Friday, December 27, 2013

I Thought It Would Be Lighthearted

I pulled myself up and got out of the house and went to see a movie. This, for me, was approximately the equivalent of  being the first person to crawl to the top of Mt. Everest. I checked out the movie schedules and decided to go see "Saving Mr. Banks" because who doesn't love Mary Poppins? Who doesn't love Emma Thompson? Who doesn't love Tom Hanks? Who doesn't love Walt Dis....
Okay. Well. He was a big old friendly TV uncle when I was a kid who came on every Sunday night on his show, "The Wonderful World Of Disney," plus there was the beloved Mickey Mouse Club and also THE MOST MAGICAL PLACE ON EARTH- DISNEY LAND! which I knew I'd never ever get to go visit because it was in California and I was in Florida but then oh my god! He bought up half of Central Florida and built DISNEY WORLD and oh boy, oh boy, oh boy! until I realized that maybe Disney World wasn't such a bonus for Florida, not with sucking up wetlands and paving over swamps and orange groves, etc.
But I did have some good times there, at old Disney World, which was probably the second happiest place on earth. If you didn't go there in summer and if you had a lot of money to buy space burgers and Mickey Mouse ears and so forth.
Anyway, I decided to go see that movie and I was running late and damn if I didn't get stopped at a train crossing and also got behind a very slow moving vehicle and by the time I got to the theater and parked, it was like twenty minutes after showtime and I still had to buy my ticket AND my popcorn and Diet Coke because what's a movie without popcorn and a Diet Coke and when I got into Theater #7, the movie was still a few seconds from starting so that was awesome.

And you know, it was fine. Until I realized that mostly this movie was not just about an extremely snotty and possessive-about-her-story British broad and a kindly old Uncle Walt who'd promised his daughters that he would make a movie about their beloved Mary Poppins. Nah, that was just the icing on the cake and the cake was all about P.L. Travers' father who...wait for it!...had been an alcoholic who got fired from one bank job after another and whose mother was so beat-down and depressed that she was actually suicidal.

Uh. Yeah.

I kept thinking, "Hmmmm...child seeing drunken father drink and cry. Check! Child seeing mother try to cope with drunken father. Check! Child watching her world spin out of control. Check! Child believing drunken father's promises. Check!"

At least there was no sexual abuse although there was one scene with the little girl and her father on a horse...No. No. I'm just projecting, right?

So that was fun.

As I told a friend, it was so stupid that I barely cried.

It had its moments. Emma Thompson was terrific, of course and I can't help but love Tom Hanks. If that's wrong, sue me. I'd heard one reviewer complain slightly about the flashback format but that worked fine for me. I mean, in technical theory.

And since it was, in fact, a Disney movie, all was well that ended well and it ended well enough. My favorite part, truthfully, was during the running of the credits when they used a few moments of actual tape recordings of the actual P.L. Travers talking to her co-writers as they worked on the screen play. How "Mary Poppins" ever got made is beyond me.
I also liked the prop-placement of a map of Florida in Walt's office.

So anyway, I did that and then I went to the grocery store and now I'm home and the sun did not show its face all day long. I washed two rugs. I walked to the post office. I went to a movie and the grocery store. Sure doesn't seem like much, does it?

Elizabeth is doing a gratefulness thing right now and I feel ashamed because if she can do it, why shouldn't I be able to?
I'm sitting here trying to dredge up some gratefulness.

I'm grateful I have a fine car that can take me places. I'm grateful I have enough money to buy what I want within reason at the grocery store. I'm grateful that I finally remembered to buy soy sauce. I'm grateful that I got to see my beautiful daughter Lily at the store and that she walked me out to the car with my groceries and so I got to spend a few extra seconds with her. I'm grateful that I get to live in a house that I love surrounded by matriarch oaks. I'm grateful that the dead rodent smell is gone. I'm grateful that I have the most comfortable bed in the world and that I get to sleep in it every night. I'm grateful that I have the most wonderful family anyone could ever want and that each and every one of my kids is unique and funny and that we all get along splendidly and care for each other in very real and tangible ways. I'm grateful for my grandsons- their health, their intelligence, their beautiful sturdy bodies, their expressive and shining faces. I'm grateful for my husband who had no idea when he married me that I was even crazier than he thought I was and who continued and continues to love me and support me in every way possible and that I love him too and that we are growing old together and that our grandson tells me, "He is your sweetheart."
I am grateful for coffee and for dirt to grow things in and for my sweet funny sister-wife hens and their handsome husband Elvis who has never once been aggressive towards a human.
I am grateful for this planet I live on with its dirt and its oceans and rivers and lakes and trees and beasts, both great and small, its view of the stars and our very own moon, our very own sun.
I am grateful for music which our human bodies can dance to and which our human souls can be sustained by.

I am grateful for friends. Ones that I know in the meat world, as Rebecca says, and ones whom I know through this ether-world. They, you, sustain me.

I am grateful for my need to write it all out and for this place in which to do it. And for my son Hank because he made me start this blog.

All of that and more.

And yet, it's still hard sometimes. I listened to an interview with Pat Conroy today who is sixty-eight years old and who is still unable to escape the effects of the abuse he suffered as a child but who, like P.L. Travers did, has managed to make art of it.

It ain't easy being a human being but no one ever said it was.

We make of it what we will and what we can and now I'm going to go make some soup.

Yours truly...Ms. Moon


  1. My words are intransigent children today and won't do what I ask do I'll just say I love you and that was beautiful and difficult and true.

  2. I'd say you easily out-did me on the gratefulness quotient.

    And maybe I'll see that movie and maybe I won't. I sure am glad, though, that you got the popcorn, the Diet Coke and got out.

  3. Angella- I have those days too. Words become naughty little sonsabitches.
    But eventually, they calm down.
    I love you too.

    Elizabeth- But honey- you know- I'm a drama queen. And I just go on and on and on and....

  4. Dear Mary-

    You, I am grateful for you.

    XXX Beth

  5. I've been wanting to see that movie!
    Gratitude is a good thing. Right now, I'm grateful I have something to read in the middle of the night when I can't sleep. :/

  6. Amen. And I use this word way beyond its restrictive religious meaning.

  7. So Hank was behind you starting this blog? I had no idea! All gratitude and appreciation to Hank for planting that little seed.

    I'm kind of intrigued by this movie. Maybe I'll see it. Movies seem to come and go so fast and I always think, "Oh, maybe I'll see that," and then I don't go and it disappears and I am just SO behind.

  8. Gratitude is good every day--just for breathing.


Tell me, sweeties. Tell me what you think.