Monday, June 16, 2008

Life and Death

Woody Allen made a movie in 1975's titled "Love and Death." I admit that I love 'some' of Woody Allen's movies. I also admit that I walked out on 'Deconstructing Harry.'

A couple of months ago 'Love and Death' was on T.V. Although I was planning to do housework I spent the better part of the next 90 minutes laughing rather than cleaning.

Mr. Allen is obsessed with death. More than likely he fears death, which is why most of his films at least mention the subject.

For those of you who don't know the movie, here is a brief synopsis:

The story is told from the perspective of Boris Grushenko who is a neurotic Russian caught up in the invasion of Napolean. Despite being a pathetic coward he ends up being a war hero and along the way falls in love with the beautiful Sonja who is working to thwart Napolean's plans. Of course, the story is far from factual and is riddled with comedic Allen-like sketches. However, in my opinioin, there is an underlying message, and a serious one at that.

And so I walk through the valley of the shadow of death. Actually, make that "I run through the valley of the shadow of death" - in order to get OUT of the valley of the shadow of death more quickly, you see."

Sonja has a quote:
To love is to suffer. To avoid suffering one must not love. But then one suffers from not loving. Therefore, to love is to suffer; not to love is to suffer; to suffer is to suffer. To be happy is to love. To be happy, then, is to suffer, but suffering makes one unhappy. Therefore, to be unhappy, one must love or love to suffer or suffer from too much happiness. I hope you're getting this down.

This past week Wade's wonderful uncle passed away. He had been recovering from surgery and developed pnemonia.

This man lived a full life. He was somewhat of a renaissance man. His art, literature and spirit was fishing and gardening. Although the beginning of his life was a struggle, he persevered into becoming a successful business man. As he formed a family, he and is marvelous wife instilled a passion for travel and compassion to his 5 kids. As their children begat children the family jewels were passed along to them as well.

He lived, loved and made a mark in this world that will not be soon forgotten as his legacy lives on through the lives of those who knew him.

So when death becomes a part of your life you reflect on the life that was lived. Which brings me to thinking about "Love and Death."

When you look back on your life there are memories that we likely would rather not think about. But like it or not those experiences shape us into the person we are at present: for better or worse. I frustrate myself with these memories, wishing I could erase them from the storage unit in my brain. Regrets: they are part of our lives whether we acknowledge them or not. If you have children regrets are plentiful.

The end of one persons time on earth can be the catalyst you need to take a serious look at your own life, wondering how people will remember you when your time comes to leave this world.

While the film "Love and Death" depicts a strange life indeed, the reality is that our own lives mimic a good comedy, especially if you live it well. The regrets and failures can be hiliarious when we look back at them. At the time they resemble a tragedy more than a comedy. But after the benefit of time dulls the pain we can look back and laugh.

Life and love and death. They are all a part of our journey on earth. Regrets, lost hopes and bumps in the road provide the comedy we all need to make us laugh. So live your life well. Don't short change love. Embrace the mistakes. And laugh. Especially at yourself.

1 comment:

Sondra said...

Jere, I just read an article in Newsweek about Woody Allen, which had me thinking back to this blog of yours. It was pretty good, he's a very interesting character for sure. The author said he is like "the angel of death disguised as kindly Uncle Morty." Anyway, with his compulsive superstitions, his apathy, agnosticism, questionable morality, and belief that life is totally random, this is a man in need of a Savior. I was entertained by many of his comments and observations, but all in all, he is living an empty life; no wonder he thinks of life as a passing wind.