Friday, November 07, 2014

stronger than us

When my sister and I returned to Poland as young teens in 1966, we noted a new movie playing in the local theaters. It was French, by the director Lalouch. The name was A Man and a Woman. I don't know if this was widely distributed in the States, but in Warsaw, it was a hit and she and I saw it many times. Briefly, the story is about a two people, both widowed, who begin to develop a relationship with each other, except that she is burdened by memories of her deceased husband.

The film has beautiful cinematography. You could call it a classic French movie -- Ed would say: nothing happens! In fact, the film is also short on dialogue. The visuals are much more important and Ed would be wrong because a lot does happen, though it's all at the emotional level.

And there's music throughout. Beautiful songs, including the memorable for me L'Amour est Bien Plus Fort Que Nous (love is much stronger than us). When I was thirteen or fourteen, this was a reassuring message: if I act stupidly because I am in love (and I was and I did), it's not my fault! Love is stronger than us!

Why am I thinking about this on a cold November morning in Wisconsin? It's the idea of emotions driving actions.  My Friday morning is full of this stuff: Ed had had a restless night and I just couldn't get myself to nudge him out of bed to release the cheepers. And so for the first time since early September, I get up myself to open the coop. Just as the sun is about to break over the horizon.


Love is much stronger than the fear of a rooster.

In fact, Oreo not only doesn't attack me, but refuses to come out. Somehow, God knows how, he got himself up to the second floor of the coop where the chickens typically sleep (it's warmer with the girls!) and he isn't in a hurry to get down (even as they are).

Back at the farmhouse (beautifully welcoming against a brightening sky)...


...I notice that the two infallible mouse traps that had thus far captured and held EIGHT mice for us over the course of the last week or so are, this morning, empty of peanut butter on crackers. Meaning a mouse has figured out how to go in, eat, go out. It seems impossible, really it does. The door shuts behind the critter and the cracker is all the way in the back, so she has to go way in! And yet, a mouse's willpower is stronger than you and me, with our feeble reasoning processes. Yes, desire is more powerful than the plastic door of a mouse trap.

But let me return to the subject of love. What, you think I'm going to post one of my breakfast photos again? Yes, I am. With this tiny story: as I take out my camera, Ed says, as usual: hurry up! My next girlfriend isn't going to bring an annoying camera to breakfast. And I say: my next boyfriend will cooperate and look radiant rather than sour when I take out the camera.


But actually, I'm thinking of something else: in acquiescing to having Oreo here still (or at least not actively hounding his true owner to come and get him), I have not only allowed his gentler side to reassert itself again, I have also allowed the guy to have some really good moments with his own girlfriends. (Don't know if they are still his sexual partners. I haven't seen him chase them lately. Maybe it's a use it or lose it thing with roosters...) Here is how they love to spend their downtime (when they are not foraging for food).


It just warms your heart to see them dirty and happy together.

Yeah, l'amour est bien plus fort que nous...