Tuesday, February 15, 2011

The Secret of Kells

It is a cool afternoon inside with the shades pulled over the open window. The breeze is gentle and soothing. The room is darkening as the afternoon waxes on. My mind is at peace finally, even if my body is not. I have books strewn at my side, as well as my journal and a pen. I am almost put to sleep by the peaceful atmosphere. And as I sit propped up on my bed, I am detachedly watching, well... more musing over the curious movie I am watching.
The Secret of Kells is a quiet movie, almost like an anime. There is much unsaid, and much to be seen. It is more a feast for the eyes than a well rounded course of script, plot, theme, etc. The plot is uncomplicated, but far from polished. It is about the nephew living with his uncle, the abbot of a monastery. He learns of a legendary manuscript that holds mythical powers of protection, that has not been finished being written. The priest that holds it in possession shows up at the monastery with the book after escaping the viking invaders. The nephew, Brendan, is curious of the book and develops a friendship with the priest, much to the chagrin of his uncle who does not support the mythical beliefs enshrined within the book. The priest needs special berries only to be found in the forest to make the ink to illustrate/continue writing the book with. Brendan ventures out for the first time on his own into the forest to find the berries. There in the forest, he meets a girl, Aisling, that appears to be a fairy child-like spirit of the forest who helps him find the berries. Brendan gathers some berries to take back, and learns to make the ink. As the months continue, he continues to venture into the forest and forms a friendship with Aisling. As the priest begins to let Brendan illustrate the book, Brendan begins to slack on his duties at the monastery.
I could easily go on and tell you the rest of the plot, as I have already basically lain out the entire first quarter of the film right there, but I won't. It isn't a terribly exciting, thrilling, or enthralling, or even an epic movie to watch. It isn't emersing at all. The soundtrack helps at moments with its Irish songs, but it remains unimpressive. It seems to fit the mood right now. I am sleepy and not very interested in watching this apart from the beautiful animated imagery and yet it seems the perfect thing to glance over at on this lulling afternoon.
I am somewhat disappointed it was not more of a film, but maybe on a stormy summer evening when I am no longer pregnant, or a hot evening when I want to stay inside and occupy myself with a film that doesn't require my full attention and I am able to laze about comfortably, I will put this on and see it in a different light. Maybe right now my mind is elsewhere and this movie really is more impressive, and it only my attention span that is lacking. Perhaps on some later day, I will put this film on and remember it as one of the last few evenings of my pregnancy. I'm sure that's what will happen. I'm sure I will remember it in that light. And on that note, my dear readers, I hope you had as peaceful of a day as I did, and if you didn't, well.. I hope you are able to find a peaceful moment here and there to ease the chaos of everyday life. God knows we all need a moment of peace now and then with assurance that.....it's o.k. I will allow you to define what "it" is that is o.k. God bless my friends and see you on the other side.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Eat Pray Love

