Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Grace - The Wrestler - Doubt


Here's another side of me, two sides perhaps. After watching "THE WRESTLER and "DOUBT", both of which drove me wild for very different reasons. I must admit, I am many things. each with their own purpose, experience, style, truth, design, and passion, Oh yes, passion. For all my simplicity, peace, introspection, faith, hope, love, compassion, - I am wild. Wildly passionate. The video below, "Everlast" - from the series "Saving Grace" - Oh my - I am intrigued, excited, fascinated, by the song, the show, by her - I love her character, Grace - the challenges, the history, her friends, family, her work, her Angel, her passion and strength - loyalty and honesty, her fears and weaknesses, her secrets, her inhibitions, desires, her dog, and how hard she works at everything. She is confident and yet in her quiet times alone, quite insecure. Ah, but she hides that as she 'fights' for justice and love of family and friends. she is quite promiscuous - it fills a void - puts her in charge - her way to conquer past traumas. Sound familiar to anyone?

Great song huh? I shared my love for Grace as a precursor to my writing about the movies. "The Wrestler" and "Doubt". I am in character somewhat to do so - Grace's character. It is an armor of sorts, a protection, a fierce approach, if you will. I may sound "out of character" for those of you who know me - and it is because I am - I apologize in advance for any harsh realities written in harsh tones and aggression - and as much as I am out of character it is a part of me I can access but seldom do.. Call it my dark side, or perhaps where I am moved to a rawness that is seldom exposed. I believe we all have that side to us - it is created from extremes survived - get it?!!

First, "The Wrestler". Mickey Rourke is absolutely amazing. He is really nice to look at. Talk about fantasy!! More importantly, he is passionate about his life's work as a wrestler. He lost a lot because of it. I was moved to tears by his desperate re-union with his daughter. He failed even after a tear-jerker' of a moment they had. In the end, he died for her and because of her. He was continually haunted by his life - and remained true to his truth - sometimes the truth can destroy us - his did.

"Doubt" I was an emotional mess at the opening scene. Phillip Seymour Hoffman - as Father Flynn. There he was on the altar giving his sermon - the faithful, trusting him - hanging on his every word - as he professed to be a man of God - and all the while he was "diddling" a boy, an altar boy - Donald. And Meryl Streep - Sister Agnacious - She knew - she stood firm - she had certainty . In the end, her certainty became doubt - the church and all it's pompous arrogance was embedded in her spirit - it made her doubt herself - this being the biggest tragedy. I know this doubt - when I filed suit against the arch-diocese and I asked the priest who knew everything to speak on my behalf he said he had no idea what I was talking about - I thought I was going out of my mind - it was a crucial moment of doubt - so powerful it was the only time I ever wanted to end my life. This doubt represented years of strict Catholic Italian upbringing and religious guilt. This doubt was life shattering, life changing, and life as I knew it ended on many levels.

Eventually the whole experience of doubt was life-giving as I emerged with new faith, new insights, new direction-purpose-hope-healing and after years - forgiveness. Quite a journey.

So what is the connection to Grace, The Wrestler and Doubt? Grace is courageous as she faced her past traumas and is on a journey to wholeness. She is filled with doubt and determination. The wrestler surrendered to his truth, the outcomes to his choices and tragically died doing so. He too was on a journey to wholeness and died trying. Doubt? It is a strong emotion which leads people in directions that often destroy them. Why, why, why? Even though Sister Agnacious stood firm to her certainty, in the end her doubt crushed her. Self doubt can be paralyzing.

As I reflect on my strong emotional reactions after watching these movies intertwined with Grace's character I am swirling and remembering. I am Grace, I am The Wrestler, I am Sister Agnacious. I am Grace because I, like her, have fought demons. Although my life's work is not as a cop where I can "get the bad guys" -my work does give me the gift of being part of other's slaying their dragons. I am The Wrestler because I remain true to my truth - even though some of it is horrid it is still me. I felt like him when I wanted to die - I understand his final decision to do so. And Doubt. I stood firm like Sister Agnacious - I was unyielding - and yet in my moments alone with the truth - I had doubt. And truth be told - even today, as I think back - I can doubt my own reality as I feel the power of church-priest-sacrament-sin- still wondering, if when the back of his hand came hard across my face did I deserve it - after all, he was a priest - a man of God. I should not have resisted him. Yes, I have doubt - for all my certainty - for all my standing up and fighting - for all my crushed beliefs -betrayal -that I KNOW to be true - I have moments of doubt. And so I carry that doubt, hidden but there all the same - allowing it to surface when provoked such as with Grace, The Wrestler and Doubt - Recalling that him hitting me was the act of aggression that brought me to light - even all else that he did as he prayed over me, telling me how proud of me he was, that he loved me and was sacrificing himself for me so I could be well - I believed him, I trusted him, right up until he back-handed me.

I am many, many things. It is a miracle I can write this - know this - feel this - believe this - and fear your rejection because most folks want to reject such truth. Do you reject this, me? Do you?

Okay, enough huh? Just know I have no expectation of you one way or the other. I have long since stopped expecting. Regardless, I am here, still me, still a woman of peace and wisdom - love-and compassion, humor, and trying every day to keep it in"neutral". And ya, I 'wrestle' with 'doubt' at times, do you?

Love Gail


Liara Covert said...

Every human being is on a journey to realign with soul and what is. Perception differs inside the mind based on layers of confidence and doubt about who you are. People expend enormous amounts of energy in effort to prove what they are not. In essence, every thought, feeling and action is a step toward discarding what is not you in order to rediscover the truth that awaits patiently for awareness.

Gail said...


"thank you" for your comment, which, like all others of yours I will need to re-read. :-) a goood thing I believe.


Comrade Kevin said...

