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Gaining Clarity
Gaining clarity

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 strange sensation.

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.
Films Discussed
It's a Wonderful Life (60th Anniversary Edition)

Music Discussed
Billie's Best

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Latest Post: August 27, 2009 at 5:15 PM
Number of posts: 1
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