September 11th and Elizabethtown
You’re probably wondering how on earth do these two things relate? One is a date we commemorate, one is a quirky movie with Orlando Bloom. They relate in my mind for the obvious reason that it’s the same week. I watched the movie Sunday night, not even realizing this week held 9-11. When I realized that it’s been 6 years since the Twin Towers fell, it amazed me. In some ways it feels like moments ago, in others, another lifetime.
How did we continue with normal life? Doing the laundry, making the meals, mowing the grass? Since then we’ve had the monstrous tragedy of Katrina, with lives still upended.
Elizabethtown, to me, is about putting things in perspective and going on no matter what happens. Orlando Bloom’s character loses a shoe company a billion dollars and feels like his life is over. Inside the shoe company everyone’s looking at him like a colossal failure, but beyond those walls…no one cares. Then his dad dies, postponing his suicide plans so he can deal with the details of death.
And they get it so right—someone dies and you have a family reunion.Weird, isn’t it? A dead body in the room and you talk about barbecue and worry whether the corpse’s hair and clothes look right. Like they care.
The mundane triumphs over tragedy every time. It’s not some epiphany that keeps us going after the hard times; it’s the boring and endless details. We argue over knick-knacks that no one cared about the day before because that’s how we heal, how we get on with it. Like the grass growing no matter how badly the drought has fried my vegetables. The mundane triumphs.