Would you make a start if you knew with absolute certainty that you will fail?
Would you make a start if you knew with absolute certainty that love will break your heart?
Would you make a start if you knew with absolute certainty that nothing gold can stay?
Those are the questions asked in Arrival, a science fiction film delivering an exquisitely beautiful visual poem. Those are also the questions raised by authors and poets.
We humans know the answer to the third question. We are gold--or at least we have the promise of being burnished to gold, and we cannot stay. Yet, day after day, year after year, era after era, we make a start.
Literature, film, and poetry advise us about the first two questions. We readers learn that life rarely passes unblemished. Life unfolds in fits and starts; its joys ebb and flow. We stand and fall. We falter and fail. We love and lose. Yet, day after day, year after year, era after era, we make a start.
Arrival doesn’t provide different answers to those questions, but it wraps us in mythology, nightmare, and exquisite beauty as it leads us to the same truths.
I recommend the experience.
See Arrival. Read its archetypal patterns.
Write answers to the three questions posed at the beginning of this post.
Connye Griffin is My Writing and Editing Coach.