Sunday, May 28, 2017

On the return of "Twin Peaks"

We're four episodes in to the return of "Twin Peaks," and I'm locked in for the duration. I loved the first season of the original show, to the point of hosting a party for the second-season premiere, complete with cherry pie and dozens of doughnuts. I stuck with the second season through the silliness of the Miss Twin Peaks pageant, and Audrey Horne's icky romance with John Justice Wheeler, and Josie's disappearance into the drawer handle. I saw Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me in the theater and didn't understand it at all, though it is a movie that improves with repeated viewings, maybe because the brain insists on imposing some kind of order on it.

The inevitable backlash has already begun, from fans of the original series who expected something different from David Lynch — or to be more accurate, expected anything. Four episodes in, Lynch is already making it clear that all expectations are contrary to his agenda.

With no expectations, I am experiencing the return of "Twin Peaks" as a gift from a wise friend I haven't seen in a while. Four episodes in, this is what I'm taking from it:

We get old.

We get lost.

We forget who we meant to be, and if we are very lucky, someone reminds us in a way that gives us time to do something about that.

We are grateful, so grateful, for the companions we managed to keep along the journey, who are often not the people we’d have expected to stand with us.

The mysteries are more baffling because we (okay, I) have gotten to an age at which we think we’ve seen a lot, and we think we know things.

We understand that the universe is neither friendly nor hostile to us. It simply is, around us and within us. And it favors entropy.

Once we notice that entropy, we cannot stop noticing it — except we have to stop noticing it, or else we would never be able to get anything done. It’s the paradox of not being able to get halfway out of a chair, then halfway again, then halfway again. Eventually we must pretend some order is possible, and those moments when we remember otherwise are disorienting, even paralyzing.

It’s an absurd life we’re living, in an absurd world, in an absurd universe. The order we impose upon it is skin deep, and fragile.

These are the central truths of “Twin Peaks.” They strike me as the central truths of life on this planet.

They're working for me so far.