Tuesday, March 10, 2020


Just a thought among many, but it seemed entirely fitting that Max Von Sydow died yesterday. In my other life in the last millennium, I watched the film The Seventh Seal with the boy I loved at the time (which is all time because love is eternal) and my head blew up and rearranged itself into what would be the beginnings of the head I have now in this millennium. If you haven't seen The Seventh Seal, I don't know what to tell you. It's beautiful and dark yet funny. Max Von Sydow plays a Knight returning to his home after the Crusades, that charming time of Catholic hysteria. He travels with his goofy squire and both wash up arrive? on the beach in Sweden where Max plays chess with Death. There's also a sweet blonde family of traveling actors with a beatific child and at some point they meet up with the Knight and the father sees him playing chess with Death and knows what's going on and who's going to win so he flees with his wife and his child and the Knight uses the chess game to distract Death so the family can get away. And all throughout are scenes of plague-riddled medieval Europe with all its heavy and horrifying religious symbolism and ignorance and it's dark but also threaded through with great humor and beauty that like I said will rearrange your bones your dry bones and almost make you believe in revelations.

And when he had opened the seventh seal, there was silence in heaven about the space of half an hour.
I'm thinking about this movie and the perhaps pandemic Corona virus and the combination of
(1) over thirty years of anti-intellectualism in this country, (2) our horrific health care system that is based on profit and runs on the illusion of "progress" but will surely be overwhelmed when everyone else (I say everyone else because those of us with chronic diseases or disabilities have known this for a long time) floods it and the Medical Industrial Complex shows its true motives and (3) the Idiot Piece of Shit In Chief. I'm thinking about those three things and wishing Max Von Sydow a rest in peace. No one challenges Death and wins but some sacrifice themselves for others, and that's what we must aspire to do. My head re-arranged itself after I watched that movie so long ago with the boy I loved, a boy who told me Love never dies. It just goes underground.

The video is on YouTube -- click on the link where it says to watch it. It's not even in English, which is perfectly fine. You'll get it.


  1. Hello, I actually thought you were talking about a movie starring Demi Moore...or maybe I have the wrong movie. All the same, your movie sounds very interesting. I'm in the small percentage of people who are VERY disappointed about having to cancel a cruise vacay and a possible beach trip. Best to be safe than sorry I guess.

  2. How did this movie escape my consciousness?

  3. I saw this movie years ago and also remember being bowled over. (I love anything Bergman.) All this coronavirus craziness seems so surreal. We were told this morning that it's expected to peak in the UK within the next two weeks. Meanwhile our school is open as usual and we're just bumbling along as best we can, hand-washing and sanitizing like crazy!

  4. I saw this film while extremely stoned in an art house theater in Seattle when Seattle still had art house theaters and I felt all the things you wrote about and yes my bones my dry bones were rearranged and it was the first thing I thought about when I read of Max Von Sydow’s death. What a time to witness right now what a great weirdness.


  5. Yes, I'm thinking upon similar things myself... even tho' I'd rather not. But we know it's going to get worse before it gets better and a pandemic in any Century is a thing of grave concern, yet perhaps for Political reasons, this Administration has not been truthful or transparent or prepared about it, which is a huge disservice to the population. The most vulnerable, physically and economically, will have the most challenges... money buys lots of options and extreme privilege is not something the average person has in their favor.

  6. Bergman was the big thing long ago when I was at uni, and yes, it changed my entire perception. I had forgotten max von sydow was the actor there, though. Yes, it seems oddly symmetrical that he should die now.



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