Initially my chosen theme was “Alienation”. I thought it would have been an interesting theme. Except that I couldn’t get any inspirations or ideas out it. Or else it seemed too cliché, and I didn’t want to work with that. Eventually my stream of thoughts veered towards the elderly been alienated in a sense. So in a nutshell, I think my current topic is linked to alienation, the elderly and communication. Which. Explains my title.
I’m kind of attracted to the topic of the elderly. Somtimes I feel that they’re overlooked. There are 2 kind of old people I often see:
1) Those that give off the comfortable vibe. Sometimes when you pass by, they’ll smile at you if you smile at them. I like these kind. They make me happy. Even if it’s for a few minutes.
2) The kind that sits around at void decks and parks. When I go home from school, there’s quite a distance from the bus stop to my block. I will go through a row of shops, some blocks and a playground. The part about the playground is that i usually see grandparents/old people sitting around. Some are with their grandchildren, sometimes don’t have grandkids. There’s a table and some chairs nearby, and more old people sit there. Furthermore, there is a Corner not too far away (I can’t recall the name for the time being) whereby more old people gather there. You can imagine the scene I see each day when I return home from school. There never seem to be a lack of the elderly sitting around there. I feel sad for them. They are people slowly reclining into their own world and losing connection with the world.
I think one of the reasons I’m attracted to the topic of the elderly is partly because I fear growing old and becoming like the second kind of old people. I feel sad for them. I often wonder if I would slowly age, my friends would slowly go off one by one, or perhaps we lose contact, my children will not visit me often (shudders), or perhaps I do not even have children at all. I will add to the number of grandparents hanging around void decks talking to other old people or not quite doing anything at all. I fear loneliness. I could be exploring this topic in an attempt to find ways to prevent such things from happening. I probably like the first kind of people because they assure me that the future will be fine and I will be happy.
Another reason is because of my grandmother. I realise that she has aged. Of course she has. She repeats things, paraphrases things, talks to you about the same topic again and again and often talks of the past when we were little. Often I am annoyed, and I feel guilty for being so. I do not know how to reply her, and somehow I think she is becoming like the second kind of elderly. Except that she never does sit around void decks. But nowadays she is better and she seems more cheerful and does not do the aforementioned things. But her past behavior has contributed to my being attracted to the topic.
As for the communication part, the idea came from one of my dreams. (The previous night I had been desperately trying to find a source of inspiration. I should have just slept instead. Ha.) I dreamt that my grandma was talking to me, and I was annoyed because it was one of those repetition-of-things-and-I-don’t-know-how-to-reply-you sort of conversation. When I woke up, I just thought of the concept of being unable to understand, which led to language barriers, which reminded me of attempts to talk underwater and prison glass walls (where the inmate talks across to his visitor). I find talking underwater hilarious cause you can barely understand yourself, let alone the other party. Haha. I can’t quite show you a visual representation of what I am thinking now for my coursework, but I have just briefly described the concepts/ideas behind it to you.
Andddd I have listed a couple of movies to watch to get more ideas for coursework!
1) Money Not Enough 2 (Hui Ci’s recommendation. Watched an excerpt. Sounds like what I’m looking for :))
2) O Ano em Que Meus Pais Saíram de Férias (The Year My Parents Went On Vacation) (A Brazilian movie about a boy and his late grandfather’s good friend. Sounds really interesting.)
3) The Straight Story (about an old man who travels in a tractor to make amends with his brother. May watch if I can find it.)