Things topping a list of activities not to do when going through an emotionally trying period: watch Babel.

It is literally the first time that I have stopped watching a movie because it made me so sad I wanted to go stick my head in the oven.

And the problem is it wasn’t really sad, it was desolate. Usually I like the movies that draw several small stories together spread out across a wider tableau. It gives me a sense of the variety of life and how there are connections all around that you never know about.

Babel was leaving me with a sense of the arbitrality of the world and how it is huge and doesn’t care a whit for my insignificant little life. I felt not like one dancing little spark in an amazing pattern, but like a grain of corn to be ground into nothing by the unthinking stony weight of the world.

I’m trying to take solace in that and see that however bad I feel it will eventually pass away, but Babel was cutting at the underlying belief that whatever it changes to will be better than now. Not all of the stories were sad, but I felt myself waiting for the other shoe to drop in the one that wasn’t and I just couldn’t stand to see it happen.

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