Comforting Words: Memoirs, Brokeback Mountain and Love

Saturday, January 07, 2006

Memoirs, Brokeback Mountain and Love

There is so much to tell and finding a starting point is challenging. My ‘review’ of the movies that I have seen over the past couple of weeks is one thing I want to share. Plans for marking International Women’s Day this year is another. I also want to let you in a secret that jumped out at me in a bookstore on New Year’s Eve and the impact that it has had on me.

The most important thing, however, and that is where I will start, is my gratitude to all of you who have taken the time to complete the Survey. There were some initial technical difficulties, which a couple of you quickly brought to my attention and hopefully those were corrected to your satisfaction.

The Survey, which is providing me with valuable feedback on Comforting Words and how I can better serve you throughout this year, will remain open until the end of this month. Those of you who are visiting for the first time or have not yet given me your feedback, please take a few minutes and do so now.

Promotions for the movie Memoirs of a Geisha describe it as the love-story of the year and while it is indeed a wonderful work, I would disagree that it is indeed the most important piece on love. This has nothing to do with my personal bias but rather with the fact that a truer love-story does not exist at the cinema this season than Brokeback Mountain.

Despite some criticisms of Memoirs, I would recommend the movie for its artistic qualities. True, as I entered the cinema I reminded myself that the story I was about to see would hold themes that had the potential to stir in me the most visceral reactions. The subjugation and denigration of women, turning them into mere properties of men and with the sole purpose of their lives being the pleasure of men is not a subject that I take kindly to.

Coaxing myself, however, to bracket my experiences and let the movie speak to me, I relaxed into my seat, which was incidentally very close to the wide screen. My attention was almost immediately caught and held throughout the movie by the art, the grace and beauty of pre World War II Japan and the walking canvasses called geishas amidst the poverty and strife.

Brokeback Mountain, however, pulled me into a world still so real to millions of men and women across the world, struggling to claim a place for their love. My reaction to the technical aspects of the production would be wanting and therefore I would recommend reading the reviews of those more informed to comment. This movie has also had its share of negative feedback from persons intent on promoting hate and fear.

A colleague of mine told me that the question has been raised as to what group of people would be the largest viewing Brokeback Mountain and my response to that was it should be mandatory for the hatemongers to see the film. The movie is one of the few positive and true depictions of the love and suffering that gay people around the world live daily and therefore is an affirmation to that community. Nevertheless, it is the story that it tells of how discrimination fosters falsehood, brokenness and loss of dignity that is the more powerful message.

Speaking of messages, this International Women’s Day, I invite you to join me in letting a woman know that she is a message of hope, strength and courage to her community and this one – Comforting Words. My idea is to present to one woman a gratitude and love package from the Members of Comforting Words, spurring her on to continue doing what she is doing to make her family (whatever that looks like, her community and, by extension, the world a more nurturing place.

Beginning January 15, 2006, each Member, i.e., someone who has joined our mailing list, can submit the name of a woman in his/her sphere of influence who they feel is a symbol of hope, strength and courage.

To be eligible to nominate your Comforting Words Woman of 2006 and have her receive what I am sure will be a box full of support and encouragement, you must join our mailing list by February 15, 2006 Simple click on the "Join Our Mailing List," box to the right of your screen. Remember, membership in this community is reasonable -- a desire to be authentic, so do tell a friend about it!

Please note, you cannot nominate yourself nor the hostess of Comforting Words.

Members are asked to submit a short description of this woman and why you have nominated her, along with a gift of no more than US$20.00 in value to me (I will provide my mailing address via email) by February 10, 2006. Your article must also include a description of your gift and why you chose it.

As your submissions are received, they will be edited for privacy and posted on Comforting Words for all to review. On February 15, readers will be asked to vote, selecting the woman who we will honour this year. A basket/box of all the gifts will be sent by airmail to this Comforting Words Woman of 2006 in time for March 8.

I think I have shared enough for today and so I will tell you about the secret I discovered in my next post. In the meantime, please do go see Memoirs of a Geisha and Brokeback Mountain and post your comments here.

Many of you in the survey said that you want to be able to more readily see the comments posted on this blog and I am working to make that happen. However, some adjustments have been made already and I would also ask that those of you who send your comments to me by email consider sometimes posting them directly here.

Remember that in order to post or read the comments, simply click on the "Comments" icon at the end of each post and follow the instructions.

Much love and blessings until next post,



Blogger Claudette said...

I heard a very interesting comment today by a television Entertainment Reporter.

He was reporting on how various movies are doing at the box office and expressed some amount of surprise that a low budget horror film, Hostel, is doing well beyond expectations.

This young man was obviously struck by the US viewing audience's love of killing, maiming and violence of the worst kind, particularly of women and racial minorities, flocking as they are to see this film.

What was profound, was his observation that this is happening in a country where in Utah, for example, the screening of "Brokeback Mountain" was cancelled - a movie about love and sans violence.

Welcome to 21st America.

Wed. Jan. 11, 03:51:00 p.m. MST  

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