A Narrative Point of View

After the 10th anniversary of 9/11, I was reading a New York Times piece called “The Meaningfulness of Lives” about, well, what makes life meaningful.  The author refers to Susan Wolf’s catchy definition when “subjective attraction meets objective attractiveness” that, from what I gather, is doing something important that also feels like it’s worthwhile.

But the point I latched onto most was the whole concept of life having a trajectory, and therefore one’s life is a narrative, and I am the player or actor living it.  It is defined and driven by who I am shaped by experiences and events, from which meaning is derived.  “There are narrative values expressed by human lives that are not reducible to moral values,” Todd May writes.  “Nor are they reducible to happiness; they are not simply matters of subjective feeling.  Narrative values are not felt; they are lived.”

Last weekend I needed something to lift my spirits so I popped in my DVD the 1982 movie “Victor/Victoria,” which always managed to pick me up.  Brightening the viewing experience more was the commentary with its director Blake Edwards and his wife Julie Andrews, who starred in it as well as the Broadway musical version.  Later watching the TV Emmy awards, I realized Blake Edwards had died last year at the age of 88.  Having heard him in conversation with his beloved wife the night before barely a year after his death is even more poignant, especially the moments when he seemed to disappear because he was enjoying simply watching the film, and she would have to pull him back into voice.

Blake Edwards’ checkered life and career seemed to mirror each other, culminating in the movie I was watching last weekend.  While he was known for the Pink Panther movies, “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” and “10,” his last success was the Broadway musical of “Victor/Victoria” in 1995, according to The New York Times upon his passing.  He said in one interview: “My life has been a search for a funny side to that very tough life out there.  I developed a kind eye for scenes that made me laugh to take the pain away.”  He wasn’t perfect, but in my book, his life meets the tests of what makes it meaningful:  Blake Edwards made me laugh and even cry.

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About Rachelle Ayuyang
I am a writer feeding my soul by doing something I love, mining some of the deepest parts of me to dig up gems and sometimes diamonds in that rough.

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