In the end, life or death comes down to resources. He’s dying of thirst, they’re starving, the machine ran out of fuel. In the 21st Century, we have abundance in most of these resources, but we either waste them (swimming pools in the desert), can’t get them from A to B, or the technology is not there yet.
There’s more than enough
I learned that creativity was largely happenstance. You listened to the muse, spoke from your heart, or received divine insight. Don’t think about it too much.
Juxtapose that with reality: lots and lots of editing. But as a photographer, and generally visually oriented, I thrive on the moment’s capture. That fleeting moment that only I saw. Or only I photographed.
Analysis of Moonrise over Hernandez
Henri Cartier-Bresson once sailed across the Atlantic without taking a picture. Master photographer, but he saw nothing remarkable. Prime examples of his work could only have been shot by him, in a split second.
How to write like that? Blogposts, columns, short stories/films. That seems to be where I’m suited, at least for now.
What’s the origin? Did someone do all this or was it created by no one? Seems a straightforward question but it defines the dynamic.
If I have someone to thank or blame for everything, I have zero control. “It’s God’s will,” vanquishes all hope. If the jerk ahead of me in line at Target takes too long, it’s god’s will again. I get mad, it’s someone else’s fault.
If I do blame myself, how then to deal with the resultant trauma? “I fucked up,” can go a long way, from death to rejuvenation. If I credit myself, I can be either saint or despot.
If I live in a world not created by someone, simply exists, all blame is internalized (I fucked up, guilt) or anthropomorphized (fucking traffic, rage). As I discern this cosmos, am I empowered or am I made inconsequential?
Do I take solace from this awareness, that I’m beyond microscopic, inconceivably minuscule, or despair? Can I share my cosmos with others?
Heptapods go into our past to save their future, while Louise goes into her future to save mankind’s, and the Heptapods, futures.
Hannah is Louise’s reward.
They’ve found a way to remove short term memory via a drug. Mankind lives day-by-day, never knowing a past or future. Have we found nirvana? Isn’t that what Buddhism teaches? Living in the moment.
The presence of an unarmed woman is the highest evidence of a civilized society. If she feels safe, society is civilized, because she is safe. No one would harm her, even if they were more powerful.
Force does not equal strength but rather weakness. If you have to hurt me, you’ve lost.
I drift through my brain like a spirit, watching as sounds, words and sights trigger flashes as the neurons fire, different places for different inputs.
Music flashes one, a conversation another. I feel as one with my brain, as we dance with the universe.
The brain is always active, flashing continually, but this intensifies as context changes from stimuli to stimuli.
An old friend’s death, the song of a bird, the tears of my children. Anger, despair, longing, ecstasy, insight.
Is he there? Is the bird here? Where is my mother? I see her and know she’s with me but I can’t find her.
Time collapses and distorts. Is this memory or prescience? Now, then or soon?
The ideal is peace, a peace that saves all of our children, not just the ones with status.
I shed my skin periodically, dropping a facade, in exchange for something newer, fresher.
A small child is welcomed, grows and then dies as a young adult. If the mother had known that she would outlive her child would she still have conceived her?
That’s the basic story but told so deeply, movingly. The mother can see into the future and knows the child’s life will be brief but has her anyway.
A European film approaches the audience in a different way, with clever audio cues and subtle balances and harmonies, some only grasped after multiple viewings.
The sound, music, photography and pacing lull us into a soft place to spend a few hours experiencing first contact in its best context: they mean us no harm, rather benefit. What more could one ask?
The heptapods are wonderful, rich characters, one of which sacrifices themselves to advance our society. If only we knew what they were saying…
Dr Louise Banks gets the written form of language they use, coming to her vision-like. Not only can she see the future, she can shape it as well.
And yet knowing the future, she does not change it. And when she changes the present, she’s helped by herself in the future. Changing future and past, that’s an accomplishment.
I wouldn’t say the training was strenuous.
We push our way into places, rather than meld with the environment, because we enter the crowded room with precepts: we know who created our world and we have someone telling us constantly that everything we think is correct.
Every culture convinces itself that its view of existence is the right one but we tend to push others aside, like the woman who wouldn’t do her job because someone was gay. Her worldview wins, regardless of any other perspective.
