Moments of escape can be moments of clarity!

"Oh, had I but followed the Arts"-William Shakespeare

Sunday, January 27, 2013

A Sweet & Painful Passion

This Week's Reel is "Like Water For Chocolate" which is based on a novel by Laura Esquivel. I'm sure many people have seen this film, but for me it's a first. The title comes from a Mexican saying. Sometimes in Mexico they make hot chocolate from water. They bring it to a rolling boil, then add the chocolate. A person who is in a state of passion or sexual excitement is said to be "Like Water For Chocolate".
"Like Water for Chocolate" was a sensual fable, full of yearning. It begins in Mexico in 1895.
Tita (Lumi Cavazos) comes into the world amid the tragedy of her father's death. The third daughter & the youngest, she is saddled with the yoke of her mother's strict adherence to the Mexican tradition that charges the youngest daughter with the care of their widowed mother for the remainder of her life. Abstaining from marriage.
Tita , overflowing with love for her mother, bends to her will while never understanding her mother's bitterness & lack of affection. She continues to acquiesce, even after meeting young Pedro. A quiet, warm young man, with loving eyes. He professes his love for her and asks for her hand. Mama Elena (Regina Torne) of course refuses, but offers a cruel & strange exchange. Pedro may marry Tita's older sister Rosaura (Yardi Arizmendi). Pedro agrees, only to be close to Tita.
Tita is shattered & placed in an unbearable situation. Pedro & Rosaura will move into the family home under Tita's nose.
Tita must look at Pedro & Rosaura everyday. She can't have him, so she  pours all of her passion & love for Pedro into the meals she cooks for the family. She infuses each dish with her hopes, dreams & longing.
"Like Water For Chocolate" maintained an innocence , humor & child-like quality throughout. It kept you teetering on the edge of  a believable love story and a Disney-like plot line. At times I teetered on the edge of annoyance, because I wanted the story to make up it's mind.  It was hard to let myself teeter back & forth. I wanted either fable or reality. In the end I just decided to go with fable. Either way "Like Water For Chocolate" was full of some really tender, wonderful moments. Also some that were so jarring they pulled me out of the movie, because they just didn't seem to belong.
As you watch "Like Water For Chocolate". Whatever ending you have conjured in you head, let go of it. Because fables rarely follow rules.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

"Music was the Core of his soul"

My Reel of the week was suggested by sister.  It is the Documentary chronicling the life of musician & former Basketball player Wayman Tisdale.
The Story is short, but amazing, uplifting & unforgettable. It wasn't that Wayman did extraordinary things. It was his very being, his bigger than life personality and his infectious positivity.
He grew up the son of Weldon Tisdale, a minister who taught his children to always look beyond themselves. To always try to bring a smile to peoples faces.
Wayman carried that with him wherever he went: the basketball court, church,  & school.
He discovered music in church. Bass became his means of expression. It seemed to speak to him. He had an ear for it. Being left handed started as a problem. Living in Tulsa,Oklahoma in the 60's , finding a left handed bass was next to impossible. Wayman didn't miss a beat, he simply turned it upside down and went on his way.
The world saw him as a basketball player who happened to play bass, but Wayman knew he was a bass player who managed to fit basketball playing into his schedule. Music was where his heart was. He said "Music penetrates the soul". When you listen to his music, you definitely feel that love wash over you.
When Cancer entered Wayman's life, he leaned on those lessons his father taught him. He dealt with Cancer, the way he dealt with everything in his life. Positivity, optimism, music & love, became his anchors to bring him through the hard times.
Wayman's unending joy of life was inspirational.
"Cryin' for Me"
At the end of the story I felt joy (after a boat load of tears). I felt like I could be a  better person just by having watched the story of his life and my problems seemed very small indeed. Above is the link for singer Toby Keith's tribute song  "Cryin' for Me"