Looking for love? In all the wrong places? Or maybe just not the right direction. Love can come from any direction, including from above. No, I’m not about to launch into a religious screed here. Whether you ascribe to the Bible, the Koran, the Torah, the Book of Zen, or await further exalted pronouncements from Oprah, the All Knowing and Infallible, well good for you. Love may or may not be a by-product of such holy devotions, spoken or written. Love? If “it is written” somewhere, it is written in the wind and just about as impossible to quantify or contain, control, or bend to one’s will as is that particular force of nature.
“God is in the rain” speaks a character in the movie V for Vendetta. God is everywhere, nowhere. God is love? Love is god-given? Destiny? A roll of the dice? Look from within. Love comes, love goes. It’s out there. In there. Love once was, but is carried off by the wind, saturated and drowned by torrents of rain, consumed in a conflagration sparked by inevitable relationship friction. Make love not war. The storm will pass. The skies will clear and the sun will symbolize brighter better things to come, love. Yeah, look to skies. Look when it’s cloudy, rainy, or cobalt blue extending to every horizon, maybe dusky gray, in the daily moments of the day’s descending dark. Look up. See the stars. Look up, Jenny Hayden. You don’t know it yet but the love you lost may be found again. It will be by sheer happenstance. By a trajectory not realized. An abrupt descent that falls far short of its intended target. Happenstance. Coincidence. God’s way of winking at us? Or mocking us?
The future. Never certain. Just ask Jenny Hayden.
Starman is coming. Okay. It’s a movie. 1984. Jeff Bridges. Karen Allen. He’s an alien. She’s recently widowed. The alien craft blazes into the north woods of Wisconsin. A glowing ball of mystery slowly leaves the wreckage and glides steadily across the lake, headed directly to Ms.Hayden’s house and the heartbreak she harbors within it. While she sleeps, the alien in its glowing form manages to survey her domicile’s main room and finds a lock of her late husband’s hair, kept now as a memento of what was once her mortal husband’s living,loving, breathing presence in her life. The alien, with an incredible ability to take DNA and assimilate into a human form, does just that. Jenny awakes to some odd noises, sees what appears to be a baby on the floor, except this baby is rapidly evolving into a grown man, and the spitting image of her dead husband.
Much shock, disbelief, fear, confusion, consternation ensue. Long story short. Starman needs to get to the intended destination, in Arizona. The Mothership will retrieve him there, near the giant crater near Winslow. Jenny Hayden, though afraid and freaked, gradually comes to realize this phantasmagorical image of her husband means her no harm, and after an attempt to ditch the clone at a truck stop, eventually emotionally bonds with him in wanting to see him to his destination. And the alien subsumes enough human DNA to feel–something. They need one another. But of course, the feds and military are looking for the alien, and seriously mobilize to capture him; and their intentions are, to say the least, nefarious. Always bumps in the road. Welcome to earth…
By the time they reach that crater, the alien disguised as her dead husband, and Jenny both have truly grown fond of one another. In spite of the close call with the military trying to capture him, the moment has arrived when the rescue ship begins its descent from above. Along the way, Starman has literally brought Jenny back from the dead after she is shot while they try outrunning the authorities on the road to Craterdom. Starman has also impregnated Jenny, who has previously revealed to her far-out friend that she is not biologically wired to have progeny.
And so, by the time the moment has arrived to say goodbye, for Starman/husband/love of her life from another world, to leave her behind, it is rather difficult to know what to feel for the both of them. She feels love again. For Starman, from above. From beyond. From out of nowhere. One doesn’t look for love, it finds you. “Take me with you!” she implores him. “You’ll die if I do.” If he stays, he will die. Worlds seperated by the vastness of outer space collide. She accepts her fate. Starman asks how humans properly say goodbye. She explains the simple process, with includes those three words: I love you. And he ascends with the starship, knowing Jenny Hayden is one special and loving human. She watches him disappear, literally into thin air, her eyes expressiing, all at once, love, wonder and awe, all wrapped into one long fade-to-black finale.
But now she has a baby on the way, who Starman has said will understand things fluidly when she explains the improbable truth of how he came to be conceived. She can love the child. And the memories.
Sure it’s a romance of science fiction. But looking for real love among our fellow homo sapiens can be as though looking for divine intervention in the form of…whatever. So, one can never know in what shape, and from what direction, such epiphany, such happenstance, such perfectly and possibly imperfect timing may come, or when it may ultimately have to go if ever even found.
Goodbye, Jenny Hayden. Good luck with our starchild. Your planet is infested with hatred and divisiveness. I’m outta here.
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In vividly recounting and interpreting the narrative of a film that tells a love story in the science fiction genre, this post brilliantly considers the nature of love. Interestingly, religious metaphors help to describe the undefinable — the sense of the sacred in the personal space love occupies, the miracle when two people risk sharing that space with each other. Dreams becoming reality…This post captures that sense of the sacred and its poignancy. I will have to see if the film Starman does so as well.