That’s what it all comes down to, in the end. Leave me alone. Don’t force your beliefs into my existence. I love that your convictions are so brilliantly sharp but they are just that: yours, not mine.
Imagine she’s looking in a mirror, making sure every hair’s in place, then opens the mirror and we see the outside world.
Could our ravenous lust for someone turn into torture? Be careful what you wish for…
What would you say about a life form that could effortlessly leap off his own world, on his own, and swim through space, visiting planet after planet. He does this without concern or education. He just does. He wonders how such a wonderful thing as he could be.
He ponders on a time when he was not alone, when there was an other, someone who gave him simple guidance: “As you journey, do not disturb the few who are too small to see.”
“Where are they?” the younger asked.
The older spreads his vision towards more than where they are.
“See the expanse?” he asked.
The younger nodded.
“Now look deeper.”
Amongst the vast expanse, he saw a multitude of lights aglow.
“What’s there?” he asked.
“Folk too small to see us, and we could harm them.”
“Yes. As we leap from sphere to sphere, we touch the surface harshly and would harm any life there.”
“There’s life on all these spheres?”
The younger paused as he scanned the vista. Life lit up everywhere, sometimes groups of planets seemed to combine, making brighter lights.
“Is there anyone bigger than us?”
“Oh, yes, but they are careful for us and they know that there is more than enough of the expanse for all of us.”
Who was that one that gave such guidance? He could remember him faintly but could not find him. He did what he was told; when he jumped from place to place, he would pause, concentrate, and see the lights. He noted where they were and avoided them.
Curious, he stopped near one and looked at the life there. Greener than any green he had ever seen and bluer than anywhere else in the expanse.
Amongst this grandeur, he glimpsed animals moving about. When they saw him, they became alarmed and so he hide away.
As he leapt about, he thought of the blue green planet with longing and returned often. He watched as the animals multiplied and one grew more powerful and populous than the others. When they saw him watching, he hopped away, off to another sphere several leaps away where he slept.
One day he returned to the lovely globe to see that all had changed. These folk had built dwellings, cities the size of which he had only seen on other globes.
“Will these grow to leave their own home?” he wondered. He had seen only a few in his travels that could go from sphere to sphere, but no one who could do so as easily as he.
As before, when he was seen, he shied away.
However, on one visit, one of them spoke to him.
“Who are you?” he asked.
“Just a traveler,” he replied before leaping away.
He often returned to this world, anxious to see how they were growing, advancing. Secretly, he wished that they would someday journey beyond their world, so that he would have someone to discuss the expanse with.
As he approached, he saw more light than ever before, bursts of light as from the star that fed their solar system.
Dread filled his heart as he neared, fearing the worst.
Every green thing was ablaze and that which had been blue was blue no longer. He wondered what had transpired.
He almost ran into a vessel sent from the planet. He caught it in his hand, looked at the lifeforms inside and asked “what happened?”
The passengers were too fearful to answer, so he let the ship go.
He sat and watched the light that he had journeyed to see blaze and finally fade to blackness. This sphere would never glow again.
Sad, he went on his way, hoping someday to find another world as beautiful as the blue green planet that was no more.
I walked around the world…and there are no edges.
The poem is read aloud from the beginning. The story of the train begins as we hear the poem start. The poem is paced and enters the story before it is written. At the end, the poem restarts and the audience realizes that they’ve been hearing the poem all along.
The ship in Close Encounters was a Triumph 323. The five-note tune? The captain’s phone kept ringing. His wife is a real piece of work.
What if every planet was inhabited or at least every solar system. They’re all playing a form of hide-and-go-seek with us as it. We glimpse them when they slip up and appear. There’s like billions of inhabited worlds, all within reach of Earth and they sometimes send people here, like vacations, but they get stuck here and forget that they’re aliens. Except in moments of distress.
We live in a world of information. At times it seems that information about almost any object, event or person can be culled from the Internet. How do we separate truth from untruth in a digital age, where search engines can be tricked with metadata?
Yeah, I’ve got six-pack abs, but they’re all six-packs.
Focus plus attention. Duration and focus. The view is sustained and all barriers are gone.
POV swings around.
“There is some good in the worst of us and some evil in the best of us. When we discover this, we are less prone to hate our enemies.”
Martin Luther King Jr.