I just saw this road-movie on TV; it was a bit slow but very thought-provoking. You know how, there are people around you sometimes and you really admire them and would give anything to be like them? Maybe you feel they keep getting lucky or maybe it’s the way they respond to the things around them and then you feel, is this like, God at work? Because they might be as imperfect as you are but they turn the imperfection around and make it work for them in a way that is uniquely their own, whereas you struggle to ‘fit in’, as a consequence of which, you may not always listen to your heart. But some people always do!
Well the character Joline in the movie…pretty, wide-eyed and ready to face everything in the world all alone is just like that. She says, ‘I read somewhere, the reason most relationships break down is that each partner is waiting for the other to fix it. But if you want somebody to stand by you always, you have to be willing to do the same for them, even when they’re acting like an idiot.’ And unlike most people, she practices what she preaches. So when Joline’s husband leaves New York and moves over to Texas because he needs to do some soul-searching, she packs up her stuff, encashes everything in her bank account and starts off in her car to find him, traveling through the desert. Joline is not exactly what you would call practical…she is just a believer of the sort that I have always admired. She combs through the countryside until she finds her husband working as a food photographer for a local paper and at the same time having an affair with a young girl who works as a waitress in a restaurant. For a brief instance, Joline imagines chopping her husband Carl up with her karate skills but she then thinks, ‘what good does violence ever do?’
Instead she ends up befriending her husband’s mistress Carmen. Then she finds that Carmen’s admirer T-Bo is out to harm her husband Carl and she sets out to protect him. She befriends Neal, who his her husband’s new neighbor and who fancies her. When Carl finally discovers her there, he orders her out of his life saying she’s bad luck for him and that all the good things she’s always wanted keep deflecting from him towards her. So Joline decides that her husband Carl is in a ‘spiritual coma’ (earlier she had claimed he was in a ‘spiritual wheelchair’) and she begins to perform a series of complicated rituals to cure him, all the while camping off her car in a field beyond his house until he calls the police and has her sent to a psychiatrist.
Now rational ‘non-believers’ would scorn a person like Joline and put her into jail and anyone looking at her from the outside would consent to it, but the movie turns the irony around: Is Joline mad? Is it madness to have faith in a person? To give them space? To want to protect them for as long as you can? Is it madness to want to be there for them, even when they no longer want to be there for you? Is it madness to believe firmly and undauntedly in the vows of marriage and in working through ways to exist with the person who broke your heart, to give him a second chance? So then Joline does some soul searching of her own, and her world will never crumble down because she never knew what it was like to feel hopelessly devastated because she has never been without hope.
If you stand your ground against whatever life doles out at you and you remain the person you wanted to be through it all, that then is real strength. It doesn’t matter what the world at large thinks of you as long as you know what you think of yourself. It doesn’t matter if you fall from grace as far as they are concerned as long as you don’t fall in your own eyes. And to that effect, the joke is not on you. The joke is on them, those who pull you back when you struggle to rise (for the herd will always attempt to bring you back to their level if it sees you growing wings).The joke is on them because you see more than they do and they will be in the darkness, but not you.
Well those are the kind of people I find myself admiring: because the line between sanity and insanity is really thin and if you’re different, you’re not crazy…you’re just closer to your God, whoever or whatever He might be…you’re just committed to your own life, no one else has your reins.