I love this movie--the Disney version. The music, the characters, the animation. I like the message (as my grand daughter explained--I like the Beast best because he learns how to love and that's the most important thing).
And we were cuddled together on the couch watching the movie which was great for two reasons: most important was the cuddling, but a close second was that it gave me a chance to rest from running up and down the slope in the backyard without admitting ...well, you know, granma not so good at the whole running up and down thing anymore.
And yet, and yet, Belle misses her whole town as she walks through the morning bustle with her nose in book. Everything. No freshly baked baguettes, she doesn't see all the little kids clustered around their frazzled mother, sheep nuzzle her while she sits by the fountain and reads and she seems unaware of their soft noses, their lanolin greased wool.... (Though I guess missing out on the sheep aroma might be on the positive side of the ledger.)
Belle is wearing shoes and doesn't touch the ground. She wants more than her little provincial town; she knows "there must be more than this."
There is, of course, and she finds it: enchanted castle, a prince hidden inside the body of a beast, danger, courage, and true love.
I still tear up at the ending, when all is lost and unexpected grace and the power of love bring that leap of joy, the fairy tale twist that breaks your heart. The Beast is brought back to life because he has learned to love and because Belle has learned to see beyond appearance (though he does turn into the rather boring handsome prince).
So what? Why do I (over) analyze this beautifully animated, happy ending Disney movie? I think it's because I've spent so much of my life nose in a book, a head full of dreams, and feet that don't touch the ground. I love words, the play of them, the sounds, the elusiveness. Imagination: dragons that ride the wind, Frodo destroying the Ring, glittering unicorns glimpsed in the night. Remembering. My babies. The taste of grape Popsicles. My dad carrying me in from the car when I pretended to be asleep. My mother reading to me, on chapter of the Bible everynight (except of course the "begats." We skipped those.)
But so much is lost. I read while nursing my babies. How many times was I so lost in a book, in writing, that I didn't see anything around me, didn't hear what was said?
And yet--here I am. Writing about being barefoot on the ground. Imaging this piece finished. How to end it.
Wondering what you will think.