“FEEL WHAT YOU FEEL SO YOU CAN HEAL”

Animals feel! If this were not true, I would feel NOTHING for them. And I feel EVERYTHING for them.

(God’s Sonnet by Timothy J. Verret; “it’s how I cope to hope in feeling what I feel so I can heal, and you feeling what you feel so you can heal”)

You push what you’re feeling down for the count.

“I don’t like this feeling,” you say. “Away!”

What you will feel, you can heal. The amount

you allow your feel is your freedom’s weigh.

I feel so much that I’m marked as a “mess.”

I’m a landscape of feeling what you won’t.

I ‘oft take on what you won’t feel, confess

what you won’t confess. I can’t heal your haunt!!!!

“Carry each other’s burdens but don’t feel

what they can’t or won’t,” says Jesus. “You heal

what you feel, not what marks them stainless steel.

Forgive them! They’re not on an even keel.

It can “feel” we don’t know where’s our next meal.

“Feel” this: “Feel what you feel so you can heal.”

JESSICA LANGE

(a “favorite actress of all time” review by Timothy J. Verret)

It might not be entirely within my limited human grasp to effectively review actress Jessica Lange, my favorite actress of all time. It’s gonna take an act of Congress to eloquently (a perfect adverb for Ms. Lange) draft this review to cover the ground Ms. Lange covers as a sublime actress. It’s gonna take some serious emotional detailing and spiritual tenacity to do Ms. Lange justice (there’s that reference to “Congress” again).

From Wikipedia, Jessica Phyllis Lange (born April 20, 1949) is the 13th actress to achieve the Triple Crown of Acting, having won two Academy Awards, three Primetime Emmy Awards, and a Tony Award (another favorite actress of mine has achieved this fame: Barbra Streisand). Ms. Lange also holds the record for most nominations for the Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – Miniseries or Television Film (eat your heart out, Meryl Streep!). In 1998, Entertainment Weekly listed Jessica Lange among the 25 Greatest Actresses of the 1990s (I wonder how she ranks now approaching 2021?).

So, what is this enormous appeal and staggering hold Jessica Lange has over me as an actress? It can best be surmised in one word: EMOTIONS! Actress Meryl Streep is known for her emotional landscape of acting, and this is very true, but no other actress comes even close to this equaled honor than Jessica Lange. I’m not sure how far back I need to go in Ms. Lange’s acting career to explore this, but I do plan to omit her initial screen performance in KING KONG (1976) and start with her first Oscar win in TOOTSIE (1982). A good place as any to start, because Ms. Lange was nominated twice for the Oscar in 1982: She won for TOOTSIE as Best Supporting Actress, but she was also nominated as Best Actress for her phenomenal performance as true-to-life film actress, Frances Farmer, in FRANCES (1982). And talk about two night-and-day performances in the same year! In TOOTSIE, Ms. Lange was delightful and endearing and “soft,” but in FRANCES, she gave a performance that was polar opposite, i.e., forceful and grueling and “rough.” But in BOTH performances, Ms. Lange was one thing throughout: EMOTIONS! And, boy, was she ever so truthful and so right from the heart. SIDE NOTE: If Meryl Streep in SOPHIE’S CHOICE (1982), who won Best Actress that year, had not been in the same category, without a shadow of a doubt. Ms. Lange would have won for FRANCES!

Some time, back, I reviewed the film, A THOUSAND ACRES (https://timothyjverret.blog/2020/10/07/a-thousand-acres-1997/) with Jessica Lange as Ginny Cook. I invite the reader to refer to that review, as it well established the fact that there is no single acting performance out there, actor or actress, that was more my biography than Ms. Lange’s performance in that film. Ginny Cook’s story parallels my own story, i.e., going from a simpleton to a force to be reckoned with. On that note, Lange gives “journey” performances. The minute Ms. Lange appears on screen or onstage, it’s “on like Donkey Kong!” (sorry, had to make reference to KING KONG, since I omitted Ms. Lange’s performance in this film). Ms. Lange starts her character’s journey, she takes the character from A-Z of emotions on this journey, and the result when all is said and done is a character’s journey fulfilled, and we are left with a lifetime to go back and figure out how Ms. Lange accomplished just this. Give Ms. Lange a one-note character, and she’ll create a full-fledged symphony out of her!

