funny how i am suddenly reminded of a cartoon we watched in college, twenty years ago, in a Philosophy of Man class.
it was a film about a circle with a missing piece (which looked like a round rolling cake with one slice taken out), rolling along, trying to find its missing piece. it traveled many highways and byways, over mountains, across lakes, even down to the bottom of the ocean and up again, to find its missing piece.
first it found a piece, but the piece was too small, so even as the circle tried to fit it into itself as it rolled along, the piece kept falling off. so the circle had to let go of the little piece.
then it found another piece, but it was too big, so as the circle tried to stuff it into itself, it couldn't move forward. it was a struggle between the big piece and the smaller circle with the missing piece; they pushed and pulled but to no avail. so in the end the circle had to let go of the big piece.
then it found still another piece. the pointed end of this third piece fit into the circle's missing part, but the third piece had jagged edges, and hurt the circle so, as it tried to roll along. travelling was painful, so in the end the circle had to let go of the third piece.
then finally, the circle found a piece which fit, perfectly. whichever way you looked at it, turned the circle this way and that, the piece fit-- not too loose, not too tight, not too uncomfortable. finally, the circle turned into a smiley. it felt right! it found its missing piece!
and so, the circle rolled on, rolled along.... ladeedadeeda.... tumdeedumdeedum.... rolled on over mountains, across lakes, even down to the bottom of the ocean and up again, with its missing piece. it rolled along perfectly, like a perfect circle should. all round and whole, smiling and rolling and smiling and rolling, all the way.
but then again, the circle found that it couldn't speak; the missing piece fit so perfectly, there was no place for the circle to open itself and speak. it rolled along, but slowly... sadly... this time, as the circle realized that it needed to speak more than it needed to find its missing piece. and so sadly, in the end, the circle had to say goodbye to its perfect missing piece.
it rolled along again, rolled over mountains, across lakes, even down to the bottom of the ocean and up again, without its missing piece. but it rolled on, happily this time, content just to be itself, a circle without its missing piece.
i forgot what the specific lesson was about now, but i do remember our Philosophy professor asking us to reflect on what the film meant to us.
i remember writing about how the film is symbolic of everyone's individual romantic journey, to find their missing piece, and how in the end, the journey just actually leads us back to ourselves, how the missing piece is not out there, but inside each one of us, and how when we find it inside, we stop looking for it outside anymore.
i remember, too, how the Professor returned all the papers back, except for mine. he asked to keep mine for his own reflection...
funny how i am reflecting on this again now.