Authority and Me Before You

Hello Readers,

Recently, I have watched the incredibly emotional film Me Before You. This film open minds, bends stiff ideas and leaves you with one (or lots of) tears. I believe sharing my thoughts on this particular film is important to express. Like a post I have written before, regarding a film, I will write about Me Before You in relation to a theme that it so elegantly illustrated, and that is authority. Authority, in this film, shows that you can be the master of your own destination, if you have a little believe. This was demonstrated by both characters that I wilI write about. I would like for you to read this with an open mind and to remember nothing is ever ‘black and white.’ Feel free to comment any thoughts you may have on this!!

So much, if not all, of society is controlled restricted and overruled by a superior force, in one way or another. This could be in the form of the government, teachers/people we seek advice from or your parents. Sometimes the sense of authority can make you feel ‘safe’, providing you with assurance that your life choices are accepted agreed and Okayed by a figure that you admire. With reassurance given it motivates you, consciously or subconsciously, to succeed even more in the decisions that you make. This sense of security that comes with authority could, however, be so overbearing that one is left trapped, finding themselves in an unrequested life, unable to grasp hold of the steering wheel of their life, simply be a passenger on route to a unknown destination. But just because you are answered with a dismissive glare and hear the stomach-churning, two letter word ‘NO’ do not mean you cannot find your own way. You can create your own key to open the lock!!

The film, Me Before You, follows the story of Will; a man who once was a young highflying city banker with a zest for life and had a love for travelling was left paralyzed following a motorbike accident. He was back living with his parents in a place he described “That people come to when they get tired of actually living.” Will’s life, post-accident, is a total contrast from the way he found his way in the world; from being completely independent, and in control of his destination to having to ask for assistance with every little movement and having it authorised by another person.

Will’s story merges together with the life of Lou. A young lady with a quirky personality, trying to earn money for her family, but finds herself unhappy in every job she takes. She is living in the world not truly knowing which way her life is headed. Lou then applies and is successful caregiving job to a young man, who just happens to be Will. In her first few  encounters with Will, he appears to be shut off and very closed minded to the idea of any sort of companionship with anyone including Lou; the personalities of both theses character could not be more different, with Lou always looking at life with ‘the glass half full.’ Will’s bitterness is highlighted when he says to Lou “What if I said I didn’t want you here?” to which she replies “I’m not employed by you, I’m employed by your mother.” Here we see the lack of authority Will have; the director of his life lies with someone else.  However Lou’s raw honesty to Will about the effect his pessimism on others “making….life…miserable” that results in his company “not being particularly enjoyable,” allows him to see another’s perspective and that others have difficult times too. From this moment in the film Will’s cynicism begins to fade, letting a relationship with Lou blossom. They both learn things from each other that would otherwise be an unknown territory if their lives did not pave the path that it did; from Lou’s perspective being magnified, enabling her to find a deeper meaning of life that she craved for, and Will’s ability to look beyond stereotypes and find true beauty in people, stepping out of his comfort zone. Both of these characters could be said to play a ‘teacher’ role to each other, one teaching the other vital life lessons.

This beautiful relationship between Will and Lou that makes them re-define the word life plays a deep importance in both of their lives. However for Will what he desires for is unattainable, Lou learns of Will’s wish to end his life; not wanting to endure anymore of the endless physical or emotional pain he experiences every day, as a result of his disability. In the hope that he will change his mind and see that “life is  worth living” Lou establishes and make come alive Will’s dreams, dreams of traveling, going to concerts and being part of activities that he enjoyed as what he termed as the “Old Will.” But even in times of joy, Will is reminded of what he yearns for; after He and Lou drive home from concert Will says “I just want to be a man who’ve been to a concert with a girl in a red dress, just a few minutes more” in reply to Lou’s comment “we better get you in (both still sitting in the car).” He still has to ask to do things in order to experience just a fraction of his desired life, which would perhaps be otherwise left unsaid.

Both characters show that some they can gain or regain power over their life. This is firstly demonstrated by Lou and her ability to persevere with the cynical temperament of Will when they both meet, showing him the light amongst the darkness of his perspective. Throughout the film we see Lou’s sense of self blossoming, being able to stand up for herself and not having something or someone else have power over her. Secondly Will regains his ability to be heard and respected. This is first demonstrated when Lou expresses the effect he has had on her when she tells him “I have become a whole new person because of you,” indicating that he have the abilities to change people lives, even if it is unconsciously.  A second way in which he regains authority is by having the final say on the direction of his life. Although Will is tried to be convinced that he could still experience life and fulfil his dreams, he wants to experience those things as the “Old Will”; he is still wishes to die. After six months of when he first shared his wish with his parents, he makes his final journey to Switzerland whereby he ends his life. This was solely Will’s decision and a decision he persisted with. Even though people who authorised the way he lived was in disagreement, Will got back control of his life and directed it in the way that he knew best.

