Thoughts on thoughts and images of beautiful things

Tag Archives: sorrow




I am by no means a film critic, so I’m not going to try to say anything groundbreaking about Waves. I can only talk about how it made me feel. I saw it at Facets Cinematheque in Chicago a few months ago, but it’s still sticking with me, as the powerful ones usually do. I first saw something about this movie last fall when it was part of the Chicago International Film Festival, but I wasn’t able to see it then. Man, was it worth the wait. From the start, with its enveloping soundtrack, it feels a bit like a music video – each vignette making up the whole in a moving, shocking, and intimate way.

While the plot begins by following a teenage boy and his high school experience in a somewhat typical coming-of-age type of way, you quickly realize that it’s a different type of story as you get to know him through his health struggles, the tense relationship with his parents, and the unraveling situation with his girlfriend. Not only does the plot take unexpected twists and turns, but the talent of the actors to convey their inner sensibilities is unlike anything I’ve seen in a long time…not since Blue is the Warmest Color, which I first saw in 2013 when it came out. Waves perfectly encapsulates that devastating, raw, heartbreaking sense of loss that I so loved about Blue is the Warmest Color. I felt this heartbreak throughout the second half of the movie while sitting in that dark, fairly empty movie theater, sitting next to a good friend and fellow film lover, and I continued to feel a sense of sorrow afterward. It’s a profound movie about tragedy and loss and love. So many feels that embody the human condition.

Reflections on an age-old question…is happiness worth it if it’s only temporary?


One has to wonder if something temporary, while it may bring you extreme joy, is really worth it since it’s only temporary. Most of the time, when we go into things, we don’t know how long they will last. In this case, it seems only logical to enjoy it as ┬ámuch as possible because for all you know, it will go on indefinitely. But if you go into something and you know it’s going to be temporary, how do you compensate for the fact that you know it will make you happy in the moment, or for a short time, but then have to give it up and live without it?

On the one hand, it seems most logical not to indulge in temporary happiness in order to avoid missing it when it’s gone. But that would be far too easy. On the other hand, what usually ends up happening, is that you indulge in the temporary happiness because you simply cannot resist it. And the fact that you’ll have to give it up and live without it eventually just isn’t something that you can fathom in the moment.

But then what do you do when it’s over? This is what you should have thought about before when you were deciding whether or not temporary happiness was worth it, but couldn’t possibly imagine at the time. The hard part of missing it and wanting it back is definitely there, and what is the cost? Sorrow. Then you have to ask yourself questions like: was it worth it? Yes. Would you have traded the temporary happiness and avoided sorrow? No. So even then, when you wouldn’t trade the temporary happiness for anything, you still have to deal with the sorrow somehow. Yes, this is the hard part. But knowing that you put yourself into something completely and gave yourself to it completely, in spite of the fact that you knew it was temporary, can be very empowering. And that is exhilarating, despite the sorrow.