We make mistakes as human beings. With life and within love.
A lot can be fixed with open and honest communication. We strive constantly to avoid the reality of the thing - what it is, is. There isn't an alternate world where everything comes out just so. Because most times life doesn't work that way. That's what I love so much about this movie. The point where we come to a scene where open and honest communication shows us love. It shows bravery and kindness without giving false hope.
This isn't a movie where the girl is going to look up the sky and see her father's plane falling back down to Earth. It offers raw honesty in the look on Murph's face when she realizes the horror of the truth that her father gives her.
There is love in that truth.
Cooper: I'm coming back. Young Murph: When? [Cooper doesn't reply, instead he takes out a watch and gives it to her] Cooper: One for you. [then shows her his own identical watch on his wrist] Cooper: One for me. When I'm up there in hypersleep, or...or traveling in the speed of light, or near a black hole, time is gonna change for me. And it's gonna run more slowly. Now, when we get back, we're gonna compare. Young Murph: Time will run differently for us? Cooper: Yeah. Maybe by the time I get back, you and I, we might be the same age. You and me. What? Imagine that! The look on her face, that torn look that Cooper will carry with him on this journey and back, and break his heart every time... Cooper: Ah, Murph. Young Murph: You have no idea when you're coming back. No idea at all!
How then do we reconcile that lesson with another about honesty from a conversation between Dr. Brand and Cooper?
Brand: Just being honest.
Cooper: Well, you don't need to be that honest. Hey, TARS, what's your honesty parameter?
TARS: Absolute honesty isn't always the most diplomatic, nor the safest form of communication with emotional beings.
Cooper: Okay. 90% it is, Dr. Brand.
It seems Coop has two opinions on the level of honesty to give and when to give it. When is it 90% and when isn't it? When do you spare someone and when do you love enough to give them the raw truth? Telling someone what they need to hear can be done with love, so can telling someone a white lie. Which would you rather have? 90% or 100%?
(And in doing so, let's assume for a moment it has nothing to do with any type of abuse. Let's just take that out of the equation - I'm not talking about the abusive "truth" that someone believes and uses to belittle.)
I've come to accept that most of the time 90% isn't good enough for me. I have the benefit of experience with two hard realities: 1) If you don't tell people the truth and they die on you, you have to hold that truth the rest of your life and 2) a relationship of openness and honesty which taught me far more about love than any other.
I can accept reality and hard truths. If someone tells me I blew it, I'll dust myself off and try again. I can accept maybe it's not right, maybe I'm not cut out for something. 90% of tap dancing around what's real in those situations? Fuck that.
When my friend Julien released his book, "The Flinch" and I read it, I started to understand my natural ability to get over the pain of truth and move forward. There's no way but forward in life.
Finally, a quote about love that I found compelling in a sci-fi movie.
Brand: We love people who have died, where's the social utility in that?
Brand: But maybe it means something more, something we can't yet understand. Maybe it's some evidence, some artifact of a higher dimension that we can't consciously perceive. I'm drawn across the universe to someone I haven't seen in a decade. Who, I know, is probably dead. Love is the one thing we're capable of perceiving that transcends dimensions of time and space. Maybe we should trust that, even if we can't understand it yet.
We can feel it, sometimes we can explain it, most times we make crazy choices because we feel some part of it creeping into our existence through a human being. Love means truth. Truth means love. And 90% isn't quite good enough.