Friday, April 22, 2005

Collisions & the Weight of the Soul

"They say that we all lose twenty-one grams at the exact moment of our death, everyone. And how much fits into twenty-one grams?" --Paul Rivers, 21 Grams

Sitting at the lights in casual wait for that green arrow, about to turn off the main road towards the shopping centre, a sudden jolt startles me for a second before I realise that the woman in the four wheel drive behind me had apparently just collided with my rear bumper. The light flicks to green, no time to think as I accelerate around the corner, not really knowing what to do, not knowing how much damage had been done.

I imagined that she would follow me off the busy road into the parking lot, at least so we could exchange details, but instead she just continued driving, leaving me cursing myself for not catching the licence plate number. I expected the worst, though perhaps the impact felt a lot stronger than it really was, because when I finally found a park and hopped out to check around back, there was no apparent damage at all, not even a dent in the plastic bumper bar. It seems I was lucky this time.

Just finished watching 21 Grams, wanting to see again how Naomi Watts played against Sean Penn and perhaps discover what I found lacking in The Interpreter, which Naomi, I heard, was originally cast in. An infinitely more tragic car accident to my petty experience is the central event of this film, from which all the other stories seem to sprawl out into scattered time. Watts plays her character Cristina with such perfect emotion it's astounding.

While travelling along life's roads and highways, certain collisions are bound to happen. But it is these, often unfortunate events that make up the map we've travelled, the various turnoffs along the way to our destination. Perhaps it's this that fits into the twenty-one grams we lose when we eventually die (let's just say the information is accurate), the experiences, the moments collected, returning to the world, like a flock of birds taking flight into the twilight.

When I returned to the car park after shopping tonight, there was a tiny swallow, perched on the end of my car antenna, resting there for a minute before flying off to catch some of the insects, attracted by the illunination of the parking lot lights.

Naomi Watts


Blogger Viva25 said...

I'm glad someone got something good out of 21 grams - all I got was a headache.

4/23/2005 01:21:00 am  
Blogger Aurelius said...

That picture of Naomi Watts, and a story about unintended physical contact?

*resist urge to make smutty joke*



4/23/2005 07:46:00 am  
Blogger Jenni said...

I loved 21 grams. The same chaotic chronology as Memento or Pulp Fiction. I like "puzzle" movies. And I really dig your insights, on movies and life. Gets me right here.

4/23/2005 02:10:00 pm  
Blogger Joshua said...

Thanks :)

They say if you can get through to just one person, it's all worth it...

lol, take it easy :P

4/27/2005 08:03:00 pm  

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