It has only been fairly recently that Jessica Lange came back with a vengeance as an actress in the 21st century. It started when she met up with creator Ryan Murphy for his ongoing TV series, AMERICAN HORROR STORY, and he hired her, I would imagine with very little hesitation, to give some truly spellbinding performances. I have to say I turned away from the series when the horror just got, well, too horrible. But I want to focus on Ms. Lange’s performance as Sister Jude Martin in AHS’ ASYLUM (2012). Ms. Lange played a nun who ran an insane asylum, only to be triggered by her own demons from a truly horrible and sordid past that ended up with her inside the very same asylum she once ran. There just could not be much sympathy anyone could have for Sister Jude but because Ms. Lange is a truly truthful and remarkable actress, she made us care very deeply for Sister Jude. To be honest, I don’t remember how Ms. Lange’s Sister Jude ended her journey in the series, because I was completely mesmerized by Ms. Lange’s incredible performance of the character’s beginning and middle journey. I saw an interview Ms. Lange gave with Mr. Murphy, and she said when she read the script and found out that her character “goes mad,” she said with zero hesitation, “Sign me up!” Ms. Lange knew she could do the character justice, and she also knew she would have to go the depths of hell to give Sister Jude the journey she deserved.

I hope I did a decent job of “grasping” what Jessica Lange means to me, an actor and a spiritual being. Very much like Ingmar Bergman and his actors and actresses, I steal like crazy from Ms. Lange to be an actor who acts from the heart and acts with a whole lot of emotions. And the best compliment I can possibly give Jessica Lange is that I steal like crazy from her not only for my acting but also for the journey I am currently on as a fully-evolving spiritual being.

I was all prepared to end this review right here, until I remembered something: Jessica Lange as Ginny Cook in A THOUSAND ACRES spoke the last line of the film that I pray is not my last line but my very first: “I see hope.”

WONDER AND WANDER

As we wander, I wonder if we “sonder” that animals have vivid and complex emotional lives the same as we do?

(God’s Sonnet by Timothy J. Verret; “it’s how I cope to hope in the wonder, wander, and ‘sonder’ for God and love today, this daily leavened bread”)

You wonder and wander a life pondered.

You were expecting more of a slam dunk.

Wonder if you know how far you’ve wandered?

You once were drunk, flunk, junk, punk, sunk, now monk.

I wonder and wander of life “sondered.”

John Koenig coined that word for my sorrows.

It means you and me are living wandered

lives of vivid and complex tomorrows.

Speaking of tomorrows, wonder today

and wander. “Today has enough troubles.”

Tomorrow is not guaranteed. We say,

“God is today. Love is today. Doubles!”

I learned a new word today with “sonder.”

Tomorrow, will we wonder and wander?

FAITH IS A BLESSING

I don’t have to see or doubt or guess that God has blessed His Animals. I have faith, I believe, and I breathe, but I do NOT bereave this truth.

(God’s Sonnet by Timothy J. Verret; “it’s how I cope to hope in Faith today, this daily leavened bread, for this is a Blessing from God”)

Without faith in something besides yourself,

what hope do you have that the light will shine?

A pit is dark for a reason. Itself,

death. With faith, the light trickles in lifeline.

I’m blessed to have faith in what I can’t see.

If I saw faith, I might push it away

for fear of it leaving me. Faith is key

for my ennui. Without faith, I’m foul play.

“Blessed are those who do NOT see but have Faith,”

says Jesus. “Please don’t doubt me! Just believe!”

