Winter’s Tale Expectations

Nothing is random, nor will anything ever be, whether a long string of perfectly blue days that begin and end in golden dimness, the most seemingly chaotic political acts, the rise of a great city, the crystalline structure of a gem that has never seen the light, the distributions of fortune, what time the milkman gets up, the position of the electron, or the occurrence of one astonishing frigid winter after another. Even electrons, supposedly the paragons of unpredictability, are tame and obsequious little creatures that rush around at the speed of light, going precisely where they are supposed to go. They make faint whistling sounds that when apprehended in varying combinations are as pleasant as the wind flying through a forest, and they do exactly as they are told. Of this, one is certain.

And yet, there is a wonderful anarchy, in that the milkman chooses when to arise, the rat picks the tunnel into which he will dive when the subway comes rushing down the track from Borough Hall, and the snowflake will fall as it will. How can this be? If nothing is random, and everything is predetermined, how can there be free will? The answer to that is simple. Nothing is predetermined, it is determined, or was determined, or will be determined. No matter, it all happened at once, in less than an instant, and time was invented because we cannot comprehend in one glance the enormous and detailed canvas that we have been given – so we track it, in linear fashion piece by piece. Time however can be easily overcome; not by chasing the light, but by standing back far enough to see it all at once. The universe is still and complete. Everything that ever was is; everything that ever will be is – and so on, in all possible combinations. Though in perceiving it we image that it is in motion, and unfinished, it is quite finished and quite astonishingly beautiful. In the end, or rather, as things really are, any event, no matter how small, is intimately and sensibly tied to all others. All rivers run full to the sea; those who are apart are brought together; the lost ones are redeemed; the dead come back to life; the perfectly blue days that have begun and ended in golden dimness continue, immobile and accessible; and, when all is perceived in such a way as to obviate time, justice becomes apparent not as something that will be, but something that is.”
― Mark HelprinWinter’s Tale

Life is funny, and sometimes it takes a good word, a bad word or even a remembrance and flashback to remind you of this, and in that funniness, you see the beauty.  I love movies, always have, I get lost in them, and when the lights come back on, this becomes my outlet for contemplation.  This is one of many sources for me to dig back in and take a look at what matters to me.  For some people this occurs in a quiet place, or involves a pattern of behavior, or something else to get their contemplative juices flowing. It is different for each and every person.

After walking out following the film  “Winter’s Tale” I have to admit, I felt better.  Was it fate this was filmed in New York and we are headed there in a few weeks?  Something in me tells me no  😉   To detail without going into too much details, I have been bombarded with events in the 2014 year that just have made we wander, how hard is this year going to be, and why does it have to be this hard?  Yet take heart, while it seems we are the only one that faces adversity, we are not.  Here are some words of encouragement –

We never know what lies ahead, but for those that fail to try and look ahead, their road is much shorter than those that always strive to look ahead. Promise, hope, and motivation all exist and often are overlooked when we live a life full of dreams, dreams become the reality of our life if we choose to be optimists, and not adversaries for those around us.  There are completely so many things around us that can change the tide of doom and gloom, and life truly is too short to be stalled and stopped by the elements that can hold us in one place.  There are naysayers everywhere, there are situations that trap us and capture us and never let us go, if we choose to be part of the process that stays concerned about negativity.  Yet I am convinced, those that take the criticisms, those that take the bad times and strive to turn them into something better are the true winners, the true survivors, and in turn, their lives become a dream.

Some people do not like movies that inspire, however, I am maybe the minority that does. I love a good drama alongside a good action, and I have to say, Winter’s Tale did change me.  The critics rated it below par, and well for the first time, they missed something in the message for sure.  The acting of Colin Farrell was amazing, as well as was – Jessica Brown-Findlay – and of course, yet, true as in life, the words that you hear play the important part.

I almost missed this move, I biked to Reforma 222 at 5:45 and made it at 6:18- the line was a mile long, miraculously 2 new lines were created, and someone cut in front to us with two people to go – and I was thinking, I need to maybe consider a another, and yet I went in at 6:40 – (start time 6:20), considered cutting across everyone to my seat and just too a front seat to not interrupt anyone.  Through all the above challenges, I left the theatre in tears – yes, I am not too man enough to admit it.  I took into the theatre a lot of thoughts I was trying to work through – little encouragement from past ventures, a sad story involving a seven- old girl who has been supported by my family and friends from all over the world, a year that just has offered nothing but hurdle after hurdle after hurdle, and little promise of a finish line in sight and yet – the words of this film combined with the amazing music of Hans Zimmer – touched my very heart and made me realize – there is plenty to complain about, but too much beauty in the world I want to continue to experience to let it bog me down.  Take this to heart too – there is always hope – ALWAYS – and in the light of the darkest hour, hope and finding hope to give to others separates the person here on earth to live their life, from those willing to help others live theirs as well.

