Category Archives: Movies

Getting Back to Simpler Times

SADHVI
SADHVI

Getting older is turning out to be more interesting than I thought it would be.  I’m even calling myself an old crone sometimes, just for fun, so I can start to realize that I’m not the young Sadhvi that I tend to think I still am!  It also makes me feel wise.

If I am going to be alive this long, I will have more things that I’ve seen than someone who is 20.  Simple math, I know.  And that also means that some things that are around don’t really ring my bell, so to say.

I’m all right if you want to pay lots of money for those things.  But if you talk about how much you love your new iPhone, for instance, and that love rant goes on for more than a minute or so, I will probably have to say something like how weird is it to LOVE your new gadget!

Tintin, Captain Haddock, and Snowy

We’ve been watching the Tintin cartoon series lately to wind down at the end of our day.  The animation is really neat, and they are always exciting to watch.

Tintin is a super hero who goes to different places all over the world to rid the planet of bad people.

And he does it without a computer, a smart phone, texting, having a GPS or being hooked up to social media – my type of hero!

While going through a stack of magazine, I came across an old Vanity Fair magazine from August 2011.  While flipping through the pages, a black and white photo of Joseph Heller sitting in his NYC office with his feet on his desk struck me as something that looked funny, like something was out of place.

Then I realized there is no computer, smart phone, iPad, or laptop anywhere around in that photo, just a typewriter with a piece of paper in it, a rotary dial phone, and some pens and pencils in a round holder.  Joseph Heller wrote the novel Catch-22 back in 1961, which according to many is one of the greatest anti-war books ever written.  Maybe you remember it?

Joseph Heller

While I was only a small child in 1961, I do remember the movie, mostly because it came out in 1970!  I’ve also used a typewriter like the one in the photo a lot, and had a rotary dial phone in the house that I grew up in (where the cord can reach across the room with the phone base not moving an inch!).

I even own one today and it’s in my office 🙂

Looking at that photo made me see how far the whole industry has come.  And how expensive these new technologial “wonders” cost to buy, and how the companies who make them have suceeded through colors and marketing that we can’t live without them.

But I’ve started to notice people of all ages say that they are just not into all of it any more.  Maybe the pendulum is moving back to simpler times?

I’ve heard young people say that they are going back to a flip-phone, because the smartphones feel too crazy on their heads.

Or that they hate FaceBook, and don’t ever use it.

Or take the woman the chestnut stand the other day — after we chatted briefly, she laughed and said how nice it was to connect, and not with FB.  I asked her if she was addicted to FB and she said she used to be, but not anymore; she doesn’t want to “like” of “share” what is going on with her life.  She wants to just live it.

You might wonder why I post for this blog, since it is sharing.  Good question:  the only reason is that I send this out to friends and family, and it’s my way of staying in touch with them.

The idea that Oprah or HuffPost would contact us to be the voices of our generation have long dropped away.  We, including me, just like to write!

 

rotary dial phone sweetie2sweetie etsy

 

 

From Lynn: “Winter’s Bone”, being 50+, and Finding My Original Nature Again

Lynn
Lynn

Recently I read a book called Winter’s Bone by Daniel Woodrell. Then I did something highly unusual for me: I picked up the book and re-read it the next day. Within a few weeks, I had repeated this for a third time.

Winter’s Bone is a beautifully written and riveting novel of the strength of the human spirit in the face of adversity. You may have seen the movie—it was an Indie nominated for an Academy Award in 2011. It tells the story of Ree Dolly, a 16 year-old girl, played by Jennifer Lawrence, who has prematurely become responsible for her two younger brothers and mentally ill mother in the remote rural area of the Ozark Mountains where they live. Her father, a meth “chef,” is in and out the family’s life. When Ree’s Dad is arrested, he puts the family home and land up as collateral for his bail and then disappears. If Ree cannot find him, she and her family will lose their ancestral home and land to the bail bondsman and will be virtually turned out to the bitter bone-cold winter. The novel follows Ree as she desperately scours the hollers for her Dad, putting her life in danger both from the harshness of the elements and the vitriol of her extended family, who perceive her as butting into a business where she does not belong.

Completing my third reading, I found myself becoming genuinely perplexed as to why I was so entranced with this book. I don’t generally like violent or dark novels. After Sadhvi invited me to write this review, I told her that I would do so, but that I did not think it had anything to do with the content of this site. As I started putting my thoughts on paper, however, I realized it has everything to do with my being 50 plus.

Winter’s Bone ignited a dark and primal part of myself that I don’t often experience anymore at this point in my life. It evokes a place that is not civilized, not polite, not people pleasing, not law abiding. Although it can be viewed as a hard-core story about the dark side of the human spirit, it is also about nature; her purity, her harshness, her ferocity, and her dispassion. Reading this book transported me 50 plus years back to when I spent most of my life outside. This was a time when I was often alone and didn’t have much on my mind—just the sights, smells, sounds, and feeling of my surroundings. It was a sensory time, a time to know myself and my environment.

The Book: Winter’s Bone

 

Ree’s perceptions of snow clouds gathering over the mountains, of the different ways a snowfall can be experienced, of the way ice looks and feels on the ground—these are all things I too knew. When danger arises, it is immediately followed by fear and instinctual action. Life for Ree is not a state of constant anxiety or a series of perseverations over things that cannot be controlled. It is moment to moment experience. When her best friend comes to stay with her, she is filled with joy, pure and simple. No planning of how to spend the day or what to do—just unadulterated happiness at the presence of a loved one. When she is badly injured, she surrenders to the pain, accepting it as it is and then allowing healing to occur. Sadly, these are things that feel lost to me as my busy and overly conditioned mind gets in the way—always wanting to analyze, plan, control, or worry about my life.