Good mid-morning ladies and gentlemen. The weather forecasters were mistaken again; we did not receive the anticipated ten inches of snow, more like four or five inches fell overnight: maybe. That is a comfort. I am pondering with myself how to pass the time once again. Being indisposed and pretty much useless doesn't leave me much to keep myself occupied. For once I don't have to sludge my way through the snow to work. I can stay warm and safe inside and just admire the snow drifts from a distance. I would like to write about something. I like to think too much when given the chance, and now I think is the time I will allow myself a moment of self indulgence.
Around the same time I discovered I was pregnant, I had begun reading the novel Eat Pray Love. The movie hadn't been released yet, and I didn't so much read through it as I did devour it and (very much like a cow and it's multiple stomachs) regurgitate it and swallow it again, absorbing the words like a sponge; pouring over the pages numerous times as if they contained recipes or spells of a grimmerie that if I could just memorize them, I would have a written pathway of survival. I would stare at the newly released cover with Julia Roberts' photo on the front enjoying gelato on a park bench in Italy, and it was like looking at the person I had recently found inside myself, except.... I could feel her slipping away, as every day more and more things slipped out of my control. Every day that passed, every chapter I got through I sensed my own recent discovery of myself getting away; and I somehow thought that maybe... Just maybe if I could cling to Elizabeth Gilbert's words and story, I could somehow hold onto my own story as well.... That maybe everything that was tilting backwards and falling out of my control and back into a dark place I didn't recognize would be a nightmare I could pull myself out of... That it was just a dark well I had fallen into, but if I had a hold on a rope leading out, I wouldn't slip any further into the darkness. I finished reading it once through and began to read it again. I actually ear-marked certain passages to be able to find them easily again to look over them.
I had just spent the last year on a journey of my own like Ms. Gilbert's. I had found my eating habits, I had found prayer, and I had found love... The passage where she is in Bali, but refrains from sleeping with Felipe was exactly me. She goes to bed alone, and wakes up in the middle of the night and makes a pound of buttered potatoes and prayers to her body to accept it instead of sex. The potatoes don't satisfy her, but waking up, she is glad she remained absent. Liz punctuates that women now not only must become our own husbands, but we must also be our own fathers: watching out for our own safety and knowing when to send ourselves to bed alone. I had done almost that exact thing for five almost six months: constantly telling myself to go to bed alone: protecting myself from the emotional baggage of everything I didn't need. And suddenly, I was pregnant, and everything I thought I had learned was changing and questioning all I had been through. I couldn't eat normally, I was sick and vomiting on a regular basis. I had had faith in a higher power, and suddenly I was angry at myself, because if I really was following a higher power, how did I end up in this situation.... And love..... I had found it only to realize ..... I don't know. It wasn't unconditional?..... I don't know... Everything I thought I had learned went out the window in the space of a few months. And here I am now. I felt as if my self-discovering journey had passed me by and I had wasted my time.... I felt I hadn't learned anything... I felt like you only get that journey once, and I had screwed it up. Royally.
I went and saw the movie by myself when it was in theaters. It was something I didn't want to share with anyone. I wasn't even sure how I would feel about seeing it... How I would take to it. I didn't want to leave the cinema and have someone ask me how I enjoyed it and tell me what they took away from it. I just wanted to go and experience it for myself. I remember sitting in the relative center of the theater, my pregnant stomach was starting to show, I was just beginning to sit uncomfortably; I had smuggled in a bottle of water in my purse, and I sat with my untouched popcorn, afraid of eating and feeling sick half-way through the movie. I believe I posted on facebook I was at the theater, just as the lights were dimming.
Have you ever seen a movie that makes you feel like you are with someone you are as familiar with as you are with yourself?... It feels like watching a sister or a best friend? Have you ever seen a movie like that? That's how it felt. I wasn't surprised by any of the plot, it was like seeing someone's journal on the big screen. There were moments that certain lines I had read over without comprehension from the novel, stood out as the crowning jewels larger than life in front of me. I sat watching it like sitting with an old friend over the kitchen table, just enjoying the lazy morning. The scene she sits and enjoys her makeshift breakfast on the floor, reminded me of my makeshift meals at home; the moment she says we rise from our ruins, I cried in understanding; the moment her friend from Texas leaves her alone on the roof till she can forgive herself, I felt like I was finally exhaling after holding my breath for so long.
Seeing the movie, I realized there isn't one specific time in your life you go on a journey to discover yourself; life is that constant journey. It is the cycle over and over again. The journey I went on before pregnancy, was just one part: one chapter: one location of my life. Pregnancy was just another journey. After pregnancy I will have a whole other journey to discover food, prayer, and, yes, love once again. I have faith.
Every beginning has an end: and every end has a beginning; life is a progression, not a carousel if you live it right- always spiraling forward, never being afraid to make mistakes. There are no mistakes in this life- there is what you do, and what you don't do.