being seen


Because I've been home recuperating for the last 24 hours or so, I've had a chance to watch a few movies.  Today I watched Take This Waltz (available on Netflix streaming).  I really admire Sarah Polley and the performances in the movie were all excellent.  Some of the themes in the movie were a little too close to home for me to really enjoy right now and I had a tremendously hard time having any kind of sympathy for Margot, Michelle Williams' character.  What struck me about the movie was how masterfully it evoked the almost consuming desire we have to be seen, to really be seen, by another person.  The opening sequence of Margot making blueberry muffins is exquisite.  The camera lingers on her feet as she moves through the kitchen, it notices the fine hairs on her arms, warmly lit by the sunshine, it traces the fall of her hair, her slim legs, the expressiveness of her eyes.  This sequence, more than anything, made me feel "That!  That is what we all want!  We want to be seen like that!".  And this is part of what is so hard about being a human.  We want to be noticed in that way and we get a feeling of being seen in that way in the early days of a relationship.  As we are being discovered we feel we are being seen.  But as a relationship progresses, we are known more and, perhaps, seen less.  And I really had no idea what the movie was about and, of course, that's a huge theme.  So, I guess I have to say I'm really impressed that this opening sequence worked so well to evoke in me as a viewer the kind of feeling that, in part, drove the Margot character to behave how she did.  I don't know what we should do with that feeling, that yearning to just really be seen.  I suppose in some sense this is probably something that some people find in their religion - the idea of a god who sees and loves you.  It seems such a powerful but such a destructive longing in most of us.