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Monday, February 05, 2007

Tell the truth

Wow, I'm suddenly writing more here.


Photo from this web site.

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At the end of one of my favorite movies, “Lost in Translation,” Bill Murray’s character whispers something inaudible into Scarlett Johansson’s character’s ear (pictured here).

After watching it and replaying it a few times, reading his lips, my conclusion is that he whispers “Tell the truth.”

Johansson’s character, Charlotte, is a writer. She graduated with a “useless” degree in Philosophy (not so different from an English degree, I suppose). She’s searching for meaning, a calling. Mostly, she wants to write.

Shakespeare wrote “to thine own self be true,” spoken by Polonius in Hamlet. And actually, Bill Murray played Polonius in Ethan Hawke’s “Hamlet” film, according to Wiki, so it would be a nice connection.

Is there a difference between telling the truth and being true to yourself?

For us who write, telling the truth can mean:

* not sugarcoating it
* writing about what we know, telling our own story
* being bold when necessary
* being original, bucking trends

Is this different from being true to oneself?

* living in reality, not denial
* living out our own story
* being bold about who we are
* being different when necessary

Telling the truth and being true -- both require thought and reflection in a slow cadence, on a daily basis. Everything around us is too crazy, too wild, too fast, too controlling for us NOT to pay attention to our own mind, our own heart. Stop the world, I want to get off! At least for a few minutes, every day.

6 comments:

Ginnie said...

So incredibly well written, Ruth, and thought-provoking. When I first opened the post, I thought that was Amy and wondered how you found it (since I hadn't seen it yet!). :)

Having grown up in a family where we needed to please everyone else (because we were preacher's kids!), I think you and I have had more tapes to erase than maybe others (like Donica, for instance). Even so, maybe we've had to work harder at it and therefore have made greater strides?

Do you feel that the older you get, the truer to yourself you're becoming? I do. And it IS the same thing as telling the truth! Very liberating.

Ruth said...

Boots, I had not noticed how much SJ looks like Amy in this photo. You are right -- same eyes!

Yes, I think in our family we got extra doses of people pleasing being modeled. I was talking about this with my friend Lar the other night (Inge's husband) and how different his own experience was. His dad wanted him to please himself!

Yep, there's nothing like a woman in her 40s (when I started to be myself) to go internal and reflective, so they say.

"Angeldust" said...

Hmmm, I stay in "my came", so does my neighbour downstairs, directly bellow me. We can't hack all that is going on all the time.
While I give more tham one chance to people, she boiled down to one.

To tell the truth and being true to oneself takes quietude, as you said - constant revision too - not many of us chose to do so or have the privilege to access such hidden corners of ourselves.

(Did you mean this blog?)

Love and joy to you

Rauf said...

OMG Ruth! Is Ethan Hawk Directing ? He's just a kid.
Hear so much about the movie. not been watching any these days. I had very high hopes on Scarlet Johansson. She is turning out to be highly talented and beautiful young lady. Saw her as a 14 year old in Robert Redford's horse whisperer. I have the OST and it was a very good book.

In my younger days I was very blunt. I made people nervous by my presence. Having given up my faith I was constantly under scrutiny. I had to prove that i don't need religion to become a good human. I think I failed. now I am quiet.
I am protesting lot less now and lot less vocal.

Ruth said...

Angledust, so glad you visited, yes I meant this blog. We have similar backgrounds with Church, and so I thought you might be interested.

Rauf, at www.imdb.com it says that Ethan Hawke played Hamlet; but the wiki article made it sound like it was "his" movie (implying directorship). What is the "OST"? SJ is wonderful. Did you see "Girl with a Pearl Earring"? It is a forgettable movie, but the opening scene where she is preparing vegetables is one of the most gorgeous things I've ever seen.

I'll bet you didn't fail, Rauf. People argue the loudest when they are with us. But then the next person they talk with, they might use our argument with them! I see it often. I agree. Outer forms, such as religion, don't make us who we are, don't make us better. In fact, as Angeldust points out at her blog, the opposite often happents.

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