Saturday, January 7, 2012

Walking away and diving for dreams

We had a nice afternoon, deciding to go to a movie with an early dinner afterwards.  The movie was Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, the 2011 release, and was excellent.  I spent some time in Stockholm, so it was nice to see the old city with its narrow streets and cobblestones.  I have been in December when the snow was coming down in a blizzard, and the windows were lit by the Julstacke lights.

The movie had a lot of powerful scenes but perhaps the most disturbing was the terrible rape of the heroine, Elsbeth.  I had not realized that the author, Steig Larsson, had witnessed the gang rape of a young woman when he was in his teens.    Failing to help her,  he was haunted by the brutality of men against women.  We talked about that after the movie, both of us expressing that there are terrible people who are within our midst, perhaps that we know, who do awful, unspeakable things to others.

I also didn't realize that Larsson lived in fear of his life because of his anti-establishment views in which he sought to counteract the growth of the extreme right and the white power-culture in schools and among young people.  Sounds kind of familiar, doesn't it?

And finally this sentiment:
“Always retain the ability to walk away, without sentimentality, from a situation that felt unmanageable. That was a basic rule of survival. Don't lift a finger for a lost cause.” ~Stieg Larsson

Walking away without sentimentality is one of the most difficult things.  How is it possible to not have some sentimentality, some grief, some regret?  I have too much sentiment,  I think.  I have found it easy to walk away in the heat of anger. That's the self-righteous part when anger fuels the feet and the mind to distance itself.  But, that fuel gets reduced to fumes when the reality of regret, sadness and great loss come in.  I would like to not lift a finger for a lost cause, but I am a sucker for them.  The underdog, the lost, the downtrodden have intrigued me for a long time.  It is a reason that I was attracted to alcoholics and the unmanageable life.  Sometimes you just have to trust your heart, dive for dreams,  and see where that leads you.

dive for dreams
dive for dreams
or a slogan may topple you
(trees are their roots
and wind is wind)
trust your heart
if the seas catch fire
(and live by love
though the stars walk backward)
honour the past
but welcome the future
(and dance your death
away at the wedding)
never mind a world
with its villains or heroes
(for good likes girls
and tomorrow and the earth)
in spite of everything
which breathes and moves, since Doom
(with white longest hands
neating each crease)
will smooth entirely our minds
-before leaving my room
i turn, and (stooping
through the morning) kiss
this pillow, dear
where our heads lived and were.

silently if, out of not knowable

silently if, out of not knowable
night's utmost nothing,wanders a little guess
(only which is this world)more my life does
not leap than with the mystery your smile
sings or if (spiralling as luminous
they climb oblivion)voices who are dreams,
less into heaven certainly earth swims
than each my deeper death becomes your kiss
losing through you what seemed myself,i find
selves unimaginably mine;beyond
sorrow's own joys and hoping's very fears
yours is the light by which my spirit's born:
yours is the darkness of my soul's return
-you are my sun,my moon,and all my stars 

~ee cummings


  1. I haven't seen the remake, but saw all three of the original films. They were fascinating and disturbing.

  2. I really like the quote about walking away. This reminds me of the serenity prayer; accept what you cannot change. At 4:00 AM I got a disturbing call from my son. He was in a very bad spot as a result of poor decisions. I decided not to dive into his bad situation and left it for him. As soon as I hung up, I thought of a diversion and checked your blog. I missed the quote the first time through, probably because I am struggling to walk away from a situation that is unmanageable. Thanks for putting the quote I need to read before my eyes, just when I needed to read it.
    It is now 5:30 AM. Too late to attempt to go to bed. Too early to go the gym. The sun does not rise for 2 hours.

  3. e e was a bit to much the romantic for my tastes but what hell someone has to be that way. Me i can walk away from anything without regret these days, I've not time enough left to care about the care less.

  4. interesting quote by steig...i really was not a fan of the books honestly...but def want to see the me some ee as well..smiles.

  5. Beautiful poem.
    I had a friend who said about other people's unmanageable situations: "Not my monkey, I'm not going to feed it."
    I always remember that.

  6. I was glad I read the book before seeing the movie so I knew what was coming, and then knew too her revenge which was sweet. It was very disturbing, but realistic to be sure. some people are animals.

  7. I saw "The Girl Who Played with Fire" with sub-titles about a year ago and it actually made me sick. I know the author, Steig Larsson, tackled a tough subject and it's good to bring it out into the open but it's too raw for me ... altho almost everyone who's read all 3 books say they are excellent.

  8. Many interesting stories about the author, although I haven't read the books and don't plan to see the movies.

    You are probably aware his live in companion of 15 years (she apparently helped write the books) has been in a long and bitter dispute with his father and brother over his assets. It's quite ugly, and so far no one has gotten anything.

  9. So much here.
    I didn't know all the history of Stieg Larsson... that added dimension to the books and movies.
    I have not yet seen the US movie but read the 3 books and saw the 3 swedish movies. (I like the gritty affect of the swedish version... I didn't miss the 'sparkle' of hollywood.)
    And the poem? - I am going to have to re-read that poem many times before it sinks in!

  10. I haven't read those books and don't intend to see the movies because I have heard about the violence. Sometimes it is just good to know who I am, and what my history is... and just acknowledge that every book or movie is not for me.

  11. I thought the movie was really well done and the casting excellent.

    I had not read the books and did not know what was coming.

    I have a hard time walking away. How am I to know what is truly a lost cause. Stubborn I guess.


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