This weekend I saw The Help. You may remember my post about the book in which I traveled to the depths of despair because I couldn’t possibly ever write any book so wonderful and therefore why should I try. After which I realized that we all are meant to write the stories we are meant to write as the author of The Help certainly did and did very, very well.
Now, after crying and aching and laughing and gasping at the movie, I am wondering afresh – in somewhat hushed, don’t-kill-me-tones, if you made me choose, which medium I prefer: Books or Film. When I look at my bookshelf or the recommend-shelf on Goodreads (and in my sidebar), I know there isn’t any question. I love words.
But then I watch the sweeping cinematography of an epic movie or want to wear the fashions or eat the food in a particularly rich and visceral scene, and I think it might be film.
I like books that talk about movies and movies that talk about books. I like books made into movies. I like stacks and stacks of both inside my home.
I don’t have to choose, right? After all, they both have words. They both tell stories. They have both enriched my world and made me want to be a part of the enriching.
Right now I’m revising a novel that celebrates storytelling and story-living and this passion for the business of the first. And I’m desperate to finish it but more importantly to finish it well. And so although I’m writing every night and filled with intense pleasure when that’s the case and vague despondency when it’s not, I’m also taking breaks to read beautiful things and watch beautiful films and remember why I’m doing this in the first place and attempt to learn the best and brightest ways to do it. It’s not my only job, but it’s my favorite one (second to Being Mama) – this writing and consuming-to-learn. And this weekend, that job brought me The Help, which I can’t recommend enough, along with these wise words someone gave to accompany it: I wonder what our generation believes (a la separate-but-equal) that will one day embarrass our children.
You see what I mean about enrichment? What a wonderful challenge to take away from a theater.