I want to describe a moment in our lives. The moment is that
of gaining clarity - seeing all of a sudden clearly through the fog.
I’ll tell you the story. I just saw a movie on Billie holiday
when they were talking about the song “Strange
Fruit.” It’s a song I heard several
hundreds of times throughout more than a
decade, but I don’t usually notice phrases only words. I never thought what the
song was about, and simply heard it as a song about fruit. A song about strange
fruit. Now seeing images with this song I understood what it was about. It’s
easy enough. It’s trivial to understand the words the moment you actually read
them, but certainly together with accompanying images:
It’s strange to all of a sudden understand something so
clearly after so many years. It’s not something I was aware I didn’t
understand. When I heard the song it was
simply a song on strange fruit. What strange blindness.
How much of life is like this? How much of life do we go
through believing something in the background, never really reflecting on it, and
then there are these moment when something is clarified; when something moves
into focus from its usual haze. It’s a
If we take for example understanding films, most people see
them without understanding anything. TakeTarantino’s new film Inglorious Basterds. I find the reviews here by Michel de Graph, post
, and Dave Robinson, post
, one of the most interesting ones, and I
read many. Most of them haven’t a clue what the film is about, perhaps all of
them. Also Michel and Dave don’t even claim to understand much, but at least
they each understand a small part which is connected to them. Is it an accident
that Michel whose picture is an Ape (King-Kong) noticed the animal theme, while
Dave, whose picture is Breughel’s The
Fall of Icarus where Icarus wings get burnt by the sun thinks the film is about
fire. Each sees their own version of the world, but both understand something of
the film, which, as I said, is much better than almost anyone else’s review.
Expressing this sensation is very popular in films, for
example in the most shown of Christmas films, What a Wonderful Life, where it
takes an angel to bring a moment of clarity to Jimmy Stewart, and the many repetitions
of this story in American film.
Films are an example, books might be stronger, painting. The
fact of the matter is that we are constantly blind walking in the world, with
small glimpses of clarity which soon moves back to mist.