Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Literature, film and memories


It isn't yet on the bedside table, but it's on the list.  Honestly?  I'd read it just because I feel a certain kinship with the title, but it was also reviewed (well) on NPR this week, and it, and her previous work, both sound worthy of a little eye strain.  I'm not actively reading anything at the moment (other than a back issue of Urban Farming and Cooks Magazine) so it's time.

I'm clearly stewing in nostalgia at the moment, and while I'm not sure what that's all about, it is enjoyable, in a relaxing and an almost devil-may-care sort of way that I'm not sure I can verbalize.

I saw an interesting movie last week.  The Tree of Life, by Terrence Malick.    ttp://www.foxsearchlight.com/thetreeoflife/
This isn't a film I would have gone to solo, but my daughter took me and, as it turns out, was able to explain the film to me afterwards which was helpful.  It was interesting and there were moments that evoked a serious emotional response from me, but I can't say why, necessarily, and I wouldn't describe it as enjoyable, but it was interesting and both hard and wonderful to watch.

Memories are funny things.  My childhood is like slides viewed on a carousel, clicking from one fuzzy image to the next, separated by darkness and yet still connected in some sort of continuity.  Scenes in this movie were like that and they brought to the surface a number of images that I'd not remembered for some time.  The memories that stick usually do so because of some visual or emotional shock that accompanies them.  Images of either great sadness or happiness.  My father standing on the dock holding my brother by both hands and swinging him out over the edge of the water.  My grandmother dropping an entire stack of plates at a dinner party.  Raking leaves with my grandfather on a visit to their house in Chicago, and my fascination with acorns, which I'd never seen before.  My father washing spilled Prell shampoo out of the contents of the suitcase my mother had taken to the hospital with her when she had my brother.  I can still even conjure up that smell. 

I admire people who can connect their memories into a book or a movie.  For me, they're all just sitting in dusty boxes somewhere, and I'm afraid sometimes that by the time I have the space in my life to pull them all out again and go through them, I'll no longer have the capacity to put them in any sort of order. 

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