All my love XX

Enjoyment and Connections

Hello Readers,

The word enjoyment…what does it mean to you? What connotations does enjoyment have? Do you have an immediate image in your mind when you hear that word? Perhaps of a place or of a specific person?  What feelings to you experience when you think of the word enjoyment?

Enjoyment, the sense of enjoyment is unique to every individual; the passion, the enchanting nature, the singular or multiple elements of entities that drives one to ever find themselves lost in the joyful state. These are precious moments that should be cherished as it gives one a chance to get in touch with their ‘true self’ being reminded of freeing, calming, fun and joyful nature inside them; they are able to go back to the place where they are just ‘let be’. Maybe out of these times whereby they are able to indulge in thrilling experiences, they can recognise qualities in themselves that they have perhaps overlooked or were inattentive to before.

An exciting aspect of enjoyment is that the entity you take pleasure in could be shared by others, other people you may not know; you and that mystery person(s) already have a connection, you just have to go in search of those who are on the other end of the link.

Place yourself in a music concert- the first cord on guitar is strummed, the first note on the piano is played and the first beat on the drum is echoed, it is THE song everyone knows. Now for my favourite bit- looking around and seeing, feeling the vibrations of excitement amongst hundreds of individuals, radiating what you are feeling-all singing the same words and waving their hands in unison. The atmosphere is electric with joy all for one reason and if a person a members of the crowd ‘Why do you like this band?,’ you would find that similar responses would be given- you might even find two people give the exact same answer.

My example of a concert is on a big scale, but even if you were to consider a form of enjoyment that was more individualised to you, you are guaranteed that there is at least another person in the world with similar appreciations as you. This comes to remind you and I that no one is ever completely alone, if you only looked around.

So, go and find what it is you enjoy, what it is that you have deep happiness in doing and..do it!! Even if there is a wall of fear jump over to the other side and find out the answer to ‘what if?’. Most importantly enjoy!!

Until next time,

All my love XX

A Beauiful Retreat

Hello Readers,

Being outside is one of my favourite places to be-out in nature. The reason why? It is the most peaceful place to be yet so many tremendous things happen. I would like to take you on a small journey and share my thoughts with you! Along with words I have also included some photos to please the eye!

Stepping on to a path follows a journey of tranquillity that allows one to experience unexpected and unimaginable beauty of nature.  Enjoying a leisurely stroll, breathing in the fresh air and listening to the rustle of the leaves as they skip along the ground, the birds singing a sweet lullaby as they innocently perch on the branches of trees and the gentle whisperings of a breeze as it moves across the grass; it is a moment of complete enjoyment. I marvel at the fecundity of the landscape and all the vibrant colours of the wild flowers that sit on the bank of the clear, still lake which reflects the outline of the few clouds that are in the deep blue sky.

Out in the open space whereby there are no distractions, no roaring of traffic, no rushing, continuity between man and nature can be found. Just like when the calmness of lake is disturbed by passing ducks causing temporary ripples in the water, on such walks one’s mind can wonder interrupting the retreat from the busy, urban life- when suddenly a small, interesting insect flies past-nature have captured the mind’s attention once again. This journey is one of surprise and excitement everywhere is something of excitement and of newness-no two steps are ever the same: different insects, different colour birds, different views. Thoughts of intrigue and amazement are ever present when I discover another treasure of the outside world.

Being outside can sometimes be taken for granted; not completely switching off from our own world, freeing our mind to absorb the surrounding beauty which would perhaps be ordinarily left unnoticed. Adventures in nature are uniquely refreshing allowing a new or renewed enjoyment of the outside world to be gained, growing new perspective on past or present events, or simply giving a ‘feel good’ energy from being outside. With this rejuvenated sense of self, one is ready to return to city life and close the garden gate, at least for another while.

I hope you have enjoyed this journey,

Until next time,

All my love XX

 

The Wolf of Time

Hello Readers,

Lately I have been thinking about the concept of time and its meaning. I thought I would share my thoughts and questions with you and maybe ‘open a new door’ as to how time is percevied!!

