Falling from Solaris

There’s a whole lot that can be said about Andrei Tarkovsky’s 1972 film, Solaris, but I won’t spoil anything for you by doing that here. Let it be enough to say that if you are the least bit drawn to the wondrous, you will never wish back the three hours should you choose one day to check out this film. In fact, you may want to go there more than once, to that station in between our planet and the wild cosmic frontier, fetching new things with each trip out and back. It all depends on what you’re going after.

Solaris is a film all about the space in between. There upon that lonely outpost lurks the obstacle of reckoning with oneself and of wrestling alone with what is most important. Sometimes we need to be blasted into orbit for this. More often, this unique cosmos flickers around us in the everyday. Like Tarkovsky’s character, Kris, some of us are always peeking into closets from where the desideratum beckons. Like him me, sometimes we come out from those corners empty and covered in smudges when instead we sought to reach in to embrace what we most cherish.

On Solaris, the susceptible traveler, Kris, is met and confounded by what I can only express as his heart’s deepest wish, a state he’s been unable to find amid the clamor of his life and work. What Kris finds and how it changes him is for the viewer’s delight. I can’t spoil that for you, remember?

Of course, discovery happens all the time, smack dab in the mess and junk here on Earth. On a planet where men and women can find it agonizing to talk with each other, you made intimate conversation easy. In a world where the sum of people becomes absurdly reduced to their parts, I observed your dignity and allowed you that same view. In what is forever an upside down, scrambled universe filled with defended posing, I lit up for you, and you instantly got who I am. I’ve come back from the encounter a bit bleary.

So, here is where we spin out, S., into that distant borderland, a space where the fine and natural breathe and exchange their own oxygen in balance. A place where the essential me and the rightful you whirl in elemental form. On that Solaris, I’m just now placing the finishing touches on a sandwich made especially for you, and it’s the best you’ve ever had because, alongside the grilled cheese, I’m dishing up myself. And it is enough…

Meanwhile, back on Earth, the words “love go with you—” fly from me into the reach confining us all. Those words weightless, infinite.