Doubting Thomas saw; we are left with wraith.

“Have Faith,” says Jesus. “Breath Me! Don’t bereave!”

The world knew not Jesus: Too much guessing.

We guess not Jesus: Faith is a Blessing.

All God and All Jesus are EVERYONE!!!!

All God’s Animals are EVERYONE of us! When we hurt EVERYONE of them, we hurt EVERYONE of ourselves.

(God’s Sonnet by Timothy J. Verret; “it’s how I cope to hope in EVERYONE reaching me, as I reach EVERYONE of them through All God and All Jesus.”)

Do you mean anything to anyone?

If you were to run, would anyone weep?

This is the “not enough for everyone.”

What if God is everyone? Would you reap?

If I mean anything to anyone,

would I still search my heart for becoming

who God wants me to become? I might run

away from everyone for hurt coming.

“You mean EVERYTHING to me,” says Jesus.

“You are why I came, died, and Rose again.

No Greater Love than that I made a fuss

about you. I lost so that you could win.”

No fret of anything to anyone.

All God and All Jesus are EVERYONE!!!!

THREE CRICKETS ON BEDS OF LETTUCE IN A CAGE

(a short story based on a dream by Timothy J. Verret)

NOTE: According to Dream Moods A-Z Dream Dictionary (www.dreammoods.com/dreamdictionary), dreaming of lettuce represents growing abundance and points the dreamer back to a simpler time. Dreaming of putting an animal into a cage signifies that the dreamer will succeed in overcoming his or her rivals and fears; it’s also symbolic of one’s ability to control his or her animalistic rages and anger. And dreaming of crickets means the dreamer craves introspection, a need for guidance. If that last one about dreaming about crickets doesn’t describe me to a “T” as in “Timothy,” I don’t know what does😉.

Three crickets I once had on beds of lettuce in a cage. I cared for them as though my life depended on it….and it did. When I was weak, they were my strength. When I was sad, they were my joy. When I was passed over by well-meaning human friends who just could not see me or understand me, it was these three crickets on beds of lettuce in a cage who became my God. And it’s not that they belonged to me, you see. They didn’t belong to me, but I didn’t belong to me either.

One of the crickets on beds of lettuce in a cage, I named Bruiser. He was dark brown and green in color yet very light and sincere in heart. He cared for the other two crickets with great concern and an eagerness to appease them. Bruiser had been badly bruised in his short life, hence the name. I loved him as dearly as one who loves a yellow and red sunset tired from the “too much” of too much shining down on lost souls. Bruiser was the only one who seemed to truly want out of the cage. He would spend many nights “crying” to be free. I would have let him free, but what about the other two crickets? They really needed him, and he was always there for them. When one has been so bruised by life, one develops great empathy, great concern, and a great heart that seeks to bridge the very lost souls that the sunset I mentioned found to be “too much.” “Too much” was just enough for Bruiser.

Sasha was another cricket on beds of lettuce in a cage who was there for my greatest times of need from my greatest times of lack. To say Sasha was devastatingly beautiful is a huge restraint. What she lacked in manners, she made up for in majestic beauty. Yellow and maroon made many a cricket swoon! Sorry, I couldn’t resist that rhyme. Much like Bruiser, she showed great interest in the other two crickets. She was a bit of a braggart, though. It might have been because she was the only female of the three. She played with their emotions like one plays with an atomic bomb but tells others, “Gee whiz! It’s just a hot potato!” Sasha had a fling with Bruiser back in the day but when Bruiser leaned into Sasha so desperately from a “washed-out” life of wanting more than he could ever possibly get, what Sasha deduced as Bruiser being beyond human (or insect) help, she threw up her cricket arms one day and said, “Enough Bruiser. ENOUGH!!!!”

