Part I: Dancing Bears and Forrest Gump
“No one can express the exact measure of his needs, or conceptions, or sorrows. The human language is like a cracked kettle on which we beat out a tune for a dancing bear, when we hope with our music to move the stars.”
To me those words by Flaubert come close to moving the stars. When I read those words years ago they gave me great pause, as if I had read something holy. I’ve never read something that so succinctly summed up my own hope and frustration when it comes to expressing my deepest thoughts. I pause acknowledging the near impossibility of “moving the stars.”
Do you think Jenny, in the movie Forrest Gump, wanted to play guitar and sing her songs while naked at a bar, in front of a bunch of horny men? This is not the dream she wanted. She was too ‘enlightened’ to see it at the time. She wanted to move a person’s soul. She accepted the prior mentioned situation out of the illusion of unworthiness – she didn’t think anyone would listen to her with her clothes on, that is, their perceptions of her. The meeting of two illusions.
One of the profound lessons from the movie Forrest Gump is, although Jenny had none of the challenges Forrest had, he excelled in life and she went nowhere in spite of her beauty, creativity and “free spirit.” Jenny never tapped into her potential. She tried to escape her early life by becoming an escaptist, but she fueled it with more illusions. She traveled to many places, just as Forrest did, but never went anywhere in her soul at least not until she realized she was going to die. Jenny was living her life from the false perception of her unworthiness – she thought the things cast upon her were indeed her and not what she had falsely imagined as her center of being. They were things that existed only in her mind. She allowed this to deflect and warp her sacred life journey.
Forrest had concrete disadvantages (IQ of 75 or 80 I think?) not misconceptions. Jenny was lost, Forrest was exploring – there is a difference. What if Jenny had lived like Forrest? Forrest indeed “moved the stars”. Jenny “beat out a tune for a dancing bear.” Jenny never overcame the expectant doom or fear in life. She was a slave to her false beliefs about her self. She misconceived her life and ran away to what she thought was freedom simultaneously imprisoning her soul to the dark corners of her mind. It’s a paradox, she demonstrated that she thought of herself as better than Forrest. She remained bound in misconceptions while she cried out “Run Forrest run!” and he turned the sorrow of weak legs shackled by braces, into joy.
Do you think Jenny thought she was above Forrest?
A follow-up post comes tomorrow.