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February 12, 2008

Falling in Love with Love

Falling in love is awesome, yeah? I like it best when it happens fast. In one moment you're going about your business as usual, and then wham, something shoots right to the center of who you are and gives you that "I just met you but we already know each other, don't we" feeling. The full-body wiggle-shiver. The permasmile. The thump of a heart on parade. You know you will never be the same.

There's falling in love with a person, and then there's falling in love with a book or a song or a movie, and although at first the two categories seem dissimilar--you can't marry a movie, can you?, and good thing because I'd be a serial polygamist for sure--in many ways the experience is the same. You read a first page and have the feeling you've been here before. You watch an opening sequence and everything inside you simulatenously relaxes and becomes more alert, like a newborn finally seeing his mother's voice. You hear the first three notes of a chorus and you know it will echo in your head for hours, days, years. You can't get enough of this new love, and if it's built to last, you do what you can to make sure it sticks around in full force, and regenerates. With people, this is why we have marriages, mortgages, generations that beget generations that beget generations. With media it's the same; it's why God created deluxe two-disc editions and directors' cuts and annotated hardcovers (and also why Satan created novelizations and fan fiction). Love makes us want to sink in deep and know every corner of this new world while at the same time still feel that there will always be more to discover, always new corners to round, new vistas to behold. Jane Austen only wrote six complete novels, but I am trying to make them last until I die because the thought of there being simply no more is too much. F. Scott Fitzgerald only wrote four and a half novels, but thank goodness Gatsby gets better each time.

Simon and I watched Julie Taymor's Across the Universe on Saturday, and we have already bought the deluxe two-disc DVD and the deluxe two-disc soundtrack and watched all the special features and memorized our favorite scenes and even (I can't believe I'm admitting this) recreated our own versions in the living room, me at the piano and Simon behind me on the guitar belting harmonies into my ear. (I'm not sure if a sing-along falls into the Fogey category or the Ageless Dorkitude one, but it definitely says something about our twisted home life.) I loved everything about the film at first sight and sound, and although I can't promise everyone else will love it too, you should at least give it a try because it's visionary. (It's not visionary in the forward-looking way the word is often used these days, but visionary in a retrospective way. It looks back at what's happened and interprets it in a way that's relevant and revelatory today. To paraphrase the choreographer said on the special feature DVD, it's eating the past and digesting it through a contemporary body.)

But this isn't a movie review or a recommendation. It's a reflection of how awesome love is, what a rush it is to have a new favorite film/song/person/whatever, and how those feelings can be multiplied and magnified when you're sharing it with someone else. Was anyone else out there obsessed with Newsies circa age fourteen to, um, the present? You and me, we have SO MUCH to talk about. There's social theory behind why teenagers pick their friends based on what bands they listen to...

I fall in love with things all the time (random cats on the street), and Simon does too (guitars for sale online), but we don't often share each other's level of enthusiasm, sometimes only managing to smile politely and graciously turn our head the other way before the eyes start to roll. Occasionally, though, we get the same things in the same way and at the same time, and when that happens it's magic. Loving something with the person you love renews the love you feel for each other. Perhaps this is why God invented babies?

Speaking of babies and love, this year I might have to share my role as Simon's valentine. On the 14th we're going down to SoCal to visit his mom and hang out with his sister and niece, who are in town from England (we'll miss you bro-in-law Kilo!), and it promises to be a weekend full of love and loveliness because look at this:

2127657015_66e7d8f8d3_b.jpg

It's an old picture, from Thanksgiving, back when she was practically a zygote, but now she's six months old and capable of doing much more than merely reclining in her softies, exuding exquisite babyhood, and once in a while amusing onlookers by exhibiting the facility with which she can put her binkie in her own mouth, voila! This time I have high hopes for a cello recital and thirty-two fouettes en pointe, but I'll settle for some sitting up and hand clapping. You can get away with a lot less when you're so stinkin' cute and everybody loves to love you.

27 Comments

Reminds me of how I felt the first time I watched High Fidelity, a movie about my two favorite topics (music and relationships) with my favorite actor and a really good soundtrack. It's as if all the stars aligned to make a movie just for me.

And wow, most adorable baby eyes ever.

Six months old hey.... that means she is probably eating solids - which will bring a whole new meaning to stinking cute!!! You won't offer to change any nappies after the first one!!

awatersign, I totally know what you mean. That is my favourite movie too and fell in love with it instantly.

Can't wait to see pictures of the cello recital, er, hand clapping. Sounds like a wonderful Valentine's Day, Leah.

Maybe I should read Gatsby again. I think both Pride and Prejudice and Sense and Sensibility get better each time.

