Expatria · Movies · Spirituality · Television

the rose, what next?, and the brenda chenowith syndrome

‘the rose’ and the three people in the world for whom i can sing

after years of wanting to see ‘the rose,’ i stayed up till almost the crack of dawn the other night and watched it. what a beautiful film, and bette midler has one of the most powerful voices in the history of voices. i remembered that the song ‘the rose’ was one of the first solos i ever sang when i was younger. i had the most amazing choir teacher, mr. wisner, who once told me never to be ashamed to cry when it hurts and who was the first person for whom i could sing. and boy i could sing good! i don’t think of myself as a singer, but with him i really was. i probably could have been a rock star if i had wanted. my dad is the second person for whom i can sing. he helped me find my voice again and although i don’t have the powerful voice i did with mr. wisner, i know that i am a performer, and for this i have my daddy to thank. the third person for whom i can sing is minos tarmin, someone i thought i was in love with and someone who broke my heart so badly i lost my faith in love and really haven’t been able to sing since. but, when i was watching ‘the rose’ i felt this overwhelming ache from deep inside every time she performed. this ‘chorus line’ ache of “i can do that!” and it makes me wonder why i am not.

what next?

i also watched ‘the secret life of words’ finally. i’ve rented it so many times and never seen it. it was a lovely movie, beautiful performances and a very powerful story. but i was faced once again with the question, “what next?” the main character hannah has in her past one of the most horrible things i have heard happen to her and she falls in love, blah blah. when her true loves searches her out she shuns him saying ‘I am afraid that one day I will start crying and the tears will fill the room. We will both drown.’ he replies, ‘I will learn to swim.’ and the movie ends shortly afterwards. this is very romantic, but to me the real story lies within what happens next. how does he deal with her trauma? how does he learn to touch her in a way that does not reawaken past horrors? what happens when she finally feels safe and starts crying, begins to release the pain and maybe can’t stop for a long time? how does he deal? how does she deal? it seems that films, even very good dramas, take the easy road most times and do not get into the meat of relationships. the difficulties. zach braff says himself at the end of ‘garden state,’ “now what happens?” what happens next IS the real story. how do the two people begin to coexist after their epiphany? how do they overcome their pasts? everyone has a crazy story about how they met. i would like to see a movie about how people deal with the past, deal with their love, move forward.

the brenda chenowith syndrome

Tintelligence and cynicism are not the same thing, nor are they mutually exclusive. there are some who live their lives by overthinking every emotion until it is buried six feet underground. they are so afraid to know themselves and in turn open themselves to others that their only defense is to keep everyone around them at a distance.

the brenda chenowith syndrome falls in line with my two types of travelers theory, and has to do not with the Questing Traveler (those who travel for spiritual awakenings and in search of connections) but rather the Runaway Traveler (those who are fleeing, escaping from something and are only interested in, for example, getting drunk in different cities not connecting with people from different cultures, etc). since moving to granada i have for the first time in my life been spending time with Runaway Travelers for extended periods of time, and it has gotten to the point where i can see how being around these people has negatively affected me. i will call him ivan. when i first began to hang out with him his cynicism and negativity seemed funny and almost cool, in a really disturbed way. i continued to hang out with him because i had thought that after time the friendship would grow and deepen and his facade of cynicism would belie the person underneath. about a month ago, i realised that the acquaintenceship was was just as deep as it was going to get and i felt gypped. even with brenda chenowith, as much as she disgusts me, i understand that her cynicism comes from a very real place. i am sure that ivan’s does as well, but i have not seen even a glimpse of what is behind it.

he thinks it is really cool that he has been fucking someone for months and they are about to move in together but neither of them have talked about each other to any of their family or friends. not even to mention they have a ‘special friend.’ he always talks about how he would like to set up his life in a way that he has minimal contact with people, yet he is always calling us to hang out. finally, when we found out we are leaving, i decided that was enough of time with him. his negativity and cynicism has been poison for me. i feel it. i have had no interest of meeting anyone, talking to anyone i don’t already know really well which basically limits me to my email contacts and friends i speak to on the phone, none of whom are here. part of me feels bad to just not want to hang out with him and effectively i have not done anything with him since i realised what a waste of time the last few months were. it was hanging around with someone and not even getting past the most superficial of pleasantries and conversations, for months on end. i have never been that person. as a human being, i am a seeker, i quest, i am searching for the signs and the next connection. somehow surrounded by so much superficiality and travelers that are nothing like me, i have become like them.

i am thankful to him for one thing only. that i have realised there are different types of travelers who have different goals in their travels. i think this should make it easier for me to see who people are in the future and choose who i will spend my time with. i am extremely proud of the fact that i have many amazing people in my life, and even though i may have only spent minimal ammounts of time with them, the connection we have made is as strong as ever and will always be. we got past all the bullshit and i think of them as family, my soul relations. the negativity demonstrated to me by ivan is poison. cynicism is cowardice. i want to be around heroes and warriors. they are everywhere, it’s only hard to see them when infected by someone else’s sick vision of life.


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