Take a Few Sensitive Hours

About halfway through the film Broken English:

“What are you thinking?”

Nora is laying her head back on Julian’s chest. The bath suds cover their nakedness. His arms intertwine with hers and wrap around her torso. He waits for a response, but she simply stares into space from behind blank eyes.

“Hey.” He splashes some water on her.

They have just made passionate love, and they were happy. She was happy. And if her pattern holds, the happiness will soon reach its abrupt end.

“Nothing,” Nora says. “I was just thinking about how I’m always telling my friend Audrey that I wasn’t going to see anyone.”

Like the last guy she slept with, who it turned out had another girlfriend he liked better than her.

He smiles. “And I changed your mind?”

“Are you seeing anyone right now?”

“No. Not now, just you.”

“But you do see other women.” He is, after all, from France.

“If I meet someone I like, yes.”

She stares into space.

“Why? What?” Julian asks.

“Nothing. Of course you do.”

“But you don’t?” He kisses her forehead.

No, I guess she doesn’t. She doesn’t do a lot of things. She doesn’t think before she falls. And she doesn’t question the intentions of men.

“What is this?” she says. “What are we doing here?”

“We take a bath.”

That’s not what she meant. “Why do you talk about love?”


“Before.” She struggles with the words she wants to say, the thoughts she wants to think, the feelings she longs to feel. “I’m just trying to figure out if this is supposed to mean something.”

“I don’t know, Nora. We have no contract. We are just meeting each other.”

Exhale. “You’re right. I’m sorry.” Smiles. “I’m sorry.”

How often do we let our expectations get the better of us? How often do we make a big deal out of them, instead of enjoying the moments we can spend together?

I often listen to the title track of Israeli jazz bassist Avishai Cohen’s album Shaot Regishot (“Sensitive Hours”). It’s about a relationship in that between-state, more than an acquaintance, less than a life-partner.

These lyrics have a certain melancholy tone to them. But I like to think of them reflecting enjoyment. I particularly love the lines in the chorus: “We didn’t ask for anything, just loved… If we knew, then maybe we didn’t know.” There’s a beauty sometimes in simply yielding to ignorance, and allowing it to become a momentary bliss.

Here’s the thing: You don’t have to be in a new relationship in order to enjoy the people around you. Be sure to take a few sensitive moments today.

Here’s an English translation of the lyrics of “Sensitive Hours,” with a YouTube video embedded below. Enjoy!

The sad gaze in my heart yet remains.
I do not know anything except you— How can I?
Even if we do not meet,
Or are touched again,
The sad gaze in my heart remains.

And maybe yet will we get closer to love.
Only time will tell whether it is bad or good.
Even if we do not meet,
Or are touched again,
The sad gaze will remain close.

We asked nothing; we just loved.
The days advanced in silence.
If we knew, then we did not know, maybe.

We asked nothing; we just loved.
The days passed in stillness.
If we knew, then we did not know, maybe.