A Memory

Elizabeth and I were in the theater, watching Little Women, the version with Susan Sarandon and Winona Ryder.

Since the movie came out in 1994, that means that Elizabeth was six, barely old enough to sit through a feature length movie.   Perhaps we had read Little Women together by then, or I had forgotten how sad it was that Beth dies young.  The costumes and the sets and the family feeling, and Kirsten Dunst as a silly vain sister were all winning us over.  Claire Danes played a saintly Beth, pure of heart.  Kindly Mr. Lawrence surprises her with the gift of his piano, and Beth comes down from her sickbed to receive it on Christmas day.  She plays and everyone gathered around the piano sings "Deck the Halls."   It is a very moving scene in the movie.  Mr. Lawrence reveals that the piano belonged to his little girl who died.  We know those of us who have read the novel, that Beth is not long for this world.  Tears stream down my face just thinking of it.

As I sat in the dark theater, moved to tears, I heard the sound of Elizabeth's voice joining those on screen as she sang Deck the Halls.  She showed no self consciousness as she sang out the words so recently learned.  She had become part of the movie by singing along, and I felt proud of her. 

1 comment:

  1. What a wonderful image of Elizabeth singing along in the dark.


Please leave a comment

How Dina Aunty relished her memories. Mummy and Daddy were the same, talking about their yesterdays and smiling in that sad-happy way while selecting each picture, each frame from the past, examining it lovingly before it vanished again in the mist. But nobody ever forgot anything, not really, though sometimes they pretended, when it suited them. Memories were permanent. Sorrowful ones remained sad even with the passing of time, yet happy ones could never be re-created—not with the same joy. Remembering bred its own peculiar sorrow. It seemed so unfair: that time should render both sadness and happiness into a source of pain.

> From A Fine Balance by Rohinton Mistry