Saturday, May 30, 2009

Turning a Calendar Page

I'm flipping the calendar over to June tonight. I feel in a way as though I am turning over so much more than that page. I am turning my back on the endless winter, last fall when the dying light sent me slowly but surely into depression, and this spring that seemed to drag out forever. All of that has closed; I need never go back there again.

Lately I keep having visions of myself in a rocking chair, by a window full of light and my body fallen down all around me in pieces, wearing all the injuries of age. At that point, the body becomes like an anchor, something that one carefully and cautiously arranges. Getting in to and out of bed is a long, slow and deliberate process.

For whatever reason I have been thinking of myself at this age, perhaps because I have worked with the elderly for so long, perhaps because I have become so aware of the passing of time this year, or perhaps because I am over thirty.

I am not afraid of growing old, which amazes me. I should be; I have seen up close what it does to a person. But I think by that time I will no longer care very much. I'll be caught up in an absorbing inner life. I will be invested in the patient work of putting a life to rest, going through piece by piece. I hope I will forgive myself grievances long harbored. I hope I will have wisdom I can only guess at now.

I don't know where Keith will be; if he will be with me in person or just in thought. Until I met Keith, I figured that I simply had a nature that would always be ready to fall in love again, should the current love end by death or disaster.

I had myself almost convinced that it was old fashioned and unhealthy to wish to love a man into the hereafter, to wait for him if he passed on ahead. But it wasn't my nature, and it isn't either bad or good; I just hadn't met Keith yet.

I recently purchased some curtains for the kitchen and sent Keith an e-mail with some pictures and detailed how much money I had spent on them and other little projects I had been working on. This is the response I got back (edited some for content):

"Holy crap, Kitten, that looks amazing!!! I am so proud of you!!! I always wanted something there by the window but could never figure out what would look good. You did a perfect job, and for so cheap.

"Thank you for the pictures of the garage and the HD. It is refreshing to see them again, and the grass looks better than I ever had it! My honey is working so hard!!! I love you!! I am a very lucky man! I feel like I won a prize!!!!! I win everything!!!!! You are such a great woman, I can't stop dreaming about coming home to you. I love you."

(E-mails like this illustrate perfectly why he is referred to as the beloved tempest...)

If I look back at this point in my life, I will remember this deepening feeling of relief. I keep thinking of that little known ending to the fairy tale, "The Frog King." In it, the frog king has a good and loyal servant named Faithful Heinrich. When his king was turned into a frog, poor Heinrich had iron bands fastened around his heart to keep it from breaking.

When his king was restored to him and he was riding behind the coach that held the happy couple, his heart began to swell with such joy that the iron bands to break. This caused the king some anxiety. Faithful Heinrich had to reassure him each time that the sharp cracks were not the coach breaking, but Heinrich's heart bursting free of its iron constraints.

Which reminds me. I've been watching a great deal of Disney movies, as Keith has sent me a huge packet of them. Some of the films were enchanting. "Bedknobs and Broomsticks," for example, with that catchy melody, "Bobbing along, bobbing along on the bottom of the beautiful, briny sea..."

I enjoyed watching that immensely. That and "The Secret of Nymh." What a beautiful film that is. It made me cry, though when I watched it as a child it seemed much longer.

However, what gives with the Little Mermaid? Was she eviscerated? Does she not have two kidneys, a spleen, lower intestines? Or does she not need any of those internal organs because she imbibes predigested food?

I would not mind her bizarre and unnatural waist line so much if Disney had not taken the heart right out of the fairy tale. I believe the gripping part of the fairy tale was not just that the little mermaid gave up the sea, but that she accepted excruciating pain with each step she took on her unnatural legs. Even so, she danced for her prince. Even so, he didn't chose her. She turned into sea foam.

"Dear God!" I hear the collective gasp across suburbia. "Not a happy ending??" Little girls of about three or four are forbidden ever to hear that. There must be a happy ending, there must be scalloped sea shells adoring snotty red haired mermaids who ignore their father and attempt to comb their hair with a fork because above all, the cartoon must be humorous.

It is not generally accepted that to risk all and lose, to resist the easy way out, or that to end up a spirit in the air and not a Princess with a crown might actually be a happy ending. It might be, but it won't sell cheap plastic toys and dust ruffles.

And Heracles? Why even talk about this one, it must have been the point to so distort and destroy the original tale that the very distortion became entertainment. I just sat there, stunned, confused and deeply irritated while watching it. They couldn't have shown the real tale, there is too much cruelty, too much horror and murder. There is also redemption and heroism, but altogether, it's not for children.

There are beautiful animated films out there, Hayao Miyazaki has made many of them. His films are full of all the dark and human truth of the Brothers Grimm, with real magic and courage and passion. And they are beautiful and haunting to watch.

There. That rant was a long time coming. Now I am officially a snob who will be shown her place when her three year old daughter won't eat her dinner unless it's served to her on a garish plastic plate with Ariel enshrined therein.

What a fate that would be. Speaking of fate, the moths are still with me. But I have figured out that they are Miller Moths or Army cutworms. (Yes. I have military moths surrounding me. I have noted the irony.) They are migrating moths, on their way higher up into the Rockies, after being spawned in the Eastern planes. They will die in a few days and the migration lasts into June.

Somehow knowing more about it makes me feel better. Still, freak outs are the order of the hour around here. The dogs have no idea what to do with me.

3 comments:

Mrs. G.I Joe said...

That was such a sweet email your husband sent:)

New Girl on Post said...

Ok..how sweet is it that he calls you kitten? I love that!

KJ said...

I recently watched The Little Mermaid with some college friends and was pretty irritated and disgusted with it as well :)