The Lighthouse, Garth, and me.
After we were done with Baltimore Comic Con, Garth and I went to the movies. I wasn’t leaving until Monday morning and we needed something to do. I had expressed interest in The Lighthouse. We learned it was playing nearby, so we went and saw it. It was bizarre, mind-bending, and wonderful. I want to see it again because I didn’t truly grasp it, and I’m eager for another opportunity to understand it.
My thoughts on The Lighthouse could (and probably will) be a blog entry on their own. It’s what happened after we saw the movie. Garth and I spoke about The Lighthouse at length, and it was in that discussion that I became aware of how differently our brains work.
Garth has a very analytical mind. When he’s got a strong opinion of something he can back it up with references, perspective, and comparisons to enforce his statements. He picks up on symbolism and theme much faster than I do. He has an immediacy with words that makes me jealous. Why? Because I am the exact opposite.
My mind reacts more emotionally. When Garth reacts to art he has a ready analysis, whereas I have feverish flailing and/or incoherent squealing. It takes me a long time to construct the words to why I like something, because the feeling I experience is sometimes to strong I don’t have the words readily available. After Garth read The Incal he had a comprehensive review written up within a day, where I only had a jumble of emotions that ranged from awe to bewilderment. I couldn’t explain why I liked it, but it had a lingering emotional effect on me, and any art that gives me that sort of reaction is something I know I’ve enjoyed, even if I lack the words to express it.
It was the same way with The Lighthouse. Without spoiling anything… this film is bizarre and intense. From the (extremely) unreliable narrator, to the chilling soundtrack, to the striking imagery, this movie had a strong effect on me. I sat through the credits with my mouth agape. As we left the theater, Garth was forming his ready analysis while I gestured wildly and sputtered. As I digested what I was feeling, without the words to properly express them, I found myself increasingly jealous of Garth’s analytical perspective. As the writer of this team, I wish those words could come to me more quickly. I wish I could express my emotions with more immediate structure and coherence. In those moments I tend to feel diminished as a writer, even though analysis has never been my strength.
But maybe that’s just me coveting something that doesn’t belong to me, like the unattainable brilliance atop a distant lighthouse.