Monday, March 20, 2006

"Groundhog Day" for "The Weather Man"

Here it is Spring again! 2006! We have recently had some very inclement weather, much needed this year, especially in Arizona near Phoenix. Last year, at this time, we had too much rain. We even had snow the other day. It didn't stick. Betty and I went out in it to go to the doctor. A rare occurance around here. Soft and quiet, it was almost "spell-binding". There is a palpable feeling I get with a "change in the weather" or a "change in the season". I seem to need it and relish it, ie. the "cold snap", the "sudden wind". I love to listen to the rain or hail on our patio cover slats.

Thanks again to Netflix we just saw another 2005 movie we had missed when it was in theaters. "The Weather Man" with Nicolas Cage and Michael Caine was quite "different" as movies go. We liked it. It sort of reminded me of "Groundhog Day, one of my favorite movies with Bill Murray; which I've probably seen 7 times. At first we couldn't figure out if it was going to be a comedy, a tragedy or, as listed "a drama". It wasn't clear for me until the end. "Groundhog Day is definitely a comedy, ie. even with the ancient Greek definition: "protagonist goes from low to high estate". It has profound meaning for me. So much of my life has gone "that way" ie. "repetition is the basis of all learning". This is what I taught and how I taught. This is still they way I learned and am learning "Life's Lessons" over and over...until I get them "right".

I think "The Weather Man" takes "Groundhog Day" to kind of a new level and provides a much more "furtile ground(hog)" to "grow thoughts and ideas" mix my metaphors. Nicolas Cage's character is also sympathetic. He is the protagonist but mostly sees himself as an antagonist. His feelings about this are greatly reinforced by all those around him. He messes up his marriage and family because of his "absentmindedness". He continues to have unresolved issues with his highly successful dad who is dying. He is frustrated by the "unpredictability" of his job and how even the meteorologists, who advise him, can't satisfy his need for validation. Bad things are happening to his kids and he is constantly striving to be more "in touch" as an "absentee dad".

The key metaphor for me was his "progress" with his "new hobby", archery. He takes it up to get closer to his estranged daughter and then finds out she doesn't really like it (target shooting) because she wants to "hunt animals". Out of desperation, he goes out on his own and just "shoots" to "release" his anger and frustration. He gets better and better with repetition and learns how to "release the shaft" when the "knock" is properly seated. The key concept here is "release" and that is what he eventually has to do. I won't spoil the movie for you if you haven't seen it, but it is quite profound in a "dark and comedic" way. Life is like that. Changes happen, good and bad. How we react seems to me to be much like how we "react" to the "weather". Are we prepared for it? Probably not. Do we have shelter from it? Not always. Are we strong enough to survive it or go out in it if we need to? I would hope. As we continue to practice "releasing" we can get "closer to our target"(bulls'eye) and the gratification or "lesson" we need to learn at the time. Rainbows are lovely and beautiful, but very rare. Bob!


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