That girl is so sweet - so adorable and cute. Big eyes waiting to see what the world is like. Makes me wish I had one on my own.

Even after all these years I remember every line of every song in Newsies. The other day when the bf (who is half-English) referred to himself as a Piker, I looked at him and said, "Once a piker/ now a striker"?

He had no idea what I was talking about, but I'm pretty sure you do.

Gorgeous baby niece. Hope you have a lovely weekend.

I swear, that's exactly how I felt the first time I watched CSPAN. I couldn't make that up if I tried; I fell in LOVE. And then I spent most of my adolescence thinking about what it would be like on the House and/or Senate floor with those people.

What can I say? Love can be a little random and you can't help what you fall in love with.

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I.
LOVE.
NEWSIES.

OMG. I def. had the tape growing up and actually transitioned to the CD at some point. I NEED TO GO RANSACK MY CHILDHOOD HOME AND FIND IT IMMEDIATELY.

1) Netflixing it.

2) One of the reasons I really, really, really, really never want to divorce Paul is that no one else in the entire world will feel the same way we do about our babies. Even if I found Even Better Love with a new guy, I wouldn't have that Baby Connection with him.

I wanted to see Across the Universe on the big screen, but I got too busy. I hope that it will be just as good on my small TV. You make me want to see it NOW.

Have a happy Valentine's Day!

I'm voting for "Ageless Dorkitude," myself.

But then, that's why I love you guys...

Newsies Love? In abundance over here.

I, um, have no idea who the newsies are. That may due to my old-fart-ness.

I love falling in love with new things too (Hello, photography!) It makes life that much richer.

Have a great time with that sweet baby. Those eyes!

Newsies was THE MOVIE of my childhood. My best friend and I watched it twice a day every day for an entire summer!

And we both really liked Across the Universe and bought the 2 disc soundtrack.

Oh how I love Newsies! This is where I first fell in love with Christian Bale also and our love has been unending (if unknown to him). I have it on VHS and can't bring myself to trade it in for the DVD because it would feel like replacing my true love with a younger hipper version of itself.

Love is all you need.

Delurking to tell you my husband and I also watched Across the Universe Saturday and though we don't own the DVD yet, we got the soundtrack Sunday. As a Beatles fan(atic), I was scared I'd hate it, but instead fell in love, love, love...love is all you need.

I felt that way in "Once," near the beginning when they're in the piano shop and sing "Falling Slowly." Later I almost convinced myself that my husband and I could learn to do a duet of that until I remembered that, um, I can't sing and that while he can play piano and guitar, I can't play either.

Also, don't you love when babies eyes are so blue that even the whites of their eyes are blue?

"Once" is near the top of our Netflix list too. It's another one of those movies I have heard so many good things about that I'm afraid it won't live up to my expectations. That happened with "Garden State" (great movie, but I kind of expected it to change my life or something), and I was afraid it would happen with "Across the Universe" too, but it didn't.

Re Newsies: OH MY GOD, YES!

Re Newsies: OH MY GOD, YES!

Re Newsies: OH MY GOD, YES!

newsies!! my best friend laurel and i watched that movie non-stop...we used to get up and dance on her coffee table to the scene in the newsroom. i am also de-lurking...i'm a 30 year old in nebraska and i've been reading you for a few years now. i think if we had grown up together we could have been friends :) thanks for all the great writing!

Love this post.

And had the entire newsies movie and soundtrack memorized. I printed out the words to all the songs so I could make sure that I got them right. I used to re-enact scenes.

Spot was my favorite.

I have the sheet music and used to sing along.

There's a reason Spot rhymes with "hot." I have never wanted to be short so much in my whole life. (I would have towered over him, even at age 12.) I would have given it all up for Mush, though. Or Kid Blink. Or, you know, Crutchy if it was all I could get.

I think I only saw Newsies once, but I was the kind of kid who never got to see movies until they were on TV and we recorded them with our VCR, but I do remember liking it because it had both Christian Bale (hott even then) and the guy from Big (what ever happened to him?)

I'm kind of the way y'all are about Newsies, about Goonies. Ah, Goonies.

leah - i think you will like Once. it's not a life changing movie or anything, but it's just sweet and pure and sort of comforting. watch it on a night when you two just want to be snuggly on the couch and feel mushy.

Well said there is nothing better than that first rush of finding a new author or artist (or blog!!!),

All you need is love and all that.

Maybe I'm just in a mood, but I imagine many of the youngsters who saw Across the Universe will someday wonder why the Beatles remade all those songs from the movie! *snort*

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