Visual Excitement: Pushing Hands

In The Practice of Poetry, Robin Skelton argues that the poet’s “problem is finding out… how to detect the verbal excitements surrounding our perceptions, and how to discover in ourselves a confusion rich enough to compel us to investigate it.” Inspired by these words, I created a notebook (entitled, fittingly enough, “A Treasury of Verbal Excitements,”) to jot down all of the little bits of inspired writing I come across during the day. It’s helped me to be a more attentive reader and a more productive writer, so I highly encourage giving it a try.

We need not limit ourselves to verbal excitements, however. Why not visual excitements, audio excitements, culinary excitements? With that in mind, I started another notebook this weekend–“A Treasury of Visual Excitements”–and started filing away clippings that I liked. But why not share them here instead?

Here’s the first “visual excitement,” a beautiful clip from Ang Lee’s woefully under-rated 1991 film, Pushing Hands. This scene comes near the end of the film. The rest is beautiful in its simplicity, and in the space it allows its characters to fill, but this moment captured my attention and stayed in my head the for the rest of the evening. I love it.

Pushing Hands

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