When film critic Roger Ebert described the movie, ‘Cloud Atlas’ he said, “to borrow from Churchill’s description of Russia, ‘it is a riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma.’ It fascinates in the moment. It’s getting from one moment to the next that is tricky.”
I love that quote. Some things fascinate in the moment but it’s getting from one moment to the next that is tricky. In Churchill’s quote, he was talking about Russia in a broadcast from October 1939. Winston Churchill is considered a great leader from the World War II era and his wartime speeches have stood the test of time. In the quote above he was referring to the Russia empire. But not to be confused with Roger Elbert’s quote, the two are not the same. There in lies a difference.
Ebert was giving one of his monumental movie reviews and Churchill was talking about the political realms during the war era. Yet the quotes are intertwined. Why? “It is a riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma.”
I had to look up the word, enigma. Perhaps you did too. Enigma is defined as a puzzling or inexplicable occurrence or situation; it’s a saying, question, picture, etc., containing a hidden meaning; riddle. I might say the words of Churchill’s quote can be used in as much a mystery as the quote itself. There is something dynamic and intriguing in pulling these strings of words together.
Today’s quote gives us something to think about. There is no substitute for questions that sync our mind into the depths of thought. We realize our lives are intertwined not only by the mysteries of our past but the uncertainties of our future. Some things fascinate in the moment but it’s getting from one moment to the next that is tricky. Isn’t that the truth.
As Winston Churchill once said, “Our past is the key to our future, which I firmly trust and believe will be no less fertile and glorious. Let no man underrate our energies, our potentialities and our abiding power for good.”
Perhaps our lives are something of a riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma. What does that say about each one of us?