Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Iris


Blue Iris in the Rain
Originally uploaded by birdyboo.
I finally watched the movie Iris.

I suppose that it was good timing for me.

I have been feeling pretty down lately; preoccupied with negative feelings.

Iris is about a novelist who succumbs to Alzheimer's. It was tragically sad, but at the same time quite beautiful because it was also about the love that she had in her life.

Her husband, John, is just about the dearest doddering old fool you can imagine. Even at her worst, he loves her and cares for her with such gentleness, even while he himself is quite a mess, that it just breaks your heart. It is painful to watch the woman he loves remove herself from the world. But it warmed my heart just watching how he stood by her the whole time, wanting to do what she would have wanted, trying to make her difficult days bearable.

I'm sure it's very difficult to find someone with such stubborn loyalty.

I realize that perhaps that is what I have in my life now and I should feel quite lucky to have discovered this rarity.

I believe that I have been expecting more than this. I have been looking for happiness in a person or in love.

In fact, Iris muses that people mistakenly search for this: for happiness to be brought to them by someone or something.

It seems that I should have learned my lesson years ago: the only true happiness is discovered within myself.

When I travelled for such a long time, I remembered myself. The true Cathy. Because I was on my own and had no one to depend on but me. I did the things I wanted and I talked to whomever pleased me and I felt so real. I had a genuine interest in the people that I met and I treasured everything I learned and experienced. I loved who I was then. I loved the joy I took in every day and every moment.

But it was because all my moments were lived for me - not selfishly, but individually. I felt free.

As Iris says, "There is only one freedom of any importance, freedom of the mind."

Perhaps it's time I gained my mental freedom and remembered who I am again.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

I think who you are is constantly changing as "ourselves" are a composite of our experiences & how we felt AS we experienced them.
Looking back I remember the girl & her solitaryness with her 'getty', I remember the princess in her purple velour skirt & sparkles, I remember the person who always tried to be nice to the less popular kids, I remember the tough hard working midfielder good enough to play with older girls, I remember the romantic who saw the good in some 'not so good' boys,I remember the girl who almost died but bravely insisted on going in a wheelchair to the graduation,I remember the adventurer who was attacked in Peru but still had the courage to go off on her own for a year to Australia. In all phases you were different & it was ALL GOOD

Cathy said...

You are, of course, right. And it was nice to be reminded of all those "me's."

But I suppose the finding of "Me" is just feeling comfortable in my own skin.

I find that I often feel obligated to do certain things or be a certain way. Sometimes, there is a need for this self-censorship. Say, in a company meeting or at a funeral.

But the things that I chose to spend my time on? I have been forcing the issue on certain things and I realize it's not worth it.

If something is making me unhappy, I need to change it, stop it, or avoid it. I have been doggedly trying over and over to change things, even when I don't have any control over it.

It's been a lesson in futility.

I need to focus on the things that I like so that I will spend less energy in the downward-spiralling negative thoughts about things over which I have no control.

I need the Serenity Prayer from AA: God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and wisdom to know the difference.