April 9, 2011

beauty, in not so great stuff


“It was one of those days when it’s a minute away from snowing and there’s this electricity in the air, you can almost hear it. And this bag was, like, dancing with me. Like a little kid begging me to play with it. For fifteen minutes. And that’s the day I knew there was this entire life behind things, and… this incredibly benevolent force, that wanted me to know there was no reason to be afraid, ever. Video’s a poor excuse, I know. But it helps me remember… and I need to remember… Sometimes there’s so much beauty in the world I feel like I can’t take it, like my heart’s going to cave in…..”

 —-American Beauty



I can’t recall much of this film. It won some Oscars. The poster girl was almost naked save for some rose pedals spreading over her. And people in it were miserable. That’s about it. One thing that did stamp on my mind, and still does, throughout the years was the scene of the plastic bag.

I don’t see benevolent force behind it. I don’t get courage from watching it. I might get wrong about the motif of the scene and the metaphor that it was trying to get through. But who cares. Isn’t it a world that readers determine the interpretation?

I also see beauty in plastic bags, or more broadly, trivial stuff. Sometimes I feel it’s a blessing to be able to appreciate in things that others ignore or even disdain. Some other times, it’s just quite lonely.

This year, end of winter, I saw again this kind of trivial beauty, in the middle of nowhere. So I do still have that part living in me, like so many years ago.

2003/2004, nccu


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