Top Ten Reasons to See “Where’d You Go, Bernadette”

Here are my top ten reasons to see “Where’d You Go, Bernadette”:

1) The phenomenal Cate Blanchett—a perfectly cast genius portraying a genius.

2) The visual splendor of the Antartica. The silent majesty of ice sculpted by nature and the purity of the chill-blue waters underlines the clarion call to save our planet.

3) The sheer joy of the relationship between Bernadette and Bee (Emma Nelson), the daughter who is Bernadette’s life-line.
4) The shock-to-the-system event that sends Bernadette Fox into her downward spiral.
5) The rant-monologue Bernadette delivers to explain why she—an acclaimed architect and one-time MacArthur Genius Fellow—has not designed, built, or created anything in nearly twenty years.
6) The three-sentence summary her mentor, Paul Jellinek (Laurence Fishburne) delivers after Bernadette’s rant — a summation that reduces Bernadette’s explanations and excuses to sound and fury, signifying nothing.
7) Kristen Wiig as Audrey, Bernadette’s absolutely maddening, politically correct neighbor.
8) The Oh-My-God! consequence of Bernadette following to the letter Audrey’s instructions on how to improve the thorn-entrenched blackberry wilderness encroaching on Audrey’s property.
9) The surprise entrance of the FBI, and the equally surprising place Bernadette goes to get help in making her exit from the looming institution about to swallow her life.
10) The deeply satisfying resolution to this story of a person and a family coming undone and put back together again.

You want more reasons? It’s funny. It’s audacious. It’s Cate Blanchett!

Also, there are no guns, no car chases, no aliens. It’s about people, really interesting people. Go already. I think you’ll like it. I loved it.

P.S. Stay for the credits—at least until there are no more images. That’s part of the pay-off.

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Leaning against the windowsill,
stretching to see the last radiant glow
of deep pink in the western sky,
I breathe in the scent of earth
and pray, pray
we will not lose this sweetness
to the deniers and profiteers,
lose everything
to the ones who profit
from denial.

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For You, A Song

For You, A Song

I’ve been a long time gone,
And I’m slow coming home,
I’ve been working away
Putting on a play.

Been putting on a show,
Ask me, how did it go?
Was better than okay,
Was great! I say.

Yes, all of that is true,
And now I have the time
To make up this rhyme
For you.

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Not yet become a Buddha,
this ancient pine tree,


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I Wish

I wish I had a poem
for the wonder of snow
all through the night,
and the children tumbling out
into the morning light,
bundled in jackets
of violet, blue, and pink
blooming in the winter white.

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Lunar New Year Haiku

Three in the morning
Dreaming a song of heartache
Awake now—look, snow!

Thanks to

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Beneath the tall trees
Three deer grazing, three at rest.
Oh, the scent of pine!

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Mary Oliver

“Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?

Mary Oliver
September 10, 1935 – January 17, 2019

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Implacable Grandeur

“If there is a sin against life, it consists perhaps not so much in despairing of life as in hoping for another life and in eluding the implacable grandeur of this life.”

— Albert Camus

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Haiku Trio for the New Year

New Year’s Day;
The desk and bits of paper —
Just as last year.

That is good, this too is good —
New Year’s Day
In my old age.

The Great Morning:
Winds of long ago
Blow through the pine-tree.

Wind Swept Pines-Guy Rose

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