January 6, 2013

My parents visited me today. Dad, eighty-something, had a cold, and slept on my bed for an hour, while Mom, sixty-something, looked through my photos of Istanbul and then folded my laundry. I have several photographs of them holding hands walking either away from me or toward me. I suppose I take only photographs of them when they’re holding hands. The gesture still has the power to surprise me, because Mom can be a little shrill with Dad sometimes and because I’ve wondered whether Dad, in the past, ever resented her shrillness. But Mom said to me once, “You are not allowed to judge our relationship.” So I no longer judge it, just as I try not to judge others’. A coherent relationship is so much more than the sum of dissatisfactions, tiffs, and compromises—there is the comfort of habit, of a shared language, even if you don’t speak the same language, even if you don’t think the two are themselves speaking the same language. When I saw them today, Mom berated Dad for taking cold medicine during the day. In another household close to me, the woman has been berating her husband for not drinking water to stay hydrated.

I have faith in love.

Rather, I have faith in togetherness.

A couple of years ago in San Francisco, when I missed my flight back to New York and couldn’t reach Anna Shapiro, my dear host, I walked into a theater with my suitcase to take in The White Ribbon. When I stepped out of the theater, it was evening and Anna had left me a message. I returned to her parents’ house, ecstatic to discover the world just a little less moored than two hours before, and dismissed any worry about the rest of the week, year, life.

Now Haneke has created Amour.

I’m told there are no spoilers in Teju Cole’s review of the film, but I won’t read it yet anyway, till after I watch it on Thursday.


One Response to “Amour”

  1. kikipuffs Says:

    thank you for this. just what i needed to read on a rainy sleepless night at 4:41 am.

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