Mr. Cloudy's Shelter
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Lonesome Dove

Any of you Lonesome Dove fans (the old tv miniseries [from a Larry McMurtry novel) from the late 80's with Tommy Lee Jones and Robert Duvall, Danny Glover, Anjelica Huston, etc.)?

Watched it again this week. Amazingly vivid characters: Gus (Duvall) and Call (Jones). Sort of a wild west odd couple.

At the end of the movie, a reporter, with obvious wonder and admiration, tries to interview Call. Call doesn't answer, except when the reporter says how he was a man of great vision. Call says mostly to himself: Hell of a Vision.

He looks back in his mind's eye and sees how his "vision" cost him the lives of almost anyone he held dear, even if he couldn't admit that he held them dear until they were taken.

I won't speak for the ladies, but it seems very "manly" to have a compelling vision that makes you rise above life somehow, master it, make it suit your purposes. And it's certainly very American to pull yourself up by your bootstraps and "make something happen."

But in the end, the very manly Call seems to see that there was too great a cost to this rising above, and that in fact it may have been a sinking below. I think there's a larger commentary here than one man thinking about his life - it's probably, in part, about all of us romanticizing the old west and the one who stands tall, our concept of manifest destiny, etc., and suggests our own need to see what our vision cost us.

But this all set me thinking that maybe the best life is one in which there is some distance between our dreams/ambitions and our accomplishments. If we too easily get our dreams, we may give up too much to get them. Perhaps in the middle, in the struggle, is where we find our humanity. Perhaps disillusionment is an odd sort of friend if it's just a companion on the journey and not the judge of it.

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