“I shall remember this moment: the silence, the twilight, the bowl of strawberries, the bowl of milk. Your faces in the evening light. Mikael asleep, Jof with his lyre. I shall try to remember our talk. I shall carry this memory carefully in my hands as if it were a brimful of fresh milk. It will be a sign to me, and a great sufficiency.” -Antonius Block in The Seventh Seal
I can watch this short scene from Bergman’s masterpiece all day long. Amidst intense suffering and anxiety from a deadly plague ravaging the land coupled with the ominous figure of Death following him, Antonius Block gets a brief reprieve. He delights in the calming presence of the young, married actors, Mia and Jof, and their baby, Mikael. He enjoys delicious strawberries and fresh milk with his companions. A beautiful dusk envelopes the pastoral land. The birds are chirping. Jof softly plays the lyre.
Perhaps it’s heaven on earth? For a moment, anyway.
Just like live theatre. Beautiful art. Shared. In good company. A break from our lives. Our problems.
And it’s ephemeral. The night won’t last.
So savor it that much more.