Grace Tu

Grace Tu

Saturday, December 17, 2011

5 minutes and 18 seconds of the train ride

Photo: Vancouver, Burrard St. Camera: iPhone 4s

In the first part of the movie About a Boy, Will (Hugh Grant) made this comment: “The worst part was when they closed their eyes” when Marcus (Nicholas Hoult) and Fiona (Toni Collette) first sang and played “Killing Me Softly with His Song” after a much bizarre pretended date.

The next time we hear this song is towards the end of the movie. Marcus was standing in front of a full auditorium of cool kids at the school’s rock concert, with a tambourine in his hand, that dorky presence, the shaky high-pitch voice, dedicating the song to the depressed Fiona – his last attempt to make his suicidal mother happy.

To rescue Marcus from the unbearable embarrassment, against his usual island-living judgment, Will got on the stage and joined the performance. And he was, uncontrollably, singing the song with his eyes closed.

I cry watching this scene every time.

The other day on the sky train, my iphone was playing “Mon cœur s'ouvre à ta voix” from Samson and Delilah – it’s one of the most beautiful thing I can imagine exposing myself to that early in the morning. Standing with a heavy computer bag and a heavy purse on my shoulder, and a lunch bag in my hand, I closed my eyes. At that moment I finally understood why I always cry at that scene from the movie.

It’s a relief that in the moment you close your eyes you stop pretending to be someone else; to not let self-consciousness stop you from fully immersing your soul in something magnificent: music that’s so beautiful it makes your eyes teary, insight that is so profound it gives you mental clarity, or love that is so transcendental it heightens your every single aesthetic sense.

I opened my eyes to a better world.

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