Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind

So I finally saw this critics acclaimed movie by Charlie Kaufman. I always liked Kaufman’s creativity and his brand new look on mundane elements in our lives. The “what if”‘s that you and I never thought of. It was always refreshing and strange, from Being John Malkovich to Adaptation. This new addition seemed to be a lot more main stream than the previous two. As usual, it was skillfully told, the edit was beautifully done, interesting side-stories intertwined with the main plot seamlessly. You won’t be disappointed by the excellent acting from both Kate Winslet and Jim Carrey.

However, I didn’t find myself relate to the characters much. I suppose it is a common desire : to forget something or someone completely. It is just not the kind of desire that existed in my book.

As time goes by, I started to understand how important memory is to me. My diaries are my most valuable possessions. In the case of fire, I could forget everything else in the house; I wouldn’t want to forget my diaries. If I ever had any strong desire relating to my memories, it is probably the fear of forgetting.

I live to collect my memories, they are my stories, my past, my history, they are me. Forgetting any of them means losing part of me.

How could I ever desire that?

What I really liked to try was that little memory map they have in the movie. I wanted something to help me remember all the little details that got buries over the years. Occasionally when I went through my old files, I could come across tid-bits of writing of the past, either from my emails or words I wrote down randomly. They would reveal to me little things I had forgotten, dialogs, emotions that once existed in my past and once moved me. Finding them was always such a thrill. I understood gold-digger’s joyous moment. The ecstasy.

I enjoy sunshine, but eternal sunshine will seem boring. Change of season always brings me joy. And I prefer my mind to be aged with all its experiences like the pyramid wall in the desert, stood up to all the abuse time had lavished on it. The faded carvings and the scars, to me they are far more beautiful than a spotless one.

What this movie really got me thinking was the second time around, things might be different. I had always believed that in the world of relationships, what didn’t work before would never work again no matter how many times you try. But this story gave me pause; maybe I shouldn’t be so hasty? Maybe it all depended on the individuals involved. To summarize the conversation happened in the car when we left the theatre, mainly based on opinions expressed by Gui and Matthew: “Predestination might not hold true, because once the couple is armed with the extra knowledge of what didn’t work before and would willing to try it again, things might be different.”

The problem is, in real life, breakup almost always started with misunderstanding and remain that way. Gui laughed, maybe there should be an option for couple who broke up, to go through this memory-erasing process and then listen to each other’s file and decide what to do next. 🙂

2 thoughts on “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind

  1. I find it interesting that you said “but eternal sunshine will seem boring”. In my mind (which is far from spotless), your mind is the closest I can associate with being “spotless”. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying your mind is a blank page. Far from it, it has a healthy deposit of rich memories. Like a map colored with various hues. To me it seems that you have the amazing ability of keeping the past intact without having it run out of its boundaries, leaving muddy streaks. My theory is that that is difficult to do for a lot of people, who will tend to want to clean up their memories.

    Jean’s Reply:
    zha! 🙂
    interesting… that seems to go with your comment last night in the car, on our way to dinner. You said, “maybe you are not impulsive.” That got me thinking for a while. I often thought myself as being impulsive. but maybe not. What you just said here seems to say that i’m very disciplined with my memories, everyone of them is ordered to stay in their desinate cubicals. no one is allowed to running around in the hallway during class time. Ha. 🙂
    I think you might be right. 🙂
  2. hmmmm. When you put it like that, the words “disciplined”, “ordered” do not sound like the right words for you. Not that you’re not disciplined or ordered. And I don’t think of you as “not impulsive” either. It’s just that your mind seems to have the clarity without you having to order it consciously. Or maybe you are ordering it, I don’t know. 🙂

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