Saturday, October 27, 2007

I Don't Think: I Am

It just occurred to me, having talked about this ongoing exchange of affection with the Disney characters, settings and buildings that…
The first times I went to Disneyland I was at one with it. In such communion, identification with, you name it, I did not “think”. It did not even occur to me that buildings there were built to scale. Even though I had seen real castles in Europe more than once, (for someone who “thinks”, such direct vision would not even be necessary) I did not realize that Sleeping Beauty’s castle is also built to scale. And I was already a young woman. Call me crazy, I myself do when I come to think about it. However, if I go on thinking some more about it, I realize that Sleeping Beauty's’s castle, being “the castle” for me, was incomparable, it was “it”. When you look at whatever is “it” for you, comparisons, size and quantity do not enter your mind. Whatever is not “it” is obliterated. Love or wonder is what elects something to be “it”. And neither love nor wonder is mathematical. Neither admits of comparing, relativizing. Love speaks of quality, not quantity. To love is to deem what you love unique, therefore absolute. Just like the Magic Kingdom was not a park telling me stories, it was “my” story.
Walt Disney’s magical touch was to render “it” what would be no more than one among many. It was to make you love it. It was to make it “you”.
Marcel Proust talks about this power of love in a different, more intelligent (of course) way than I do. Describing his inner state when looking at Albertine, he says:
“…how could the world have lasted longer than myself, since I was not lost in its vastness, since it was the world that was enclosed in me, in me whom it fell far short of filling, in me who, feeling that there was room to store so many other treasures, flung sky and sea and cliffs contemptuously into a corner.” (In Search of Lost Time, vol. 2, Within a Budding Grove [Modern Library Edition, 1992], 700-701)

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