Beauty of the Ordinary

“Some of us get dipped in flat, some in satin, some in gloss….” He turned to me. “But every once in a while, you find someone who’s iridescent, and when you do, nothing will ever compare.”

When I glimpsed through the plot online before I watched it, Flipped seemed like  a long, insipid narrative filled with outdated cliches. A girl from a low-class family, Juli Baker, fell in love with her neighbor, the self-conceited Bryce Loski who held himself on the moral high ground. As I got into the movie, however, the nostalgic sincerity delivered intact by the warmly colored scenes and unvarnished story line, surprisingly, with simplicity struck right in the bottom of my heart. It amazed me how  seemingly plain lines could be so contemplative and poetic, with an interesting philosophical twist to them. The scene where Juli Baker and her father talking about his paintings, from which the quote above is extracted, brings up the dazzling moments of my life in my mind. What I’ve seen, what I’ve smelled, and what I’ve felt in my everyday life had seemed so ordinary to me, but they came to me as if polished all of a sudden. Pondering over the iridescent moments that flashed through my brain, as simple as a cherry blossom in my palm, a streak of light slipped through the tree leaves, the scent of hyacinth, or a hovering humming bird in a chilly morning, I begin to wonder how we come to define “iridescent things” in our lives.

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Juli found her iridescent moments on a large sycamore tree on which she could overlook the field and watch the skyline stretch far. She loved the picturesque horizon at dawn and dusk and the way she felt on that sycamore tree when her father’s words that “the whole can be more than the sum of its parts” came to meaning in her heart. When the sycamore tree was to be cut down for real property, it broke Juli’s heart. While Juli cherished the sycamore tree, others were eager to bring it down for commercial uses. With different perspectives and values, a thousand people have a thousand varying scales in their heart that evaluate, sometimes unconsciously, the worth of the world. In this instance, the appeal of nature doesn’t triumph over the appeal of profits. Nature is highly praised in paintings and poetry and vehemently protected among environmentalists, but it is neglected or viewed as trivial in developed countries where the government prioritizes industrial development. Yes, it might be a compromise out of careful debate, but all I’m saying is that our stances determine the way we view the things around us. If we take another angle to look at the word, we might just be astonished how ordinary things can shine so brightly in our routine life.

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