In the late afternoon, Alice would open the shutters wide and leave them askew until the last light had faded from her room. Not so much to let light in but the breeze. Two regular guests who entered and filled the mostly empty space. She preferred the breeze.
When she first arrived here, it would enter like a loving memory. Slowly dancing around her face and bare arms. A warming embrace. A rare comfort.
Now it enters abruptly – slicing her cheeks and cutting through her clothes. Bringing only a chill. Though she doesn’t mind. Unlike memories, no breeze can be felt twice.
Occasionally, Alice would stand at the ledge and look out at the steady flow of the Arno. The smooth, shimmering centre flowed serenely – allowing her mind to quieten. Inhale.
Before long, her eyes would inevitably be drawn to the rough water where shards of white were thrown abruptly about in sprays, churned by unseen forces. The memory of the stream will carry the memory of the obstacles below – whether or not they are seen from above. Exhale.
Alice turned away from the window. The breeze passed through her long dark hair and out. Free to grow and soar. Not everyone is afforded that luxury. Alice tried to attach her memories to the breeze, hoping a thought would weigh less than the wind.
Six months previously Alice pinned the same hope on a plane ticket. Purchased uncertainly. On credit. She fought against the plan. The ticket sat in a drawer in the second bedroom amongst tiny, unused socks. To rest with the dreams of another life.
When the day came to fly, Alice felt moved to float. To soar.
She retrieved the ticket and allowed loose fingers to brush tenderly against the cotton. Their impression remained on her hand as she closed the drawer and left her life behind.
This was the place where Alice could begin again. Where the river flowed and the breeze would cradle her like a mournful lover.
The warmth of the sun. The bite of the breeze. Each comforting thought was betrayed by a pang of guilt. Each wind sweep would leave her and drift on through the shutters. Leaving her to clutch the pain of loss at her breast.
Her only constant.
“How was your honeymoon?”
“How are you feeling now?”
“Pretty shithouse, to be brutal.”
Of course, this conversation only happened once. The cocktail expression of shock, disappointment, sadness, pity and disgust I received upon reviewing the recipient’s face told me to keep that sort of thing to myself.
Somehow, amidst the myriad of wedding advice, tips, hints, reminders and proclamations passed on from anyone as intimate as a family member to as distant as a lollipop lady, a key issue had been ignored.
Couples endure a period of post-nuptual hell that leaves you feeling…flat.
Obviously, you are still excited about being married and the excitement that comes with it all. However, it must be said to those approaching marriage that the aftermath is not necessarily a purely magical period.
It is laced with a feeling of flatness. That the hopes and dreams of a lifetime have been realised. “The best day of your life” has been and gone – that the photos of your wedding are the only ones you will ever have, there is never a chance to take or add more. Never an opportunity to change a line in a speech or actually eat some of the food at the wedding. Essentially, it is re-acquainting yourselves with normal life that, in our case, we hadn’t experienced for a few years.
I suppose it stems from spending such a large amount of time, money and effort on one single event. Every second conversation you have with someone will focus around the wedding. The little details are always in the back of your mind. Each day is a series of planning, making phone calls and making lists for months leading into the wedding.
Suddenly, this all comes to a halt and it’s back to the “real world.” Of course, the “real world,” is the life you’ve created with your spouse and is the reason why you married in the first place. It’s an adjustment, nonetheless.
In my mind, the danger is that couples spend this time entirely focused on the future. On what they will be once they are married, what their plans may be. I fear this may lead some couples to lose sight of the present, of themselves and, more importantly, each other.
It is crucial that couples entering marriage remind themselves of why they are marrying at all stages along the journey – the love they share for their partner, their relationship, their present. Make time to get away from the wedding and do the things you would normally do. Live.
The marriage itself begins at such a pinnacle that the time afterward is somewhat anti-climactic (in comparison) so the relationship must be strong to begin with.
Obviously, there is a degree of exaggeration in this post. I feel that it is necessary to underline the importance of the message and as retaliation to all those who did not mention it beforehand yet experienced the same thing themselves.