It was the third cricket (isn’t it always the third one if counting in such a forward way?) on beds of lettuce in a cage who captured me as much as I captured and caged him. His name was Jesus. A little darling of a cricket was Jesus, so fragile, so compassionate and, yes, so truly darling. Unlike Bruiser and Sasha, Jesus was very, VERY quiet. While Bruiser and Sasha rubbed their legs to drown out the sounds of their own personal anguish and ennui and, though they wouldn’t have ever wanted to admit it, their sheer boredom, Jesus hardly lifted his legs but only to find his footing on beds of lettuce. For Jesus to lift his legs to make any kind of statement would have been an abomination to him. The “strong, silent types” like Jesus settle into this world where if they think if they don’t make too much noise, maybe no one will notice how truly “gone” they really are.

It wasn’t but a typical day for three crickets on beds of lettuce in a cage that Jesus took ill. The first thing he and all of us noticed was his failed footing. Once entirely balanced and agile in his gait on beds of lettuce, Jesus was clumsy and weak when taking his quietly-determined steps. Sasha noticed it first and took it to mean Jesus was simply tired, as insomnia was Jesus’ cross to bear. Sasha blamed it on Bruiser’s sound-shattering snoring on his rare sleep-filled nights, but it was Jesus unable to quiet his little cricket brain that chased evil crickets down evil cricket holes. But this day, typical as it was, had Jesus “bed-lettuce-ridden,” drooped down from physical pain and a spirit of ghastly gloom. It wasn’t until the end of this typical day that Jesus passed away.

The death of Jesus had an effect on Bruiser and Sasha on beds of lettuce in a cage that I didn’t see coming. I expected depression and longing, but I didn’t expect that they would go the same route as Jesus, same symptoms and then same-day demise as Jesus. Three funerals back-to-back like this can really destroy a human’s spirit. It definitely destroyed mine.

I woke up today, not as a cricket on beds of lettuce in a cage, expecting the usual humdrum of living, better stated as uneventfully existing. What I didn’t expect, much like I didn’t expect the deaths of the three crickets on beds of lettuce in a cage, is that this typical morning I started to have their same symptoms. And given that all three crickets on beds of lettuce in a cage passed away on the day their symptoms first appeared, I am afraid that I will die by this typical end’s day. Please pray for me. I feel I have so much left to do in my living, better stated now with this doomed forecast as my need to more than just exist; it’s my need to actually live beyond my limited means, beyond the comfort I’m come to know much too well. This plea might not be anything worth mentioning, but I still don’t want to die for good and, most especially, die for anything I’ve done for bad.

I just remembered something unusual about Jesus’ demise that Bruiser and Sasha did not have or experience. Right before Jesus took his last cricket breath on beds of lettuce in a cage, all three of us – me, Bruiser and Sasha – saw the same vision. A looming and blood-red cricket in a white robe with 4 cricket wings, rubies and sapphires and emeralds planted in a bed of lettuce for the cricket’s crown, spoke these words: “I am Cricket. This is my cricket, Jesus, with Whom I am well-pleased. I am now going to take him away from you so he can go to My Home on Beds of Lettuce but NEVER, no NOT EVER, in a cage. He will be free and well forever more.”

I, too, was well-pleased with Jesus, as I was with Bruiser and Sasha. Now that everything is getting so dimly lit and excruciatingly “close,” will I, too, have this same vision when I’m near death? How would I know I had it if I’m already gone? Do you mind hanging around to find out? You see, I don’t want to be punished for keeping three crickets on beds of lettuce in a cage.

HOLDS OUR HEARTS

God’s Animals, same as God, hold my heart. The world might want to fling my heart with this one, but I’m spirit kept through The Sacred Heart of Jesus Christ for ALL God’s Beings, especially the lowly and weak ones like God’s Animals.

(God’s Sonnet by Timothy J. Verret; “it’s how I cope to hope in my heart being kept and held by God this daily leavened bread”)

Who holds your heart? Who holds you in dark nights?

When day breaks, do you break, too, from sorrows?

