Love and scandal are the best sweeteners of tea. —Henry Fielding

08 February 2011

Where the Real Countries Are

Since my last post involved references to the Oscar-winning art director and set decorator of The English Patient and a nod to the fabulous Kristin Scott-Thomas (about whom I continue to obsess) I thought I would revisit one of my very favorite parts of one of my favorite movies of all time. The passage below is from Anthony Minghella's screenplay, but it closely follows Michael Ondaatje's novel. 
As Katharine waits in the cave for Almásy to come back, she stares at the cave paintings and writes in her diary:

My darling. I'm waiting for you. 

How long is the day in the dark? Or a week? 

The fire is gone and I'm horribly cold. I really should drag myself outside but then there'd be the sun. I'm afraid I waste the light on the paintings and writing these words. 

We die. We die rich with lovers and tribes, tastes we have swallowed, bodies we've entered and swum up like rivers. Fears we've hidden in - like this wretched cave. I want all this marked on my body. Wer'e the real countries. Not boundaries drawn on maps with the names of powerful men. 

I know you'll come carry me out to the Palace of Winds. That's what I've wanted: to walk in such a place with you. With friends, on an earth without maps. 

The lamp has gone out... and I'm writing... in the darkness.