Time--2017 A to Z Theme

My theme for the 2018 Blogging from A to Z April Challenge is "Cleaning the Clutter"--I might literally be cleaning my closets or figuratively clearing the excess from some other part of my life. I'm sure you can think of other things this could mean for you as well.

Always a work in progress--welcome to my blog...

**

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Which Is the Most Important Knowledge to Have?


Which is the most important knowledge to have:  Who you are?  Where you are?  or Why do you exist?





           This was a random question from my previous post and thank you to those of you who gave your answers.  I had mentioned in that post that I often tend to think in terms of geography--the "Where am I" kind of knowledge.  Ironically I just now watched a film that ponders these same sorts of questions with the overall conclusion that knowing where you are matters most.

           The 1962 Japanese film Woman in the Dunes is surrealistic existentialism quite similar to the films of Ingmar Bergman or Federico Fellini.  My guess is that David Lynch probably was influenced by this film.  The film is primarily a drama a la the works of Samuel Beckett.  Most of the film focuses on two characters in a confined bleak setting.  The run time is nearly 2 1/2 hours though the slow pacing makes it seem longer.  Before going into the film I decided to give it 30 minutes or so before giving it up.  The film was so riveting and thought-provoking that I stayed with it until the end and now here I am writing this review or whatever this is I'm writing.

          The story begins with a school teacher from Tokyo who goes to a seaside area of vast sand dunes in order to study insects.   After he overstays and misses his bus back to the city, the villagers from the strange little town nearby invite him to spend the night with one of them.  They take him to a vast sand pit where there is a house accessible by rope ladder.  Taking on the adventure, the teacher finds that the house where he will be staying is occupied by a homely widow who treats the man kindly and lavishes him with attention.  The following morning the teacher finds that the rope ladder is gone and he is now trapped with the widow.

         There is a strange eroticism to the story though it also presents a metaphor for the alienation of the human condition while clinging to an interdependence on others.  An eerie pall is cast over this story as we see these humans struggling against the eternally flowing sands that permeate everything in their lives.  The imagery of the drifting shifting sands depict emotion as well as the obvious comparison to the sands of an hourglass.  

          When the teacher falls into the pit he already knows who he is but this identity no longer seems to matter the longer he is in the pit.   The woman explains what their purpose is to be in this pit, but it makes no sense.  Ultimately, when he attempts an escape, he realizes that his failure to get away was because he did not know where he was.

               It's not too often that a movie grabs me to the extent that I'll write about it.  Maybe I should do it more often.   But then I'm not totally sure anymore why I am here.  On this blog I mean.  I didn't intend to write this post because I had another in mind.  But that's okay.   Sometimes I feel like I've fallen into a sandpit where no matter how much I try to claw my way out, more sand keeps on pouring down and I can never quite get a handhold that will give me a grip to pull myself upward just a bit more.  The sand keeps coming and there's not much we can do about it.

              Do you tend to just accept things without complaint?   Are you good at making a bad situation into something better?   Have you seen Woman in the Dunes?








24 comments:

  1. I have at times Lee been to the depths of despair but somehow always something turns up to lighten the load. Your questions about who we are etc, are important. As long as one dosen't forget our roots and where we're going that's all one can hope for.
    Thanks for a most wonderful read.

    Yvonne.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yvonne, darkness can't stay long if we are willing to start letting the light in.

      Lee

      Delete
  2. Haven't seen that one. Sounds like it touches on a lot of things.
    I know whose I am and that's good enough.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Alex, probably those who don't know "whose" are most consumed by the other questions.

      Lee

      Delete
  3. No, I haven't seen Woman in the Dunes.

    Perhaps my feeling was shaped by neing displaced by Katrina, but I am somewhat fatalistic about things. I believe that there is a plan to things; but sometimes circumstances reshuffle the order of things.

    I feel that it is our place to find love and meaning in life; and to love others deeply. Our lives each have a plan; but each is unique.

    It's a sin not to seek it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Pop Tart, nothing like a hurricane to do some reshuffling. But it's life and stuff happens.

