The Subtextual Connection

I haven’t posted in a while because I had nothing worth writing about. We are in a lull before all the final projects get assigned, and I can breathe for a moment.  I cannot believe there is only 5 weeks left in school!

So, my inspiration for this post came from Starbucks,a novel, and the ideal that while life, like coffee, can be dark and mysterious,can be very sweet too.

I happened to be sitting in Starbucks, watching and listening to all the people around me. As I watched, I reflected about all the things these people weren’t saying to each other.

It’s the things that people DON’T say to each other that I find fascinating. Can you hear the silent subtext? It’s really loud,you just have to listen harder for it. Things people want to say, need to say, they just can’t come out.  One of my most favorite movies is Lost in Translation, with Bill Murray. The subtext of the experiences between Bob and Charlotte  really help shine a light on the struggles we share as we navigate relationships.Whether they be friendships, sexual, business related, it’s all essentially the human connection. Why then must it be so complicated?

Imagine if your relationships came from a truly sincere place? Imagine having organic, authentic relationships with people regardless of your differences. It could be age, race, gender, station in life.  Do you ever wish you could speak to the people in your life from an honest place? And, also be free of the possible fallout that may arise from it? Have you ever spent a significant part of your life with your heart devoted to someone ? Someone unattainable? Do you ever wish you could simply hit the “pause” button on your current life, just to hit “play” on an alternate one.Why is it that we don’t ask for what we really need? Why don’t we spend more energy on the things we really want in life?

Why do we  exhaust so much energy on the subtext of relationships?

Ever read “Sentimental Education” by Gustav Flaubert?  Frederic Moreau and his endless quest for the impossible love of Madam Arnoux.  Yet, upon their final meeting, and nothing happens.  Kills me every time. 

“Pleasure is found first in anticipation, later in memory.”

 Is the energy we expand on the subtext  due to the reward that comes from it?  As Flaubert believed, is the sweetness of anticipation the greatest form of pleasure, because it is the most reliable? Is the not knowing enough? Is it because the things that don’t happen to us can never disappoint? Thus lending a sweet impression in the memory that never fades?

Can we fondly remember something that never happens?

This is one of my favorite examples of the power of subtext,and I always wonder if the power in this scene is because of what is not said.

The relationship between Bob and Charlotte is a unique one, and we should celebrate the ideal that “connection” is unconditional. Take the  cult classic Harold and Maude. I am a firm believer that people enter our lives for specific reasons. It’s up to you to listen to all the signs. Dont ignore those signs. Dont take them for granted.  Again, recognize when you connect with someone, don’t be swayed by their station in life, their age, race, gender, occupation.  Treasure it for its uniqueness. Who knew that a death obsessed teenager would share such a relationship as with someone three times his senior.

Harold: I like you, Maude.
Maude: I like you, Harold.
Maude: [at her 80th birthday party] I couldn’t imagine a lovelier farewell!
Harold: Farewell?
Maude: Oh, yes, dear… My 80th birthday.
Harold: But you’re not going anywhere… are you?
Maude: [long pause] I took the tablets an hour ago. I’ll be gone by midnight.
Harold: [after a long pause] WHAT?
[immediately cut to an ambulance]
Again, kills me every time. I always wonder what he might have said, had Harold had the opportunity. What then?
So I guess it’s the “what then” that intrigues me too.The last time I was in Starbucks, I was listening and watching all the people around me, wondering about their relationships, and more curious the conversations not being had. The connections that people seek, yet, miss. The conversations we want to say, and if we did… what then…..?
Aren’t we all guilty of conversations that are never had…………
What then?

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