If you’re craving a unique cinematic adventure, “The Lady in the Van” is one. It’s that rare combination of engaging screenplay made picture perfect in the hands of astute actors. Oh, and a director and all of that expertise blended in. That the story is true, or based on real lives, makes it all the more poignant. Truth is stranger than fiction and Maggie Smith is my hero.
There are others I admire and I suppose more will come including Alan Bennett. Before watching this movie, I knew nothing of the man. A playwright and writer, he was a single fella who watched over a complete stranger for more than fifteen years ensuring her safety. Although a hesitant caretaker, he allowed the difficult bully of a woman, once incarcerated for madness – or was it uniqueness – to stay safely in his drive. Living in a Camden neighbourhood, she was tolerated and actually supported with great reluctance by her “neighbours”. With demons larger than she was, her life stayed a mystery, the truth only revealed to Mr. Bennett after her death. She lived most of her life believing she had killed someone. Spoiler alert, but only a partial one.
Clearly, I enjoyed it. It moved me but I’m easily moved. Watching this movie tonight was what the doctor ordered, not. All I could take notice of were eloquent, fluid sentences describing squalor and stench, eccentricity and human struggle. I tried to watch and not listen to the words. No good. In retrospect I should have watched something with Adam Sandler. Still, I recommend the movie wholeheartedly. Maggie Smith is still my hero.
I suppose focus on the beautiful phrases in the movie had something to do with my work on the book today. Blocked a bit, it was with envy that I listened to a real writer describe a situation. Blah. Practice, I must. And practice I will.
Noticing what I did today, it was hard not to give in to regret. The shoulda-wouldas are seductive when looking at paths taken and not. I fought the urge though and sorta-kinda found the high road. It wasn’t a complete victory because I’m not quite at the place where all the old habits have been totally replaced, but even a partial victory is good. Giving into regret is a waste of time.
And with that, I need to sleep.
Wishing everyone sweet dreams, tonight. It seems many of us are sleep deprived, our lives consumed with deadlines and stresses, places to go and people to see. Resting is a part of self-care. Rejuvenation a necessary part of healing and top-notch functioning. Meditation mimics deep rest and can substitute some sleep, but not all. We all need to sleep. Find a way to get some. Heroes know how to rest.