“There are many things from which I might have derived good, by which I have not profited, I dare say,” returned the nephew, “Christmas among the rest. But I am sure I have always thought of Christmas time, when it has come round–apart from the veneration due to its sacred name and origin, if anything belonging to it can be apart from that–as a good time; a kind, forgiving, charitable, pleasant time; the only time I know of, in the long calendar of the year, when men and women seem by one consent to open their shut-up hearts freely, and to think of people below them as if they really were fellow-passengers to the grave, and not another race of creatures bound on other journeys. And therefore, uncle, though it has never put a scrap of gold or silver in my pocket, I believe that it has done me good, and will do me good; and I say, God bless it!”
–Charles Dickens (from A Christmas Carol)
Sometimes your joy is the source of your smile, but sometimes your smile can be the source of your joy.
–Thich Nhat Hanh
Throughout its history, cinema has been generally understood as an inexpensive distraction from the demands of workaday life. But in recent decades, the “escape” from “reality” provided by the movies, has become more and more paradoxical. We often think of distractions as a slowing down, a release from the demands of our busy schedules, but going to the movies (and watching television) increasingly means an acceleration in our rates of consumption: both the implicit consumption of more and more images and sounds per minute and the literal consumption of amounts of food and drink that in other sectors of our lives would seem ridiculously over-indulgent. And, of course, much of what we’re looking at and hearing is little more than an on-going, implicit/explicit polemic for still more extravagant levels of consumption. Obviously, the ever-higher levels of consumption remain something like original nature, in ever-greater jeopardy. As a result, I see the fundamental job of an ecocinema as a retraining of perception, as a way of offering an alternative to conventional media-spectatorship, or to put it in terms I’ve explored in detail elsewhere, as a way of providing something like a garden—an “Edenic” respite from conventional consumerism—within the machine of modern life, as modern life is embodied by the apparatus of media
-Scott MacDonald (Interdiscip Stud Lit Environ (2004) 11 (2): 107-132)
“Water does not resist. Water flows. When you plunge your hand into it, all you feel is a caress. Water is not a solid wall, it will not stop you. But water always goes where it wants to go, and nothing in the end can stand against it. Water is patient. Dripping water wears away a stone. Remember that, my child. Remember you are half water. If you can’t go through an obstacle, go around it. Water does.”
― Margaret Atwood