Saturday, November 06, 2004
Gagh. The next three weeks are going to be a frelling nightmare. We actually start packing today — not for Fiddler's Green, but for the move. We take possession on November 16th, two days after we return from the trip. We have to be out of here by December 1st. I've put almost all my work on hold for the duration, but once we're into the new place the office has to become functional again immediately. If I write like a maniac all through December, I might can make up for this.
We did manage to read through most of the prologue for Daughter of Hounds yesterday. I'm becoming more given to rewriting than I used to be. This started with The Dry Salvages, I think, which was polished and polished and polished. It's already begun with the prologue. Reading it yesterday, it was good, but so far from what had been in my head, what I'd wanted to say, what I've wanted to convey. That's one of the worst frustrations for me, the limitations of language. At least, the limitations of language in my hands. For comfort, I have only that hoary old bit from Robert Browning, quoted until the edges are frayed — "A man's reach should exceed his grasp; else what's a heaven for?"
Now, if only I believed in any sort of an afterlife...
But I appreciate the sentiment, nonetheless. If I ever "did it," got it absolutely, perfectly correct, I might feel that fleeting satisfaction that other artists speak of but which has always eluded me, but what would be the point in ever writing anything else? I would have "done it," after all, and I loathe repetitive tasks. My failures and imperfections keep me writing. As a propulsive force, flaws are far more inportant to art than any dream of perfection.
Last night's nuit des enfantes (feel free to correct my French) was damn near perfect. First, I made cheeseburgers. After dinner, we watched Shrek 2, which wasn't quite as good as the original, but was much, much better than I'd expected. Antonio Banderas (swoon) stole the show. But here what gets me. This film was gigantically popular with both children and adults alike, this film which is, essentially, an allegory for gay or interacial marriage, a film whose central message is that we should be ourselves and love ourselves and others for who we/they are and not try to change ourselves and/or others to fit traditional images of beauty and propriety. It's not the ogres and talking donkeys and cross-dressing wolves you have to fear, it's the villagers with torches and pitch forks, the primping Prince Charmings, the cheesy, bottled lure of Glamor (not to be confused with glamour) and miracle make-overs. And yet, despite the enormous popularity of this film in America, we just passed eleven constitutional amemdments in eleven states banning gay marraige? I know this contradiction is self-evident. It must be. It's like Orwell's 1984 being a hit in Soviet Russia. Right? Or did all those people see a different film than Spooky and I saw? Did they see only fart jokes and riffs on fairy tales? Are humans really that dense?
The second feature this week was The Dark Crystal, which I'd not seen since its 1982 theatrical release. I'd truly forgotten what a joy this film was. And I was entirely unaware how much of The Dark Crystal seems to have been reworked for and assimilated by Farscape. The DVD is very cool, with a long Skekses/Mystics funeral scene from the working print that was cut for release and lots of other extras. Twenty-two years on, this film is holding up very well (gods, I'm old).
Today...well, it's best not to think too much about today. It shall be long. What more needs to be said. I leave you with this photo, taken just before my hair went black again, which Spooky insists is "super cute." Um...yeah. I think she just wants to prove to the whole frelling world that I can smile. Of course, I'm not really smiling; I'm grimacing. Those are my spidery Halloween pj bottoms, by the way.