A Love Story

A few weeks ago I published a piece that for the most part was a meditation on joy, a commodity without which our lives, to put it mildly, would blow. Seeing that I’m a f*cking softie at heart, I’ve decided to turn my thoughts now to another precious emotion, the greatest of them all, for it sustains and usually nourishes life, giving us reason to go on. I’m talking, of course, about love. Sure, The Beatles overstated things when they sang “all you need is love.” But they weren’t too far off the mark, as there is no doubt that the following is true: If an individual doesn’t feel love for at least one other human being (or pet, I hasten to add), they are in a most unenviable position.

Now, I’m not exactly an expert when it comes to matters of the heart. I know that for a fact because nobody in my seven-plus decades of residing above ground ever has asked my advice on the subject. Come to think of it, just about nobody ever has asked my advice on any topic or situation. Man, I should start an advice column called Maybe Neil Sort Of Knows, So Give It A Shot And Ask Him. That would show ’em how deep my font of quasi-wisdom is!

Anyway, getting back on track, what else might I say about love? Well, it’s innate, in most cases blossoming automatically between parents and their children, to mention one obvious example. But it sure doesn’t blossom automatically between everybody. That’s a main reason why it can be so difficult to make true friends, to find a partner to spend your life with, and to keep the fires burning with said partner after you’ve found them. Yup, love is a powerful force, but cultivating it properly requires skills that many do not master adequately, if at all. When we allow love to bubble within us consistently, though, our lives are much the better for that.

Love probably wouldn’t be on my mind so much were it not for the movie CODA, which my wife Sandy and I saw at a cinema early this month a few days after it grabbed the Oscar for Best Picture. It’s still in some theaters, by the way, and is streaming on Apple TV+ too.

CODA is a tale that revolves around Ruby, a high school senior who is the only hearing member of a family of four. She is devoted to her parents and brother and, in addition to attending school, spends mucho hours each week working on the fishing boat that her dad and sibling operate in order to put bread on the table. Whew! This girl, who also sometimes acts as an intermediary between her deaf kin and outside parties, has a whole, whole lot on her plate. Ruby’s life becomes even more complex when she is encouraged at school to develop her vocal skills and pursue a music career. This new element becomes the movie’s fulcrum.

Sandy loved CODA, which is an acronym for child of deaf adults. She thinks it’s very great. Although I found CODA too formulaic to be placed on a pedestal, I enjoyed the hell out of it. It’s an old-fashioned sort of story that I’m certain would move anyone whose heart is not fashioned from stone. Why? Because CODA, at its core, is all about love, the kind of love that holds steady, not wavering even for a moment. What’s more, there’s nothing sappy about the love on display in CODA. A tight screenplay by Sian Heder, who also directed the flick, and four actors who tap into genuine places within themselves, see to that. Hats off, then, to Emilia Jones, who plays Ruby, to Marlee Matlin and Troy Kotsur (Ruby’s parents), and to Eugenio Derbez (Ruby’s music teacher).

I’ll close this love-centric essay on the right note, by presenting Beyond, a love song sung and co-written by Leon Bridges. Sweet and sultry as you could hope for, Beyond very well might put you in the mood to . . . yo, I don’t need to tell you where this sentence is headed. I accept your thanks in advance!

127 thoughts on “A Love Story

  1. Mary Rowen April 22, 2022 / 1:14 pm

    I’ll bet you get asked for advice! Totally agree with you about CODA. Formulaic but sweet. It gets a few extra points from me b/c of all the scenes filmed in Gloucester & Rockport, an hour from my house. The audition scene–supposed to be in Boston–was actually filmed at the Shalin Liu center in R’port. A great place to see music if you ever get the chance. Maybe Leon Bridges will play there someday! He’s terrific.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger April 22, 2022 / 3:32 pm

      Hey there, Mary. It would be great to see LB in concert one day. He’s on or about to go on a long, long tour. Probably he will appear near to where both of us live.

      Like

  2. Fictionophile April 22, 2022 / 6:51 pm

    Fabulous post Neil. Love and relationships take effort to maintain… sadly the effort is too great for some. Their loss.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger April 22, 2022 / 11:23 pm

      Hi, Lynne. I totally agree with what you say about love and relationships. People who have loveless or near-loveless lives . . . well, I wouldn’t want to be in their shoes.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Carolina Vann April 24, 2022 / 8:17 am

    You made me think. Have I ever really been in love? I loved my mom, who had a hard life and passed too young. I loved playing Frisbee with my close guy friends. I love watching good golf, and actually broke 90 once, from the “Tips”. When it came to a special loved one. I missed that boat. I “love”, and am “loved’ by many close special friends. That counts. I love everything about Nature. The seasons, snow, autumn, flowers, you get the picture. I love most music, especially classical, and still get goose bumps when I hear Beethoven’s Fifth. In my life, there seems to be a lot of love floating around, but being “alone” in my old age is a real regret in my life., not to mention in the lives of Laura, Irene, Donna, Carol, etc.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger April 24, 2022 / 12:20 pm

      Hi, Vann. It sounds as though your life is full of love. The love you have with close friends is a great thing. Many people, unfortunately, don’t have that in their lives. Many thanks for adding your thoughts. Take care.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. ckennedy April 24, 2022 / 1:38 pm

    Sounds like a fascinating movie–and I always love to be introduced to new music–very cool! Cheers!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger April 24, 2022 / 5:44 pm

      Howdy. If you like the Leon Bridges song from this story, you might like another one he did. It’s called Texas Sun. See ya.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Silver Screenings April 24, 2022 / 5:56 pm

    CODA had a beautiful message about love and family, didn’t it? It made you want to stand and cheer for Ruby (and her family) at the end.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. alisendopf May 14, 2022 / 3:45 pm

    You are definitely a softie at heart. Thanks for another great recommendation.

    Liked by 1 person

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