Musings on BLUE VALENTINE
This film has stayed with me. Small scenes, some lines, a moment pops into my head every now and again and I have been trying to figure out why. I found it moving but it also explored a subject that is universal, that effects everyone in one way or another – the nature of love, the fleetingness of it, the importance of it, the destructiveness of it, the creativeness of it, the support it gives and all that it takes away. Old themes for sure, themes that have been explored time and time again, yet this film still manages to make me think, to point out something new about the huge conundrum, perhaps because it does it in a way that doesn’t suggest what is right, or who was wrong. There are no should haves, no what ifs, no why didn’t yous, it is more fatalistic than that, it simply charts the fact that people fall in and out of love. There are never any reasons, love is a feeling and it doesn’t abide by reason. It just happens. Or it doesn’t. It’s chemistry. The film investigates it without offering any answers; it just shows the joy and sadness of it all. I read a poem by Galway Kinnell the other night, perhaps even the same night I watched the film, which seems to say all that the film says about the cyclical nature of love, the falling in and falling out like the seasons or waves on a shore, like everything else in nature that is inconsistent and changing and beautiful.
Juniper and cedar in the sand,
The lake beyond, here deer-flesh smoking
On the driftwood fire. And we two
Touching each other by the wash of blue
On the warm sand together lying
As careless as the water on the land.
Now across the water the sunset clooms.
All the pebbles wearing each other
Back into sand speak in the silence;
Or else under the cliff the surf begins,
Telling of another evening, and another,
Beside lapping waters and the small, lapped stones.
The sand turns cold – or the body warms.
If love had not smiled we would never grieve.
But on every earthly place its turning crown
Flashes and fades. We will feast on love again
In the purple light, and rise again and leave
Our two shapes dying in each other’s arms.
By Galway Kinnell