If time was a character what would it be? Would time be a character deemed as enchanting and one that radiates warmth? Would you personify time as a protector, allowing you to experience beautiful and meaningful moments, aiding your development? Or would you describe time as a cruel, deceitful and overriding character, letting the vibrant lights of life quickly fade with its shadow looming over, reflecting the stillness of your world?- Back to the real life you go, you hear time say. How would the face of your time look? Would it have an endearing smile and eyes which would unlock and grant you your hopes and dreams that you envisioned? Or would time’s face be emotionless, giving you a cold glare with its stone eyes that conveys authority and overruling power, leaving you feeling crushed?

The idea of what time is, what time means, can change throughout one’s life. Time in childhood should bring one moments of joy, beauty and pleasure, a period in which one is given a chance to explore their surroundings, a stage in which that dreams are created. As children we try to hold on to the aspects of life that filled with fun, laughter and love, trying to make activities which exudes such moments last longer, whilst rushing through other more mundane activities. It could be said that time is segmented, renamed and categorised into joyful and pleasurable and gloomy and uninspiring events; the way in which a child expresses these times suggest how favourable or favourable they are. For example the way that a child excitably announce that ‘Its playtime’ depicts that it’s moment of magic and wonder, contrary to when ‘Its homework time’ said in a lifeless tone.

This want to breeze past some moments of time and meander through others is shared by adults, but to a lesser extent. Suddenly you wake up to the fact the there is no second chance; time is slippery, there is a limit to how long you have to hold on to something. It is only as you get older that you truly appreciate time and what time have given you; you might have been taught useful lessons, making you wiser and equipped for the unused time, you might have been given a chance to fulfil a dream or simply given you moments for you to treasure.

The harsh fact that time is running out, or that time is not giving you enough space to full, leaves you panicking, trembling with fear: ‘I want to do this..’ ‘When can I do this now?’ Yet whilst one experience all these thought and feelings, time is still continuing, getting older, fading; the volume of life left in the timer is slowly disappearing. W. H Auden once wrote in a poem ‘You cannot conquer time,’ personifying time as an all-knowing character. However instead of taking on a defeatist view, seeing time as an enemy, create a harmonious connection with time, go forward with ease. Change that monologue in your head from ‘What I could haves’ to ‘What I can dos.’ Make time your friend; is it the one that will see you until the very end- who knows how your character of time could change?!!

I hope you have enjoyed this read and thank you for you so much time!!

Untill next time,

All my love XX

Loss and The Danish Girl

Hello Readers,
A lot of thoughts have occurred, after watching a very moving film, The Danish Girl. After wiping away a tear and taking a moment to embrace the beautiful messages that were illustrated in the film one theme I kept coming back to was loss. Loss is so elegantly depicted in The Danish Girl and suggests that there can be a positive streak in loss, amongst that chaos and destruction it causes. In the rest of this post I will share with you what loss means to me and how it is conveyed in The Danish Girl.

Loss is one of life’s most difficult battles and is something which so few escape. This feeling can be scaring, making people change, sometimes for worse, making them feel ostracised from society and simply being an observer of the world around them. They see others going about their lives while frozen in theirs. They see what they see as ‘complete’ contentment of other individuals, imagining what their happiness is like: colour of life captured seems vibrantly lit and warm in contrast to the grey-scale and melancholic tone of theirs. As said these grief-stricken individuals are somewhat disconnected from the world, hypersensitive to the appearance of things, only considering the surface without the depth, of what they are yearning to grasp.

The crippling state loss causes have the potential to be flipped, turned around and made in to something positive. Like rainwater plays a role in allowing seeds to grow, loss can also allow a new found strength within a person to be discovered. For instance it could make one revaluate life, letting go of things that hinders their development. Again, like rainwater that washes away damaging elements from plants, the rain allows plants to blossom into vibrant coloured flowers which they were meant to be.

Loss is an underlying theme within the film The Danish Girl. The film beautifully illustrates an immensely personal issue; the main protagonist Einar, is trapped in a body he explains to be ‘sick,’ and have a desire to recapture life through the eyes and body of Lilli. The emotional agony that Einar goes through is also shared by his wife Gerda; both go through a state of loss. For Einar a loss of a life he believes he should be living, fantasising about being a women For Gerda a loss of her husband as he discovers his true self.

