Monday, June 09, 2008

An Irish Blessing

My mom loved flowers and birds. Birds flocked to her backyard feeders, and her roses were the envy of the neighbors. I didn't really inherit her green thumb, but I am working on putting together a small area in my backyard in her memory. It will have plants -- drought-resistant, of course -- a birdbath and this stepping stone I made. I wanted something that would remind me of my mom without being an obvious memorial. I didn't want it to look like a grave marker.

This passage comes from a poem my mom's Irish father wrote when he was a young man.

Flowery be thy pathway
And blue the sky above thee
Happiness in each coming year
To thee and those that love thee

Shortly before Grandpa died, he gave this poem to my mom. I think it was his way of saying goodbye, and it's held a special place in my heart for the past 20 years. I like to think this little Irish blessing applies in this world and the next -- whatever that might be. It helps to imagine my loved ones who have died happily walking down a flowery pathway with the blue sky overhead.

What I watched: "Lars and the Real Girl" on DVD

I'm not normally one to post a movie review, but "Lars and the Real Girl" is such a sweet movie, I have to talk about it. It's not cloying or obvious. It's sweet in the way that most big budget Hollywood love stories starring big name Hollywood Beautiful People can never be (not that the people in this movie aren't beautiful; they just aren't Beautiful).

Ryan Gosling stars as Lars, a shy, wounded 27-year-old who seems to be afraid of getting too involved with others. As the filmmakers say during a making of feature on the DVD, Lars is wobbling. He can either go over the edge or he can join life. Because he doesn't relate to people he orders a Real Doll from the internet. When his family finds out he bought the doll -- there's never any hint that he bought the doll for its intended use as a sex toy -- they worry about his mental state. Lars believes (or seems to believe) "Bianca" is a real girl. Then something amazing happens, instead of laughing at Lars as his brother predicts, the community embraces him and treat Bianca like the real girl Lars believes her to be. What if something like that could really happen? What if everyone could be compassionate toward everyone else rather than laughing, staring or running away? We might learn something about ourselves. We might learn something about the people we love. We might join life.

I highly recommend this movie. I loved it and I'm extremely cynical.