Thursday, April 15, 2010

The stuff we are made of

There are so many influences that touch our lives. So many things that we investigate that, in the end, leaves us forever changed. Events, books, people movies. For our time, movies especially influence us. I would say that I have two movies that go the next step... they define me.

The first one is a really lovely animated feature called "The Man Who Planted Trees". Mac loves this one! It's a story of a man who day after day, in the framework of his simple life, plants nuts/seeds for trees. In his quiet way he brings back to life an expansive area, which he believed, " was dying for lack of trees" I'm finding it very hard to describe, so I will just urge you to see the movie or read the story. Mr Jean Giono was the author and he believed in the truth of the story so much that he just wanted it out there and available to people. It is a free download on the internet. The book and movie, of course, are copy written but the story alone, the meat of the matter, is free. This story is one reason why we are here on this land. I look out over our woods of dying elm and hedge and scrub trees. It is in need of a cleansing fire, but I am afraid of that. The dead so outnumbers the living that there would be nothing left. So, I go down and make small fires and burn brush and create space for healthier and more diverse undergrowth. I plant acorns when I can get them. Food bearing shrubs will be arriving soon as well as more tree starts. I have gotten sugar maples this time, and I hope that I can keep the deer off of them. It can be hard to effect change when you have deer, but I would like to believe that I am making some difference. I want, maybe I should say, I NEED to make this a better world.

The second movie is "Strictly Ballroom". Mac really doesn't like it. It is a little Aussie cult classic about "dancing your own steps" with the recurring admonishment to not be a "gutless wonder". There are also undertones of being real in a world that is composed of glitter. If Jean Giono is what fleshes out one of my dreams then this would be the movie that gives me the backbone to keep at it. This isn't a movie that you will straddle the fence on. You will either love it or hate it. I love it!

So, if you know my movies, to some extent you will know me. They have been around awhile. You won't be hearing Ebert doing any reviews of these. You will have to just find them and watch them. Maybe they will do something for you too..... or maybe I am just really, really odd. That's a possibility too. But I have to say, that these movies always, ALWAYS make me feel so much better! And there are days when a person needs to feel better. So, stand tall, look your partner in the eye and DANCE!


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