When I watched the movie Paterson I was surprised how personal and relatable it was. I loved how the film captured the way the main character, a bus driver, saw the world. Each moment was a seemingly normal and mundane moment but I was so captivated and at the edge of my seat living in the moment day to day in the life of this man. We saw an average week in his life, the people he overheard in his bus, the streets he passed by, his routine of going to a bar when he walked his girlfriend’s dog. I related to his life on the bus, his observations, his way of finding poems in unlikely places like in a box of matches. I related to all this because the movie captured what it’s like to be in your own world while appreciating the little wonders of the world around you. I felt I could understand the themes and motifs that repeated throughout the film. The twins, waterfalls, fireballs, his friend’s relationship challenges, William Carlos Williams, poets, or seeing black and white. The mysterious symbols that revealed his subconscious were displayed in the world but without a clear definition of what it all meant. Uncanny coincidences happen when the internal and external life are keenly observed. I also enjoyed reminiscing not having a smartphone and remembered struggling not wanting one but realizing it’s necessity at times. I had this unsaid worry about it’s impact on my spiritual and artful way of experiencing the world. I think he did too.
What I found most relatable in this movie was that this guy had a steady regular and humble job, didn’t earn that much money but made the most of it as well as how he had a loving relationship with someone he deeply respected and who’s dreams he supported. I could also relate to how his girlfriend jumped from one creative dream to another restlessly in desperate search to find purpose. She had creative visions and skills and she wanted the world to recognize her unique style and gifts. Her soul searching struggle to find her calling and what to do with all her ideas and creative energy hit close to home. She hoped her dreams, whether it’s to be a baker or a musician, to give her a meaningful life and allow her to reach her full potential whatever that may be. Don’t we all?
Though his life, relationship, and job were regular and stable, it did not seem passionate. I think that’s because his quiet endearment for the small things was his passion. He needed room for his poems to be number one. His passion was soft and pervasive and was found in his way of seeing the world. In a sense, the way he related to his job and relationship were monk-like, as if he had an overarching dedication that was respected and acknowledged by all other aspects of his life.
When I watched Paterson I saw how the way he lived his life was so valuable and beautiful and it made me able to value my own life. Sometimes I feel pressured to have bigger and more. More responsibility, higher pay, a nice car, a bigger living space, higher level of education, etc. Paterson showed that a person can have different values and that a simple life is beautiful and valid.
The morning before watching this movie I was reading through poems I wrote throughout the years and trying to find the best ones to submit to a literary magazine. While reading my poems I became nostalgic for the the time and place I wrote them. I miss that inspired mindset. I’ve been so busy being future focused that I haven’t had time to write like how I used to. Paterson was a reminder of how meaningful and beautiful life can be when you slow down your mind, open your eyes and dive deep into the moment. Even though my poems are not a means to an end I see more clearly they have value in their own right. What Paterson has taught me is to instead of making art my life is letting life be my art. I want to keep my poetry mindset regardless of the busyness and preoccupation that I may face so I can spontaneously jump into any moment full heartedly. In other words I want to, every once in a while, tap into those Paterson moments and let life paint my thoughts with my feelings.