• Lucia Joyce

Pineapple, Interstellar, & Emotional Intelligence

I hope I can paint this picture as accurately as my experience of it... please bear with me.

Last night had me reflecting on the way our experience of time fluctuates. It appears to move faster for me, relative to my experience of time as a child (when your first few years of memory capture stretch out almost infinitely), and relative to my life before the COVID-19 lockdowns (mine started around March 12). It was already close to midnight but I suggested to Shane that we watch Interstellar... I've only ever seen it once--a pirated version on a Macbook screen back in 2014. I remember it being unexpectedly mind-altering and its concepts still come to mind half a decade later kind of regularly, but surely all the minute details of its nearly 3 hour runtime could use a refresh.

Shane has seen Interstellar, he thinks, about 40 times. I used to doubt his film-watch counts, but years ago I began to understand that once a movie resonates deeply with him, he will never consider a rewatch as time wasted, and will often put on a deeply loved, familiar film just to fall asleep to, or help him through an emotional time.

My rewatch was a long time coming, and in the 5 or 6 years since I first watched it, I've learned a bit more about acting, directing, scene writing, set design, art direction, engineering (rudimentary amounts), space, nature, human relationships, and the feeling of time passage.

So, I was experiencing a lot of the film from a new lens of understanding--a lens that Interstellar actually helped create by first exposing my mind to these concepts in new ways. Wow.

I watched each scene from my new, slightly more educated perspective, while remembering bits of my first Interstellar viewing. I experienced the beginning scenes between Cooper and Murph with a great deal more reverence for acting and dialogue, while remembering what I initially felt when I first took in those scenes, when I knew much less about the required processes gone through to make them. My mind was essentially in two places in time at once, brought together, and made aware of, by this epic masterpiece. The masterpiece hasn't technically changed, but my relationship to it has.

--->OH YEAH, we're going deep with this Thursday blog folks!<---

The themes of Interstellar renewed themselves in my brain: Time is relative; The overextension of Earth's resources has harrowing consequences; Love (along with gravity) transcends the dimensions of time and space; Humans can evolve their consciousness to higher dimensions; and others that are less readily put into words by my puny, but expanding, human mind.

I fell asleep a little after 3am. While my conscious mind rested, my subconscious made connections, unlocked new theories, reconciled deeper thoughts. I awoke to an exchange between a wordless love in my heart and the colorful texture of Shane's eyebrows and mustache. Lashes barely moving over sleeping cheeks. Love bounced between us, amplified by cozy morning noises and warm blanket-muffled embraces. The intense, desperate love of our first encounters has evolved over the years, spanning unique distances and life events. The love is more nuanced, more intricate, like zooming in on the details of a flower after first reacting with pure delight at its bloomed existence. Sheer inexplicable beauty, magnified into infinite detail.

An idea of the exquisite beauty in my daily life

We spoke and laughed over the seemingly impossible task of choosing our wedding party (something we have already playfully discussed at length). We just love way too many people to rank them into gendered importance. It's a formula we may never crack. I skimmed the textured surface of my giant coffee mug with my fingertips--it boasts a flower-crowned fox on two sides. We chatted across the living room with our cylinders of creamy caffeine, avoiding that societally accepted 'start' to the day (news, emails, check-ins, work responsibilities, caring about clocks).

I brought up the making of the movie again, and we happily plunged down a rabbit-hole of online behind-the-scenes clips. I sat there in awe as they explained the physics formulas that created stunning images of wormholes and blackholes, the meticulously engineered shuttle decks and zero-G simulations, the musical score written by Hans Zimmer based off of a small piece of dialogue he played (they then recorded live on a church organ with 'all the stops pulled out'--which is where that saying comes from), the emotional actor journeys, the space ship/suit designs that merged old tech with new proposals, the structure and lighting of a tesseract where time is physically represented. Years and years of planning, creativity, and collaboration had to rise to the occasion of this unprecedented film, and some unfathomably deep production pockets. The 2013 budget was 165 million, and it grossed 678 million worldwide in 2014 alone.

Somewhere between the 5th and 8th Interstellar BTS video, Shane handed me half of his slice of pineapple. Cold from the fridge and perfectly sliced, the flavor explosion seemed to time itself just right with the folding of time and space and love in my mind. My heart blasted off; my sticky pineapple hands shot into the air; joy bellowed from my lungs. No 'life-is-amazing'-type blanket statement could really convey the height of my joy in that moment.

Sure, I can tell you that I watched a movie, slept on it, researched it, then ate a piece of pineapple with my boyfriend. I can say it was f**king awesome, but in reality, it was ineffable. Even my memory of it, just an hour or two later, pales in comparison to that singular, sublime experience as it happened.

My morning's emotional journey didn't even end with my pineapple mouthgasm. We capped our viewing party off with Spirit Science's 14 minute take on the film: The Hidden Spirituality of Interstellar. A different emotion barreled through me around the 11-minute mark of this tribute. A deep processing of fear and grief and hope--it brought me to speechless tears, tears that went lovingly observed, yet un-judged by Shane.

We've all experienced the power of our emotions. Some of us have leaned into their dramatic renderings. Some of us have repressed and downplayed their expression and meaning. I think, now more than ever, that emotions aren't 'in the way' or 'byproducts' of our intelligence, but actually a different and more powerful means of processing deep conscious and subconscious thought. I think emotions provide intelligence where words and textbook formulas can often fail. I think those intense feelings of love that shake tears and gasps from my body on occasion, contain shortcuts to deeper levels of comprehension. I felt it in my 5gram psychedelic trip, through waves of laughter and breathless crying (as many in scientific trials do). I felt it as I slept next to Shane last night for maybe the thousandth time. I felt it in my own inhale as I perceived the godliness of an ordinary slice of pineapple. I feel it now as I type out a blog that feels like the culmination of everything else I ever wrote. It is overwhelming and humbling to try to put it into words.

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