Une femme est une femme: Film & a Lesson in Time for Valentine’s. ~ Ally Gobi

Via on Feb 13, 2013

Une femme est une femme: Enjoying film after spirituality and a lesson in time for Valentine’s.

Admittedly I am no film buff. My biggest claim is a weekly film night I ran one semester in university, inspired by a marathon viewing of Frederico Fellini’s classics.

I can recall a two-year period where I might have watched a single movie; I’m fickle, ofttimes bookish and truthfully profess it a rare occasion that I await the viewing of a film with any great suspense. This was particularly highlighted in those two years.

I had just returned from a half-year living in India, where I had devoted all of my time to studying yoga and Hindustani music. What was I going to find in moving pictures that I couldn’t find in my practice?

Maybe for that time in my life my disinterest, while largely unfounded, was fine.

But let those same priorities follow me into later years where my practice waned and we’ve got prejudices. Suddenly, I have a pile of activities that I consider antagonistic to my spiritual growth. At such a lull in my practice I can use all the inspiration I can get—my old asceticism is losing its relevance.

Shedding my spiritual prejudices, I find myself revisiting art films, philosophies, and literary works my more evolved self considered out of focus for a sadhika. Re-embarking on this journey, a French New Wave film feels appropriate. A little iconoclastic, a little existentialist.

Une femme est une femme was just my speed.

A director with a penchant for the convoluted, this might be Jean-luc Godard’s most approachable work with a simple plot. Desirous of motherhood, a young strip-tease artist tells her husband she wants to have a child; his refusal is steady and stubborn.

The twist?

His best friend is up for the job. What unfolds is a delicate interplay of human emotion and exposure of the fragility of relationships, even those predicated on love.

So what did I learn? How was I enriched?

For one hour and 30 minutes, I had a window into the social culture of 1960s’ Paris; this then would morph into contemplation of the perspective of the time. How did the advent of film and its ever advancing technologies contribute to the human experience? This was Godard’s first in colour and wide screen. I thought I was gaining new perspectives, but imagine the audience of that time!

Indeed there is much more, but the biggest message for me—and perhaps the prevailing one—was about romantic relationships.

Love does not build relationships. People do.

It’s easy to have idealised notions of love. It’s easy to blame relationship problems on pieces of you or your partner you believe to be lacking its seemingly bulletproof quality. Doubt will defeat the keenest of us.

Even if we recognize all the falsities therein, how do we overcome them?  The answers are not simple and to bring in clarity requires practice. As Dr. Vasant Lad often teaches, clarity is not possible unless we practice choiceless passive awareness. Meet your lover without expectation or judgement and always with compassion. Remind yourself that relationship is one of the best practices we have.

And don’t forget to practice.

In his lecture series, Ayurveda: Natural Health Practices for Your Body Type from the World’s Oldest Healing Tradition, Lad espouses something many of us have a habit of forgetting:

“These days, people have consciousness about health. Many people are vegetarian and practice yoga and pranayama, as well as regular exercise. But look at the quality of their relationships. They give emphasis to these fragments—diet, proper food combination, exercise, vitamins, minerals, proteins. But beyond all these fragments, beyond all good diet, the best diet of life is good relationship. Few people are interested in relationship. However, a healthy relationship is a most basic, fundamental foundation of health, happiness and longevity of life.”

All that from a 53 year-old film. Who knew?


Screen shot 2013-02-13 at 9.11.18 PMAlly is a recovering ex-yoga teacher, music tinkerer, plant-worshipper, and devoted lover.In the last few years of her ever-baffling 20s, she spends her time re-organizing her own story and channelling creative energies into healing work, plant-based cooking, and song-writing. A re-birth is in the works so there’s not much more to say than what’s already been said. Her work in progress: www.plantdevotion.com



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One Response to “Une femme est une femme: Film & a Lesson in Time for Valentine’s. ~ Ally Gobi”

  1. mark d says:

    So thoughtful, full of wisdom, and uncannily timely. Last night I was sharing with my lover the extent to which my personal growth is enhanced by our relationship. A psychotherapist and yogi deeply committed to self-awareness and evolution, I have found there is so much to my experience that cannot be accessed, embraced and/or healed within a vacuum. My meditation practice has brought me great insight and growth, but relationship with my beloved is teaching me more than I could ever have expected.

    Thank you for this, Ally. Fresh perspectives, indeed!

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