Thursday, February 26, 2009

Soul: Disney Ascension

My mother died, less than a week ago. She was happy that the book I dedicated to her "From Mars to Marceline" will soon be available. This helps me coping. It also helps me to remember that the courage Walt Disney had to take turning point decisions for the sake of his integrity is as reassuring as a written proof of the existence of the soul. Disney gave up material security for the abstract value of a relationship with himself. He declares:
“I had made my declaration of Independence, I traded security for self- respect”. (American Cinematographer- 1941)

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Disney Heart

In "The Story of Mickey Mouse" (CD Disney treasures) Walt Disney’s extreme pronouncement of involvement with Mickey follows, then, as the abnegation of love: Not just for Mickey, but for what he represented to people, Walt defers his own identity. He says: “He still speaks for me and I still speak for him.” Mickey is, then, Walt Disney’s heart.
When finally talking and being talked to, the Mouse projects Disney into the realm of fiction and himself into the realm of reality. As a back and forth from Walt to him and from him to Walt, Mickey, the common identity between Disney creator and Disney person and, at the same time, a constant communication between both, becomes Walt’s integrity.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Disney Nature: For Edgar

Edgar: Remember when we watched Sleeping Beauty for the first time? And from then, to so many other times? Yesterday, Livy and I went to Muir Park, and I “found” Sleeping Beauty’s woods. The luminosity of the sun on the trunk of the immensely tall trees was like the contrast between revelation and mystery, the birth of love out of shadows. It reminded me of that scene when a little bird flies down to a enchanting, singing Aurora. I felt like I was created anew and sent, in thought, all that light, sparkling green and liberation to you. For the man of imagination, said William Blake, “nature is imagination”.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Disney's Solace

My mother is old and very ill in Brazil. When we manage to talk on the phone, all she wants to talk to me about is Walt Disney. When I was there and took her to a doctor, she wanted to see pictures I have of Walt, while in the waiting room. She has now been drifting in and out of consciousness, but at moments, she comes out with insights of an otherworldly wisdom. Last time we talked, I tried to find some remarkable episode of Walt’s life to tell her. Something short, that did not require a lot of description. I remembered the contract Disney signed with Powers, so he could get Cinephone in California. Then I related to her, as told by Neal Gabler in his biography of Walt, Roy’s indignation when he read the onerous contract, and the following dialogue between the two brothers:“Did you read this?” He (Roy) shouted when Walt returned to California later that month. “Of course I didn’t,” Walt responded. “What the hell, I wanted the equipment!”
At hearing this, my mother said: “Oh, how beautiful! It takes immense purity to act like that!” I thought she was right, but because I love hearing her, I pressed further: “Why do you think so?” and she answered: “ Because he had so much faith that he couldn’t think of anything other than what his heart was focused on. He was single-minded. It is courage and purity in one”.
Perhaps, that is what faith is, after all, courage and purity in one. It made me think, again, of Kierkegaard’s assertion: “Purity of heart is to will one thing”.
And I remembered all the times Mom asserted, as if she’d known Walt personally, that he had no contradictions, that he didn’t hesitate. Only integrity can account for the synchrony he had with life. Only integrity can give one the certainty that the soul does exist.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Disney Predestination

Disney seemed to have shown, on more than one occasion, a sense
of predestination, of being endowed with a mission, so to speak. The
way he left Kansas City to Hollywood (according to reports and to
his own declarations in movie clips) having just bankrupted, but, yet,
giving himself the right to travel first class is one instance. Besides,
he was a storyteller who impersonated stories. Th e line of action and
events of a story can be anything but gratuitous. On the contrary, its
inexorability parallels the mystical. Th ose who live it and tell it are
mystically motivated and giving. Those who are told it are mystically
comforted and inspired. The love of storytelling and that of stage merge,
in the identifying of mere action to role, personality to character-
fulfillment, and, finally, of life to meaningfulness. It is extended to
everyday life in the thematic experience. Th e strength and appeal of
themes in human behavior goes from everyday events- like dressing in
accordance with the characters of a movie or play one goes to watch-
to creating thematic parties and, even further, to world traveling to thematic parks.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Mystical Storytelling

Mystical dimension to storytelling is beautifully expressed in the beginning of Pinocchio: The cricket hops into the story as he starts telling it to the audience which, on its turn, incorporates the narrator by seeing the opening approach to Gepetto’s house from this narrator’s hopping angle, as if inside his body. The communion of storyteller and listener happens for the sake of the story, the lines of which preexist their union and are fulfilled by it, like a meant-to-happen, preordained harmony.