Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Understanding understanding

I didn't get to see the movie The Lake House in the movie theater, but I did get to see it on DVD sometime ago. A "chick flick" is how some people have described it. Still, I kind of enjoyed it--not only because Keanu was in it--but because it made this lazy brain of mine think about something, something that's not directly related to the movie. Oh, hell, the way my mind twists and turns drives me crazy most of the time.

If you haven't seen the film and don't want your future viewing experience spoiled, read no further. Go water your plants or something.

In the film, through some freak accident committed by Father Time, the characters that Sandra and Keanu play fall in love. Never mind that they've never seen each other, never mind that they communicate only via a magic mailbox, never mind that Sandra's character's now is two years ahead of that of Keanu's character. They have a unique long-distance (in a weird sort of way) love affair, they cheat death, they live happily-in-the-now (finally), yadda yadda.

What I'm getting to is this: Sandra tells her mother of her extraordinary love affair while Keanu confides in his brother. The movie implies that these relatives accept these strange tales told by the protagonists (which is saying a lot for them. Frankly, I'd think of calling the men in the white coats if a relative of mine tells me a story of having an inter-dimensional love affair). What the movie doesn't specifically show is whether Sandra's mom or Keanu's brother understood what was told to them.

I'm sure each one of us has an unusual side to our personalities. Weird thoughts, weird dreams, weird desires, weird characteristics. But is there anyone who truly understands our idiosyncracies? Does such a person exist? Oh, sure, our spouses, boyfriends/girlfriends, relatives, friends love and accept us in spite of our quirks. But do they truly understand us? Do they really understand what we're thinking, what we're feeling? Do they empathize or do they just "accept"? And is that really so important?

In the greater scheme of things, it might not seem so important. After all, having all these people around you, loving you, supporting you, I mean, what else could you ask for? They're there for you through thick and through thin, sharing with you the laughter and the tears and everything else in between that fate throws at you. But sometimes you find yourself wondering if that singular person out there exists, someone who not only accepts your weirdness, but understands why you find solace in your weirdness and that he/she feels or has felt similarly. You know, someone who just doesn't say "That's okay. Whatever you're going through, I'm here for you." Or, "Oh, yeah, I understand" then goes totally off-tangent on you and narrates a marginally related experience (kind of like what I did here with The Lake House). But someone who can say with simple sincerity and conviction, "I understand you"--and you know you ain't being BS'ed, does such a person really exist?

I'm not talking about support groups, because obviously members of these groups have common experiences that make each one relate to the others. I'm referring mostly to people's immediate circle of family and friends. Because in spite of being surrounded by people who love you and whom you love, it's entirely possible to feel lonely even when you're not alone.


Aisby said...

Odd that you should bring this up, because I just watched this movie over the weekend and I was befuddled by the fact that the mom and the brother weren't trying to ship them off to Milledgeville (a local term for the looney bin).

But no, I don't think there is ever anyone who TRULY gets us. But I'm not sure that I would want to. I don't always understand myself all that well and I wouldn't want someone else knowing me better than me.

houseband00 said...

Each of us is unique. When we observe our children develop their own personalities, it's gets more difficult to say "I can read him like a book." But then, we still accept them for who they are, right? You can't stop someone from realizing his or her own potential, or weirdness.

Ah, being human.

mist1 said...

I didn't see the movie for two reasons. 1) I got enough of this duo in Speed 1-15, and 2) Every copy was in stock in the movie store (never a good sign).

Odat said...

I was thinking about renting this movie and I still think I will.
After reading your thoughts, I've tried to put the proverbial shoe on the other foot so to speak, to see if I would be that person you speak of to someone else. And I think I have to maybe one or two people in my's a very rare and beautiful thing and those who are subjected to such a relationship should cherish it. I can only say I've found this to be true with some close female friends.
P.S. I'm going to post my weird list tomorrow morning!
(my tomorrow that is, cause it's already tomorrow where you

the Laughorist said...

It was on the Aer Lingus flight from Boston to Shannon. I tried watching. I tried sleeping. It got confusing. Then the Celtic music came through the headphones. Then they tried to sell me duty-free stuff. The movie seems to go back and forth in time. And space. I was half-awake. It tires me to think about it. Which is good. Night. Time to retire. An odd word, retire. Re-tire. Tire again?

lastonehere said...

