Saturday, 15 September 2012

04. A Stumble Down Memory Lane

For nostalgia’s sake, my oldest child and I watched a movie I adored in my teens. Cue awesome 80’s music, some wild hairstyles, severe ocular pain thanks to the fashion of the day and the smiling face of one of my all-time crushes. (Two really, but one actor was playing the bad guy and he wasn’t his usual handsome self.) Sounds blissful, doesn’t it?

I don’t remember the movie being that – well, bad. The story line was cheesy, the dialogue cringe worthy at times and I just couldn’t recapture the magic I was so certain existed. The look on my daughter’s face spoke volumes as she gazed at me. While not quite game to voice her objections, I could tell she thought I’d taken a one way trip to Loonyville. And a first class ticket at that.

Movies - the ones that left you with the sensation of loss and even in tears because it’s (a) over (b) not real (c) made you long to be one of the characters and in my case (d) wishing you’d written it are always going to be on my ‘must see again’ list. No matter how much I enjoy a movie though, I find they are rarely better than the sensation of losing one’s self in a book.

My failure at passing on the nostalgia of this particular movie didn’t repeat itself in the handing down of a book. The Narnia Chronicles for example, have found a home on my daughter’s bookshelf. Indeed, she has several titles that I treasured in my youth. When I have time, I reread them. In an instant, I find myself transported to that particular world of magic, suspended disbelief and the longing for it to be real, just as I did when I was her age.

So much of that magic has stayed with me when it comes to books. There are novels in my collection now that I greet as old friends. How easy it is to slip between the pages and allow them to transport me into their reality with never a doubt that I might be disappointed or that my memory is playing tricks on me. A few movies rekindle that passion for me but as much as I enjoy them, a movie will never replace a book in my heart.

Oh, and that youthful crush – I saw him in a mini-series a couple of years ago. I waited patiently for that old magic to hit me. His character was mature, serious and unflappable, the complete opposite from the movie in which I’d seen him. All of a sudden, he smiled, and I fell hopelessly in love with him all over again. One day there’s going to be a character in one of my books with a smile just like that. :)

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