There is someone who holds hearts and delights

in you. Name of God. Peace of God from woes.

I have a held heart when I’m a dropped frown,

a wretch, not good enough, lonely to boot.

God holds my heart for times of me breakdown,

for dark times when they come to persecute.

“For where your treasure is, your heart also.”

The Sacred Heart of Jesus is our heart.

God’s Heart sent a Son’s Heart to us hollow

in heart. Once stale heart is now Christ FreshMart.

The world will fling our hearts by fits and starts.

We’re spirit kept by God who holds our hearts.

YENTL (1983)

(a “film with music” review by Timothy J. Verret)

I could have just as well called this, “THE personal triumph of the illustrious and incomparable Barbra Streisand” review, but I went with “film with music,” because that is what Barbra called her film, YENTL. PLEASE NOTE: I am a HUGE Barbra Streisand fan so if you’re expecting me to say anything bad about Barbra and/or YENTL, you might want to stop reading this film review NOW! 😉

YENTL is simply ALL STREISAND! She is the actress (and actor, as she plays a boy), director, producer, and sings every song in the film. Some might say this about Barbra for YENTL: “What an ego!!!!” I say this about Barbra for YENTL: “What a talent!!!!” Barbra worked on this film for five years before she took to standing behind and in front of the camera for filming. When the filming of YENTL was completed, Barbra showed it to Steven Spielberg and after watching it, he said, “Don’t change one frame of this film. It’s the greatest directorial accomplishment of a film since Orson Welle’s CITIZEN KANE.” What a compliment, as many consider CITIZEN KANE one of the greatest films ever made! And Barbra deserved this comparison, because this is all very, VERY true about YENTL.

Before I begin the review, on a more personal note, when YENTL made it to the theatre in my hometown (I was 16 or 17 years old), I asked my mom to pick me up from high school for the 4:30pm show and not to bother picking me up until after 10, because I knew I would stay for two showings back to back. It was the best 6-7 hours I have ever spent in a theatre watching any film. I had bought the film soundtrack before the movie made it to the theatre, so I knew every song in YENTL by heart, and that coupled with the “heart” of YENTL (and my heart for Barbra) made these 6-7 hours a breathtaking and unparalleled movie-going experience for me.

For those not in the know about the plot of the film, YENTL is about Yentl, a girl who has this boundless thirst for the mysteries of the universe at the turn of the 20th century but because this is forbidden to women of this time, she can’t thirst for these mysteries. That is until Yentl’s father dies, when Yentl disguises herself as a boy to study the Talmud in a Yeshiva school. Then, Avigdor, her male study partner, shows up and love shows up and then it gets pretty messy, as is often the case when love is felt and pursued. It’s precisely that this kind of love is so important that it is often pretty messy. Barbra, in concert, called YENTL, “a love story about boy meets girl, girl loves boy, girl loses boy, girl marries girl because girl loves boy, and if you want to see how all that turns out, you need to rent the movie. It’s just an old-fashioned love story….very 90s.” Love that!!!! I agree. And you’ll have to rent the DVD to see how it all turns out, as Barbra states, and I promise you it all turns out so very lovely!

