great benefaction

Last night after a long work week I saddled in for a night of wine, soup and watched Great Expectations with Gwenyth Paltrow and Ethan Hawke.  I love everything about this movie; Francesco Clemente’s art work, the literary reference, and overall the story of coming to the true self after years of journeying.  My college roommate always loved the line that Paltrow recites in the cab, “We are who we are, people don’t change.” I like to think that you can’t change someone but you can watch them grow and evolve. Sometimes I think our great expectations in life are what get us so bogged down. If we can accept people, situations, places in life just as they are then there is no need to make them different. And in the acceptance we’ve changed the great expectation of needing something to be other than what it is. In this passage Pip is talking about Miss Havisham and the great waste of spending her life in revenge, greed, and never letting go of the outcome of her own life,

I knew not how to answer, or how to comfort her. That she had done a grievous thing in taking an impressionable child to mould into the form that her wild resentment, spurned affection, and wounded pride, found vengeance in, I knew full well. But that, in shutting out the light of day, she had shut out infinitely more; that, in seclusion, she had secluded herself from a thousand natural and healing influences; that, her mind, brooding solitary, had grown diseased, as all minds do and must and will that reverse the appointed order of their Maker; I knew equally well.

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