Where the Writing Things Are

Early this week I was supposed to finish writing “Story of G”.  Instead, our latest Netflix DVD came in the mail, and Dear Wife and I decided to sit down and watch “Where the Wild Things Are” together.  Doubtless you will see this decision reflected in my weekly writing progress recap.

I have to say, “Where the Wild Things Are” touched me deeply, at an emotional level.  And it made me think – about myself, my history, and my writing.

Let me clarify this: I am not writing a review of “Where the Wild Things Are”.  Although, if I had to, I’d give the film an “A” (but not an “A+”).  But I am going to reference the film, and so this may be a little spoilery if you haven’t seen it (it came out in late 2009 so there the statute of limitations has passed). 

“Where the Wild Things Are” is not a movie for children – certainly children can watch it, as there is nothing offensive or truly terrifying or too mature in the movie, but they may be unlikely fully to grasp, and especially to appreciate, the movie for what it is, even if it is based on a famous children’s picture book.  The director, Spike Jonze, is quoted as saying it is a movie “about childhood”.  That’s true – it is about childhood, as seen through the refractive glass of adult introspection – but it is about something more than that.  It’s about our relationships to one-another, our emotions, and how we sometimes let the strongest of those emotions harm the relationships we have with those we love most.  It’s about loneliness and the pain of separation and loss.  It’s about existential angst, primal fear.  And it’s about the stories we tell ourselves, the inner lives we invent, to cope with it all.

In that latter way, it’s about being a writer. Continue reading

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