Great and Simple Images that Open our Hearts

“There’s a great — with the significant risk of sounding a bit pretentious — there’s a great Camus quote, in which he says something like, I may paraphrase, but, ‘A man’s work is nothing more or less than the slow trek to rediscover, through the detours of art, those two or three great and simple images in the presence of which his heart first opened.'”

— Sam Mendes, Director of the new James Bond movie, Skyfall, in an interview on NPR this morning.

This quote almost brought tears to my eyes, especially perhaps, hearing it from a man. Hearing that men are always searching throughout their lives to rediscover the two or three great and simple images in the presence of which their hearts first opened. Wow.

What images are my sons seeing now, in childhood, that will move them to search high and low the rest of their lives for other experiences that will bring them the same thrill, the same soaring feeling as that first time their hearts opened?

And I know my sons have these enormous poet-warrior hearts, and I know they have seen beautiful, powerful images. I’m just wondering which ones are the ones that will be with them always, almost in a haunting way, just out of reach, just out of sight, over the next hill, around the next corner, pulling them, urging them out and onward for more?

We talk about planting seeds of love in our house. We talk about planting the things with our words and our actions that bring about the good we want to find in the world. We are artists. We talk about beauty and art and mathematics, even, and how these things can find the answers to the world’s problems.

They love engines and motors, and speed. They love Iron-Man and Spider-Man. They are animal whisperers.

I’m so curious to know which of the two or three great and simple images are the ones that will (or have already) first opened my boys’ hearts. I don’t know that they will know at this age. We may have to wait and see and always wonder. It makes me feel even more passionate about sharing with them the great and simple things that have opened my heart.

And at the same time, in the back of my mind, all I can think about is The Grinch, and the moment his heart grew three sizes in one day. It may be as great and simple as that.

Oh, how I love this thought.

I am curious to know if off the top of your head, you can think of two or three great and simple images that have opened your heart? Would you share them here?

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4 Comments Add yours

  1. wendy says:

    i know i’m supposed to offer up a few of my own heart-opening images (one for each baby?), but this post made me think so much of my own two boys and what they’ve already seen and experienced that have set their path forward in ways i don’t even know about yet. i’ll probably be carrying this with me, rolling it around, for the rest of the day. thank you.

    Like

    1. Liesl Garner says:

      Thank you. That’s what the quote has done to me too. It keeps rolling around inside my head in a lovely sort of sing-song way. Very soothing.

      Like

  2. Laine says:

    Wow. This just opened my heart, to be honest. I wonder about my boy now too. And I wonder if we will ever be able to have a conversation about it. He’s not really into talking to me right now about much. 😦

    Like

    1. Liesl Garner says:

      Thank you, Laine. Sounds like you have a teenager. Just remember, when you were a teenager, your mom was the uncoolest person in the world. Then you turned 25 or so. At least, that’s what happened for me.

      Like

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