"Spin" in aviation training: a "stall" or loss of lift, a subsequent nose-down spin, the specific actions required for recovery, and the feeling, after recovery, that you could tackle absolutely anything!

Saturday, 26 March 2011

Tati was Right!

One of my favourite directors is Jacques Tati (1902-1982).  He directed several films using broad, visual clues and brilliant physical humour. ( Just watch "Mr. Hulot's Holiday" and you'll know where Mr. Bean got his ideas. ) Perhaps the most important lesson that I learned from Tati, came, not from his movies, but from an audio clip of an interview he gave in California shortly before he died.  I can't remember the exact words, but the jist of his effort was that entertainment is found, not only in the theatre.  The most wonderful stuff happens right out in public; next to you in a waiting room, shopping for grapes, or simply navigating humanity wherever.

Recently, I had settled myself into a window counter seat in a popular coffee joint in Toronto.  I sat watching people and cars going by when I sensed someone scuttling into the seat next to me.  Now, through the unspoken rules of human contact, there is a window of opportunity that you have to engage someone in conversation, or even just acknowledge their presence. I missed it and sat, like a moron looking straight ahead.  I had to bite my lip as I tried to figure out what was going on by the sounds I was hearing.  Bags were tipping over, chairs were being dragged; it was like she was coming in to sit down but she had to manage several dozen unruly grapefruits before she could rest.  I gathered that she was short and wearing a big coat.  There was a possibility that she worked at a circus, or she was related to a cabbage( who am I to judge?).  She persisted and finally settled into her coffee and the view.

I sat for a minute and then became determined to chat.  I didn't want to be one of those cold Torontonians so I feverishly searched for an ice-breaker.  "Eyes at one o'clock; two police on horses.  Green light on the icebreaker!"  I leaned over, still looking at the horses; "Aren't they just beautiful?"  And for the better part of an hour, I had the loveliest conversation with a gorgeous older woman, a grandmother from Montreal, here visiting her daughter.  'Turns out she was buying several bags of coffee beans, not the numerous grapefruits I had thought. And yes, she was short, but classy as the day is long.  Not a circus character by any means. I hated to leave.  So it was a wonderfully entertaining hour,  imagined, in reality, and in the hilarity of the contrast between them.   Thanks Jacques!

1 comment:

  1. Loved this one, Suz. Love when magic drops into your lap like that and you have the smarts to snatch it up.