Felix and Oscar

March 8, 2010 § Leave a comment

I’m so pleased Avatar didn’t win at the Oscars.  The most I got out of that movie was memories of lying in my tumble-down apartment in Berkeley in the late ‘70’s, reading science fiction that brought soaring alien forests, memory trees, glorious birds and beasts vividly to mind, aided by the scent of ripe lemons from the backyard and yeasty bread rising in the kitchen. Then a walk through our dreamy neighborhood with its mismatched houses and effortless bohemian charm; the Eucalyptus-rich hills and the secluded public rose garden where we’d drink champagne from the bottle; sunny afternoons, working mornings, and always more used books from Moe’s.

Other than that, Avatar made me think it’s really time to go to Costa Rica. But the movie itself is not worth the words to criticize. You want to feel awe for Mother Nature, go to the redwood forests, the Louisiana swamps, or the Shawngunk Mountains. Read the great fantasists. Take LSD and look at a bouquet of fresh rosemary, the grain of your wooden cutting board, an open window.

(‘Felix’ means happy, in Latin.)

THE HAWTHORN TREE

Across the shimmering meadows–
Ah, when he came to me!
In the spring-time,
In the night-time,
In the starlight,
Beneath the hawthorn tree.

Up from the misty marsh-land–
Ah, when he climbed to me!
To my white bower,
To my sweet rest,
To my warm breast,
Beneath the hawthorn tree.

Ask of me what the birds sang,
High in the hawthorn tree;
What the breeze tells,
What the rose smells,
What the stars shine–
Not what he said to me!

Willa Cather

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