You are currently browsing the daily archive for December 8, 2010.

I watched “Sunset Boulevard” tonight.  Familiar with it?  William Holden?  Gloria Swanson? 1950? Black and white?  Yes? No?  It was on the Bonnet Channel tonight. 

I remember the first time I saw it.  I was in New York City staying at my usual hotel at 34th and Lex.  I saw it after a long day of meetings and I was enthralled.  It was one of those films that I’d heard about from my Mother since childhood – the line “I’m ready for my close-up” was commonly heard around our house.  It just took on a whole new significance when I finally saw the film.

Viewing it tonight, it took on a different quality for me.  Perhaps that’s the mark of a good movie – it can somehow match its message to your mood, as if it holds some universal hidden code that is only revealed to you piece by piece when you’re ready for it.

Tonight, I was caught up with the madness of the character of Norma Desmond.  Her obsession with staying young, with staying the star, with ensuring that her public still noticed her, with her devotion to living in the past and with her frantic desperation of staying in control of William Holden, her insanity around her “love” for him.  It was a brilliant portrayal by Gloria Swanson – even if she perhaps did ham it up a bit in spots.  I was so entranced by her and the message of madness that I paid very little attention to William Holden’s character, which is surprising as he has become one of my more favorite actors from the ’50s.

If you’ve seen the film, you know how it ends.  In fact, if you’ve seen the beginning of the film, you probably know how it ends.  But if you haven’t seen it, I won’t spoil it for you – as long as you promise to watch it.  (Go.  Go on!)  It’s a worthwhile way to spend a chilly evening, and as our world spins crazily around these days, it’s a voyeuristic view inside the mind of a madwoman.

And heaven knows there are too many of those roaming loose these days.

Today’s guest poet  —  Sara Teasdale

Two Minds

Your mind and mine are such great lovers they
Have freed themselves from cautious human clay,
And on wild clouds of thought, naked together
They ride above us in exteme delight:
We see them, we look up with a lone envy
And watch them in their zone of crystal weather
That changes not for winter or the night.

This is a re-post of something I wrote last year, but since I can’t sleep tonight, I think it bears repeating.


(From April 2009)

What was JK Rowling channeling when she brought to life the dementors, beings that suck the joy from others, leaving them hopeless and bereft of soul?  She must have had her own private experience of such a person to create that image and to make it resonate with so many people.

When I did a search on WordPress for the term “dementor”, I came up with a few blogs that supported my theory that there are personal dementors out there in this world.  Someone, some living, breathing being who is capable of taking the wind out of your sails and stomping on your dreams through their words and feelings.  It is sad.  It is sad that these people are the way they are.  It is sad that we give them so much power over us.  But compassionate people feel for people who hate – that’s where we wind up giving away our power, and letting ourselves be ground down by that hatred – we want to help and we don’t want to BE LIKE THEM.  We don’t want ANYONE to be like them.  Those personal dementors have somehow let their happiness evolve into something bad and painful, and good people do not want to see that happen to anyone.

Compassion aside, I cannot fall victim to it.  I can’t summon a Patronus in my own defense.  (Though I may eat a bit of chocolate to help myself feel better after an “encounter”.)  I cannot sacrifice myself or those I love to feed the dull, yet gleeful, hatred that these personal dementors try to indulge.  I cannot permit rampant, insane, spiteful manipulation of my future.  I will not.

So perhaps I WILL figure out how to perform my own Patronus charm, taking a memory that makes me extremely happy and focusing that positive power out into the universe to combat this sense of vicious evil that my personal dementor emanates.

Time to go to bed and work on it.

December 2010
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