Chris L Jones
Being authentic

Being authentic

Yesterday I watched the romantic 1955 movie "All that heaven allows" with Rock Hudson and Jane Wyman playing the leads.

It's a moving cross class love story that pulls on the heart strings and is brilliantly acted with extraordinary emotional intensity enhanced by great mood lighting, sets and landscapes. I since discovered that Danish German born liberal humanitarian director Douglas Sirk had class and other political themes running through all his work. However, the standout for me in this film wasn't its class conflict, but in the overriding message of just being authentically true to yourself no matter what. Rock plays the tree pruner come tree cultivator following in his father's footsteps, but he is no ordinary working class guy. Alignment with the natural order through an intimate knowledge of trees helps maintain his equanimity amid the pressures to be a successful somebody. For me, this is the central theme of the movie and what attracts her to him despite cross class marriages being taboo in 50's middle America. 

Sahaja, meaning the natural state, is completely congruous with the feeling of the film and probably why I resonated with it so much.

Image: The Alaknanda river in Uttarakhand, North India.


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