Begin and Begin Again (Commencer et Recommencer)

So, Jean-Luc Godard apparently once said, "A story should have a beginning, a middle and an end, but not necessarily in that order." What? Oh, I guess he was a filmmaker. No, no I had to look it up.  Stop interrupting me, okay? Anyhoo, this guy made this observation about how in film we're often coming in at some point in the movie other than the beginning, that things don't unfold linearly.  Though I kind of think that's not really how it works in real life though maybe it is how it works in a movie.  What?  No, what movies did he make, pray tell? I mean, he was French so they were probably all black and white and just people smoking, right? Go away.

I mean, we're all actually living more than one storyline, right?  Sometimes what you thought was the end of one thing was really also the beginning of something else.  I quit academia after, roughly, a kajillion years of preparing for it, but actually that was the beginning of my working on behalf of tens of thousands of poor hard-working people.  I moved from Ohio to New York back to Ohio to Los Angeles to Seattle to lots of places in Virginia to Walla Walla, just to realize that the last stop was actually the first stop to me putting down some roots as an adult.

And sometimes you think you're in the middle, and you realize you're really at the end.  Like after seven months of fighting like hell to save somebody, only to lose them anyway.  That was some sloppy plotting, frankly, and the writer should be fired. But sometimes the beginning of something happens so fast that you're kind of instantaneously in the middle and you have to go back later to pick up all those random beginning pieces.  Sometimes you're running pretty fast to catch up with the stuff that already kind of happened.. No, what did Voltaire say? "Uncertainty is an uncomfortable position.  But certainty is an absurd one"?  Huh, that's pretty good.  Yeah, I know he's French, too.  Shut up.

And then you get all metaphysical and shit and you start thinking about how every moment is simultaneously a beginning and an end, and that the middle part--the now part--is just this lightening fast transition between the two. Bam! There goes a middle. Bam! There goes another one.  It's enough to make you want to light a cigarette and just acknowledge you're nothing but a character in some artsy French movie. "Breathless"?  No, I mean, yeah I guess I saw the Richard Gere remake. Yeah, I get it:  cigarettes and "breathless," you're a fucking laugh riot.

So I worked my way through my list of distractions....er, goals. End of the list.  Beginning of a new list?  Middle of moving beyond needing a list?  I don't really know. I'm at the point where I feel genuinely more okay with coming home to an empty house, and I'm learning to fill it with good cooking smells and new music.  Beginnings?  Maybe, but until I am a professional chef or a rock critic or whatever--until I know the end--I won't be able to point back at this moment and say, "That's when it started." So maybe these are just, like, habits and not an end or a beginning. I'm at the point where I am healed enough to be hurt anew by wholly fresh things, which in a twisted way is good, I guess. End of being fixated by one event, but is it just the middle of a lifetime of being so bleedin' Eastern European and melodramatic and taking every little thing as a body blow? Yes, very "c'est la vie, c'est la guerre."  Thanks. You know what we say? "Vy ne znayete s'melodramy, frantsuzskiy mal'chik." (You don't know from melodrama, French boy.)

So, here's the thing Jean-Luc, I don't have the script on hand.  I don't know if this is all flashback, or if we're building toward a climax, or if it's gonna be one of those movies where after two hours you walk out of the theater and ask your friends, "So, was there actually a plot in there somewhere?" So for my own sake, I think I am going to take everything as a beginning.  I'm going to choose to see it all as a chance to start over.  Every day.  Every moment.  I am going to begin the begin, and then begin again.  I figure that can't really hurt either a middle or an end, and if it does well screw it, they can just edit it in post-production.

C'est fini.