Notes on an (umpteenth) viewing of _The English Patient_

Freedom is movement beyond resistance, beyond marked boundaries and shapes, countries, maps, territories of love and war–as swimmers know in waves, as lovers know, as we have not learned in a century of wars.
He was a mapmaker, and drawing his lines he found that his dams were broken through her. She was the desert, and she brought the eroding desert to him. He, seeking to draw into knowability all that he saw, found his peace in surpassing all boundaries–in meeting her beyond her death in that Cave of Swimmers, in breaking all human pacts to bring her back in a burning pyre, in losing himself to a single thing.
And Binoche and her Kip will meet again in that tower of memory, simultaneously in the past and the future. The cave was painted by those who rose above desert to air and water, and the lovers relive that transcendence in recurring times. Binoche and Kip relive theirs in their modern war-zones; Ondaatje relives it in postmodern fragments of memorial. As we do, as others will. Places keep memories, energies.

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