Anyone who would say Barbra Streisand can’t sing, I absolutely would have no idea what they are talking about. Yes, Barbra CAN sing and she sings beautifully in this film, more so than any other time I’ve heard Barbra sing (and I’ve heard Barbra sing beautifully SO MANY TIMES!). Barbra calling YENTL, “a film with music,” took the film out of traditional musicals because although Barbra sings in the film, she only sings when others are not around. It’s a musical inner monologue that Barbra was going for here. Some critics said she sang too much but, once again, if one sings as beautifully and angelically as Barbra Streisand, please don’t complain about her singing too much, okay? Especially when doing so in this film only serves to further the plot. Now, this might be because I’m a HUGE fan, but check this out: I saw YENTL again after that first movie-going experience with many friends, and at exactly the same moment in the film when Barbra was singing, my friends almost unanimously word-for-word said, “Boy, she sure can sing!” Yes, indeed! And check this out: Just as I typed all of this, YENTL playing on my TV (hence, writing this review) just played the very exact moment my friends commented on. Thank you, God, and thank you, Barbra! Oh! That means the part where Yentl tells Avigdor (Mandy Patinkin) that her name is not actually Anshel (her deceased brother’s name she took to study) but instead Yentl, and that she loves him, and then he tells her he couldn’t figure out why he always wanted to touch her so much, is coming up! And then there’s that sharing of their “hushed” feelings for each other that is filmed by Barbra in glorious close-ups, sweet tenderness and exquisite longing for real, true love. I am such a happy camper right now!

“Dear Barbra: Thank you so much for making YENTL. You just won my heart with this film, as you have won my heart in everything you have done. I simply LOVE you, simply Streisand! Thanks for inspiring me to create fearlessly (as you always did and do) and helping me to see that, “yes, indeed, you, Barbra Streisand, are certainly somebody special….and that means certainly so am I” (Check this out yet again: Just as I typed “so am I,” Barbra just sang this exact same wording in the film. Okay, God, now I MOST definitely hear you talking to me!).

YENTL is Barbra Streisand and ONLY Barbra Streisand and for this Barbra Streisand fan writing this YENTL film review, I apply the Grace of God to say, “this is more than sufficient enough for me” (2 Corinthians 12:9). Barbra is, in fact, a sort of grace for me.

IT’S GOD WE’RE PLEASING

You probably won’t meet anyone in your life who most wants to please you than your pet. It’s there in his or her name: “If you pet me, I’ll pet you right back.” Job 12:7 says, “but ask the animals, and they will teach you.” INDEED!

(God’s Sonnet by Timothy J. Verret; “it’s how I cope to hope in pleasing ONLY God today, this daily leavened bread.”)

You’re a people pleaser: “I’m okay, right?”

The ones you most want to please say, “Too much!”

Please God, the One who is your appetite

for good love. He’s got that good, pleasing touch.

I’m a people pleaser: “Like me, okay?”

Who I most want to please is everyone!

“Please, God, let me ONLY please You?” This way,

when it’s just God, He speaks, “You please me. Done.”

“Am I seeking man’s pleasing, or of God?”

If ‘man,’ we would not be servants of Christ.

Why do we seek man’s approval? How odd

to gain “man’s please” but lose God’s Sacrifice.

We can spend our whole lives “man-appeasing.”

Or we can….STOP! LOOK! It’s God we’re pleasing.

CHINA BEACH (1988-1991)

(a “journey on a beach….and beyond” TV series review by Timothy J. Verret)

Four seasons? Four years? That’s only as long as CHINA BEACH ran on TV! Well, being my spiritual number is “4,” I feel very prepared and very eager to review this TV series, paying particular attention to the 4th and final and most brilliantly “BOTH” (“the pain and the beauty”) season of this Emmy- and Peabody-winning TV show.

CHINA BEACH is the baby of William Broyles Jr. and John Sacret Young, a TV series that detailed the humanity and horror of the Vietnam War at the 510th Evacuation Hospital in the city of Đà Nẵng on “China Beach” (nicknamed in English by American and Australian soldiers). Side note: I must admit when I started watching this TV series when it first aired, I was like, “What’s going on? I thought this was about Vietnam? What does China have to do with anything?” To bring this TV series in a little bit closer, it centered primarily on the women at “China Beach,” and even more centered on First Lieutenant Colleen McMurphy, a once Catholic girl and then Army nurse from Lawrence, Kansas. This role was played by the supremely talented and incomparable Dana Delany who won two Emmy Awards for Best Actress for CHINA BEACH (watch the entire TV series, and you can easily conclude that she should have won the award for all 4 seasons!). The entire cast was, in fact, brilliant and what the writers did for CHINA BEACH was give each main character a storyline and, most importantly, a journey to take. It started long before Vietnam, it zigzagged hardcore during Vietnam, and it ended long after Vietnam, only truly beginning for the characters in having to come face-to-face with their war scars, physically and emotionally, and healing those scars, physically and emotionally.

