Last week saw brief stories from both Masha and Mr. Pond, the former being—I believe—actuality, and the latter, I suspect, fiction; each of them were startlingly lovely in their own ways.
|An unexpected little beauty.|
The first is the movie Life is Beautiful—one of the best movies ever made, in my opinion—and its main character, Guido Orefice. I am not much like Guido, but though I only saw the movie once, he was inspiration from beginning to end and beyond.
The second is the book There and Back, by George MacDonald, which I've only read once and much longer ago than I saw Life is Beautiful. The inspiration in that came mainly from the character of Barbara Wylder. I am not much like her, either, but she has affected the way I look at life for as long as I can remember:
"She seemed to regard every one as of her own family. People were her property—hers to love! And her brain was as active as her heart, and constantly with it. She wanted to know what people thought and felt and imagined; what everything was; how a thing was done, and how it ought to be done. She seemed to understand what the animals were thinking, and what the flowers were feeling. She had from infancy spent the greater part of her life, both night and day, in the open air; and, having no companion, had sought the acquaintance of every live thing she saw.... She knew most of the stars, not by their astronomical names indeed, but by names she had herself given them. She had tales of her own, fashioned in part from the wild myths of the aborigines, to account for the special relations of such as made a group. She would weave the travels of the planets into the steady history of the motionless stars. Waning and waxing moons had a special and strange influence upon her. She would dart out of doors the moment she saw the new moon, and give a wild cry of joy if the old moon was in her arms. Any moon in a gusty night, with a scud of torn clouds, would wake in her an ecstasy."
I sleep with heavy dark curtains over the windows now, for the sake of rest and health, but it drives me a little crazy. Because I still rather feel that way about the moon.