Buck: A Movie Review
Early within the first hour and a half of this movie, the (I will call him) hero became my role model. No doubt about it. Of all people I have ever observed he is the one I feel closest to in terms of wanting to be as good a man as he is. I’m sure he has warts and other flaws, but I saw no sign of them. I see that he has earned what he is. There’s no seems to be about it; no one could fake being him.
His love for horses is obviously so genuine and deep that it can afford to extend into metaphor, even myth. For me, he has stretched the envelope of the possible human so that it can easily contain larger messages. For instance, he loves horses, ergo: he loves. Considering his beginnings he could have taken any of the roads diverging in the woods. If he didn’t take on the job of rescuing himself, he would have been beyond rescue.
He teaches relationships with all reachable beings through a deep understanding that we should behave with horses, specifically, as we should behave with each other. Only through patient observation can come the empathy to be the other, whether horse or man, or whatever life form we encounter in a potentially meaningful way. If it’s not potentially meaningful, it’s not an encounter; one of the two was not present. Through his withholding of judgment and its consequential anger, he opens the window of opportunity and becomes, through being what he is: irresistible, live-changing for others- a keeper.
Oh, yes, it made me cry, both from joy and the beauty of it, and the realization that, despite my yearning for life accomplishment like his, I made so many choices, took so many roads in other directions. The latter isn’t my message here. Regardless of the grooves worn into me, and the ruts I have followed, I remain potential. I am still the open possibility I was, starting out.
Younger, my bipolarity blindsided me, propelling me into the darkest of uncertainty. Because of my intelligence, I insisted against all opposition that I knew what I was doing. I didn’t. For over 60 years I didn’t know what I was doing because of the necessity I felt to convince others that I was in charge of me. I’m not entering this as an excuse, but the psychiatrists, et al, and their primitive medicinal torture instruments, were capable of no more help or understanding than I, in my own ignorance, was capable of giving myself.
Buck knew, he instinctively knew that the buck must be passed to himself; he understood abuse, and knew that its cycle must end with him. Perhaps that’s where his seemingly absolute understanding of love came from: a transformation from his indelible memory of being abused into a perfect empathy with other life in which any form of cruelty became, for him, an impossibility. But more than that I think that the negative of refusing to permit abuse, became for him the simpler, more direct response of intelligent, loving kindness. Eliminate the middleman of thinking. It’s like meditation; it’s hard to do if you’re thinking about how to get into it.
Yes, that movie was about me, potentially, possibly, hopefully. It was like a mirror with a haze of Bon Ami. I look and look and can’t see my image in it, despite rubbing and rubbing to clear its surface. Then desperation relents to patience. Discovery follows. The haze is on my eyes. The mirror is clear and Buck is in it, if only . . . And I’m him; well, close enough.
®Copyright 2013 Jack Scott. All rights reserved.