Our Daily Lives

The daily grind doesn’t leave much room or energy for living fully. By living fully, I mean that each person can define what a full life is for him or her. Today’s “Brain Pickings” was on the topic of how we spend our days. A quote from Annie Dillard: “How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives.” Then descriptions of various individuals’ daily routines, perfect for them. Lives lived hunting, drinking schnapps and napping (writer Karen Dinesen’s father), or reading and writing and not sleeping very much (Jack London).

Our daily lives mark passage of time and experience. I saw “Before Midnight” today. About a year ago I watched again “Before Sunrise” and “Before Sunset”. They were shown on TV, back-to-back, and we’re just as good as when I first saw them. Attraction played out through talking and walking. Doesn’t hurt if the cities are Vienna and Paris and the girl/woman is Julie Delpy. He is a literate American. They’re passionate, opinionated, funny and sometimes irritating. They age on film, but of course gracefully.

“Before Midnight” catches them in their early 40’s. They’re vacationing in Greece. There is a weariness to their togetherness – the daily grind. But they are still a couple. There is a lovely scene around the dinner table, when lovers talk about how they met, a sort of When Harry Met Sally moment, but less corny.

The dialogue seems so real, maybe because it expresses what most people feel. How time seems to drag when you’re young and suddenly speeds up when you get older. How intimacy is difficult without self-awareness. And arguing is still a form of engagement, preferable to indifference. I like the fact that Celine and Jesse still retain their wit, gift of the gab. Their worthy foes.

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