Friday, August 24, 2012

Snow White and the Hunstman

As a birthday present one of my best friends took me out to the movies to the see "Snow White and Huntsman". We were actually lured into watching the movie because of the beautiful video "Breath of life" by Florence and the Machine, and it's sombre yet magical poetics. 

Fairy tales are magical. I felt instinctively that I would like this adaptation, and I did (even if it's perhaps nothing more than a Hollywood fantasy with a slight English touch). What struck me  was the feminist portrait of the two women: Snow White and the Queen. So let me a bit sentimental and ponder about them...

We usually see the two characters through the two archetypes: the  innocent maiden and the evil queen. But in this story we learn where the Queen's obsessions come from. She is not all but evil, she is also torn by pain and by the messages that her own mother and the society gave her about beauty. She has all the power in the world, but she does not feel safe. Perhaps it would be a little exaggerated to say that she is a metaphor of a woman with inner insecurities, who relies on the outer world to tell her she is of value, but don't we all sometimes wish for a magic mirror to reassure us?

Snow White is portrayed as a young woman finding her identity. She has to grow up, face her fears and uncertainties. When she runs away from the prison cell where she grew up, confined and in the darkness, yet separated physically of all the horrors of the queen's reign,  to the dark forest, she finds out that freedom has a high price. That she will have to keep on finding courage on and on again. She also faces guilt because people close to her get hurt and die.  In a powerful scene of the final confrontation with the queen, the queen questions her. How does she feel leading all those people to an unknown fate? Will she be able to stab the queen and kill her? 

The thread of the love story is shown very subtly. The hunter is not a perfect prince, rather a broken down man, who needs to be inspired and reawakened by a woman to find his nobleness and bravery.  Even the kiss that wakes her up, is a kiss of desperation, asking for forgiveness that he failed. 

When Snow White stands as the queen on her regained throne, she exchanges a look with the hunter. That is all, but it expresses their understanding, that things are as they should be. He is at her side, but it was her  that led the crowd to victory. 

Thursday, August 23, 2012

August break -culinary delights

Joining other bloggers in the August Break fun of sharing those lovely  little summer moments.

                                                          Tastes of  August


Tuesday, August 7, 2012

What is saving my life right now

There are two things saving my life right now, in the midst of this  summer when a part of me just wants to be on vacation, when I am figuring plans for next year, when things haven't slowed down just because it's summer
Gratitude.  Kind and tender words. 

Gratitude has become a practice for me. I learned this from Ike Lasater, my NVC mediation teacher. It happens usually when I go for my walk, sometimes I sit on a swing in our garden, but sometimes I simply catch a moment on the metro. I recall all the things I am grateful for, that somebody did for me said to me or that I did for myself or for others. Sometimes these are the things that happen without anybody's influence, like the blue sky. I am always amazed how naturally a wave of joy sweeps over me and I suddenly see all the good things in the day. There is no forced  biting the tongue of complaints. Things may still be turbulent and hectic, but I find the pieces that do makes sense. These are the kind words to myself. 

And then there are the tender words that I hear from others. They come unexpected, sometimes it's an e-mail, sometimes a call, sometimes in person. "I am happy to hear your voice", "I understand", "What you said or did the other day was helpful". "I enjoyed your cooking". Sometimes it's just as simple as that. I find myself instinctively waiting for them, I think we all do. It gives hope that what we try to do or be matters. And even if I spend the whole day in front the computer when I hear these things I know I am not alone. 

In writing this post I am joining the invitation of Sarah Bessey  who  was inspired by the question from Barbara Brown Taylor’s book “Leaving Church". I haven't read the book yet, but that one question makes it worth it to be on my reading list.