Prompted myself to watch again “Wings of Desire”. Not just to behold Berlin divided by the wall, mere three years before it was crumbled. Not just to encounter the atmosphere crafted by Wim Wenders in his magnificent films. I have revisited the film to explore concept of angels and the whys and wherefores of their “presence” on earth.
An angel is invisible. I presume each of us has at least once dreamt of being invisible to somebody. What in some situations is a blessing, in the long run is a curse. Invisibility which allows you to be an unnoticed bystander who observes course of people’s lives means no human being pays attention to you, nobody talks to you, nobody touches to you, nobody interacts with you. As a result the only creatures you can have relationships with are fellow angels; in the eternal perspective no one but other lonesome companions.
An angel has insight into humans’ feelings. An angel knows what they think about, who they love, who they hate, what problems they cope with, what pleases them and what they fear. An angel knows all but an angel can do nothing about to relieve humans’ pains. An angel does not have power to solve people’s problems, cannot abandon their invisibility for a moment to talk to a human or to hug them. And after all, angels are familiar with human feelings only because they observe them, but not out of their own experience. They witness sadness of a bereaved human but they do not know how it feels like, because nobody they loved has even passed away. They witness sorrow of a lovelorn human, but they do not know how it feels like, since no one has even turned away their love. They witness incurably ill humans, but they have never gone down with any disease. They witness misery of a family who cannot make ends meet, but since they have never had to do with money and have never needed it, they do not know how being short of money feels like. An angel does not even know what the pain is, they have never felt it.
No wonder one of the angels staring at the fate of West Berlin’s residents one day, upon falling in love with a woman, decides to give up on all the traits of angelness he grows uncomfortable of and becomes a mortal human.
Thus I guess the purport of the film is that genuine feelings, including those most bitter, are the essence of humanity. Learning how to cope with the suffering teaches us how to handle love. Without experiencing the former you cannot appreciate the latter. Without feelings and without problems the life is empty. Do not dream of trouble-free, easy life. It is a trap! Trouble-free, easy life is not for humans!
So feelings are what matters the most. Do not suppress them, give vent to them, share them with fellow humans. And feelings drive emotions; both positive and negative. If we are affected by emotions, we are humans. And finally, by depriving themselves of emotions, humans turn themselves into robots, goal-oriented creatures, repeating tasks to survive, without seeking the essence of their humanity. As I grow older, day after day I am more and more appreciative of positive impulses and search for them to draw pleasure. I chase them and grab them whenever they are not out of reach. I hesitate many times, since not infrequently price to pay for the positive vibes might be too high. As I have been growing older, life has been teaching me, it does not need to be wise to reach the top one day and slide to the bottom the other day. Beware of that and do not get high at the expense of other people.
I wish and peaceful Christmas to all my readers!