I can't stop thinking about Nora Ephron. I miss her like she was a best friend but I never met her. Nora is why I even write for the Divorce blog. It was her and Arianna's inspired scheme together to have a place where all of us could write about this excruciating experience called divorce, get some relief, laugh, grapple, somehow make sense why another human being would have the heart to hurt someone else like they do in betrayal, lies and other lameness.
In the last two days, I have read so many pieces about Nora that people have written seeing the powerful impact she has had through her hardwork and talents as a writer and director, her spirit and her wit. Undoubtedly, she is still here in spirit. All the collected comments and tweets that Huffington Post put up about her were so lovely and so lovingly put together as a tribute to her. Thank you to whoever produced that gathering together so many people's haiku-like messages of remembrance and appreciation, expressing their sadness for her loss. We all loved having Nora here. The world needs to have people around, "who get it". Nora totally "got it."
I rented "Heartburn" on my MacBook Pro yesterday morning and watched it in Nora's honor, purposely putting aside my focus on Obama's healthcare bill going through which so hugely effects me especially post divorce. Instead, I had more important things to do: I needed to pay tribute to Nora. I savored every word of "Heartburn.", based on her own divorce, identifying with so many different aspects. All throughout "Heartburn" I was nodding "Yes, this is so true. Nora, I totally get it." Nora worked out her pain through art and as a result, we all get to share in the relief it gives.
The Nora character was so brilliantly translated through the humanity of Meryl Streep's acting. Thank you Meryl! Jack Nicholson was pitch perfect as the part of the philandering husband. Thank you Jack! The images that Nora came up with in the screenplay are exquisitely tender and real. Like the phenomenon of ending up with so many single socks, that is so true! Where do those socks go? That Nora would pick that to write about is funny enough but that she would endow those socks with so much meaning was brilliant. The scene when Meryl is on the bed playing with their baby, and Jack looks in his closet making a comment about "lost socks". Meryl whimsically says "I love our life", listing various details endearingly including "the lost socks". By contrast, to Jack, the lost socks were his ticket out every afternoon, "shopping for socks", as a cover for his affair. I know that innocence of the wife's character, and her appreciation of being married, having kids, being a family, and sharing a home, that Nora is speaking to. That all of that could get lost on the person you are married to, is a life-changing blow and forces a loss of innocence on you.
The experience of watching "Heartburn" made up for my unfulfilled fantasy of late to make a scene at a party screaming out "Imposter!" pointing to my Ex when I saw him...Art can be good therapy. For example, the "pie scene" was very satisfying. When Meryl's character has found out after the "second chance" that Jack is still not faithful to her, we get to see Meryl take a pie and slam it into Jack's face, and then leave him. She will be fine. She gets it. He doesn't. His loss. We get to watch a movie that makes us laugh and make sense of the chaos.
Nora showed us her triumph in her art and carried out her wisdom into her own life. Nora's life is/was art. Everything is bearable with a sense of humor and a pure heart. Being in it for love and being true is its own reward. Nora had the ability to write scenes capturing the poetry of life in all its tragic and comedic beauty and humanity. We are all just trundling along, trying to do the best we can and get somewhere. Nora reminded us that the most graceful way to get there is through humor and our hearts. As far as I'm concerned, if you don't get how great Nora Ephron was, you just don't get it.
A lot of us, all the Good Fellas, got you Nora because you got us. Thank you Nora for writing "Heartburn" (not to mention everything else!) and for telling the truth and for speaking to our hearts through your art. Your courage will forever inspire me. Your humor was regal. That you could so profoundly move and touch so many people who have never even met you is a testament to the power of writing and expression, being true and putting your heart out there. Nora Ephron, you are a hero. For everything, thank you.