I took myself on a date, tonight.
All my friends, grown adults all, have been raving about Emma Watson in Beauty and the Beast. I had to go. I was always a big fan of the Disney films, through childhood and beyond. And I think women are depicted in better and stronger ways, as the years go by.
The music, I knew by heart, mostly. The songs from the animated film are here, Alan Menken and Howard Ashman, with Tim Rice's lyrics. Songs from the Broadway musical are included as well. A lot of the original came through well in live action.
I won't post a whole review here, but what I wanted to press on, what struck me most, was the... Life. The magic.
Without giving away too much, we should all know from this classic tale, that there is a castle with inanimate objects... that speak, and walk, and interact. And perform musical numbers at dinner time.
What I found profoundly beautiful, was was the moment when the last petal fell and the manor was suspended in darkness. The once "alive," however preposterous, objects that lived in the castle... had become inanimate once again. A chair is a chair, and that's it, right? But once it exudes essence, energy, charisma, empathy, growth... a chair is not just a chair. It is a being. A live being. And when something alive goes dark, it's powerful. Energy changes. When living energy leaves matter, it's felt. We feel it when loved ones pass on, some of us know just when the energy leaves the body. Why not when the last gorgeous wild animal of its kind goes extinct? Why not when another majestic rainforest is plowed down for industry? Why not when sacred tribal land is raped for transporting oil?
It was a perfect depiction of our Earth, its elements... nature... and how alive She is. If people can connect with and relate to a talking tea cup on a movie screen, and feel heartbroken at its silence... why can't we feel the same toward a sacred natural site? Toward our coral reefs? Are they not...alive? Or other human beings, who aren't quite the same as we are, on the outside. Or animals. Or anything at all in this existence, because it's all made of energy, which is Life.
Life force, this magical, connective tissue, runs through and tethers us all to one another. From me to you to the forest to the sea to the pulsing Sun and the stars beyond, that feed and heal us all. How powerful that is. To be aware and present to witness such a sacred, divine, force of nature that brings Life, movement, growth.
In the case of Beauty and the Beast, the people are cursed and turned into these objects, which is what animates them. But let's consider something, in real-life, for a moment.
Consider, that humans and say... oak trees... share some DNA. Which, scientifically, makes us relatives. Yes, we all come from the same stuff, originally. And it's all energy. All the time, new discoveries are made that tell us plants can communicate. That our heart's radiate energy and vibration. That energy responds to different tones and sounds and emotions, in different ways.
The film was just a lovely reminder, that all of it... our home, our planet, its objects, its creatures big and small, its waters and air and starlight and dirt.. all of it is brimming with Life. Energy. The exciting discovery, although a long-held and muted belief for some, is how energy can change its behavior based upon the attention it receives.
Is it a coincidence that in all the fairytales... Love wins? True love's kiss, or healing one's heart, or overcoming obstacles, to save... Love. Love is said to be the most powerful form of energy that there is. Love heals. Love revives. Love fights for justice. Love lifts the weak. Love shelters the poor. Love explores and seeks discovery for the greater good. Goodness, charity, altruism, giving, inspiring, supporting... these are all forms of Love. And the Light the poets write about about, perhaps, is Love. Love unconditional. Love is the balm of the living and when we know and act on this idea, the energies that are affected by Love, change in its embrace. Its attention. Just as the opposite is true.
If energy is this sensitive, and alters its behavior in response to the attention it receives, then perhaps one of the greatest gifts that we give one another, is our loving attention. Because if it's all energy, and we are all connected, through the same force, then we already are this Love.
I've rambled a bit, as I do. But I guess what I'm saying is that maybe John was right, in more ways than I understood as a teenager:
"All you need...is Love."