Yesterday I saw the new Woody Allen film Vicky Cristina Barcelona which I thoroughly enjoyed on several levels, but one moment especially touched me. Without putting it into the full context of the plot let me just share that there is an older man in the film who is a poet. He refuses to publish his poetry in order to punish the world. He feels the world deserves to be punished because the world has not learned to love.
Now if the point of punishment is to change behavior then I suppose I support his decision. But I wonder if such a decision doesn't ultimately punish him as well. To withhold beauty from full expression, to make the gift of love conditional indicates that he too has some learning to do. Nevertheless to recognize the importance of love and to yearn for it so much and to be so wounded by it's absence that one is willing to make a such a profound personal sacrifice is extraordinary. Now one could argue that the sacrifice is trivial. After all in the grand scheme of ordinary existence who knows or cares that this old Spanish gentleman is refusing to share his poetry? But for an artist to decide not to share his vision with the world is perhaps the ultimate sacrifice an artist can make.
One of my daughters has a tatoo that reads Love Is An Action. Act. What if we all felt so hurt and wounded by the world's failure to love that we were willing to act?371d36d75e05eda735858f8e467be99c