I really enjoy learning about the lives of others, which is something we all do as an audience when we listen to music, read a book, or watch a film. It’s not simply because I am nosy – I prefer to say inquisitive – but one of the purposes of storytelling is to take an individual on a journey and to show life from another person’s point of view. Stories told through written word, visual performance, and musical arrangement are often a source of inspiration on a subtle or even subconscious level to both the teller and the receiver.
I watched a film today and there was a moment whilst watching when my heart pined a little for my best friend whom I saw recently (though I must note, it was a mere moment because I can equally hear his scoffing half-laugh chiding as he casts me a withering look).
The film was set in England in the 1950s, it’s autumn and the scene that caught my attention sees a man and a women strolling arm in arm in a garden bathed in late afternoon sunlight. Autumn in the UK is my favourite time of the year and when I close my eyes to daydream more often than not I am transported to such a scene, with the russet and gold leaves casting a dappled warmth across the path and faces of two friends. The story of the film is about two individuals who at this particular point are sharing those first simple moments when two people realise that they really enjoy one another’s company; there is no confusion in this relationship, no lust or words going unsaid, no feelings beyond a shared platonic connection of friendship.
I think there is something so lovely about walking arm in arm with a friend, feeling close to that person with such innocent tenderness, as if are you sharing in a secret as you take a turn around the room. In such a moment you are in a little alliance, it isn’t necessarily a romantic gesture but it is a sure expression of companionship. I don’t stroll about clutching the arm of all of my friends though, because sometimes it doesn’t sit quite right in that relationship.
That being said however, just you try and wipe the smile from my face as I step out next time arm in arm with my best chum, whenever that may be. Why such an unspoken, gentlemanly gesture makes me so happy inside I couldn’t tell you, especially since that same friend will no doubt tell some ridiculously embarrassing story about me within five minutes, utterly spoiling the moment. I love him and he drives me round the twist sometimes too, but perhaps that is the perfect balance in our friendship.