“As Good As It Gets”

In the movie, “As Good As It Gets”, Greg Kinnear is an artist who is on the brink of despair, and he is turning out the light to try to go to sleep, and as he lays down his head, he catches a glimpse of Helen Hunt’s character , mostly naked with her back and side exposed, beginning to fill a bath. And he has an epiphany, and says “I have to draw you”. “I haven’t sketched anything in weeks.”

And immediately, my own journey comes into sharp focus, on this “yet to be” , uncertain as to when/what about this time and that. A time at which I am nearing the end of five years of intense focus on what hit me like the Christian archetypal story of “Damascus Road” where “I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting” is God speaking to us about the earth; of Creation, which was the very first and primal “incarnate” of God. As we now know, we humans needed constant “hints” (revelations) to point us to the Kingdom of God. Now, the “coming of age” of the Anthropocene has brought us face to face with the destruction we have brought (and are still bringing).
I have come to a place where my confidence is badly shaken. I can only lay claim to pieces of it being yet alive because of little realizations like the above, and in times when something I read or hear or see sparks a moment of awareness and sparks something that I simply cannot avoid writing down as best as I can articulate it.

“I could be in bed with a woman……who…..you make her laugh, you got a life”, Jack Nicholson’s character says to the bartender in the next scene, drinking and explaining his screwing up the moment that sent Carol up from her chair in the restaurant and into the bathroom at the hotel (or whatever kind of place they are in with the big suites and rooms) to “take a big bath and order a big meal”. “You make her laugh, you got a life”. Again, an apt analogy for the intimate interdependence of life with and on earth, as intended. Live within that; those limits, and you get the freedom that comes with harmony and the justice of everyone and everything playing their respective parts.

So, as it often happens, things read, for the first time, or re-read after a time, scenes seen, or re-seen, after a time, render realizations for a totally different context, like this ecological crisis and the significance of this for ALL of life.


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