      Lee

      Delete
  4. I love all of the stuff that Kobo Abe wrote. I love the one about the guy who lives with his head inside a box and the one with the protagonist who wears a fake face.

    I think the same guy who directed "Woman in the Dunes" directed film versions of several other books by Kobo Abe, too.

    I haven't seen any of them. I'd like to read all of his books before I see the films.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Harry, I'm not familiar with Kobo Abe's work, but the movie got me curious. It's a good story.

      Lee

      Delete
  5. Replies
    1. Loni, you mean deep like being stuck in a sand pit? I couldn't resist.

      Lee

      Delete
  6. When I was in runecraft (millions of lives ago), you were taught to meditate on three questions you sought. Mine involved feelings, change, and the meaning of existance. I'm thinking it would be bad karma to share the exact nature, but it reminds me of the questions you asked.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. CW, I would imagine that there are universal questions that all of us ask at some point in our lives.

      Lee

      Delete
  7. Oh I never accept things w/o complaint. I do not know how to 'roll with it' at all.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. JoJo, you seem to have adapted well to your move and circumstances--or at least seem to make an attempt to do well.

      Lee

      Delete
  8. Thanks Arlee sounds like a great movie. I'll look out for it. For me it's important to keep asking questions about myself and life.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Susan S, when we stop asking questions then we have stopped being alive.

      Lee

      Delete
  9. Accept things without complaint? Um, well, there will be some complaining but not too much. I tend to believe that things are put in my path for a reason. To learn from and grow or to help others, whatever it may be, I just need to figure out what it's purpose for me is and go from there.

    Have a beachy week!
    Elsie

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Elsie, we should all take the time to learn and grow from bad as well as good experiences. Life is a roller coaster so we might as well enjoy the ride.

      Lee

      Delete
  10. Do I just accept things without complaint? Ah, no. If things aren't to my liking I'll probably do something to ensure that they are. I'm talking big stuff though, not little things. And I'm very polite and certainly don't complain at the expense of another. But I know how I like things to be and if I can manage to make them be the way I want and like them to be and it's not unreasonable, I'll likely take the steps to make that happen.
    Do I accept No for an answer? That depends. My background is in sales and negotiation so usually if I get a No it just means that I have another opportunity to ask for it (the order/the business) another way . That's the salesperson in me.
    And for sure if I think something is wrong or unjust or unfair, I'll definitely speak up and if possible, go out of my way to try to change it for the better.

    Am I good at making a bad situation into something better? Typically, yes. I'm more of an optimist, I believe things happen for a reason and I try to see the positive side of things. For sure I try to find a way to laugh about a bad situation because that at least helps make it better, if only that.

    I haven't seen the movie, but it sounds interesting.

    Michele at Angels Bark

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Michele, sales mentality can help a lot in getting what you want. I don't think of myself as a good salesperson, but I've had a lot of sales jobs and did pretty good with them.

      I think it's best to be an optimist in life. A good attitude makes life easier for everybody involved and certainly oneself.

      Lee

      Delete
  11. I do not accept things without complaint, but I don't sweat the small stuff. The big stuff, though? Watch out! :D

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Patricia, if it's in the moment I might make a push for what I think I or others should get, but after a while I forget and just let things go. I've been taken advantage of many times.

      Lee

      Delete
  12. The best question for me is "why do I exist?" Life has to have a purpose or there is no hope.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Calensariel, the questions are fun and helpful so long as you don't let them drive you nuts.

      Lee

      Delete

Go ahead and say something. Don't be afraid to speak your mind.
I normally try to respond to all comments in the comment section so please remember to check the "Email follow-up comments" box if you want to participate in the comment conversation.

For Battle of the Bands voting the "Anonymous" commenting option has been made available though this version is the least preferred. If voting using "anonymous" please include in your comment your name (first only is okay) and city you are voting from and the reason you chose the artist you did.

If you know me and want to comment but don't want to do it here, then you can send me an email @ jacksonlee51 at aol dot com.

Lee