I have seen 47 Ronin, an amazing pointed and true story, as well as the film Philomena, which touches the very heart of belonging and stories that affect family, and pieces of real life in The Book Thief, that hands down pull on every heartstring there is,  and The Monuments Men that gives us a glimpse into what Hitler had tried to do to wipe out a whole history of people through art and his greed to capture that – he was a living contradiction. Yet, through all the films that have been based on true stories that have inspired us, ironically, it is the one tale of mystery and fantasy, mzgical realism, that pushed me into the chair of hope and allowed me to move past a rut that would indeed cause me to ponder the following:  Should I keep on?  Am I good enough to keep going on or am I failing when I think I am moving forward?  Do others appreciate me?  Am I an asset or a detriment to those around me?

None of us are good at everything we attempt, (though some of us would like to think so) myself included, yet I am coming to realize, as hard as it is sometimes, that if we truly believe in an idea, we believe in a way of being, and we keep on, the trials that are put in our path make us a better and stronger person.  No one said being different, doing something differently, or striving to the breaking point to make something better was going to be easy – that is the risk of striving for an ideal you believe in, and often, that is a lonely road.  Yet, at night, you need to be able to fall asleep knowing you are trying your best, striving for the very best ideal and situation that you believe in, and you need to believe in yourself, period.

In doing so, the belief in your own strength, you slowly equip, yourself to bear armor to deflect the hard times that will come your way.  I have always been trained to rely on grades as an assessment of how well I was doing in school for example.  Yet, even as students today are trained the same, it takes such a bigger understanding to see good grade or bad, it is what you take away from the table that matters, and how it impacts others down the road.  This in the grand scheme of things matters most in a world where are a thousand A’s, B’s and C’s and yet, wouldn’t it be the best to have someone with a long string of C’s be the one to find a cure for Cancer?  Or someone that always was designated for Harvard or the best of the best schools to be the one that was found in a desperate part of the world willing to sacrifice their supposed destiny for the sake of building up those that would never have a chance to experience a real life out of their situation?  I want to be one of those people that did something to push others forward despite the hardships along the way, not to be self-serving, not to be selfish with my time, and live my life the fullest alongside others.  Believe it or not, this film, Winter’s Tale, represents all of that and more – and has a larger message about what life could be if you let it, and all you have to do is be willing to let it flood over you.

I am so amazingly thankful for those of you that, without a second glance, joined in and sent pictures and messages to Sabrina based on the last post.  This says so much about you, my family and my friends in choosing to dig down and support someone.  I am not sure about you, but I can hardly wait to see the video as well that combines all of these together, and I think the spirit of Sabrina should be in all of us, we owe her that much and I think each of you have shown, her life is an extension of all of ours – the love and care you have shown her is beyond all of what I ever imagined, I am sending each of you a hug for this.

Keep on keeping on – I have one particular student that created a group called SAD – on Valentines’ Day.  The beginning is something like Students Alone, and forget the last but it is well, not a great reflection for what Valetine’s means for those single.  Maybe SAD is Single and Depressed.  🙂   I hope those of you that have a significant other let those that do not have a significant other, that they are amazing for several reasons, and that celebrating the reasons they are important does not rely on having a partner, but relies on their wisdom, selflessness, and what they give back to the world.  This is more important than any holiday created for any reason – any – and I feel that I never have felt so lucky on Valentine’s Day – there are those that take and say thank you, there are those that take and do not say thank you and those that take, take, take, and then…those that take not caring what is given in return just to see the happiness on others faces with no expectation.  I like the last group the best, and noticed that most of my family and friends fall into that category, which in turn makes me a better person.  There could be no better love than that, could there be?

So let’s give a huge hurrah to the end of the second month of February, and an optimistic March, which contains my favorite holiday, St. Patrick’s Day – and all the while know, I see my pot of gold at the end of the rainbow as each of you, friends and family that help e keep pushing forward and knowing, anything is possible – let’s spread that message every day in some form!

About Harry Brake

Employee of Woodbridge High School, Library Media Specialist, Media crazy! :)
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2 Responses to Winter’s Tale Expectations

  1. says:

    Hi Harry, Don’t often get to read your blogs, but was able to get to this one and appreciate all your insights—thanks. We are looking forward to your return in April. I’ve met again with Charlie Towers and he has completed and installed the bat habitat sign for our new bat area at Chapel Branch and it looks absolutely great. He is preparing an estimate for an entrance sign for Chapel Branch that I can submit to Dogfish Head (they have offered to help with funding that project). We hope to have it installed and ready for the “big??” Race for Our Rivers community, DNREC, school and other organizations 5K run and festival event to be held in September. Charlie mentioned the directional signs info needed and I told him that I hoped you might be able to give us insight on trail directions when you get back so we can have trail directional signs ready by Sept so folks won’t get lost. I got lost myself a few months back and Charlie did last month as well. We are close to completing the new 18-acre addition to Chapel Branch and one community organization seems interested in engineering and partially funding a bridge to connect trails on both sides of the stream—terrific if it works out. When we were at the new site for the Phase 1 environmental review, there were many brilliant blue birds fliting about–just beautiful! Just wanted to give you a few kudos in that I think your attendance at our meeting (maybe 2 years ago) was a catalyst in helping nudge us all forward on these projects—good work!! Let me know when you plan to be back. Best, Marlene

    • Harry Brake says:

      Thanks so much – I think I just helped create ideas but I am so glad this attention is happening, all Vince wanted was the area to be appreciated and cared for, I think he would be smiling while he runs the last leg of the trail!

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