I think I understand what you mean; it is a very crazy place in my mind. The thoughts get way out of control from time to time. I have tried to explain them to random friends and family. That is when I would get that (I am going to commit you look). I doubt that there is anyone that will ever truly understand what and why. I do believe that there are many of us that can at least relate 90%; I think I am one of those people. So bring on the crazy stuff.

BTW this long comment is not revenge.

zeroimpact said...

Call me an idiot or dreamer but I do believe it happens... not everyday though
It will be a gigantic task to look for one but then when it happens, it's sort of a miracle
We will always be there for those we love but how much do we understand them... a big question mark...

Michael C said...

A very deep idea. It has given me a lot to think about. I don't expect to ever be completely understood on my deepest level by anyone, but I'm cool with that.

See, now you've made me think and all of a sudden I'm smelling smoke ;-)

Lizza said...

aisby: Haha, sometimes I don't understand myself either. I guess it would be hard to expect another person to.

HB: No,we should never stop anyone from realizing their full potential--whether they be adults or kids.

mist1: Keanu wasn't in Speed 2, you funny, crazy woman. :-D

odat: Damn, now you made me think again! I just realized that I might not be so understanding of others myself. Hmmmm...

laughorist: I just love the way you play with words. Your blog posts conjure all sorts of images. Mental onanism, as it were. Thanks for dropping by!

lastonehere: Haha! Long comments, short comments, I welcome them all. Except spam, of course. Getting the I'm-going-to-commit-you look is better than getting a blank look. :-) Crazy, I mean great minds think alike--but differently enough to make things interesting.

zeroimpact: Being a dreamer is a good thing. And yes, understanding others isn't a piece of cake either.

Michael: Yeah, the deepest level might be inaccessible to everyone but ourselves. Don't think too hard, okay? :-)

ShadowFalcon said...

I really liked that movie, my husband hated it and wanted Keanu to die.

The only thing that bugs me is the time paradox thing, but its meant to be the same ending as the Korean original plus its better that way.

Lizza said...

Oh, it was adapted from a Korean film? I never knew that. Thanks for the info. :-)

LastminuteLyn said...

In my hometown, St Elizabeths is the local looney bin. When I moved to Ohio, St Elizabeth's was the local hospital. Until I figured that out people got some very strange looks from me when talking about hospital visits.
I haven't seen the movie yet, its on my Net Flix Que

Matt-Man said...

While it is most helpful that people are there for me when necessary, I dont think it is absolutely necessary that they understand me as long as you understand myself. But to answer your question, I do have a couple of folks that honestly do understand me.

Matt-Man said...

um...."as long as I understand myself...."

Sony said...

See, I'm torn. Half of me wants to read your post, but the other wants to see the film first to avoid spoilers.

As a stickler on plot and someone who abhors spoilers (or even network TV advertising), I appreciated the spoiler warning.

Okay, I'll go check out the film and recomment in the future. I tried going back to read the post, but my total aversion to spoilers made it impossible.

Lizza said...

Matt: Yeah, I get your point. It's just that sometimes I wonder if anybody gets what I'm myself. LOL

Sony: I liked the movie in spite of (or maybe because of) its weirdness. Some parts of it rang true for me. But this post isn't really about the movie per se...inspired by it is more like it. :-) In any case, I'd love to hear your thoughts.

Lizza said...

Lyn: Well, you're a bit loony anyhow...but the kind of loony that's nice. :-)

H said...

yeah well. i watered the plants. as you suggested.

but I will come back when I've seen the film.

Lizza said...

Good girl, foxy H! You know I always like to know what you think.

SilverSabre said...

Hey u :)

Just saw the tag now.. Im on it :)

Also, I think I can totally relate to what u are saying, I find there are times when I am alone with Everyone if you know what i mean.


Lizza said...

SS, I'm glad you finally saw the tag. :-D

I do know what you mean...exactly!

Aunty Helpful Dictator said...

I enjoyed the film too... mainly for Keanu... all except the line about the "unguarded eyes"... I mean if anyone said to you, aren't you a girl with brown hair and unguarded eyes, would you actually think 'of course that was me'

As for someone understanding us properly. I think it might be part of the human condition that no one else ever completely understands us. But maybe not. It would honestly freak me out if someone did.