A final piece of advice. You may need to acquire a hobby post-wedding to occupy all that space in your mind that may suddenly arise.
For me, it was starting this blog.
Has anyone experienced this before? Or am I completely mental?
It was the kind of artistic bullshit designed to make you love the onscreen couple. Flirty encounters, ridiculous games that only the two star-crossed lovers could enjoy, relationship-specific in-jokes designed to make the audience believe that this faux-romance between two otherwise strangers was the one thing most movie-goers crave, true love, filled the screen for the better part of 45 minutes. None of this was unique. I’d seen it before. We all have. Usually, it’s inane rubbish between two lead characters who I had seen fall in love time and time again with a variety of opposite characters. I felt I was immune to the flirtatious devices of inanimate couples who maintain the status quo of the “chick flick” genre. It’s different however,
WHEN IT’S A MOVIE ABOUT YOURSELF! *
Now, I say that with a slight (entire) degree of exaggeration but this movie has nonetheless shaken me (and the wife) to the core. The bullshit, flirty, ridiculous games etc were, by and large, the same antics we engage in to entertain ourselves. From the in-bed games of blocking each other’s eyes with the inner most sections of our mouths, to pissing the other off whilst in the midst of a telephone conversation with whatever means available, this film has stolen our relationship!
I eat chicken. I eat a lot of chicken. The film’s protagonist fucking eats chicken consistently – so much so, he is creating a cookbook for chicken-specific recipes. The prick was more me than me. They speak utter gibberish and understand it word for word. He is a gigantic goof ball who looks to make a joke out of everything – I’m a freakin’ Primary School teacher. I received a qualification for making a laugh out of the building blocks of life!
We sat in awe, humour, shock and horror as we watched our Canadian doppelgängers own the screen enlarged before us for two hours of our date-night-Wednesday. Torn between the desire to demand royalties upon the film’s conclusion and discover what happened with relationship between the protagonist and the (I can only assume) smelly neighbour, we decided to stay.
Shit got ridiculous when we looked into the overly dramatic, audio-visual mirror mimicking our relationship for the thousandth time when the wife turned to me and whispered (screamed) in jest/terror to me that “this movie is raping us.”
“We should leave” I jostled, unsure of the stature of my reply.
We stayed – probably because of the $18 entry fee, but also because when you’ve decided to view someone’s artistic endeavour, I suppose you should stay, out of respect and such things.
The result was an interesting film that dealt with its themes in a mature, particular (if sometimes cliche) fashion.
I’m not one for longwinded reviews, but I’ll say this.
In this film I found a sounding board for my long-held view on love and relationship.
There is no one person in the world for you to love. There is no “one true love.” It doesn’t exist. It is childish and unrealistic to think so.
I do choose to believe, however, that whilst there is not one true love in the world, there are people that we could not be happier being with. I look at my wife and I know, with everything that I am, that there is not a soul on Earth that I could be happier with.
Too many people try to fill their life with someone they love. Relationships will be fun in the beginning. Exciting, full of passion, unpredictable, bold, crazy, stupid, fun. These are fleeting moments. They are not how the human physche operates on a long-term basis. We must be content with who we are, what we are about, what we hope to achieve and experience. A partner to share these experiences is wonderful, but will not enable us to achieve “happiness.” Indeed, the belief that a partner can prove such emotions probably leads so many to stray from their partner. It is a never-ending pursuit, one to feel consistently giddy and excited.
The heroine of the film believes she has discovered this love in a hobo across the street. I’m not to say that she doesn’t end up happy with him, but she definitely will be no happier than she would have been if she had have stayed with her husband. I say this because she had not corrected the very flaw in her that led her to stray in the first place – she feels that another person will propel her to a positive outlook on life, better life experiences.
As her alcoholic sister-in-law propels at the end of the film, “life has a gap in it, it just does.”
We should not seek to fill gaps in our life with people to occupy our time, especially in lieu of ones we love. We must strive, instead, to love who we are and be content with ourselves. To seek to fill the gap with others is a meaningless pursuit that will only result in heartbreak – for ourselves and for others.
