Each spring semester, right around Valentine’s Day, I teach the film Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind in my Intro to Film course. While parts of the film bother me (like the ending, as it goes again the message of the film), the concept of memory that the film brings forth is fascinating. To underscore how memory works, the viewer is even asked to remember earlier parts of the film toward the end, almost as “imprints” that seem familiar. It’s interesting to think about how relationships and moments we’ve had in our lives function similarly to these “imprints.” These memories shape us and what we gravitate toward and are repulsed by. As the film points out, we are not better off erasing challenging memories. What matters is how we let these memories affect us today.
The title of the film comes from Alexander Pope’s poem, “Eloisa to Abelard”: “How happy is the blameless vestal’s lot! / The world forgetting, by the world forgot. / Eternal sunshine of the spotless mind! / Each pray’r accepted, and each wish resign’d.” Abelard and Héloïse were a real-life, ill-fated couple in the 12th century. As they could not be together, they both went into the clergy—Héloïse to a convent, Abelard to a monastery. They then wrote letters to each other and found their opinions of their relationship to be at odds, even bitter. Their love was not as perfect as they had earlier imagined. Pope’s lines reflect Héloïse’s relief that comes with such knowledge: the past was both beautiful and difficult, but there is no need to live there today.
Héloïse became influential on French literature in her own right, shaped by what took place with Abelard and then freed of it. This Valentine’s Day, let us give thanks for the beautiful parts of love that have shaped us, yet knowing we do not have to be captives of our imprints and memories. For, as the philosopher and poet Omar Khayyam reminds us, “Be happy for this moment. This moment is your life.”
One of the best drinks to add into your day is tulsi tea. Tulsi, also known as holy basil, may help reduce stress, regulate blood sugar, ease congestion, increase immunity, help with arthritis, and is antiseptic for the mouth. To also improve your complexion from the inside out, try tulsi rose tea (my favorite brand of tulsi rose is by Organic India). For more about the benefits of tulsi tea, click here: https://www.webmd.com/diet/holy-basil-tea-health-benefits#1.
This Week's Classes
Join in my group yoga classes from your home for free through February. Sign up by clicking the "Book Now" buttons at erinclairyoga.com.
Feb 15–Monday at 6:30pm CST: Music-Based Yoga. Music Monday featuring Pink Floyd. Class is online via Zoom or in-person at Força in Russellville. In-person class will be glow yoga!
Feb 17–Wednesday at 6:30pm CST: Power Yoga. Class is online via Zoom or in-person at Força in Russellville.
Feb 18–Thursday at 6:30pm CST: Music-Based Yoga, Inside Flow style. Class is online via Zoom or in-person at Força in Russellville.
Feb 19–Friday at 12:00pm CST: Beginner Yoga with guest instructor Cindy Eisemann. Class is online.
Feb 19–Friday at 2:00pm CST: Meditation. Class is online.