You have a thing for Mickey Rourke? :)

Gail said...

Hey Kevin-
absolutely! ever since nine and a half weeks!! do ya know that movie? My oh my.... :-)

Nice to see you-

Love Gail

Val said...

Wow, Gail. I'm speechless.

Listen, friend... keep telling it like it is... keep keeping it real... your spirit and vitality are contagious.

Peace and love,

Gail said...

Hi Val - I am SO glad you came by. I have missed your words.

It is all so multi-faceted, I know. The story of pretty much all of it is on a post titled "James-Danie-Jill" if you want to read it. I guess you just put that name in 'search blog' and it will bring you to the month it was posted and then scroll down until you get to it.

Again,, I am VERY happy to see you.

Love Gail

PENolan said...

I know you're all fired up in that wrestling with grace and preacher thing right now, so it may sound a bit off topic - BUT - I just wanted to know that last week when I was so depressed about losing Velvet that I thought I needed to run away, I figured I could run away to your house. Nevermind that I don't know how to get there - I figured your place was the only place I could get to quickly where I would be safe.

So maybe you don't have to worry so much about being rejected for your truth - except for maybe by some assholes who will never understand anyway, and in the end, they are the ones who will always be searching for grace.

Gail said...

Hi Trish-

That is the nicest compliment/comment I ever received. I am moved to tears. And you can come here - you would have your own room with the best view looking out to the woods. And ya, it is safe here. I SO SO SO needed your amazing words today. "Thank you"

Love Gail

Mark said...

Love how you think and how you brought Grace, Wrestling and doubt together in such a creative way to teach your lesson today! You are amazing.

Gail said...

Hi Mark-

Thanks SOmuch for your kind words - and the three experiences somehow fit to share some of me. I really appreciate your words.

Love Gail

The Rambling Taoist said...

I have never watched the show or the two movies you reference, so that alone puts me a bit out of the loop. :)

Beyond that, every one of us has doubts. It's part of life -- there's no escaping it. Doubt is inherent in our existence by the very fact that life is so broad and our ability to comprehend it all is so limited.

Every single time a rational person decides that we are absolutely 100% certain about something -- we KNOW it in our core being -- doubt creeps in because there is no way we can account for nor factor in every variable. It is these variables that we can't know that may well change everything we think -- so there is doubt.

Of course, there are some people in our world who think they KNOW and who have no doubts. I feel sorrow for such people because they are willfully making decisions based on partial, and often disjointed, information.

What they really know is always in doubt.

Gail said...

Thanks R T for the visit and your insightful words. Sometimes I forget that those who profess certainty are actually doubtful. And I also have said and believe, that "the moment of absolute certainty never arrives". So ya, I hear ya!
Thanks R T

Love Gail

Kartz said...

I am not all that in to movies, ma'am. Do forgive my inadequacy to comment on the lines of the movie. :)

**And ya, I 'wrestle' with 'doubt' at times, do you?
- We all do. Sometimes we rack our heads so much just to settle small issues. Life has it's own ways of intimidating us. We cast doubts at little things which seem to mean a world to us but fail to look at important stuff with the keenness they deserve.

Looking at how you have framed your thoughts, I must watch these two films, some day. Knowing myself, though, I cannot promise. But try, I will. :) And then, will relate my experience.

Thank you for the share.

Peace. Have a lovely weekend.

Gail said...

Hi Kartz- always SO nice to see you. I appreciate your thoughts and kind words.

Love Gail

Anne Partain said...

I love your passion and your delight and enjoyment of it. I see passion as the thread that leads us into the unknown and to knowing.

Gail said...

Hi Ann and welcome -

"thank you" for your kind words. Please visit again.

Love Gail

Liara Covert said...

Gail, the movies you mention draw attention to situations that evoke emotions. Viewers relate to the characters and their plights and yet, part of the audience wishes they did not relate. When discomfort is there, people get restless. They do not like to feel pain. They prefer to ignore or forget it. This is the point of the exercise. Awareness grows about how you think and feel. To know you do is a step toward understanding it. Only then does a person truly learn to let go of what does not serve them. Love is the only thing that does. Nothing else exists except in the imagination so people can learn at their own pace.

Gail said...

Liara, I am very aware of the emotions, the pain of which you write - and I am SO grateful that I am. To be "restless" as you mentioned is a gift to me as it lets me know I am in "full awareness" of all aspects of myself, all that I can know up to this moment. And let me assure you none of it is imagined. And since I have journeyed this far to a place of acceptance I am all about love - of myself and others.

Love Gail

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

Gail…it's hard, maybe impossible, to say anything of value and comfort to you—but it's equally impossible to not try.

We all have doubts—in others, in the future, the past, and even the present; doubts in our beliefs and values…doubts in ourselves. It is part of human nature, and not all doubt is negative or harmful to our intellectual, spiritual, or physical health. But I see doubt as a way to examine truth. I don't believe that doubt forever overrides everything; that uncertainty always rules.

Moreover, I understand that for some, this is the only way they can comprehend and face existence. All has to be doubted; nothing can ever be real.

Yet you seem to me to have made remarkable progress from where you once were to where you are today. I know the journey has not been easy—still isn't—and that it required courage, a willingness to struggle through almost unimaginable pain, loss, tears, sorrow, suffering; know you now carry scars.

But for all that…in spite of all that…you're still here. There are good things in your life, blessings. And I for one am very, very glad.

Gail said...

Hi Grizz -

"Thank you" so much for your encouraging, understanding and insightful words. It has been quite a journey to wholeness - and I am still here and I am happy.
I understand about doubt and certainty very well - all part of th struggle and process to self. And, I am forever grateful that I have my sense of humor - which is spirited and alive as well. Amen,

Love Gail
peace and graitude