons. Maybe liking what you saw, or what you envisioned, of the other’s interior world.
Now, I’m not so sure, but I know that “kindred spirit,” feeling “understood,” and wanting someone to comply to my subliminal scripts of how love should be, and taking their one remark on a subject of interest to me as a sign of deep character and being my ame-soeur soul sister is not really such a certainty. If anything, I remember these milemakers on the rushing into love thing with unease from the pit of my stomach. From there, hindsight gets 20/20 but where the answers aren’t staring me in the face, the questions still linger, and beckon, and threaten to draw me in and lose the peace of mind that time and distance and even sometimes distraction have brought. Somehow though, those questions about why didn’t it work out and why him and why me and why not me just circle around in my head and twinge when the weather gets a certain way. Weather being my internal climate which does get a bit drizzling and damp from time to time, and my heart just doesn’t want to get warm. It’s the kidn fo whether and what if and why that makes you just want to stay out in the rain cause there’s no point and some part of you is so tired, too exhausting to find a way in away from the cold. Unfortunately, there’s – also with tie the chill of cynicism, that asks what’s the point of feeling better now if you’re just going to hurt again later, why not skip the whole hope part and go back to distress, go back to paralysis.
But I just watched Django, so I’m not really in the pity party mood, thank goodness.
I’m also realizing that all these little control mechanisms I have in place- like waiting for perfection, blaming myself for everything that goes wrong and trying to be mediocre/risk aversion- are related to wanting to vindicate my past somehow. Like finding someone to love me will justify everyttime someone else didn’t, or having to find someway to jsutify how I failed at finding a regualr career job after my college graduation and needing to find someone to justify that’s happened to me as “career exploration,” because otherwise I’m just a lost slacker. myabe I was a little bit before, but now hope not!
So the reason for all this reflection comes from realizing how pretty much all dram a and difficult feelings I experience in my current dating/relationship are related to anxieties I developed mostly through previous “failures.” Thankfully, the dude seems to pass, in his own time, with flying colors each time in hia own way.
I think the most difficult thing for people to do is really love someone, a real person, and not an image you’ve created. If it’s a real person, there’s always emotional risk, and if they are a real person, you probably will be disappointed sometimes. No matter how much love is between the two parties.
Right now is one of those times for me. My dude is supposed to take the train over and hang out with my family and me today, but his American phone seems not to be in service and I’m annoyed we didn’t plan the details earlier. I don’t think it is a conscious oversight on his part, but it does make me feel slighted. On the other hand, he’s talked to me pretty much everyday, and I don’t think he’s consciously trying to make life difficult, he just doesn’t seem to see a need to plan in advance, even for his own long awaited trip to America.
Sometimes I feel like it takes an enormous amount of chutzpah to do anything meaningfulin this world. Among which, love and be loved and have a fulfilling career. Who are you to dare to follow your dreams? Who are you to demand to be treated well in spite of all your imperfections?
And, who are you to dpeart from society’s script of what you are supposed to want, what you are supposed to be, what you should like and act like to get it? Who are you not to live in whiny lingering adolescent melancholy? Who are you to rise above your circumstances, above your flaws, above what other people see and know and want for you?
Who are you to be the one in ten thousand that, like Django, does something magnifcent with the freedom that is inalienable to us in this life? Who are you to make the most of, then to actually transform your own circumstances? Who are you to have a dream, to have something burning in your soul beyond survival, prestige, status, money, fame, and thrills?
The most important thing I learned from Django is the neccessity of a higher purpose to give meaning to life. I’d argue that despite all his hardships and the injustice and cruelty he suffered, his life was more transcendent and even more happy to the Southern gentleman living lives of leisure. They had the wherewithal to attend to their every whim and idly inconsequentially amuse themselves, but they give the impression of delusion, not happiness. The exquisite cruelty and exquisite luxury have nothing to Django’s heroism and quest.
Now, I personally would prefer my quest not to be quite so human rights abusive and physically and emotionally demanding as Django’s. But goodness, I don’t think you can know real happiness unless you are on one, or have had one. It’s not the journey, it’s the destination. And along the way, when you become your own master and go after your personal happiness, you lift others up alongside you.
Towards the end of the movie, Django finds a way to talk himself out of slavery again and ends up freeing a chain gang and bringing down a plantation along the way to saving his wife. He doesn’t forget about the suffering of others and wanting to bring justice to the world as he reunites himself with his wife and frees her.
But the most telling scene in the entire movie is this: Django leaves the door open where the slaves are imprisoned open. He doesn’t tell them where to go, what to do, or give them any advice, he rushes to save his wife, his personal dream. They watch him gallop off, a free black man on a horse who killed his captors in search of his own happiness.
He leaves the door open, and when faced with our freedom, it can be unclear to do next.
But we certainly owe it to ourselves to do something, the thing that will take us through hell and back. In freeing our own most heartfelt desire, we also free others in one of the most important ways: showing them what it looks like, changing the image in their heads. When you look at yourself, you don’t see a former slave, but a freeman and all the possibilities therein.
Thank you, Django. Definitely gave me a lot of inspiration for my own personal quest and showed me anything is possible.