I’m pretty sure Nora Ephron is the reason I sit through the credits after a movie. She is perhaps the reason I was so certain I simply HAD to get to New York in my lifetime. She is definitely the reason I loved it and felt I was finally meeting an old friend I had previously only met in letters and pictures and film. And it is because of Nora Ephron that I closed my computer and went for a walk tonight through some of the prettiest parts of my town so I could attempt to take in the fact that she has gone and that I care way more than it is natural to do when someone you’ve never met, dies.
This NY Times article about her talks about her love for New York and the reason she began “openly falling in love with the movies.” It lists her accomplishments, the hats she wore, the wit and honesty for which she was so beloved.
In the novel I’ve written, a young girl speaks of Nora Ephron with nostalgia that probably a teenage girl today would not actually have for the screenwriter of a film that debuted the year today’s 23-year-olds were born. Maybe my character is an old-soul, like the women my age who grew up loving Audrey Hepburn and Deborah Kerr. And that’s why I sit through movie credits. Because Nora Ephron wasn’t in front of the camera like those other women were, and I am notoriously obsessed with the women in front of the camera, and yet I knew Nora.
I wish I could remember the first person who taught me about her, the person who opened my eyes to this whole other world of film that I had previously ignored – the writing of them, the directing, and the fact that first someone has to have the sense to think about a butterfly on the subway and the thrill of New York in the fall.
On my walk I took in my own butterflies and subways and bouquets of sharpened pencils. I embraced the reasons to love my own sidewalks and gardens. And I thought about the fact that I will never stop writing EVER, and that’s partly because of Nora Ephron too, and her funny, honest, wonderful, and delightful way with words and stories and life.
The article ends with Nora’s own words for the things that she will miss, things like “taking a bath,” “Coming over the bridge to Manhattan”, and “Pie.” And so, five things I have learned to love because of Nora Ephron (because I could not stop with three):
The charm of New York City,
a mad, mad love for the movies,
The thrill of working through a relationship all the way from its meeting to its rocky parts to its happily,
the determination to live the things that should be in a book instead of the other way around,
and daisies, the friendliest flower.