Sunday, June 29, 2014

Off on Another Tangent

summer raindrops 2014

"Today's tangents will become tomorrow's arcs, and unforeseen connections will tie up your loose ends in a way that will make you want to slap your head and holler at your accidental brilliance." --Chris Baty

I started out on a morning walk recently under cloudy skies without a thought that it might really start raining. Before long, it started sprinkling. A light drizzle followed. Should I turn around for home? Hubby soon came along--a knight in shining armor not on a trusty steed but in the car--and offered to rescue me. But by then I had discovered something: I was enjoying walking in the rain! I turned down his offer and carried on (after all, it wasn't lightning or anything).

Well, of course I came home a bit wet, but for some reason I also returned with scenes from the classic movie My Fair Lady playing around in my head, especially the opening clip in which a sudden downpour brings together a wide variety of people and dialects: the theater-going crowd, 
the linguistic/phonetic expert Henry Higgins, and a lowly flower girl with a distinctive accent, Eliza Doolittle. Why do such things come to mind at unexplained times? I haven't seen that movie (based on George Bernard Shaw's play Pygmalion and filmed in 1964) for, um...50 years!

One thing led to another. First I found myself googling My Fair Lady to refresh my memory of the story. That led to a youtube link of the movie's opening which in turn led to an article on phonetics and dialects, things that played a big part in the story. From there I visited a Pinterest board that features Audrey Hepburn, the actress who played the fiesty and endearing Eliza. And THAT led me to learning more about the lovely Ms. Hepburn who exuded style, class, grace and warmth. In later life she dedicated herself to raising awareness about children in need as ambassador to Unicef. "People," she is quoted as saying, "even more than things, have to be restored, renewed, revived, reclaimed, and redeemed; never throw out anyone." She also said, "Nothing is impossible, the word itself says 'I'm possible!'" Just look at Eliza as an example of that.

Can you say tangent [tangent (idiom): "digressing suddenly from one course of action or thought and turning to another"]? I certainly went off on a number of those in this case. Was there any value in the scurrying down such a rabbit hole? Can I glean any arcs, pull together any unforeseen connections, tie up any loose ends from it all? Will I marvel at my accidental brilliance?

Maybe not. But I did enjoy my walk in the rain :-)

Any tangents you've gone off on lately? What movie classic would you choose to watch again?


  1. Unfortunately, I go off on several tangents each week. It's no wonder, because of that, that it takes me a year to write a book. My explorations are always manuscript related, but even so.

    Movie I'd love to see again? To Kill a Mockingbird.

  2. Cathy--research, exploration, tangents...all related, it would seem! One leads to another. The key is in controlling them, isn't it? Thanks for sharing your movie title. Always interesting to learn of someone else's choice :-) Have a great week.

  3. That's how my mind works! And more tangents the older or busier I get. I works be "singing in the rain"

  4. Terri, glad to know I'm not alone in my tangent wanderings. I think computers and google and multiple links has something to do with it, too. And I would have been singing in the rain...if only I could sing! Thanks for stopping by :-)

  5. I'm always off on tangents, and then I try to work them into my writing. My tangent for the day is the jackhammer on my front porch (started at 6:30 a.m.). Right now I'm analyzing that sound and getting inspired by the mountain of concrete chunks in my driveway. I sense a rock slide threatening my characters. :-)

    I am a huge move fan. To Kill a Mockingbird is one of my favorites, Cathy. I've seen it many times. Right now I'm about ready to re-watch Ever After with Drew Barrymore. It's not that old, and I've seen it a bunch of times, but the music always gets to me. Others I want to see again are Far and Away (Tom Cruise) and The Friendly Persuasion (Gary Cooper).

  6. I love that tangent you went on~ thanks for sharing it! As for classic movies, I'll have to think about it. I wrote a college paper juxtaposing High Noon (Gary Cooper movie) with Clint Eastwood's Unforgiven, so maybe I'd watch High Noon again :) And though it's not really a "classic," I'd like to watch Cinema Paradiso again someday.

  7. Peggy and Jess, I love these kinds of discussions because you give me great leads. I'm going to make note of your movie selections especially Far and Away and Cinema Paradiso :-) Have you ever seen Life is Beautiful? That's another one I'd watch again. I've seen it three times and cried each time!