Monday, January 23, 2012

The Zen in an Orange

Earlier this month, I was reading one of my Daily Fix blogs.  The post was about helping a friend through a difficult time; there was reference to Zen, a monk, and an orange from a particular movie.  Before sending the friend home, he said, quoting the movie, "Are you going to freak out?  Or are you going to eat an orange?"  I thought to myself: What a curious thing to say!  He finished his post with this:  

And consider eating an orange. You can see, smell, taste, feel, hear, and understand the whole of creation if you pay attention. It might be the worse day of your life, but that might be the best orange you ever ate.

I really laughed at that, and made a comment on his post.  He replied back, telling me about this movie, Zen Noir, and suggested I might want to see it.

It took me awhile, mainly because I currently live in a very small town with limited resources.  Yesterday I was dinking around the internet and discovered I could download any movies I wanted with my Amazon account.  What a dope.  I know.  So this morning, after walking the dogs, and before I got on with other things, I made a nice, big cup of tea and sat down to watch this movie on my laptop.  It's only about 75 minutes, an easy amount of time.  

And so worth it as it turned out.  What a movie: Funny, serious, sad, and very, very Zen.
In a nutshell, it's about a detective who is trying to solve the murder of a monk.  The cinematography is beautiful, the story told in these little bites as the guy talks to the two monks and one woman at the temple where the "crime" occurred.  I laughed out loud at least three times as the detective tries to get to the bottom of what happened--as well as understand what's happening to him in the process--as he's swept up in the Zen of it all.  He also has issues from his past that shadow him.

In a poignant moment, there was also a brilliant levity.  The guy is trying to deal with his feelings for the woman at the temple, his past, and death, when he asks the Master:

"What happens when we die?"
"Don't know."
"Why not?"
"Not dead yet."

(Yes, that was one of the laugh-out-loud bits).

The end made me tear up a bit.  It was the right ending, and was such a journey for this guy, it just made me feel for him.  Though he had heartbreak, and would again, he was learning that on the worst day of his life he could still eat the best orange.

(And RG?  Thanks for the tip.  It was indeed a good movie...)

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