I am not going to insult and bore you with philosophy on the last day of a part of civilization’s journey that has passed and will never come again. I could just imagine the expression; “Oh God, Freddie, not philosophy on this day in your column.” That’s a reasonable attitude and one that I should accept. On Christmas Day and on Old Year’s Day, commentators should travel light and dabble in the aesthetics of the moment.
But I feel terribly tempted to stitch in a few philosophical reflections. It is about the essence of love. Existentialist philosophy from the great 19th century European thinker, Soren Kierkegaard, right up to the present time passing through Martin Heidegger to Jean Paul Sartre, they all speak of the compelling need for each individual to give meaning to existence.
Heidegger calls it, “authenticity,” Sartre calls it, “The Project.” Authentic existence cannot be authentic if it is not underlined by some kind of consciousness to bring love into the construct we live with known as civilization.
I will cease the philosophical jargon at this point by saying from my experience I find love for a person and the return of love by that person mirrors what Sartre calls, “The Project.” You can discover your contribution to “authenticity” by staying in love tonight as the music plays. Do you know the first Shakespearean quote I came to memorize is from Twelfth Night;
“If music be the food of love
Give me excess of it.”
My recommendation is for you to dance, love and live for love tonight. Tonight will never return. It is gone forever. Tennessee Williams puts it vividly in his play, “The milk train doesn’t stop here anymore.” In that play the lead character while talking to the stranger that she suspects she will take as her lover tells him that every step you take, becomes a memory, meaning the past is in the present.
If you are interested in that Williams play, then maybe you can see the movie in which Elizabeth Taylor uses those words to Richard Burton. The movie is titled, BOOM, and it was a caricature of that beautiful story of Williams. BOOM is one of the worst movies I have seen despite its two lead actors were two of the best artists the art of acting ever produced.
Tennessee Williams of course has another movie about moments that instantly become the past, “The Sweet Bird of Youth.” You probably should remember Williams as you dance tonight until the sun comes up the next day which marks the beginning of a new year because the moments are memories, gone forever. There is a superb French film with English subtitles that the French regard as one of their best films; in fact the movie was an international hit. I like it because I like movies about journalism; I have been in the media since 1988.
The title is LIVE FOR LIFE. The theme song is instructive and I suggest you listen to it before you go onto the dance floor tonight though it is not the type of tune to be played at an Old Year’s Night abandonment. It is written by the composer, Francis Lai who won the Academy Award for one of the best love songs ever and will remain so forever; the theme from the movie LOVE STORY titled, “Where Do I begin.” Here are some of the words from LIVE FOR LIFE.
“Come with me my love
And seize the day
And live it
Live it slowly, live it fast.
Never thinking once
Till tomorrow’s come and gone
Yesterday’s a memory
Gone for good forever
And tomorrow is a guess.
What is real is what is
Here and now
And here and now is all that we possess
So take my hand
And life will live for you
If only just a moment’s happiness.
Live… Just live for life
I recall, I normally recommend a tune for you to dance the old year away on this night. Last year I suggested a song that is purely magic, Barry White’s “Love Theme.” For this year I will recommend any version of the theme song from the movie “Nine and a Half Weeks” based on the true life story of Ingeborg Day.
Titled, SLAVE TO LOVE, it should bring you and your loved one closer as the music gets into your head this evening. By the time you hold your loved one, and the music blends, 2016 will end. And memories and the past will flow into tomorrow’s anticipations. Happy New Year.
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