Thursday, August 8, 2002

Thursday August 8, 2002

Filed under: General — m759 @ 4:24 PM

Here’s Your Sign

Signs Movie Stills: Mel Gibson, Joaquin Phoenix, Patricia Kalember, M. Night Shyamalan

Last night, reading the 1990 Nobel Prize Lecture  by Octavio Paz, I was struck by the fact that he was describing, in his own life and in the life of his culture, what might best be called a “fall from grace.”

I thought of putting this phrase in a journal entry, but decided that it sounded too hokey, in a faux-pious sort of way — as, indeed, does most Christian discourse. 

I was brought up short when I read the morning paper, which, in a review of the new Mel Gibson movie “Signs,” described Gibson’s character’s “fall from grace” in those exact words. 

    The Paz lecture dealt with his childhood, which seemed to him to take place in a realm without time:

“All time, past or future, real or imaginary, was pure presence. Space transformed itself ceaselessly. The beyond was here, all was here: a valley, a mountain, a distant country, the neighbours’ patio.”

Paz also mentions the Christian concept of eternity as a realm outside time, and discusses what happened to modern thought after it abandoned the concept of eternity. 

Naturally, many writers have dealt with the subject of time, but it seems particularly part of the Zeitgeist now, with a new Spielberg film about precognition.  My own small experience, from last night until today, may or may not have been precognitive.  I suspect it’s the sort of thing that many people often experience, a sort of “So that’s what that was about” feeling.  Traditionally, such experience has been expressed in terms of a theological framework.

For me, the appropriate framework is philological rather than theological.  Paz begins his lecture with remarks on giving thanks… gracias, in Spanish.   This is, of course, another word for graces, and is what prompted me to think of the phrase “fall from grace” when reading Paz.    For a less academic approach to the graces, see the film “Some Girls,” also released under the title “Sisters.”  This is the most profoundly Catholic film I have ever seen.

A still from “Some Girls“:


Family Values

1 Comment

  1. Is that Jennifer Connelly in Some Girls?  She sure has changed…grown…matured.

    Comment by Karin — Thursday, August 15, 2002 @ 8:18 PM

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