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Now is the Winter of Our Discontent

I love that phrase... it's in the movie, Goodbye Girl, my top fave romantic flick starring Richard Dreyfuss in which he plays an actor, specifically a role in Shakespeare's, Richard III, which I never read or saw, but know of....

Now is the winter of our discontent" are the opening words of the play and lay the groundwork for the portrait of Richard as a discontented man who is unhappy in a world that hates him. Later he describes himself as "Deformed, unfinished, sent before his time into this breathing world, scarce half made up". This deformity, which has now been shown to have been exaggerated or even deliberately faked in portraits of Richard, is given as the source of his supposed evil doings. He says that as he "cannot prove a lover" he is "determined to be a villain". Source

This is relevant stuff some 400 years after it was written.

As we ponder life and our place within it at this very moment... it's easy to pick out what isn't good enough, what we need more of, or wish we had. In our imagination, we have it alllll figured out - how people should behave, how our leaders could make a difference in our culture and communities, how our love relationships could be better... if only. And in our imagination, we can envision some sort of utopia, as if we had special insight that others do not... if only. I certainly am guilty of that, just like most people. I've been thinking about this recently... how life usually takes paths unexpected and sometimes we wonder how we got here... wherever "here" is today. And it matters not if you've suffered loss, illness or ruin... even a minor shift in your imagination lands you here not there, or someplace different than you once thought you'd be. And we all have some level of this no matter who you are. There have been some deaths of beautiful young movie stars who've recently committed suicide, gone missing, etc. Consider that.... Seems even the rich and famous have their share of discontent with the world, feeling displaced or alone in the world.

I think of this sort of universal existential despair (i.e. depression from simply being alive) afflicting people en masse. Shouldn't we be talking about this? And shouldn't we take measures as a country/culture/family/individual to dissuade it? To think of my children looking to their future without great hope.. is a tragedy. I care that we are afflicted!

I'm often accused of being a Pollyanna. I used to resent that, but have come to understand its truth. I am naive and a hopeless romantic. Sue me.

I watched a pretty good movie tonight called, Funny People (with Adam Sandler in it) that had elements of real life problems mixed in with the experience of being rich and famous, being adored by beautiful women combined with sickness, relationship failures, aging, etc. I reflect a moment upon a line from one of the supporting characters in the flick... the plot is unimportant for this blog post and it matters not if you saw the movie. The quote was, "There is anger, and underneath that anger is hurt, and underneath hurt is.......... love"

So think about that. When we consider our existential despair, it started out as beauty and love gone awry and riddled with confusion and disappointments which festered. And because we feel hurt, we build walls and ego defenses and lose hope. Underneath it all.... is the good stuff.

It's worth it to fight for good things even though it's hard. It is worth it to be concerned if discontent permeates our pores. We may not know the reasons why initially, but we should search ourselves for the root. Instead of complaining what is wrong, we should go deeper to the hurt and then deeper to the original notions that came from hope and love. We should ask ourselves instead of what someone else can do to save us from despair, but what went wrong along the way that we can somehow overcome. I've learned that there are no heroes except the one inside of each of us.

I'm not even sure if I'm articulating meaning in this posting, just sharing some thoughts that have been on my mind lately....

Whatever surrounds you in your winter of discontent, I hope you are not sweeping it under a carpet but instead care enough about your life to find your peace.

3 comments:

mavis sidebottom said...

richard iii got a very bad press which gave him the hump

mavis sidebottom said...

plus it always a good phrase for camping shops with a sale on once the summer season is over , Now is the winter of our Discount tent

Anonymous said...

This is The Nagual speaking.

Steinbeck wrote a novel entitled The Winter Of Our Discontent as I recall. He was a genius about titles.

It was one of his better works if memory serves...charcteristically dark and with a bang of an ending. Anyway it was about that same topic.

That is all.

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