While I looked around,
For my possibilities;
I was so hard to please.
But look around, leaves are brown
And the sky is a hazy shade of winter.
Paul Simon, Hazy Shade Of Winter, 1966
Somehow I had totally missed out on Sandra Bullock winning an Academy Award as Best Actress in 2010. In The Blind Side (2009) she plays the role of Leigh Anne Tuohy, a rich woman who takes a big black kid, Michael Oher (Quinton Aaron), into her home and family. Michael is shy and obviously traumatized and has problems at school, because he's never had a proper education before. But he's very talented with ball games and because of his size he's an ideal American Football player. Leigh Anne helps him to become a real member of the family and with his grades and her son S.J. (Jae Head - well done!) helps him with his training and his understanding of football. The movie closes with Michael Oher beginning his career with the Baltimore Ravens in the National Football League (NFL).
The movie is based on Michael Oher's real life story and although football is an essential part of the movie it's not a real sports film. Apart from Michael it focuses on the personal decisions of Leigh Anne who is brave enough to take in a black kid from the wrong side of town. Bullock plays the role amazingly (although it took some time to getting used to her blondness), bringing me to tears more than once and as many times making me laugh out loud. It's emotional, it's kind and it shows us how privileged we are for having clothes, food and a bed - and people who love and protect us.
Es gibt ein großes und doch ganz alltägliches Geheimnis. Alle Menschen haben daran teil, jeder kennt es, aber die wenigsten denken je darüber nach. Die meisten Leute nehmen es einfach so hin und wundern sich kein bisschen darüber. Dieses Geheimnis ist die Zeit.
Es gibt Kalender und Uhren, um sie zu messen, aber das will wenig besagen, denn jeder weiß, dass einem eine einzige Stunde wie eine Ewigkeit vorkommen kann, mitunter kann sie aber auch wie ein Augenblick vergehen - je nachdem, was man in dieser Stunde erlebt.
Denn Zeit ist Leben. Und das Leben wohnt im Herzen.
aus: "Momo" (1973), in: Michael Ende, Worte wie Träume. Herder Verlag, Freiburg 1991, S. 117.
from Pink Floyd's eighth album The Dark Side of the Moon, 1973
Jede Kunstwelt ist autonom und nicht unmittelbar in Lebenswirklichkeit umzusetzen. Deswegen ist es auch gut, dass diese Geschichten zwischen zwei Buchdeckeln stattfinden. Der magische Bereich des Imaginären ist eben Phantàsien, in das man ab und zu reisen muss, um dort sehend zu werden. Dann kann man zurückkehren in die äußere Realität, mit verändertem Bewusstsein, und diese Realität verändern oder sie wenigstens neu sehen und erleben.
aus: "Phantasie/Kultur/Politik" (1982), in: Michael Ende, Worte wie Träume. Herder Verlag, Freiburg 1991, S. 68.
Bild: Quint Buchholz, Lesende Frau. 1995.
Unni Wilhelmsen covering Joni Mitchell song Both Sides, Now, 2010, composed in 1969
aus: Erich Fried, Um Klarheit. Gedichte gegen das Vergessen. Wagenbach-Verlag, Berlin 1985
I could just say Stephenie Meyer is required reading when dealing with teenage girls these days. Or maybe it's the teenage girl in me who likes the love stories and the fantasy stuff. Whatever... - after really enjoying the Twilight series (books and movies) I was curious about The Host (2008) too and decided on it as holiday reading.
The story is simple: Tiny silvery aliens (called Souls) take over worlds as parasites inside their hosts' bodies, eliminating their minds while keeping their memories and habits. On earth, there are some human minds who aren't willing to give up and who fight back. So Melanie Stryder's mind continues to live inside her old body along with the alien mind of the Wanderer and forces her to go looking for her family which live in a small community of free humans in the Arizonian desert. When Melanie/Wanderer joins this community a series of complicated relationships and love stories begins.
Basic questions: What makes us human? What is good or bad? What makes us who we are?
The book was entertaining and an enjoyable light read. I liked the setting because I have vivid memories of the Sonoran desert. The genre is a mix of science fiction, fantasy and love story, advertised as "science fiction for people who don't like science fiction" - which says it all.
The kindle edition had quite a lot of additional material at the end: an interview with the author, a track list of music Stephenie Meyer listened to while writing, additional scenes (already written in regard to making a movie out of it) and even a collection of discussion questions (for possible use for school reading?!). This was a bit unusual, I thought, you normally don't get this kind of information in a book, but possibly on a website. Things are changing, obviously.
Strange fact at last: In these notes at the end of the book I found out that Stephenie Meyer intended to write this book for adult readers and she seems convinced to have done so. She's even contemplating if young adult readers will read (and understand) the book too. I read The Host with the same expectations as if reading another Twilight novel and I did not once think it was only suitable for adults. Simple story, love and jealousy and a bit of complicated dialogues and personality mix-up (new being only that this takes place just inside one body), but not more. No real literature - and I wouldn't recommend it as such.
I am milk
I am red hot kitchen
And I am cool
Cool as the deep blue ocean
I'm waiting for you
I'm waiting for you
Lyrics from Milk, from Garbage's first album, 1995.
(I simply can't believe this album is now 16 years old... apparently they are working on their 5th album at the moment... )