In ALL, INTROSPECTION, MOVIES by Stephanie Klein1 Comment

Last night I screened the film adaptation of Proof, the Pulitzer Prize-winning play written by David Auburn. Starring an Oscar Award-winning cast led by the fabaux Gwyneth Paltrow, Anthony Hopkins, Jake Gyllenhaal (Moonlight Mile, City Slickers!), and Hope Davis (Daytrippers, American Splendor, About Schmidt) the film was directed by John Madden (Shakespeare in Love, Mrs. Brown), distributed by Mirimax, and is due in theatres December 24, 2004. Now that’s out of the way… the movie was “Good Wilma Hunting has A Beauteous Mind.”

The story focuses on a 27-year-old woman (The lovely Gwyneth) who has come to the aid of her father, a genius University of Chicago mathematician (Hopkins) struggling with mental illness. Although the film felt more like a play than a movie, it was still entertaining, captivating, and thought-provoking. Hopkins character contributes groundbreaking theories at the age of 24. If you haven’t hit it by 24, you might as well find something else to do with your life… or start taking amphetamines…

So I give that amplified message some thought. It’s June; I’m fast approaching 29. I haven’t done anything. I have a handsome 401k for when I’m 66, but my savings account is empty. I buy shoes, spend too much on handbags and taxicabs, take silly photographs, buy throw pillows, compose tuna tar tar towers, write silly chapters, and date dumb boys. What the hell am I doing, pissing away my time uploading songs on an iPod all day? I don’t want to waste another year, day, minute of my life without being who I am really meant to be. And that takes focus. Making the most of my time means learning to say no. Say no when boys I don’t like ask me out. Say no when boys I do like ask me out if I haven’t achieved what I was hoping to that day. It means to-do lists less about errands and more about accomplishments. It means delving… jumping, diving in… into me, not a relationship, not work, not exercise. Me. Who I want and am going to be. It means more me time to write, to read, to do the work and change what I can. It means walking more. It means shoe shopping for flats. It always comes back to the shoes. Well, it’s a start, and I don’t need proof. It’s something you know without thinking, something you can rely on, like tides, or North.


  1. Hey, I'm enjoying reading through the old entries. I heartily applaud you reflecting on getting on with achieving something besides a fat 401k. That said, I recently heard/read (can't remember which) that mathematicians often disproportionately have big breakthroughs earlier in their careers, like in their 20s. Conversely, plenty of artists, for example, are doing great work late into life. Look at the works Picasso did at the end of his life…his 80s? 90s? (once again, can't remember). Props to you for checking your progress, but there's a little perspective for you to factor in there.

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