Sunday afternoon telly showed “Tuesdays With Morrie”. Alan Blackie lent me the book a few months ago and it made a real impact (I’ll get it back to you Alan).
The book recounts the true story of the relationship between a man and his former university teacher in the last months of the older man’s life due to a terminal illness. If you hadn’t read the book the film might have appeared a bit schmaltzy but the book has an incredible depth and power.
I was really struck by the images contained in this extract:
“I heard a nice little story the other day,” Morrie (the teacher) says. He closes his eyes for a moment and I wait.
“Okay. The story is about a little wave, bobbing along the ocean, having a grand old time. He’s enjoying the wind and the fresh air – until he notices the other waves in front of him, crashing against the shore.
“My God, this is terrible,” the wave says. “Look what’s going to happen to me!”
“Then comes along another wave. It sees the first wave, looking grim, and it says to him, “Why do you look so sad?”
“The first wave says, “You don’t understand! We’re all going to crash! All of us waves are going to be nothing! Isn’t it terrible?”
“The second wave says, “No, don’t understand. You’re not a wave, you’re part of the ocean.”
I smile. Morrie closes his eyes again.
“Part of the ocean” he says, “part of the ocean.” I watch him breathe, in and out, in and out.