The Saturday four o'clock showing of the Korean film POETRY at the Bryn Mawr Film Institute on March 26, 2011 was no ordinary screening to me . By the time the ending credits rolled, I was literally on the floor sobbing the big ugly cry. What was even more tragic than my tears, was the absence of emotion from the little old white haired Mainline ladies slowly walking up the aisle giving me a passing glance of mild disgust. as they teetered past my seat. Maybe they didn't understood the film. I know for a fact the director of the theater didn't. She introduced the film and said that the director ( Lee Chang -Dong) " enjoyed luxuriating in the mysteries of the film". She then corrected that sentence with the statement ,"luxuriate isn't the right word". POETRY isn't about a mystery or mysteries. There was nothing vague or ambiguous about the story. The film is about mysteries being revealed in a major way to the main character- an elderly woman named Mrs. Yang ( played brilliantly by Yoon Jeong-hee). Mrs. Yang has a just one goal- to enroll in a poetry class and learn how to write a poem. Yet if I had to assign an astrological planet to represent this film it would have to be Pluto . I know the idea of writing poetry is very Venuian ( Venus- the planet of love and beauty ) . I mean that's probably what you are thinking. Yet the foundation of Mrs. Yang 's seemingly stable world is on the verge of collapse; a sure sign of Pluto's presence. Pluto is the planet that rules deep and hidden issues. When the reality of these issues ( or secrets) comes to the surface either intentionally or unintentionally, the results are explosive and chaotic. Change arrives. All that was is now swept away in the rage of this planet's destruction. Destruction then clears the debris . The slate is wiped clean. Mrs. Yang's goal to write just one poem opens up a Pandora's box which cannot be closed. I went back and watched the film again a few days later. Unfortunately, the film has already disappeared from the theater ( it was there for only a week) . Lee Chang-Dong wrote and directed POETRY . I consider this film to be a masterpiece. I know it has recently won awards at a few film festivals around the world. I'm not certain of its timing to be considered for next years Academy Awards. It deserves to win best foreign Film. If it were up to me I would give it an Oscar for best film -period. I wept as much seeing it the second time as the first. Days later, the film stayed in my psyche. It unleashed feelings within me that have been buried. Instead of pushing away my sadness, I allowed myself to be. POETRY has become a catalyst for me in many ways, the ripples of which are just starting to emerge. I wasn't surprised to find out Lee Chang-Dong was born on July 4, 1954 ( astrological sign: Cancer). Cancers are one of the most emotionally sensitive signs of the zodiac. Thank you Lee Chang-Dong for changing my world!
And speaking of change, after almost forty years of having an aversion to Indian food, I recently gave it another chance and now I'm a changed woman. Blame my five planets in Taurus ( read: stubborn- o.k. very stubborn) for my slow response to change. Oh sure over the years I have eaten curry rice and curry chicken but no one could convince me to set foot in an Indian restaurant ( until recently). Despite my long standing rejection of Indian cuisine, I have always been attracted to Indian culture. I enjoy exploring Little India in NYC. I was giddy with joy when I discovered A light up Lakshmi ( Laxmi) Goddess Altar that plays twenty Bahjans ( devotional chants) to the Goddess of Love and money in an Indian Bazaar as well as a wall full of exotically scented Indian soaps- Cinnamon, musk and clove for a dollar each. I enjoy watching Indian films ( and I'm slightly embarassed to admit I love Bollywood musicals). Indian textiles, clothing and colors catapult me into a creative frenzy. And I love tooling around in my car chanting ( off key) to George Harrison's Goddess chants; Govinda Jaya Jaya. I'm obsessively addicted now to Chana Masala ( chickpea stew). It is vegetarian, inexpensive, healthy, tasty and I think it may be helping to dissipate my perimenopausal hot flashes. I found a recipe online but have modified it by introducing a can of vegetable broth. I also recommend eating Chana masala like a chutney; thickly spread over a flour tortiilla topped with a fried egg. Heaven ! I'm telling you it is so good.
In addition to Chana masala, I'm addicted to two Indian food products. I can't tell you where I'm buying MAYA KAIMAL SPICY KETCHUP locally because I promised to keep it a secret to the person who turned me on to it ( it is available online). I can only eat this ketchup now; regular ketchup tastes like crap to me now . It is excellent on eggs and french fries and it is perfect on TRADER JOES VEGETABLE MASALA BURGERS ( in the frozen food section at Trader Joes). scrambled eggs with the vegetable masala burgers topped with spicy ketchup= perfect.
Now back to mysteries or rather one mystery in my life which has been solved. Ed Basner, the artist of the small zen rock sculptures ( as I labelled them), contacted me last July. I did my best to solve the mystery myself. I encountered four different people who gave me four different accounts of the mysterious creator. Ed has his own blog and lots of photos of his sculptures. I have put the address on my blog roll. Check it out. He is populating the Mainline with his sculptures. I'm sure everyone living on the mainline has now seen a few of his babies. Whenever I see another sculpture of his crop up in a new location, it immediately makes me smile. Thank you Ed!
Last Saturday ( April 2, 2011), I was lucky enough to see the musical BAT BOY at Villanova University Theater. The play was FANTASTIC and the cast and crew did an incredible job. It was also outrageously funny. I couldn't stop laughing. Michael Kane Libonati 's portrayal of Edgar (Bat Boy) was phenomenal. His singing and acting blew me away. I was inspired to create a couple of paintings. from the musical I have seen several theatrical productions at Villanova. BAT BOY was by far the best and most satisfying play/musical I have seen. The paintings small – 7 x 10 inches. Mixed media- pen and ink on 140 lb. cold press watercolor paper.
Writing continues to be a challenge for me. I have so much to say but writing so much of the time feels like swimming through peanut butter ( extra chunky), congealed from hanging out in the fridge. Oh well.
Hope you all are enjoying the cusp of spring. I'm excited about seeing the cherry blossoms bloom.