We were discussing the film, Twilight. More to the point, I was talking about the protagonist’s DESIRE.
Since that last dispatch, I’ve relocated to Mexico. I had the DESIRE to avoid the winter rains. But there won’t be much MEANING to my great escape unless I pay close attention to the experience of being here.
I was saying that meaning isn’t an object or an action. MEANING is more like appreciating things for what they really are. I think that’s what Bella is beginning to discover by the end of Twilight – who she really is.
We go through life getting beat up in various ways until we’re forced to slow down enough to see where our desire is taking us. Meaning has something to do with SEEING.
MEANING implies having a larger perspective on our lives. All of us in our own way are doing what we can to cultivate a bigger world view. It’s a deceptively powerful pull, like gravity.
Let’s look at the development of Bella’s desire. When we’re introduced to the Cullen pack in the school cafeteria, they appear to be straight off the set of the Addams Family. Bella, the new girl in town, is receiving a briefing on each of these strange, pale creatures. Although Bella learns that the Cullens don’t mix, she can’t take her eyes off Edward. Perhaps she’s attracted to what she can’t have. That makes sense. It follows the law of ‘supply and demand’: the scarcer it is, the more we value it. Bella seems instantly ready to sell her soul for even a moment of Edward’s attention.
Twilight bores some viewers because they feel that Bella is simply in love, and in that vulnerable condition she’s subject to a lot of pain and disappointment. But I think that the quality of her desire undergoes a change. When Bella is in the library researching vampires and discovering their many qualities including ‘cold skin’ and ‘fear of daylight’ – she also learns that they are immortal. In that moment, Bella glimpses a bigger picture.
While the yearning for immortality may be seen as just another desire—I suggest that it wakes her up to a higher goal.
So…how does immortality differ from other desires? We’ll look at that next.