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AWAY FROM HER: THE UNDYING CHALICE--A Movie

By RonPrice ·
AWAY FROM HER
THE UNDYING CHALICE

From time to time my wife is away all day involved as she is in local arts society work, in family matters in relation to her 3 children and, now, 4 grandchildren; in relation to her many friendships and their associated obligations; and in relation to her activities in the Bahai community, a growing world organization with, it seems to me, a vital role to play in the unity and coherence of affairs on this planet. We are both retired and on pensions in Australia.

I dont mind being by myself after a teaching career of 35 years behind me and more evening and weekend meetings than I care to count. This evening, in the first week of autumn in Tasmania, my wife got home at about 10 p.m. After giving her a cup of tea and settling her in front of the TV, to veg-out as we say, she and I settled down to watching the end of a late-night movie.

The movie was entitled Away From Her(2006),1 which won many awards, awards which I leave to readers to look-up. The film was about a man coping with the institutionalization of his wife because of Alzheimer's disease. He faces an epiphany when she transfers her affections from their 45 year marriage to another man. The other man is a wheel chair-bound mute who also is a patient at the nursing home.2--Ron Price with thanks to 1SBSONE TV, 10:05 p.m.-12:00, 30 March 2011; and 2IMDb: The Internet Movie Database, 3 April 2011.

It had been more than 40 years
since I saw any of Brant County,1
but tonight there it was on TV in
a movie which really moved me.
A bit of drama and romance and a
problem becoming big-time for the
baby-boomers around the world of
ours: senile dementia & Alzheimers.

This movie made one reflect on ones
own life, ones own marriage, ones own
infidelities, if any; for unfaithfulness has
more to do with life than just the external
forms of sex, of sex outside marriage. And
going the distance tests the metal of most:
the bond that unites most perfectly is loyalty
and, in my 44 years of marriage, that loyalty
was tested to the hilt. And did I pass the test
when, perhaps, only deeds of stainless purity
are accepted at the throne of the most high?
I will not know until I get to those pearly-gates,
assuming there are pearly-gates opening on the
placeless and that stand wide, that the undying
chalice far beyond the perishable cups, the tinsel
and base metal,2 contains for me pure wine and
delicate draughts from thoseHeavenly Cups.2

1 The movie was set in Brant County. I worked in Brantford Ontario, a city surrounded by Brant County, in the summer of 1967. I had a job with the Motor Vehicle License Branch of the Department of Transport in Ontario. I had just graduated from teachers college in June and was about to get married in August and go to live and teach primary school among the Inuit on Baffin Island. Alexander Graham Bell conducted the first distant telephone call from Brantford to Paris, Ontario in 1876.
2 Bahaullah, The Seven Valleys and the Four Valleys, Bahai Pub. Trust, Wilmette, 1971(1945), pp. 39-59. I particularly enjoyed the insertion at the end of the film of Canadian singer-songwriter Neil Youngs song Helpless about a town in north Ontario. The song was most famously recorded by Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young on their 1970 album Dj Vu, an album I have owned for 40 years. In 1970 I had, indeed, just returned from the north of Canada and the nostalgia evoked for me was palpable.

Ron Price 3 April 2011

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