Where the Wild Things Aren’t

I remember the first time I read Where the Wild Things Are. I was given it in tandem with Where the Sidewalk Ends and both of those books had a great impact on my early literary development.  The one because I had never seen a book that so clearly depicted my own imaginary travels, the other because I felt like I had found a friend.  Sendak and Silverstein, Lewis and L’Engle, Blume and Danziger were the six authors I loved most until–Eh, I still love them most, I’ve just also added Dean and Robbins, Rowling and (most recently) Collins to the list.

I have always liked authors who made me think, who inspired me to dream, or who made me laugh.  I like the ones who do all three best (so Silverstein, L’Engle, Dean, and Robbins come out ahead).

I was twelve years old, and having surgery on my foot the day I found out C.S. Lewis was long dead.  It was December of 1983, and I was reading The Silver Chair for comfort while Dr. P cut away at my toes, and when he asked me about it, I said that I had read all the Chronicles of Narnia and couldn’t wait for Lewis to write more books. 

Dr. P told me that Lewis had died on the same day as President Kennedy, and went on to tell me more about Lewis’ life and death.  I didn’t hear a word of it.  I can remember how pale I felt.  As pale as Peter Pevensie’s voice sounded in Prince Caspian.

I still get the same feeling each time I lose one of my authors.  The same feeling I had when I lost Jim Henson.  The same feeling I had last week when I lost Adam Yauch.  It is a personal sense of loss.

I heard this interview with Maurice Sendak replayed, in late June of last year.  I was on my way to my very first therapy appointment, and it was a serendipitous thing.

My deepest condolences to every Wild Thing who ever roared.

Love, Laughs, and Laps

I did see this quote on the internet, which means it could very well have come from Abraham Lincoln and not Maurice Sendak, but given that warning, it still meant something to me to read this quote attributed to Maurice Sendak: “Once a little boy sent me a charming card with a little drawing on it. I loved it. I answer all my children’s letters — sometimes very hastily — but this one I lingered over. I sent him a card and I drew a picture of a Wild Thing on it. I wrote, ‘Dear Jim: I loved your card.’ Then I got a letter back from his mother and she said, ‘Jim loved your card so much he ate it.’ That to me was one of the highest compliments I’ve ever received. He didn’t care that it was an original Maurice Sendak drawing or anything. He saw it, he loved it, he ate it.”

C.S. Lewis, in his book on love, writes of loving someone so much you want to eat them up.  “Love you?  I am you!” Is one of the expressions he uses to convey that feeling.  I know that feeling well.

That is the feeling that makes me kiss the soles of my son’s feet, and that spot on my husband’s forehead, right between his eyebrows.  It is the feeling that compells me to growl like a beast and pretend to gnaw up Thor’s neck, while he giggles and howls, and to blow fantastic raspberries on my B’s belly.  It is the feeling that inspires bone cracking bear hugs, awesome tickle fights, and the best laughter on earth.

The boys went off on a Man-Trip with Granddad this past weekend, leaving me all alone.  I was delighted when they came home.  I missed them!  I think Thor might have missed me a little because he grabbed me, sniffed my hair and said, “I don’t know how you smell so good!” before running off again. 

And my wish for all you readers today, is that you love someone or something so much that you want to eat them/it*. 

While they were gone, I thought to catch up with my movie watching.  You know, the shows they wouldn’t want to watch anyway (or that Thor isn’t old enough to screen.)  You know what I ended up watching?  The Godfather.

I’d never seen it before, and since I’ve fallen so hard for Boardwalk Empire, I thought maybe I should view the –er– godfather of all mobster movies.  It was funny how much of the dialog I knew, just from the social vernacular.  I half quoted Marlon Brando’s opening monologue along with him (something else I can’t do when the boys are at home–act out the movies as they go.) 

I’ll be honest, I thought the first fifteen minutes were awful and boring.  It didn’t get good until they shot Vito Corelone, and then I was interested.  No, then I was hooked and I really enjoyed the rest.

I also watched Bad Teacher on Saturday.  As black comedies go, that one was pretty funny.  I do wish people would stop trying to make Justin Timberlake The Actor happen, though.  He is hilarious on SNL, but otherwise, he is strictly Disney style.  Really.  Watch that video.  God bless him.  He tries.  But he succeeds at making great music.  Anyway.  Bad Teacher=Okay Movie.

In other news completely, this is my  new lap swim toy:

90010 Combination Sport Count Ring

It’s a lap counter for swimmers–looks huge, doesn’t it?  Nope.  It fits on your finger like a secret decoder ring!  It is so cool, y’all.  I was swimming this morning, watching the timer while I stroked, and pretending I was a spy who had planted a device and was swimming away as the countdown ran.  That lasted me two laps before Sweet Child of Mine came on my mp3 player and I had to concentrate on not playing air guitar underwater.  I am that nerd.

What do you think about when you work out?  I have to entertain myself.

*Don’t really eat anyone, okay?  That’s not mentally healthy.