Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Knowing Love and Regret

Since tomorrow starts the school holiday for The Kid, we had an extra family movie night that just wrapped up. Earlier today I went in search of The Wizard of Oz at the nearby library but all their copies were already out. The librarian suggested checking out the movies in the children's section and we discussed what I knew had been seen to try to figure out another decent choice. I found The Last Unicorn, which I had never heard of but had been a favorite of the librarian as a child (evidently she was an young as I thought!).

The first excellent thing about this dvd was no previews, it went straight to playing the movie. What a concept. I almost wept with joy. Another excellent thing, the songs do not rhyme, the lyrics are complex and real, not hokey. Yes the unicorn turns into a beautiful woman but unlike Ariel, she does not give up her identity and hang up her horn. The Kid purports to not like scary and while there are some tense moments (on a kid scale), and the red bull imagery is far from friendly, she took it in stride.

On the verge of reuniting with her kind the unicorn reflects how she is now different from the rest of her species because she now know regret and love. It is interesting that the two are interlaced, it is also a great message, even to an almost nine year old who has now experienced divorce. She and I talked about how all experiences change us and also it is part of what makes each one of us special. While I know BC is happier divorced, there is a flip side because of the changes for her daughter. Though it was a hard decision for me to leave my last relationship there is the acknowledgment of the love that was there and the sense of regret that it did not go in the direction I had hoped.

Is to know love to also know regret? I suppose it is because love and growth always means there is a path we did not chose, because love doesn't stay the same, growth means sometimes we need to say good bye to people, places, patterns that protected us in the past but no longer serve us. Usually I say I don't "do" regret or guilt, largely that is true. But there are some things I do regret in the immediacy of something I did, or while processing something larger that I blindsided myself with; however I do not stew in regret. If something I did or experience produced regret I try to learn from; if love went wrong, I also try to learn something more about how my heart, soul and brain work to see how I can improve. So does the unicorn truly regret permanently, do we? I would like to think that we know regret but we do not live there.


LittleWit said...

I adore that movie. I s'pose it does have a lot of really good lessons in it. I wish they made more quality films like that.

judith said...

the BOOK is truly wonderful & yes, classically, does & says and explores things that the movie did not/could not...- if you've never read Peter S. Beagle, start here!

He also wrote a similarly short book called "A Fine & Private Place" about a man who lives in a cemetery, helping the dead get used to their new situation. Not the masterpiece Unicorn is, but still fine.

And - as i mentioned briefly in BC's kitchen, there is also a much longer, sexier book called The Folk of the Air - with lots of that costumey/medieval stuff i can never remember the name for - you know.

But when it comes to love & regret treated in parable form, someday consider the little-known jewel of a book by John Crowley: Engine Summer. JC is a great writer, he is all about memory, and you will never forget the characters in this book.

well! dint see this little book-corner entry comin. xoxo j