As American college students in Florence, Italy, we walked the city often – exploring, meandering, discovering new places, discovering who we were as 20-year-olds. One lovely autumn day David and I struck up a conversation with an elderly American gentleman who was sitting on a bench. He appeared melancholy and wise to us: “You know, you cannot re-create the past, no matter how hard you try.”
Simple wisdom, painfully true. We do, however, get opportunities to heal the past and strengthen our future with decisions we make today.
Woody Allen’s new film Midnight in Paris offers viewers an adventure of returning to the past with Owen Wilson as writer Gil Pender who steps back into the 1920s. He meets Hemingway, Cole Porter, and Gertrude Stein among his new nighttime pals. And while Pender cannot return to the past forever, his glimpse back challenges his current worldview, transforming him.
An object lesson, for sure.
(AP photo: Scene from "Midnight in Paris")