Watching Paterson, a movie by J. Jarmusch, “A quiet observation of the triumphs and defeats of daily life, along with the poetry evident in its smallest details.”
Happening in New Jersey (when I watch a movie I now often check where it happens), I am, with this movie, like the previous one (Only Lovers Left Alive), let with a broken heart, and the weird feeling that Jarmusch is talking about something very personal to me.
When Paterson opened his lunchbox for the first time, I saw that it was prepared by his wife. Awwweeee!
Paterson’s philosophy seems to be : whatever it is, do your job the best way you can, grab microscopic interesting elements from a kind of boring daily life (a dialog, a match box, a ray of light on a roof) and make something out of it.
There’s an article to write about the idea of bad quotes. Writers like Milan Kundera or Oscar Wilde are often wrongly quoted, the sentence coming from a novel and not from them. Kundera wrote in a book that the last adventure of mankind, in our age of “all is discovered now” modernity, was to live in couple. It’s been quoted everywhere, and it goes on, despite the fact the author explained one day it came from a dialog, and it was the stupidest thing to write it as “his” opinion. Same for Wilde, who is quoted from characters he personally hates from his novels.
Jesus on his cross. At this time, people nailed humans on some crosses to make them die slowly. So the basic symbol of christianity is a torture device. Happily he’s not been hanged!
A bouquet of flowers, tulips, roses. Cut flowers are dying. A bouquet is an agony.
An unlimited patience feeding on the conscience of its strength
What do you choose between :
- an extreme freedom which leads to chaos
- an extreme constraint which curbs invention
Transcend an influence, enough to make it not identifiable
When you see in a friend, a lover, a parent, overreacting like crazy, you’re stunned, and floored, your mouth stays open, you look like a ridiculous dead frog.
“What the f… is happening here ?”
You can try to dialog but you quickly find out, as a rule, that it’s impossible. Run !
Your first reaction, you embarrassing silly fool, by the way, is try to weave back a conversation. If you find this person is overreacting, don’t say “You overreacting, no ?”.
It does not work, obviously.
OK. Go away. Shut up. Think.
If someone reacts this way, to “something” you just find different, funny or just pleasantly challenging, you have to understand that you touched a nerve, you struck a chord, you hit a heartstring, whatever (HOW do I say this in english, good people ? – in France we say “Toucher une corde sensible”, to touch a sensitive rope).
If you like this person, his or her overreaction should activate your empathy. It’s a good thing. Watch, listen, remember, try to understand. Your cultural standards are different, the “other” doesn’t always fit. That’s life and that’s a dance. Learn.
You need time, then you can cautiously try to dialog. Find the nerve. Hug (this friendship is precious, right ?). Hug again. Smile. You also have your own shit to deal with.
Seeing a good person overreacting is a seed for empathy and dialog. You’ll know your friend better, strengths and flaws included. We all have to learn how to navigate around the people we love. What you find “innocent” can be a big, a HUGE deal for this one. Learn. And work to find out and understand what happened. It’s worth it. It is !
Do you know your own chords ? Where should people NOT tickle you ?