The first glimpse of Einar’s true character is revealed when Gerda asks him to pose as a ballerina in order for her to complete a portrait (her model was unable to come to the studio) draping an off-white ballerina dress over him. What is to Gerda a ‘fun’ thing to do, it is a deeper enjoyment for Einar: getting in touch with his true self. He softly traces his finger over the silk material of the dress as if it was a fragile treasure. He gets lost and for a moment, his true identity is able to come to the surface. Einar is then passed a bunch of lilies by his friend, for Gerda to sketch, the friend then jokes ‘we shall call her Lilli.’ As they laugh at the passing comment, Einar’s wondering eyes are now captured-Einar now knows the name of the person that he believes to be him. Both Einar and Gerda then dress up Einar as a women when they attend an artist event. Gerda believes this would be another would be a playful thing for her and her husband to do, however for Einar it is another opportunity to the with the true self; exploring the world through Lilli, emulating the delicate, elegant and feminine gestures/body language from the other women at the event. As Lilli makes quiet observations of the world around her, she is then greeted by Henrik. It is here that we see a glimmer of her vulnerability, shyness and restriction. When Henrik questions her, wanting to get to know this mysterious women, Lilli is unable to let herself be free amongst the others in the hall. However when Lilli and Henrick find a place to be alone, the true character of Lilli unravels, letting herself embrace the moment, letting a stranger be the first person to only know Lilli. This refreshing moment fades when Gerda appears. Einar again takes over.

The theme of loss becomes more pronounced from this point on for both Einar and Gerda. As Einar’s belief that he is a women grows stronger, his relationship with his wife becomes strained, although she feeds him support and courage for the person he so longs to be. Here the film illustrates the human fight between wanting one’s own needs to be met and that of others. Gerda’s struggle to let Einar be the person he wants to become and therefore letting go of her beloved husband that she longs to return is evident. Gerda’s wish to fulfil her promise to always be there for Einar gets lost with the growing presence of Lilli. Lilli’s remarks when Gerda asks about her interest in art “Einar is dead” “I don’t know what Lilli likes” are harrowing for Gerda; it is still Einar who Gerda sees, thus the shared interest in art is what Gerda wishes for in order to keep her connection with her husband alive. The raw honesty of Lilli’s words illustrates the new reality for Gerda and the relationship with her husband; it is no longer existence.

For Gerda Einar’s physical disappearance is heart wrenching but for Lilli it is the start of self-discovery, liberation and simply being at one. We see Lilli’s delight in being viewed in the way in which she longs for by the way she confidently smiles to passers-by as she strolls down the street, elegantly dressed. Even though Lilli’s dream to be seen as a women is being gradually being fulfilled, there is also an air of sadness that can be elicited. Lilli’s conviction is only respected and encouraged by few people and something which she had to accept in order to achieve a deep wish. As Lilli sets out to live her long awaited dream, she loses close connections with people especially with Gerda. Even though Gerda goes to Lilli in her hour of need, Lilli is alone when she goes to complete her transformation. Gerda could be suggesting her unwillingness to say goodbye to Einar, unable to accept the finality of the change. This sense of reluctance can be extended to all types of loss, when one is unable to comprehend the changes of their lives, trying to hold on to scrapings of the past which are no longer there.
In order for a person to have their own identity, an individual must go in search to find themselves, if they have not already. The Danish Girl, conveys this message by tackling a complex issues, a man’s wish to be a woman. Even after the physical changes that take place for Lilli, Einar is still somewhere within. After the second operation she says ‘I had a dream’ and explains that in the dream her mum ‘called me Lilli’ when she was born. This highlights Lilli wish to have been ever present, being only known as Lilli. When back brought to reality, a complete Lilli is unattainable; her body was unable to cope with the physical alterations she underwent. The words describing the dream were the last words of Lilli’s. She returned to her dream; the world in which would allow Lilli to be Lilli and no longer lost. This sense of peace is also heightened when Gerda visits her husband’s homeland after Lilli dies. Gerda’s scarf that was worn by Lilli gets carried by a gust of wind in to the sky, soaring above the landscape suggesting Lilli has been free to return home if it is only in sprit. Gerda says to “Let her be free” suggesting that she has also come to terms with her loss, finally accepting Lilli for who she was. In turn Gerda could be said to have also set herself free by allowing herself to be ‘ok’ with the changes that have taken place.

This film powerfully conveys the theme of loss and how it can affect people in different ways. The Danish Girl beautifully illustrates the many layers of such a complex, controversial and emotional journey of self-discovery and one that affect many along with the main protagonist. This film show that if one can overcome, or come to terms with, a painfully emotional event one can reach some form of peace.

I hope you have enjoyed this read and thank you so much for reading!!
Until next time,
All my love XX