Button Sunday

My mind is far away today, in Florida, and it’s hard to focus on anything good. These are exactly the days we should, I guess.

I received the movie Maleficent I think for Christmas of 2014, but it was packed away until Tom and I began sorting through some bins that were never unpacked after our move. We found a lot of DVDs I’d been looking for or had forgotten about, including this movie. Some of us had a movie night at Houndstooth Hall Saturday, and I was finally able to see it. I loved this retelling and think Angelina Jolie was a superb Maleficent (my favorite Disney villain). The Moors have been a good place for my mind to escape to today–an enchanted forest whose inhabitants live peacefully together.

It also gives me a chance to revisit a couple of old posts, from 2007 and 2012, about my Maleficent Moleskine. Marika, it’s finally full after all these years, packed with more memories and mementos than you could imagine. This picture does its thickness no justice, really.

But thanks to your cards, it ends as it began: with this character who must, must be an Aries. Those horns. That attitude. That fiery rage regretted later. Total Ram.

It may seem strange to begin a post with a Disney movie and end it with William Faulkner, but the word that came to me as I watched the movie’s depiction of Maleficent was “prevail.” I sometimes reread Faulkner’s 1950 Nobel Price acceptance speech; today was one of the days I needed it. Here’s an excerpt.

I decline to accept the end of man. It is easy enough to say that man is immortal because he will endure: that when the last ding-dong of doom has clanged and faded from the last worthless rock hanging tideless in the last red and dying evening, that even then there will still be one more sound: that of his puny inexhaustible voice, still talking. I refuse to accept this. I believe that man will not merely endure: he will prevail. He is immortal, not because he alone among creatures has an inexhaustible voice, but because he has a soul, a spirit capable of compassion and sacrifice and endurance. The poet’s, the writer’s, duty is to write about these things. It is his privilege to help man endure by lifting his heart, by reminding him of the courage and honor and hope and pride and compassion and pity and sacrifice which have been the glory of his past. The poet’s voice need not merely be the record of man, it can be one of the props, the pillars to help him endure and prevail.

Button Sunday

This post has been a while coming, though I can never write all the things I want to about Prince. For me to have bought anything on vinyl in the early to mid-1980s was rare because I was on such a tight budget. Buying music would seriously have been a choice not to buy food. Also, the water leak disaster in one of my college-years houses that left most of my albums unplayable meant I got rid of a lot of them. But I could never have let go of Purple Rain. I have it on CD now, but holding the album in my hands evokes so many memories of all the stereos and apartments and cities where I listened to it and the people who listened to it with me.

I feel fortunate to have lived and been young (and old) and a person who danced and sang along in a time when someone as gifted and unique as Prince was creating music. Not just the music he recorded, but all of his songs that other people covered. I don’t remember the first song I heard Prince sing or saw him perform, but I do have another of those “I remember the first time I heard it” stories.

When I was assistant managing a bookstore, one of our employees was a high school student who worked there afternoons and weekends. She kept telling me about her current music obsession, Sinéad O’Connor. I had no idea who that was; I hadn’t heard any of her music, but Alison was always quoting her lyrics to me. One night I was sitting in Pizza Hut–the place where Tom, Lynne, and I often took Jess and his friends when they were growing boys because of the all-you-can-eat pizza buffet–when a song came on the jukebox. I was mesmerized, something clicked, and I thought, That has to be the singer Alison’s always talking about. And that song is amazing.

It was, of course, “Nothing Compares 2 U,” and although Prince didn’t write it for O’Connor, as some people say, she certainly rode it into the stratosphere on her ascent to stardom. I doubt I knew it was a Prince song when I bought her CD I Do Not Want What I Haven’t Got, I just knew it was a great song.

I also feel fortunate that I live in the days of being able to fall down an Internet hole of online music and video whenever I want to hear or watch a legend like Prince. Nothing compares to him, and I’m sorry for all the unwritten, unrecorded music we’ll never get to hear, but so grateful for the music we have.

Button Sunday

I was browsing Gilmore Girls buttons and was disappointed not only by how many people can’t spell Connecticut, but that they’d put their misspellings on products they sell. Misspelling is not the Rory Gilmore way. Then again, I haven’t seen the entire series, so maybe there’s an entire episode devoted to Taylor Doose finding an arcane document in which that second “c” is not supposed to be there. Something to discuss at the Town Hall meeting.