Thanks to You

Thank you for all the kind comments and e-mails in response to yesterday's post. They lifted my spirits and helped me remember I'm not alone; there's a great group of people back home -- and even elsewhere -- who are keeping up with my life in blog posts. It made me feel like you are more "with me" than you physically are. I appreciated knowing that.

Last night, the only thing that could do my heart any good was the new version of Pride & Prejudice. As I just relayed to my friend Jen in an e-mail, I didn't like this version when it first came out. For one, the Bennett family just brazenly annoyed me. (Yes, I know they were supposed to. But did her mom really have to whine so much? And did her sisters Lydia and Kitty really have to whine and fawn so much? It distracted me to the point of losing interest when I first saw it.) And for two, sometimes I really like Keira Knightly and sometimes I really don't. For instance, her hair. What's with her hair in that movie? It's cut almost like a blunt around her face, but longer in the back. I have no idea why they did this; nobody else's hair is cut this horrifically in the movie. And then there's the issue of her voice and smile; sometimes they seem so carefully put-on and fake in the movie, and the real Elizabeth Bennett would never give this impression!

But I've now watched this new version two more times and am beginning to change my mind. From a filmmaker's perspective, it's spectacularly done. (And I speak as a non-filmmaker here, in case you didn't know I have no experience with film. But that's obviously not going to stop me from giving you some of my opinions about it anyway.)

Watch the first full scene and you'll know what I mean about its being spectacular -- besides making clear the family's lower class distinction with all the ducks and pigs and airing laundry and kitchen messes, the scene opens with Eliza reading a book, showing she's not just stuck in the muck of poverty but is brainy and resourceful. When the family erupts in chaos about Mr. Bingley coming to town, Eliza simply turns around on the couch and watches her sisters go crazy in fuss, showing she, as a person, is more at a distance from their showy provocations. Finally, the scene closes by pulling to a full-frame view of their crowded house, flanked by the two majestic oak trees, just as the music comes to a close. This is a brilliant way to end the scene, for now you really can tell the director or editor or whoever makes this decision wanted you to feel like they were saying, "There. That's where she came from."

Anyway, I finished half of it last night and will finish the other half tonight. I wanted to read the book instead, especially since one of Kirk's congratulatory gifts to me for my new job was a leather-bound, gilt-edged copy of it, but my eyes were too tired and heavy from the past few days. The movie was just the trick to strike a happy medium, and my heart welled up at the watching of it. (Or, rather, sometimes the hearing of it, since when my eyes got too tired to stay trained on the screen I would just close my eyes and curl up on the courch and just listen to the music and conversations taking place.)

As of today, I'm feeling much better. It may have something to do with a good night's rest, or your prayers, or the movie, or even all the vitamins I've been popping. Whatever it is, I woke feeling much refreshed and ready to face the new day.

As a postscript, so many of you referenced Anne of Green Gables in your responses back to me because of my reference to wanting a "kindred spirit" that it may interest you to learn the following: Kirk is in the process of being inducted into Anne's world. I rented it from library a couple weekends ago (since I only own it on VHS and the library is more high-tech on this one than I am), and we've been making our way slowly through it ever since. So far, he's a keeper because he's keeping with it by his own volitional choice. Every once in a while, even, he'll look over at me and say, "I know why you like this movie." Or he'll start talking to the screen, which means it's really taken him in by that point. Or he'll reference something from it in a conversation later in the day. Last of all, he's taken to calling me "Christianne with an e." Isn't that amazing? I'm thrilled. It's important that the most valued people in our lives really "get" what makes us tick and what has helped us become who we are.