The Tree Of Life

1 Aug

 

 

I saw The Tree of Life twice, and it really affected me. I’ve been wanting to write about it, but it’s been a little intimidating. I really am not sure to begin. I am not a film critic at all, so I am not going to critique it or tell you anything about the actors or elusive director, or even what the cinematography was like, I am simply going to share how it made me feel, ’cause that’s what I do best. 😉

Trying to write about The Tree of Life is like trying to sum up the enigma of life itself: joy and suffering, birth and death, creation and destruction.

If you are expecting a linear story that gives easy answers, you will be annoyed and angry. Watching The Tree of Life felt more like pausing in front of a waterfall or wandering in an art museum than being entertained in a movie theater. That being said, if you don’t really get what I am saying right now, don’t bother watching it. But if this resonates with you, read on and go see the movie when you are done. (I am not trying to be pretentious, I just recognize people relate to different types of art, and if you are more literal in you thinking you will most likely hate this movie.)

It’s better watched  as a poem than a novel. A glimpse of human existence through a single life beginning in happiness and pure joy, losing innocence and trying to get back to that place of grace.

I’ve never been more caught up in a film, like I completely forgot who I was and was literally seeing the world through new eyes.
It opens with this profound line, contrasting the two ways to move through the world, and continues to display these clashes personified through a father and mother.

 

The nuns taught us there were two ways through life – the way of nature and the way of grace. You have to choose which one you’ll follow.

Grace doesn’t try to please itself. Accepts being slighted, forgotten, disliked. Accepts insults and injuries.

Nature only wants to please itself. Get others to please it too. Likes to lord it over them. To have its own way. It finds reasons to be unhappy when all the world is shining around it. And love is smiling through all things.

The nuns taught us that no one who loves the way of grace ever comes to a bad end.

It is a prayer, literally and figuratively, ascending beyond the character’s recited prayers of “God bless this day ” to whispered honest questions everyone feels but many are afraid to ask:

Where were You? You let a boy die. You let anything happen.
Why should I be good When You aren’t?

Are You watching me? I want to know what You are. I want to see what You see.

The images feel abstract at times, the first time I watched it I was trying to figure them out too much, using my head instead of my heart, and I got frustrated towards the middle. The second time watching it I simply chose to be in the story, and I got the feeling like all the images were placed precisely to invoke deep longings, nostalgia, and emotional response.

The imagery and meaningful lines that were spoken found their way into my soul, and I know it will continue to speak to me for years to come.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Help each other. Love everyone. Every leaf. Every ray of light. Forgive.

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One Response to “The Tree Of Life”

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  1. Twenty-Eleven, In Moments. « - January 1, 2012

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