Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Here I Go Again

I write from Provincetown, Massachusetts. The last time I went on a real vacation was five years ago, and the last time I went on one for more than four days was six years ago. I'm here for a week and a half with D.

I don't know for sure that this blogging revival will take, but I'm trying to get back to myself after months away. Mom and Dad are now both in an excellent assisted-living facility and being well cared for (including by their four children). The last six months have seen big changes in my family, which are still ongoing and about which it's hard to know when I'll find the words.

Maybe some will come to me later. Meanwhile . . .


I saw Mamma Mia! last night at a drive-in theater on Cape Cod -- the first time I've ever been to a drive-in. The movie is pretty dreadful, mostly because it could have been so much better in the hands of an actual film director. The other problem is that everyone, including Meryl Streep, is at least ten to fifteen years too old for his or her part. (Nearly sixty, Streep plays a woman who became pregnant out of wedlock twenty years ago, which would mean in her late thirties -- not as big a deal even then as the movie would seem to make it out to be.) Then there's the fact that most of them -- with the exception of Meryl Streep and Christine Baranski -- can't sing.

Last night as I lay in bed, I came up with an alternate cast -- all people closer to believable ages for the characters and all with musical experience. (The two younger castmembers, the bride- and groom-to-be, were unobjectionable if unmemorable, so I didn't bother with them.)

Meryl Streep --> Sarah Jessica Parker
Christine Baranski --> Bebe Neuwirth
Julie Walters --> Tracey Ullman
Pierce Brosnan --> Harry Connick Jr.
Colin Firth --> David Hyde Pierce
Stellan Skarsgard --> Ewan McGregor (a little young, perhaps, but way more charismatic than that lump)


Here's one of the many reasons I love Anne Lamott (a real-life woman who got pregnant "out of wedlock"; her well-loved son is now about seventeen). I just finished her book Grace (Eventually): Thoughts on Faith (about as good as the first book in her faith trilogy, better than the second).

"Let me say that not one part of me thinks you need to have children to be complete, to know parts of yourself that cannot be known any other way. People with children like to think this, although if you are not a parent, they hide it* -- their belief that having a child legitimizes them somehow, validates their psychic parking tickets. They tell pregnant women and couples and one another that those who have chosen not to breed can never know what real love is, what selflessness really means. They like to say that having a child taught them about authenticity.

"This is a total crock. Many of the most shut-down, narcissistic, selfish people on earth have children. Many of the most evolved -- the richest in spirit, the most giving -- choose not to. The exact same chances for awakening, for personal restoration and connection, exist for breeders and nonbreeders alike."

* Actually, I would say they don't always hide it so well.


Blogger diablo said...

welcome back!

i have yet to read any of lamott's books on faith. i loved bird by bird, and i'm not a writer, so i may venture into faith yet.

it sounds like ptown is a needed escape for you. enjoy. those times always go too fast.

8:52 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

So very glad to see you back in the blogosphere. -- dpv

9:36 PM  

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