Wednesday, March 16, 2005

There are a couple lines in the middle of "My Last Duchess" by Robert Browning that I've always felt apply to me. These are they:
...She had / A heart--how shall I say?--too soon made glad...
That really describes how I often think of myself, except I don't see this as a flaw. I enjoy my rampant joie d'vivre and I don't intend to ever permanantly lose it. I like the fact that I am quick to be delighted, that I can enjoy simple things like a daffodil or a fresh dusting of snow. A well-turned phrase or an unexpected-yet-perfect description in a book. An actor twitching their eyebrow just so, or leaning against a wall. The exultant soaring of a trumpet. Playing a song on the piano exactly the way I wanted to. Cowboy when he first wakes up and has that pleased flush of childhood lingering about his face. There are infinite and myriad things that cause me to delight and rejoice. I don't have to wait for a Creed concert or visiting the Louvre or attending a live performance of Hamlet or visiting John Wayne's birthplace to be really, indescribably, overflowingly happy. (BTW, I've done two of those things, can you guess which two?)

This subject comes up because the theater here in town (only a few blocks from my house!) got the new film version of Andrew Lloyd Webber's The Phantom of the Opera for one week only. I saw it on Sunday night, before going to work. And it enthralled me! Enchanted me! Swept me off my creative feet and carried me to new heights of artistic ebbuliance! In other words, I adored it. It wholly delighted me. I think I'll have to put it in my top 15 movies of all time, at the least. I think I'll go see it again before it leaves on Thursday.

But all the reviews of it that I've read, before and since seeing it, have been...less than complimentary. One person thought it would have been great, without the music. Another hated the music and the plot and the acting and the entire concept. Another liked the concept, but found it poorly presented. I was left wondering if they even saw the same movie I did!

And then I remembered that I am delighted by things that cause others to turn up their noses. It seems to me that a lot of people think that denigrating and pooh-pooh-ing something (be it a movie, book, play, poem, painting, photograph, idea, whatever) makes them sound knowledgeable. Discerning, even. More intelligent than those around them. To me, however, they just sound stuck on themselves and unwilling to enjoy (or admit they've enjoyed) anything.

This doesn't mean I like everything, however. I dislike a good many things. But I am willing to like things too, to enjoy life and its accouterments.


  1. Ahh yes, Phantom of the Opera is wonderful! I'm glad you saw it. :) I saw it again with my sister recently. I really don't know why some didn't like it. Hmph, whatever.


  2. It doesn't come out on dvd until May can I survive?

    I guess some people just don't dig swirly miasmas of music and hottie guys...


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