Any Human Heart (2011)
I awoke this morning to that peculiar feeling that comes along much less often than it did just a few years ago. I was queasy, achy, and crampy, and felt generally puny. Puny enough to call in sick and make plans to spend the day in bed. I could not fall back to sleep, so I started watching Any Human Heart on Amazon Prime and watched all 6 hours straight through. It was the perfect marathon for a cold, grey, wet March day.
Any Human Heart is the story of the life of a writer, beginning in his college days and up to his death. The story of his success, his failure, and the banality of his aging, were the backdrop to the story of the ebb and flow of his love and creativity. It was a beautiful story, sad and funny, too. In my hormonal haze, it was a story that felt very personal for me, and when the last scene played out, I wept until I wailed, and I was grateful that I was home alone. On such a cold day, my tears ran hot out of my eyes and down my face and I gagged and gasped for air between the wails. Alone, I allowed myself to have the kind of cry that you stifle if you feel that anyone is in earshot or might see you at your ugliest. Growing up, I only had time to cry like this just after arriving home from school, but before my sister made it home. It was a narrow window of opportunity, but that window was there five days a week. When I moved out on my own I had the freedom to cry at will, but it has been almost twenty years since I could afford the luxury of tears that solitude affords. I know I am lucky that I don't feel the need very often, but I do miss it sometimes, the catharsis of weeping.
Lately, I am feeling my losses keenly. While I miss everyone that has left, I feel myself pulling further away from my friends who are still here. I feel solitary, but not lonely and I feel an urgency to take care of all that needs to be tended to, while I still can. When feeling this way, I wonder if these thoughts passed through Grandma and Momma when they looked at the road ahead and realized that it was shorter than the road behind them.
I suppose that this is less a review of the movie and more of an expression of sadness, release, and relief...good movie, though. I definitely recommend it for a day like today.