“The new gets old” – as our youth ages, relationships with those we love will age. They become more experienced and less unpredictable.
This is not true for love, only the symptoms of love. Butterflies in the tummy are a symptom of young love, their loss does not reflect the loss of love – only the reality that the love that once resided in the stomach now resides in the heart.
If only they didn’t steal our relationship to complete the film! Have you ever have your life stolen by the silver screen?
In the 2010 Australian Election, the incumbent government won the two-party preferred vote 50.12% to the Coalition’s 49.88%. The Labor party received 30, 527 more votes than their rivals. Out of 12, 403, 363 counted votes, the margin was smaller than population of Bathurst, Lismore or Warnambool. Indeed, it was only achieved by 107 more than the total number of attendees at today’s little-hyped Western Bulldogs – Fremantle match.
Currently, 42% of Australians approve of Julia Gillard as Australia’s choice Prime Minister. Somehow, 46% believe Tony Abbott to be worthy of leading the country forward.
Earlier in the year, I was lucky enough to marry the person of my dreams.
It was a delightful occasion which was the celebration of our 6 and a half years together and an excited beginning to the rest of our lives together. It was also a civil ceremony, at a winery. Neither my wife, nor myself, are religious. There was no priest, no religious reference. It was an outward expression of the love we share for each other and our desire to join our lives together formally in the eyes and minds of those closest to us (and later, even with people we’ve never met).
We were lucky enough to involve ourselves in the traditional symbol of union. Our wedding took place without the burden of a dowry, the lure of joining two families through a matched marriage or the pressures of a shotgun marriage. These, traditionally, have been at the centre of the need to marry. Instead, our union was forged by the love we had shared for years and, at our wedding, we were able to share in the event with our closest friends and family. We were lucky to have the money to create such an event. Lucky to have the freedom to marry where we chose. Lucky that the rain stayed away.
In the end, however, we were lucky to be of opposing sexes.
In this country, such love can only be celebrated in this way if they are of differing genders.
No doubt, this stems from our nation’s Christian heritage. To the best of my readings, Christian opposition to same-sex marriage relates to obscure passages of the Bible that need to be taken out of context to fit the argument. Regardless, my opposition to the lack of fairness in the current Marriage Act is not even a religious one.
In this day and age, the views of one religious group should not control the lives of the citizens of the nation. Regarding marriage, this is especially pertinent as the Marriage Act of Australia is overseen by the Government of Australia – not the Church of England or Rome.
It is within the government’s responsibility to represent the views of their constituents. Currently, this does not happen. In 2004, an amendment to the Act meant that the line “marriage means the union of a man and a woman” was inserted into each wedding ceremony. Thus same-sex couples were denied the right to marry the one they love.
New York, on July 24 2011 (the day same-sex marriage was legalised), saw hundreds of gay and lesbian couples marry – some of whom had waited for years to be given the right. There were uplifting stories tinged with the undercurrent of discomfort. No – not discomfort that these people could finally enact their dreams, but discomfort that a government can deny such a fundamental right to their citizens for so long (at all).
Our government treats many minorities as second class citizens. The denial of this basic right is the most blatant, open example of this.
Gay teens are 14 times more likely to commit suicide than their straight peers. Around 1/3 gay teenagers will attempt suicide at some stage of their growth. Government has a responsibility to protect these youths, to help cultivate a society that accepts and loves rather than discriminates and divides. The denial of the right to marriage is a symbolic act that say to certain members in our society that they should not be allowed to engage in the same rights as others. A fundamental flaw in our current political climate.
Before, I said that government’s have a responsibility to represent the views of their constituents.
Only 50.12% of people voted for this current government. Only 42% believe they should hold their post.
60% of all Australian support same-sex marriage. 60.
More people in Australia believe that same-sex couples should have the right to marry than think the government should hold its position. Even 53% of Christians are open to same-sex marriage.
The time has well and truly come.
There’s no need to allow “gay” marriage. Simply “marriage” will do.