Oregon writer, Rain Trueax, and Oregon painter, Diane, co-author Rainy Day Thought, where they write about experiences, ideas, nature, creativity, and culture. The latter might appear at times political, but we will try to avoid partisanship to speak to the broader issues that impact a culture. This is just too important a time not to sometimes speak to problems that impact society. As she and I do, readers will find we often disagree and have for over 50 years-- still able to be close friends. You can do that if you can be agreeable that we share more than not despite the difference.

Diane posts on Wednesdays and Rain on Saturdays. There may be extra days or changes as situations warrant. Comments, relating to the topic, are welcome as it turns an article into a discussion, but must be in English, with no profanity, hate-filled comments, or links (unless pre-approved).

Fantasy, the painting by Diane Widler Wenzel, cropped a little to fit the needs of a banner.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Old old age

Once in awhile I get to thinking about old age-- specifically mine. Most of the time I don't think about how many years I have lived. They just are and it doesn't seem real to me anyway. Could I have actually lived almost 66 years? Was I really born almost 67 years ago? That just seems so old when I think of it as a number.

Actually when I think about what I have experienced in those years, it's hard to believe it was all me. I was a baby (don't remember that); then a little girl (I remember more of that); a teen-ager (the memories increase) and on it goes with what seems like now a whole other person than me.

Going along with accepting my age and what it means, I really enjoy movies about the old or the elderly-- depending on how you define elderly. Some would put me in that category but it doesn't quite seem like it to me -- yet.

Cats of Mirikitani was one such film, a documentary about Jimmy Mirikitani, who is Japanese artist in New York City. I saw it through Netflix. The documentarian is a woman in New York City who noticed Jimmy painting and selling his work as he lived on the street. She filmed him and then when 9/11 happened, and their streets were considered unsafe due to toxic dust from the disaster, she invited him to live in her home.

The story is about the different lives that he lived including being in a concentration camp in California during World War II. He was in shock that such a thing could happen to him given he was born in Sacramento but what was done to the Japanese then proves it's not just Republicans who do bad things in disasters. Democrats must take the blame for those camps, for the confiscation of property, for how they treated so many American citizens out of fear and bigotry.

Anyway the documentary is basically about this artist, the impact those years of being unfairly imprisoned had upon him and his drive to do art no matter where or what he was doing. It is also about the woman who is behind the camera and her desire to tell his story. It is about the way our lives, by the time we get old, do seem to be divided into segments.

Then came another one, Uncross the Stars, with some old stars as well as a plot about loss that I bought for $3.88 in a sale at a local store. After I had viewed it, I checked and it is also on Netflix. If you like simple movies with upbeat aspects to them even when they are about tragedies, then Hallmark is your ticket. I like buying them on DVD better than watching them there as I then don't get the ads and those ads really do interfere with the story.

Uncross the Stars is a film about a young man who tragically loses his wife. As her last request to him, left in a letter, she asks him to go to his aunt's home, in a senior community in Arizona, and build a porch. She also expresses her wish that he uncross the stars. I won't say more about what he learns that means as it would ruin the experience, but learning what it means is why you should consider renting the movie.

The elderly characters in the movie are fun to watch. Barbara Hershey, who plays his aunt, is always good and this is a rare chance to see Ron Perlman, a very gifted actor, where you actually see his face. He is great and I only wish he did more films as himself. I'd buy that :)


Taradharma said...

Thanks, Rain, I just added both of those movies to my queue. I wonder about old age as well, and just hope that it will be kind to me, merciful.

Diane Widler Wenzel said...

I am adding them to my queue

mandt said...

Same here! Have you seen "The Wedding Banquet" yet?---great film.

Rain Trueax said...

I had not, mandt, seen that film but after reading the synopsis at Netflix, I added it to my list. It sounds good.