Albatross: the film, the symbol, the whole beautiful catastrophe…

…Grief is not sadness. Grief is love. Grief is a felt experience of love for something lost or that we are losing…. I think we all carry that abiding ocean of love for the miracle of our world.

—Chris Jordan


Mr. McGuire: I just want to say one word to you. … Are you listening?

Benjamin: Yes, I am. ….

Mr. McGuire: There’s a great future in plastics. Think about it. Will you think about it?

–From The Graduate


I just watched Albatross (2018).

It was a hallowed gift to watch this film.

I believe it deserves an Oscar, and more fittingly, a BigBird and a Snuffelupagus, as well. 

 It is a spiritual experience, which may sound like a cliche, but it probably more an understatement.  While it is a profoundly, sumptuously gorgeous film, it is not an easy one. It is a visually stunning and mesmerizing elegy to the beauty of all life, and the aching beauty and life within Grief.
It is also a most sublime charnal grounds practice. It reaches into the heart to stretch it: To  awaken the courage to stare down death, fear and other ghosts, and let them penetrate your armored vision until you see only beauty;
To summon the capacity  to distinguish between complicity and guilt, to accept the first without turning away and freezing with the other.
 If your familiarity with the albatross extends only as far as Disney characters, literary symbolism and a few snaps from science-books, the film offers revelation and romance.  But it takes you much deeper. Here too, the Albatross is a symbol…many layers deep.
The film has the intimate power not only of a death bed vigil for someone you love, but also witnessing of a birth; the heartrending awe inspired by the grace, persistence, fragility, innocence and soul of all Life.
But these are just words.
This is a film to be experienced, to let call forth your Humanity: your Love, your courage and your forgiveness.
The first quote above are words of the film’s narrator, Chris Jordan, spoken toward the end. I came across them in some context years before the film was released, and the quote has since been rotating in the random signature generator of my email program!  So stirring to hear them come to life in their original context.
What about the second quote?
Watch the film.
…When you’re ready. 
You can stream or download it at: 

2 thoughts on “Albatross: the film, the symbol, the whole beautiful catastrophe…

  1. Thank you.

    Only Love is real and boundless.
    Words are abstractions;
    the edges of their limits can scar our intelligence;
    so we must wield them with tender humility.
    Here goes:

    Last evening I watched Death dance until I could see only Beauty.

    Try it; look into the eyes of a Death
    and see the blameless magnificence of Life.
    Do not flinch with survivor’s guilt.
    It is all the same Life; each of us holds our part.
    Carry the torch a while, singing its praise in your unique voice.
    Walk grateful and proud, immune to greed and arrogance.
    We are here but to witness, to wonder and to Love;
    never to fear and never to judge.
    Do your best; it’s plenty.

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