David Sedaris on the life and suicide of his sister, Tiffany.
I’m glad that writers and artists can find truth where we didn’t know we should be looking, or where we’d already looked and hadn’t found anything on our own. That is the best part of humanity, in my opinion.
As in the Sedaris piece, in Gravity Sandra Bullock finds the truth, too.
In the scene where she tosses the fire extinguisher away from her body to change her vector despite heading into likely death – that two seconds said more about her character than most films manage to convey in two hours of worthless banter.
Both of those works remind me of one of my favorite quotes, from T.S. Eliot’s “Little Gidding,” part of his Four Quartets.
We shall not cease from exploration
And the end of all our exploring
Will be to arrive where we started
And know the place for the first time.
That sense was what I liked about Gravity. And what reminded me of this Eliot work. When Stone has someone more skilled to rely on, she relies on him – but when he dies, she has to rely on herself only. And when this happens it feels like she begins to return from wherever the best parts of her have been waylaid for years, and then finally, haltingly, knows herself.
That progression is recursively the gist (I believe) of the entire film. Journey and return. Of seeing where you are for the first time. Of feeling the quotidian miracle of sand on your fingertips.