Sunday, November 19, 2017


Brooding, Rabindranath Tagore (1861-1941)

Prompted by a mention of it in a very fine memoir, I tried twice in the past few days to watch Hitchcock's Frenzy (1972), but I just couldn't do it. I could not force myself to keep watching past the first few minutes of that awful scene with Rusk and Brenda Blaney. The moment when she reaches for the phone and he stops her made me feel physically ill, and I had to abandon the film both times. This squeamishness is new. I sat through Frenzy years ago, and while I remember thinking the movie was misogynistic trash, I don't recall being particularly disturbed by it. Now it's suddenly unbearable. Why?

I'm sure it's partly to do with the incessant post-Weinstein conversation about sexual harassment and assault. I've contributed to that chatter myself, and I think the discussion is important, but there's no question that it has stirred up a lot of buried rage and fear for many of us. I've relived experiences over the past few weeks that I would have gladly forgotten forever. Is this healing? I can't say. All I know is it's painful and maddening.

I really think it's part of a much larger sorrow, though. I feel like I'm grieving for the world these days, trying to reconcile myself to my "feast of losses" and not succeeding. Not sure anyone does. What surprises me is that age seems to heighten the capacity to grieve, not lessen it. I feel it all more deeply now than I once did—more deeply than I could have imagined when I was young. Probably because I understand now that none of it is fixable.

You can see the book trailer for Kelly Grey Carlisle's memoir, We Are All Shipwrecks, here.

If you have the stomach for Frenzy, the full movie is currently up on Youtube.


Unknown said...

Good Lord, you pack a lot into three paragraphs—well crafted, beautiful paragraphs. There is no single thought here that I don’t echo in return. Well said.

BitterGrace said...

Thanks, Julia. :-)