One of the things that really stuck to me after the Mary Poppins 1964 movie was “Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious” , as I’m often socially anxious or better put quite awkward, and the existence of a word that could help me in such situations, with the serene attitude that this word brings – being so “atrocious” as it is : ) seems like a dreamy redemption for me and this incapacity of mine. Truth be told, the one time I should remember to say this word in that kind of circumstance I forget it too, I forget everything, what time it is, what I wanted to say, what happened a minute ago or why I was doing what ever I was doing… teenage dirt-bag crushes can be that way I suppose. You just seem to freeze and not be able so say anything, still can’t quite explain how, why that goes that way. And it seams to me that what creates this kind of reactions is quite rare… and just might be a such a pity that such things are lost quite because you could not say anything… it almost seems unfair… but I suppose it makes sense… i guess…
It’s a moment like that I’d like to turn back the time to and have remembered and said: “supercalifragilisticexpialidocious” … perhaps as a gesture that reminds me and makes me now realise and understand even better a verse in one of my own poem attempts:
[…]”Black comes tending to take over
Above all white it starts to make a shadow
That scares my little angel at this hour
Feeling so alone and whit out power
To stab the evil in his heart he’s sent an arrow
With his last breath to save me from upon my shoulder.”
But I hadn’t read the book. So, like with many things in life I imagine, there was a bigger perspective to know and to understand. There’s no supercalifragilisticexpialidocious in the book. Here’s the author P.L. Travers in an interview talking briefly about Mary Poppins, the Hollywood – Walt Disney movie:
-“It’s still being shown all over the world.”
“Yes, So they tell me. I’ve seen it once or twice and I’ve learned to live with it. It’s glamorous and it’s a good film on it’s own, but I don’t think it’s very like my books.”
P.L.Travers about the character Mary Poppins:
“She comes out of a world that is timeless I think and… perhaps that’s all one can say about her.”
The presenter of “The secret Life of Mary Poppins” – BBC documentary, at the end of the documentary, apparently filmed right after she had supposedly seen Walt Disney’s “Saving Mr. Banks” movie:
“Well, they’ve done it again, they’ve done it to her again. They’ve tied it all up, they’ve smoothed off the rough edges, they’ve given it a happy ending, they’ve given it structure and redemption… they’ve completely cleaned-up the messy story of Camillus, he simply doesn’t appear.But here’s the thing, it really um… it really gets you, that’s what’s ridiculous, that it’s incredibly moving, the way that they sorted everything out and they give everything redemption… is very powerful… and it knows it’s doing it, that’s what’s infuriating, it knows it’s doing it, there’s a moment just near the end where Walt Disney says: “That’s what story-tellers do, they restore order with imagination”.
Life is messy, difficult, dark and complex. Feuds can be made up, but never completely solved. Books can try to reflect this sadness and lack of resolution, as P.L. Travers books did, even for children. But Hollywood films take a different approach.
In a way it’s like Hollywood itself is a Mary Poppins or an aunt Ellie, it’s tiding up the nursery, it’s finding a way trough the chaos. We want to believe as much now as we did in 1964 that redemption is possible, and that is both the lie and the miracle of Hollywood films, that it can all be neat and tidy at the end. At some deep human level, it’s that order we crave.”
I find that documentary ending brilliant. Just one thing about it. I’m not pleading for hollywood movies as I think they can be very diverse in that perspective and in all perspectives actually, but we CAN make the most of our lives and feuds, we can bring redemption and there are hollywood movies that show that truth in my view, that yes it’s going to leave scars, it won’t be all cleaned up – but we can clean up what we can, accept what cannot be changed (at least in this moment) and make the best of what we have. Hardship happens and will happen, mistakes will challenge us – be them made by our selves or by others – but not just that we can learn an grow from those mistakes, but if we only look at our own mistakes we might just realise we’re not so different after all. As diverse and dynamic as we are, we do have common desires and needs at “a deeper human level”, it’s the choices or risks that maybe we hadn’t been so courageous to take, the mistakes that in our case someone was there to tell us that it’s wrong and most specially why it is wrong, the perspectives that we had the influence to find and look upon in books, the crossroad that we might have taken with a compromise wondering now and then “would I have been any different then that” if something in my life wouldn’t have set me on this other path I am now? Was that thing that set me on my path something I had build trough my life? or was it a moment of chance? as if a stranger walking by had whispered as he/she had just passed: “take the left, you’ll be better off!”.
PS. Of-course by the time I wrote this I had bought the book and started reading it. I loved it even more.