|Mt. Baker and the Sisters|
Thursday's regularly scheduled hike was when I took this picture from Chuckanut Ridge. As I wrote in my other blog, it was a long hike, 11.5 miles, with lots of elevation gain and loss. Even though I consider myself to be relatively fit, I was pretty sore after that one. But today, Sunday, I feel just fine and am glad I can still manage such a difficult trek. It's one of the hardest that we have on our annual schedule; I knew what I was getting into, but it had been a year, and I'm a year older now.
Speaking of getting older, I went to see a rather unusual movie yesterday, with one of my favorite actors, Robert Redford. My friend Judy and I were a little nervous about how we would like the movie, since it's almost two hours long and has no dialog and only one person in it. The movie is titled All is Lost, about a man alone on a sailboat in the Indian Ocean who endures disaster after disaster. I woke in the middle of the night thinking about the end of the movie, which I won't share with you, but it's a stunning film, in my opinion. Redford is no longer young (he's 77); the man I admired in those movies he starred in decades ago doesn't look anything like the weatherbeaten guy in this movie. But gosh, he's an amazing actor, a consummate professional, better than ever.
When I got home, I went to Rotten Tomatoes to read what others are saying about this movie, because I found it to be almost unbelievable that they were able to make it, or think that anybody would be willing to even go see it. I saw Tom Hanks in Castaway, similar in premise but really nothing like this one. It premiered at the Cannes Film Festival in May, and this excerpt is taken from the link above (written by Greg Kilday at the Hollywood Reporter):
Chandor [the movie's writer-director] approached the movie's debut at Cannes with some anxiety. It would be the first time Redford would see the completed film. The two were seated side by side at the Palais. About halfway through the film, reacting to a particularly vivid moment they had shared on set, Chandor spontaneously squeezed Redford's knee. "He looked at me and smiled a little bit, and I could see he was proud," he says. "We looked around, and we could see people leaning forward in their seats. At the moment, I knew, whether the movie goes on to success or not, people were getting what we were trying to do."Without giving anything more away about this film, the reason I think it resonated so deeply within me is that I identified with this man (he's never even given a name in the movie) who was presented with incredible obstacles and kept on trying to find a solution. The only dialog in the movie is at the beginning, which we realize later is the text of a message he has placed in a jar and released into the sea, in hopes that it might one day reach his family.
Last night as I tossed and turned, with the image of the movie's final scenes playing in my mind's eye, I tried to understand why I couldn't let it go, why I kept going over and over that ending. I think I finally figured out why (but I'm not going to tell you, in case you decide to see it yourself).
Life is never something we escape. It's something we live, we endure, as well as enjoy each precious moment we are given on this earth. But one day, it will come to an end. Watching Robert Redford's beautiful, craggy face as he lives his life, on and off screen, is both a testament to our willingness to endure incredible difficulties, and a reminder that even those people we admired in our youth still continue to grow old, die, and (in this case) continue to inspire us. The link to the Hollywood Reporter is about the making of the movie, which is fascinating in its own right.
Yes, that's it. In writing this down and thinking about it, I now feel released from the hold that film had on me. That said, any time I will have a chance to see Redford in anything at all, I'll go and watch this man who still owns my heart. I've seen lots of movies, but there are only a few that I will think about hours or even days later, and this is one of them.
In this upcoming Thanksgiving week, I'll ponder the things I am grateful for, and one I won't forget is that we are never ever really truly alone, no matter what. Never forget that, dear ones. I wish you an abundant and wonder-filled week, until we meet again.