Santa Fe, Entry #7 Cave of Forgotten Dreams   2 comments


After watching Werner Herzog’s film “Cave of Forgotten Dreams” which filled my head with wonder and amazement, two oft-repeated quotes and one not so known kept coming to mind. Gandhi’s quote, “Everything you do is unimportant, but it’s vitally important that you do it” and “I am life which wills to live in the midst of life which wills to live” by Albert Schweitzer, and the lesser known quote by my therapist friend, Sarah, who said, “Everyone is doing their best. Why wouldn’t they be?”

I watched the film and imagined being one of the crew with Herzog and what that must feel like standing in front of paintings done 30,000 years ago by a flesh and blood living artist. Just a person  like one of us filled with apprehensions, doubts, senses and emotions. A person who made a conscious decision about what to draw on that rock wall, just as I make a conscious decision about what to write. So we both stand or sit with tool in hand because we have a reason or need or desire to communicate something or express something. We need to do this, something drives us to this. And the artists of these paintings thought about, considered, pondered how to best express what they desired to express. The shapes of the rocks emphasized the animal’s bodies and faces and they chose the best rocks before they painted. The artists did not draw child-like stick creatures, but picked their canvas spots carefully, and gave their creatures depth and expressive faces and bodies. How were these artists different from people today?  Not in the ways of technology that he or she would not understand today anymore than I would understand how to survive and thrive in their day, but like us, they have felt their heart beating faster, felt fear from a nightmare, know what a newborn baby looks like as he/she emerges from a comfortable womb to complete one of the many passages that squeeze us tight, and make us squirm in the light.

The 30,000 years seemed inconsequential as I watched the film. Each generation reaches adulthood thinking they have an edge of knowledge or that they are somehow different from the last, not knowing that someone else has thought their thought already, experienced it already, and any new skills they have also mean skills they will never know, so as Gandhi said, “Everything you do is unimportant, but it is vitally important that you do it.” Personal choices make a life. Will the world keep turning if you disappear, absolutely, so that makes the experience of deciding what and how to paint that buffalo all the more vital that you do it. I’m not sure what I mean, but I know I feel it. We are life which wills to live in the midst of life which wills to live and we are all doing the best we can at any given moment. It might not be the best for you or him or her, but it is the best you can do in that particular moment.

Some form of the world will continue with humans or without. We are here to experience, to choose, to breathe for the hours we have.  Whether you break at the thought of damned rivers or abused puppies or soar at the written word by a genius like Goethe, or when you watch the faithful sun rise once more, it is necessary that you feel “it.” You are a tiny, forgettable, incredible drop who may someday be wondered about by a person 30,000 years in the future. Your name is unimportant.

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Posted June 11, 2011 by strongjacksonpoet54 in FIlm, Uncategorized

2 responses to “Santa Fe, Entry #7 Cave of Forgotten Dreams

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  1. I’m so glad you guys got to see this one — it made me feel really small and really big at the same time. Just amazing…

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  2. Yes, you said it well. Ed was so thrilled, I could feel his excitement sitting next to him in a quiet theater. His head was full of ideas the whole evening.

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