Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Things that have been good for my heart lately:

Jammix last Friday. Thanks to Wendy, the TD, Anachoron, and someone I don't have a blogname for yet for some very good polkas, redowas, and pivots, and to Blue Rose for a very good waltz. Many other good dances too - and a very good walk home. The connection between wildness and control has been much on my mind lately. I think that redowa in polka time has become my favorite metaphor for that subject.

Seeing My Fair Lady with Duchess and her cousin. I don't know if I appreciated that show properly the first time I saw it. With subsequent viewings, I have come to really like the way Eliza and Henry Higgins are written. I was struck, this last time, by how much these two characters are examples of wounded femininity and wounded masculinity. Here is what I thought of when I saw it this last time. Eldredge says (and I agree) that every man is haunted by this question: Do I have what it takes? Can I come through when it counts? The counterpart question that he says every woman is haunted (and I agree with this, too) is this: Will you pursue me? Do you delight in me? Will you fight for me? Too often - indeed, in the overwhelming majority of cases - men and women have that question answered for them when they are little, and the answer is no. This is what I saw in My Fair Lady this last time. Henry Higgins is a poser who is afraid of women (indeed, of friends) because he doesn't think he can come through for them when it counts - he doesn't even know how to come through for a woman. Eliza Doolittle has been told all her life that she's on her own, that nobody is ever going to fight for her because she's gutter trash. Here's what I love about the movie: the way these two poor people begin to get their wounds healed. Freddie doesn't get the girl. There's nothing romantic between Henry and Eliza. But her femininity nevertheless inspires him to pick up his weapons and begin to fight, and she begins to believe in delightfulness, all in a wonderfully un-Hollywood non-romantic way. "That is not love, perhaps. But it is real."

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