Oh, to see without my eyesSong by Sufjan Stevens from the movie, Call Me By your Name
The first time that you kissed me
Boundless by the time I cried
I built your walls around me
White noise, what an awful sound
Fumbling by Rogue River
Feel my feet above the ground
Hand of God, deliver meOh, oh woe-oh-woah is me
The first time that you touched me
Oh, will wonders ever cease?
Blessed be the mystery of love
I watched the movie ‘Call me by your Name’ last night and loved it even more than the book. That is very rare. But more on that on a different post – my books to movies post part 2.
What I wanted to talk about though was the universal subject on which art is made – love and specifically romantic love.
Why is love so essential, yet so difficult? Why must human beings desire it so much and run after this feeling, only to have their hearts broken? I have heard from almost all my friends that they’ve experienced the ‘once-in-a-lifetime’ kind of love but, it never works out, or never actually stays.
In books and movies or other kinds of art – like paintings or music, we are sold the idea of passionate and eternal love. But is that true?
All the love stories I’ve heard about have been fleeting in nature. If the lovers in question do end up together by a stroke of good luck, then I’ve seen the passion fade as life takes over, or I’ve seen accidents take away the loved ones. For most of us, we never get to experience the kind of love we are told about. Sometimes we get to experience it, but like this movie/book, it is fleeting. Maybe a summer fling, maybe a short affair, maybe unrequited, or maybe one without a happy ending.
We all know this. We’ve all experienced this feeling of longing for something more, that feeling that would make us come alive. But we know that it’s useless to long for this feeling. It’s temporary, or it doesn’t exist. Oh, don’t get me wrong. I’m not a hater. I am a romantic at heart. But all the stories I’ve heard and all the feelings I’ve experienced, have turned me into a cynic. I wish I could believe in love, in eternal, passionate, romantic love. But I know that would be like looking for the gold at the end of the rainbow. Isn’t it? Or do you think otherwise? Or can you tell me a love story that doesn’t end in heartbreak or sadness?
In the book and in the movie, there is also something that Elio’s father says to him in the end – “We have only one heart and one body. But we get hurt once and in order to stop feeling anything, we start to force ourselves to feel nothing. And by the time we are 30, our heart and body have wasted away. Soon, no one will even want to look at our bodies, let alone have the desire to touch. So don’t let your heart and body go to waste. Don’t stop yourself from feeling.”
I know that makes sense literally, but while I agreed to part of what he says, about letting yourself experience your feelings, I wasn’t sure I wanted to believe in the fact that you could fall in love only once. What do you think? Is real, true love, a once in a lifetime deal, that only a chosen few get to experience? Are the rest of us condemned to just keep longing for it? Or are the rest of us so blind to our fantasies, that we are unable to see what is right in front of us? Are we missing out on a chance of happiness and the kind of love that brings contentment rather than passion, because we’re looking for the wrong thing?
Whatever it is, I guess the mystery of love is here to stay, and here to inspire our feelings, so that we will have a never ending supply of stories, movies, and art about love 🙂
I couldn’t stop myself from putting down all the ramblings from my heart and mind, after watching the movie. The book, the dialogues, the acting, the story, the music – it all made me feel things that I believed I couldn’t feel. I cried after ages last night. I had no idea why I cried, but I cried. It felt good for a change.