Anyway, at age 58, I realize how much I miss my original nature. As a child, the rules of society could be suspended and I was able to be free and at ease out in nature. But now this state seems more and more distant as I end this decade; almost unattainable. I think this is part of why I often experience depression and anxiety. I am missing something intrinsic to my spirit, sustenance to my life I cannot find. An antidote to death, which will be coming sooner or later. So now I realize why I wanted to keep reading Winter’s Bone. It is a great reminder that somewhere in my consciousness, the freedom of my childhood still exists and can perhaps even be found once again.

Cinderfella and Other Wonderful Things

Jane

This is going to be a short post today because the events of this week have been so totally depressing and discouraging. The folks in Washington voted down background checks; there were the awful events in Boston and in West, Texas. It’s enough to make you want to wring your hands or cry or give up. But here are three things that are keeping my spirits up tonight:
1) The pictures of all the people helping others in Boston.
2) The fact that my youngest daughter is right now in the back room, watching Jerry Lewis in the 1960 comedy “Cinderfella” on TV and laughing out loud! (That was one of my favorite movies when I was little, but I figured there was no way it could stand the test of time, but there is my daughter, watching and laughing.)
3) The fact that New Zealand just voted to legalize gay marriage–and the crowds watching the vote burst out into a Maori love song in celebration.
Check out the video below. My sister sent it to me today, and it’s so sweet.
Life is good.

Wedding, Vacation, Gourmet Food Truck Lot, Old Friends, and New Puppy – Life is Good!

Annice

Only a few weeks ago, I wrote about how overwhelmed I was feeling.  Well, actually, I’ve posted on that subject quite a bit.  In fact, it’s a pretty common theme these days with us baby boomer women.  But, after spending ten glorious sunny days in California, I feel somewhat renewed.  No whining for me for a while.  I guess more vacations are in order.

My nephew’s wedding at the Inn of the Seventh Ray in Topanga Canyon was beautiful as was his bride, Noelle.  Her family came in from Hawaii and it was great meeting them as well as their Bernese Mountain Dog, Walter, who was actually in the ceremony.  What an event.  My sisters and I rented a cool house in Santa Monica for the week, and although we didn’t always agree on little things like what bread to buy for the house, or which coffee is better, it was wonderful spending time with them.

Brad&Noelle&Walter&soon to be Owen

In Santa Monica we went to a cool flea market with wild stuff, stuff I don’t see too much in Asheville, like tons of vintage clothing and art deco furniture. Then my nephew took us to the Santa Monica Food Truck Lot where we feasted on Lobster Rolls, Peking duck tacos, and even curried fries.  Yummy.  Then, there was the Getty Museum which I had never seen, and how lucky was I to stumble up on a Vermeer exhibit?

Once the festivities of the wedding were over, I visited two friends I hadn’t seen in years, and what a treat that was.  One friend took me to the Shoah Foundation (founded by Spielberg) after Schindler’s List where I discovered my dad’s s cousin had given a four hour interview/testimony about her experience in Auschwitz.  I will write about that separately, when I can process that experience of just listening to her and what happened to many members of my family.

Terra

To end on a happy note, we finally got a puppy.  After losing both our dogs several years ago (you remember, Gus and Carli), we found our dear little Chesapeake Bay Retriever from an incredible breeder only 40 minutes from our house.

Terra and Favorite Toy

So, let me introduce you to Whiskey Creek’s Terra Cotta – 11 weeks old.  You’ll be hearing a lot more about Terra in posts to come.  She’s pure joy – well almost.  Still potty training her…

Sadhvi Sez: Becoming Born Again

This past week it rained and rained and rained.  I don’t remember a rain like that, for so long, nonstop, day and night, except for the monsoons in India.  The rain filled up 3 of my wheelbarrows!  My husband dug a circular ditch around the house so that the water could have a place to go instead of in our basement.  I looked out to see a running stream encircling us – we now live on an island!   It turns out that our dog, a border collie, has been “herding the house” for the last 10 years (we don’t have sheep), so the digging of the ditch wasn’t as hard as it could have been, except that it was raining constantly the entire time that it took him to do the job.

Later that night we went to see the movie, “Life of Pi”.  The scenes with the incredible storms at sea made me realize how much I hate rain.  The movie itself is a must see, especially if you’ve been to India.  The scenes of Pondicherry are so beautiful that I whispered to him that I wanted to start packing to go live there.  Later he told me that he had been there in the late 70’s.  Thirty plus years ago there were so many people there, that he knew it was just someone’s story of that Indian town; in real life it is not looking like the south of France.

The morning that they said the rains would be over, I got up early so that I could see the sun rise again and the blue sky that I had missed for the last 5 days.  When I saw the first morning light, I truly felt born-again; my spirit lifted, and I knew that everything was going to be all right.

Other than THE WEATHER, I have been trying to cut down on the amount of time I spend in cyber-world because it’s been getting out of hand.  Coincidentally, Rob Brezsny, the astrologer whose great horoscopes I’ve been reading ever since I can remember, said that doing this might not be a bad idea:

“A San Francisco writer named Maneesh Sethi decided he was wasting too much time on the Internet.  His productivity was suffering, so he hired a woman to sit next to him as he worked and yell at him or slap his face every time his attention wandered off in the direction of Facebook or a funny video.  It worked.  He go a lot more done.  While I would like to see you try some inventive approaches to pumping up your own efficiency, I don’t necessarily endorse Sethi’s rather gimmicky technique.  Start brainstorming about some interesting yet practical new ways to enhance your self-discipline, please.

Yes Rob, I will.

And lastly, check out:: Marshall ‘Soulful’ Jones before you go click somewhere else: