the cake eaters

20 01 2010

I watched The Cake Eaters today on the PS3 Netflix streamer and I adored it.

I found it challenging, heart wrenching, evocative and refreshing. It was something that I hadn’t seen in a movie and I found Kristen Stewart’s performance to be reminiscent of her roles in the Twilight films (but I was also looking for it) but stunning. She has a beauty, a quiet calm…and I didn’t see Kristen or Bella…I saw this young girl suffering from a degenerative disease and trying to find some normalcy in her life before she runs out of time. One of the most poignant scenes was where she falls down in her living room and her mother tells her she is getting the wheelchair for her and Stewart’s character says that she doesn’t need it yet. Her mother reminds Stewart that she is covered in bruises and Stewart retorts that she doesn’t need her mother to remind her that she is dying all the time since she knows it well enough. I thought about that scene…

When we have someone that we love in pain, or ill, or even dying…can we do more harm when we care for them than we know?

I have a mother who has been sick my entire life. She has never been healthy…and I know that the sicker she got, the more people fawned over her. They reminded her to take her medications morning, noon and night; they asked her what she was eating, was she drinking enough, was she too hot, was she getting any exercise; they worried her about the smallest details in an effort to be engaged and helpful. In truth, this probably just continued to remind her of her illness rather than let her live her life in the time she had. She was constantly being reminded of her deficiencies and made to feel guilty that people were always trying to take care of her. She had to wonder who was her friend and who was just putting in time as a caretaker.

This resonated nicely for me because I am an enabler. I am a worrier. I am someone who nags (I loathe to use that word but it fits) because I care. It made me think that perhaps I am someone who worsens situations rather than makes them better by my constant attention…it’s hard to do this but I am going to try to love people and let them live rather than hounding them as much…give them proverbial air to breathe.

I was struck by how Stewart’s character approached her illness, acting as if it were something to deal with, an irritation, an annoyance…not some life threatening disease that stole her youth and mobility from her. I was inspired by her strength, her joy, her appreciation of the small things, like riding on the back of a scooter while hanging onto the back of a boy she liked. She had an appreciation for life that I wish more people had…without having to deal with life threatening diseases. I think that people need to slow down and savor life more (this has been said before but I am struck by it over and over again) so I am writing about it again.


*live life moment to moment…stop flying through it and love the tiny things.

*find at least one small thing to rejoice in today.

*b r e a t h e




Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: