Heroes and Villains

Growing up we watched Wonderful World of Disney on Sunday nights.  We rarely went to the movies but I do remember seeing “Sleeping Beauty.”  I’m not sure if it’s one my parents or my Granny took us to the theater to see, but I do remember watching it.

Because I never wanted to see that movie again.

We had the album soundtrack too.  And I did not want to look at the back of the cover.  No way, no how.

That woman, that creature was the scariest thing I had ever seen.  She was the stuff nightmares are made of.  Terrifying.  And when she turned into the dragon and fought Prince Phillip?  Oh my land, cover my eyes and just know there’s no way I’m sleeping by myself then.

Scary.

So it’s interesting that today I was conflicted.  Part of me wanted to see the movie “Maleficent” and part of me wanted to run the other way and never look back.  Guess which one won?

It’s been out since May 30.  The way movie math goes these days, I am certain it’s going to be pulled from the main theater any day now.  Our discount theater is closing, so I figured this might be my last shot unless I wanted to wait for the DVD release.  The fascinated little girl in me did not.  As scared as I was of the evil fairy growing up, I had heard intriguing things about this movie, and I wanted to go.  Today.

So we did.

Y’all.

I loved it.

Every bit of it.

This is a movie about redemption.  About how hurting people (and fairies) hurt people.  It’s about revenge, regret, and loyalty.  About what greed can do to friendship and how love can protect and heal.  It’s about revenge, regret, loyalty, and faith.

Really good stuff.  There was even a bit of redemption for an actress I’ve loved to hate for years.  Imelda Staunton, with whom I spent some time last night as I watched her play the role of the much-hated Dolores Umbridge in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix.  Again.  Each time I watch her, I just get so angry.  She’s that good.  In Maleficent she was delightful as a spunky little fairy.  It was interesting that my feelings could change just that quickly.  The mark of a good actress?  Perhaps.

At the end of the movie, something was said about heroes and villains–and the truth is there is a little of both in each one of us.  It depends on which side we listen to and what actions we take that determine our fate.

If you have an opportunity to see this movie, it is a beautiful retelling of a much-loved fairytale.  Whether you hurry to the theater now or wait to watch it on DVD, I hope you’ll try to make time to see it.  No, I’m not getting paid to say that, but if someone were to send me a ticket or a copy of it when it is released on DVD, I could be okay with that.  😉 This movie ranks right up there with Drew Barrymore’s Ever After for its clever retelling of an old classic.  It was just that good.

Redemption.  Grace.  Love.  Hatred.  Greed.  Revenge.  Regret.  Love.

It’s all there.  The writers are to be commended.  What a story!  It all fit together in the context of the story we’ve all heard, and it made sense.

And you know what else?  There will be no more Malificent-inspired nightmares for me.  I know our own Princess loves her Anna and Elsa (from Frozen, for those of you who have somehow escaped the madness) but for me, I’ll take Maleficent.  A strong woman can admit when she’s wrong and then work to do something about it.  And I empathize with the pain Maleficent feels when she is robbed of something very dear to her.  Those tears…..that sobbing…..

And that’s all I’ll say about that.  I don’t want to spoil it for anyone.  If you’ve seen it, I’d love to hear your thoughts.  Thumbs up?  Loved it?  Fell asleep right after the previews? What did you think?  What moment was your favorite?  (These are the kinds of questions we heard in the go-mobile on the way home after the movie was over.)

Tonight I’m thankful for movies that entertain and make me think and feel.  I’m grateful for another reminder of this fact: we may think we know someone’s story, label them as evil or bad, and write them off.  But we don’t know.  There’s nearly almost always more to the story.  And when we take the time to listen to the stories of others, sometimes it becomes painfully obvious that all is not what we thought.  Many folks just need a shot at grace and redemption to rewrite their whole tale.

Love to all.

 

fairytales schmairytales…..a letter to all my young’uns

A picture by Gustave Doré of Mother Goose read...

A picture by Gustave Doré of Mother Goose reading written (literary) fairy tales (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

These thoughts are for my children, the ones I gave birth to and the ones I didn’t…..I love you all.  You give my life meaning, and I would do anything to keep you from being hurt.  And yet it still happens.  Don’t let it break you. More than anything, keep being your beautiful and giving selves.  The world needs you.  And so do I.  I’m so proud of who you are. 

Dear Ones,

Those fairy tales we told you,

the ones in the movies,

with the pretty dresses and beauty and rugged good looks

and weak and strong

and song

They are not real

There is no happy ending

guaranteed for any of us

There can be heartbreak with no one to make it better

There can be pain with no relief in sight

There can be getting lost with no breadcrumbs to lead you safely home

There are far more Maleficents and Ursulas

hags and witches and evil stepmothers

than there are fairy godmothers, mice who can sew, and

fairies who save their wishes for last to

reverse a curse, bless her

There are few Prince Charmings or genies or magic lamps

left to rescue you from the tower

or turn you back from a llama to whom you used to be

if that’s what you want

There are rarely happy, joyful, singing birds and dancing dogs

and fairytale wedding happy endings

Instead there is life, there is real, there is feeling it all–

the good and the sad and the joy and the hard

A transformation or rescue is not magical

or in an instant

It can take a long time

And it looks way different from a cloud of  glittering smoke and pixie dust

It looks like a long drive down the coast because of one phone call

Or a purse full of just what is needed at the moment,

A message or note or a hug from someone who cares,

A sister doing what is hard because she loves

It looks like a brother holding a sister and melding their tears and pain into one

It looks like a treasured Soul picking her way across the dirt and pebbled path of a cemetery

to show up

It looks like showing up

Love

looks like showing up

And sometimes it looks like you showing up for yourself

Sometimes that’s as good as it gets

and it turns out that is just whom you needed the most

When the words of others are thrown like darts straight at your heart, again and again and again

until you feel you can’t bear it anymore

There will be no charging steed or Chinese warrior to come and take them out

To make them pay for the pain they’ve caused

It is simply evil being evil and sometimes

there are no consequences for evil

and you are left to wonder why

The real magic comes when you let it go, walk away, and say no more to the darkness

turn toward the light

It is there

in the people who raised you, those who are here and those who are on the other side of the veil

watching, nodding, knowing

you are rising above all the pain and ugliness and above your own desires

to make.someone.pay

There is magic and beauty in the friends who love fiercely and stand beside you,

in front, and all around

to keep out the darkness and to protect and shield and comfort

In the end there is no The End

It is only the journey continuing through the days and nights and one day

you realize

you have found joy, a treasure, that your heart beats to a tune that is life-giving

and fills your soul even in the midst of trouble and hard and broken times

you hear laughter and you realize

it is bubbling up from inside you

In that moment of exhaling the very breath of life, laughter,

that heart-healing, soul-refreshing breath,

you realize that another moment is possible,

you can go on, and that maybe the key is you have to make you own joy and

leave behind the ones who would bring you down

with the poison apple of hatred and brokenness

Maybe that right there is the glass slipper in your life

just the right size, and it can change your life

for the better

My dear ones, there are no happy endings,

life can get messy

folks don’t always do like they should

but you can say no to the dark

and make your own joy

Never let the Evil blow out your light

the world needs it to see all the beauty and love you share

Fairytales, schmairytales

write your own story

and make it a good one

make it real…..

love to all, here if you need me, always

me