As mentioned, I really want to explore that 4th and final season of CHINA BEACH. What the creators of the TV series did for the characters was allow them to “go home.” They got home, only to be brought back to the beach where they saved lives, took lives, lived to tell about those lives, and lived onward to repair their own damaged lives. I have never quite seen a TV series in the history of TV do this kind of journeying. It was gutsy, for sure, but what a payoff! We, as viewers, got to witness horrors and nightmares that just wouldn’t go away for these characters in the form of flashbacks (PTSD) and flashforwards (PTSD), but we also got to witness the very final episode, where the characters journeyed to the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall in Washington, D.C., for closure. That final episode alone will bring the entire war back to you, whether you were there or not. You won’t want to remember it, but you owe it to these characters to remember it. You also won’t want to forget it, but you owe it to these characters to forget it. Remembering and forgetting, BOTH, is the true definition of anyone’s journey. You remember your past but you journey on. You forget your past but you journey on. “Journeying on” is everyone’s journey. When the characters looked into the Wall in that final episode, the TV cameras were keen on reflecting the names of the killed soldiers back on the faces of the show’s characters. This “mirroring effect” crowned CHINA BEACH as true work-of-art TV! Some of the characters tried to help save those dead ones on the Wall, so it makes sense that the characters would have these dead ones mirrored back on them. It shows how we are all connected in life and death. Some characters stood saluting the wall, while their partners saluted them back. Some characters held so tight to each other that we expected the Wall to actually crumble from the hurt and painful memories. All of the characters wept….ALL OF THEM! They wept for what they did and could not do. As McMurphy says at the end of the episode, “I couldn’t save them all, but I saved some.” Speaking of weeping, as I just finished typing that line, I started weeping.

Once again, if you don’t think you can serve all your tour-of-duty watching the 4 seasons of CHINA BEACH, I want to highly recommend three episodes, which ironically are the final three episodes of the series:

  1. “Through and Through” – this episode is about Colleen McMurphy and her struggles with alcoholism and PTSD. This episode alone is probably why Delany won the Emmy that year. She gives a remarkable, “lifetime” performance in only one hour of TV!
  2. “Rewind” – One of the TV characters had a daughter, who was abandoned by her mother, so the daughter makes a video project about Vietnam to understand what happened and hopefully find healing from her mother’s estrangement. This episode is just heart-wrenching and ends as so many of the CHINA BEACH episodes ended; a delivered line that, for me, was spiritually steeped and spoken as, “Is this ever gonna stop?” or “This isn’t finished, is it?”
  3. “Hello….Goodbye” – This is the final, two-hour episode of CHINA BEACH that starts with a reunion and ends at the Wall. Pay particular attention to “the boy in the pants.” This was the man McMurphy tried to save but couldn’t. He said to her before he died, “You’re gonna remember me.” She replied, laughingly, “No, I won’t.” He said, “You will.” At the wall, McMurphy remembered. He said she would.

I’ll end this review with the song, “You Can Let Go Now,” by singer/songwriter Michael McDonald, that was played on the soundtrack at the Wall in CHINA BEACH‘s final episode. I guess I don’t want to stop a “good cry,” as this song gets me every time. Truthfully, it is the absolutely most perfect song to have played to “close down” CHINA BEACH. All the words in the song are spot-on for the aftermath of the Vietnam Warm, especially the line, “It was so right….it was so wrong.” I suppose our own personal journeys in life can feel very much like this. But, most importantly about the journeys of the characters of CHINA BEACH and all our journeys, “you can let go now.”