Saturday, November 3, 2007
Quality work lasts. A long time. I remember being at an exhibit showing jewelry that was found in the pyramids in Egypt. Thousands of years old. It was beautiful. I'd wear it now. Good jewelry lasts.
Good writing transcends generations and finds a place in our hearts and minds. It uses new ideas but draws on our collective unconscious. My thoughts are starting to wander in a few different places here, but I promise that I won't lead you down the wrong road. Just a yellow brick one.
I think Jerry Seinfeld did this with his television show. Just about anything that comes up in my life, I can always relate it back to his show. And it's not just me. Many of us do it. This kind of exceptional writing requires an exquisite and unusual understanding of the human soul and psyche. I'm really looking forward to seeing Bee Movie. Seinfeld's writing grabs onto something that we can all identify with. I don't know how he does it. But he did it. Like Nike said.
L. Frank Baum did it when he wrote The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. He created characters and a story that is so powerful that it's been transformed and reborn over generations. Most of us, at least in the United States, have not read the book, but have seen the movie since we were children. I remember being so afraid the first time that I saw Dorothy, Toto, the Lion, Scarecrow, and Tinman walking down the long hallway to see the Wizard. I was so scared! What a relief to see that my fear was for no reason at all. Such a good lesson for a child.
There are so many lessons to learn from the story and I see something different everytime I watch the movie. Plus the songs are incredible. Somewhere Over The Rainbow. Need I say more? Who hasn't dreamed a thousand dreams when hearing that song? What little girl didn't dream of ruby slippers?
All of this is to say that The Wizard of Oz continues to have a huge impact on me to this day and you'll notice it peppered in my writing here and there. And last night I finally saw WICKED! Finally!
My mother and I had been talking for years about seeing WICKED and it just never came together. My mom has been through a lot this year and her vision has been deteriorating. For us to go to this show together started to mean everything to me. I'm so glad I didn't put it off any longer, because nothing is guaranteed. The older that I get, the more I feel that everyday that I have with family and friends is a gift that I want to savor now.
Both of us read the book years ago and loved it. We knew the basic story, but were fuzzy on some of the details. I also have the book Son of a Witch, that I plan on reading soon. What a masterful job Gregory Maguire did writing WICKED. It's amazing what a different point of view makes in a story. And it makes us think about how many things in life might not be what we initially thought if we can change our perspective.
Also, I'm always curious about how people get to be the person that we end up knowing about, because of what they accomplished. Right now I'm reading, A Clearing In The Distance, by Witold Rybczynski. I'll post about it when I finish. I'm on page 150 and the book is 422 pages, so it's taking a while. The book is about the life of Frederick Law Olmstead, the man who literally changed the landscape of America. He designed urban parks all over the country including Central Park in New York. The book is fascinating, but I still haven't gotten to part where he becomes HIM yet. However, I can see how all these seemingly disparate experiences in his life will come together to make him who he will become.
WICKED is similar, because we see how Elphaba becomes the Wicked Witch of the West. We feel for her. Depending upon how you look at the circumstances, she's really not bad, things just don't turned out as planned. In a very big way. We see how she gets her flying broom, her hat, her cape and learn why she's green. And we all know that it's not easy being green. Not that there's anything wrong with that.
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