I recently read an author’s blog about books that feed her soul. Her imagination is stirred by the books on her list, and she reads them throughout her own writing process for inspiration.
That got me thinking about mediums that feed me as a wannabe writer and as just plain old me. Countless books nourish me, most currently Stephen King’s “On Writing”, which I’m reading now. This memoir/textbook is scary good on both counts. Among many, some others are “This Present Darkness”, “It”, “The Secret Life of Bees”, feeding my hunger for spiritual imagery, character development, and strong eccentric southern women respectively.
Almost more so than books, movies are the other medium that truly feeds me. Maybe it’s because movies are a more tangible, direct route to my emotions and imagination. Maybe I just like seeing massive, 20’ tall heads of beautiful people. Maybe it’s the acting. Whatever the case, I’m in the midst of watching one of my favorites, “Finding Neverland”, when I find a few spare moments. This morning while on the treadmill, two of my favorite scenes, two that feed me to my core:
In the first, JM Barrie pretends that his dog, Porthos, is a bear he is taming for the audience (four boys and their mother). Peter, the young boy who inspired Barrie's “Peter Pan”, says the whole thing is silly, that it is just a dog, to which Barrie answers:
“Porthos dreams of being a bear, and you want to shatter those dreams by saying he's *just* a dog? What a horrible candle-snuffing word, *just*. That's like saying, "He can't climb that mountain, he's just a man", or "That's not a diamond, it's just a rock." *Just*…”
Another favorite scene is when his sad wife, Mary, who is a listless, insipid social ladder climber and Barrie, who is a colorful rainbow shining through his wife’s gray cloud, each retreat to their separate bedrooms for the night. As Mary opens her bedroom door, inside it’s just a bedroom. When Barrie opens his bedroom door, it’s a bright green forest with birds singing and a blue sky and spring all around him.
Scenes like that feed me.