I’ve always had a few of those…
I was sat on the C train this morning, the lazy part of my route to work where, for seven minutes between the walk each end – yup, I’ve timed it – I stare out the window and sometimes come up with a plan for what to write about. Sometimes inspiration strikes, and sometimes the mind wanders.
I like the old trains better than the new trains that are being phased in, even though the new carriages are shiny, and rattle and squeak free. The old ones were made in Dusseldorf, and for a onetime European there’s something satisfying about the low-tech solidity of the old school cars. Being busy not getting any younger, I find myself liking old stuff more and more. And sometimes my mind wanders.
Standing at the urinal in an old movie house last week (this is all true, and it is ok to read on, honest) I was entertained by all the movie posters plastered onto the walls. Interesting wallpaper. One that particularly caught my eye (it was straight ahead and at eye level – good etiquette suggests you shouldn’t let your eyes wander too far in this situation) was for Terrence Malick’s Days of Heaven. I have to confess that I’ve never seen this movie but always wanted to. I have seen Malick’s Badlands, and it is one of my favourites.
A somewhat grisly heartland road trip, featuring two young criminals/serial killers on the run, Badlands is a haunting/disturbing tone poem. Made in 1973, it is, despite the description I’ve just offered, a quite beautiful film. And what a cast! Sissy Spacek, Martin Sheen, and Warren Oates. (Warren Oates! His face, and his world weary persona, they are made to be seen on the big screen. Etched and interesting. Have you seen Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Garcia? Yikes. Weird isn’t even close, but Warren Oates inhabits his role!) Sometimes, I miss the 1970s.
Getting back to Badlands, I first saw it on TV back when I was an impressionable thirteen year old. I don’t think I should have been watching it, but Ma PlaidCamper was a bit of a Martin Sheen fan, and so transfixed that she didn’t notice me sat there. I was mesmerized by the nature of the movie – in an environmental sense, and in how it was made. An American road trip movie with cool cars, crime, lots of fields, small towns, roadside billboards, and a nihilistic Sheen in a jean jacket smoking a cigarette. Well, how could that impressionable boy resist? Maybe I’ll watch a double feature this coming weekend – Days of Heaven and Badlands…
We weren’t at the old movie house to watch an old movie. A friend was playing with her band Magnolia Buckskin – that’s a cool name, huh? It was a benefit gig to raise money to support a village in Nepal, a place rebuilding and picking up the pieces after the earthquake in 2015. As usual, Kathy and her musician buddies put on a great show. One of their songs, Edge of the Water, appeals because aside from the wonderful playing and vocal harmonies, they sing about how being at the foot of the mountain or edge of the water is to “be a part of something bigger than me…” Hard to argue with that – we are fortunate to lead the lives we do.
I think we might have to put the double feature on hold. Weather permitting, and highways being open, we’re planning a short road trip up to Jasper, and an escape from election fever. Or is it election fatigue? (I’m mystified that there is even a doubt in this particular race. One candidate is a misogynist and xenophobe, and that information there is enough to make a sensible decision…but I’ll stop, because although the result does have an impact on our lives, it’s not our election. Back to the road trip!)
The route is one of our favourites by car, full of scenery that’ll make you feel small yet part of something bigger than ourselves. Some Magnolia Buckskin for the soundtrack, no cigarettes, won’t carry a gun, we’re not on the run, and nihilism doesn’t appeal, but I wonder? Can I still squeeze into that old jean jacket? Might be a few loose buttons to go with these loose connections. I’m losing the thread. What was I saying? Imagine if my train journey was longer than seven minutes…
Thanks for reading! Please feel free to share a story, or a movie or soundtrack recommendation, and have a wonderful weekend!
17 thoughts on “Loose connections”
I like old stuff to! Funny to find a train car from Dusseldorf in your parts!
Yup, Düsseldorf train cars in Calgary! We’re enjoying them before they get phased out for being old…
Hope your weekend is going well!
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I like the thought of reusing stuff. I do it all the time.
Thanks for the laughs to help ease the election stress and fatigue. The next movies we plan on seeing are Doctor Strange and Inferno. I think the only Terrence Malick movie I have seen is The Tree of Life and I’m surprised with the actors in the two you mentioned that I have never seen the movies. The latest addition to my music library was Keep Me Singing by Van Morrison, which is great. Wonderful post and enjoy your weekend and road trip!
Planning on seeing Dr Strange at some point. Van Morrison is always a treat, and I don’t know the album you mentioned, so will have to check it out.
We had a very pleasant short break to Jasper, just what we needed.
I hope your weekend is going well, not too much election coverage, and maybe some sunshine?! At least it’s over by Tuesday night/Wednesday morning! I hope…
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old school rules,all else drools!
Yup! Keep things simple…
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Old train cars, trucks, and movie houses; badlands, plains, and mountain lakes; election fatigue, but feeling larger, stronger, thanks to these loose connections, these musical phrases and wonderful images, tight with feeling and imagination!
A little backward glance to help us move forward! Times weren’t necessarily simpler or better, probably not – the sky was falling in then, too, and we all muddled through. Although, I don’t think we’ve ever endured such a crude and barrel scraping set of “news” cycles, and I hope it hasn’t set the tone for things to come…
I hope your weekend has been enjoyable, and that Wednesday morning isn’t a shocker.
“Days of Heaven ” at the urinal, especially when you really need to go-rather humorous.I love watching the scenery in those westerns but the violence-not my cup of tea.You will laugh at my latest movie-I just got back from “Finding Dora” -beautiful visuals and a good plot that ran the gamut of emotions-definitely more my speed.I think you would have liked our photo club’s outing to a salvage yard-endless variety of subject matter for the camera.Have a good week…
I have to admit to never seeing “Finding Nemo” – the younger students I teach think I’m the only person on the planet who hasn’t seen it! Maybe I should watch it as a double feature with “Dory”…
I know what you mean with the over the top violence in westerns. I like the more recent westerns that are at least a bit more honest about the past, but the graphic violence detracts. I like the old school westerns made by John Ford and Howard Hawks – not too accurate sometimes, but highly entertaining.
I hope you have a wonderful week!
I enjoyed rambling along with you here, pc. I like old movies too, but my faves are the dance movies from the 40s. I liked hearing about you and Ma PC, the old stuff, and had to laugh at your questions, “Imagine if…seven minutes.” Thanks for taking us along on your train ride, my friend.
Thanks, Jet – it’s always great that you jump on board the rickety old train cars here!
I’m a fan of most movie genres, but if I absolutely had to choose, I’ve always loved the sci-fi B movies from the 1950s. Corny but classic, with those clunky effects and stories trying to say something (sometimes!)
Have a wonderful week!
Here in Melbourne I love the old red rattlers too, as we call them. Something romantic about traveling on the rails in the old carriages. Great post, made me nostalgic for a road trip and a good thriller movie.
Thanks, Miriam – glad you enjoyed this, and I hope your weekend is going well!
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Had a great weekend, thanks. Just woken up to a wet cold Monday. Enjoy the test of yours.