Thursday, May 11, 2017

Dreams Found and Lost

The joke yesterday was that I was getting my wife a new roof for mothers' day. She'll still get her regular flowers--in the garden. The Saturday before is time for the family tradition of buying and placing bedding plants in front of the house as we are solidly in May and almost past the freeze threat in the shadow of the everlasting hills. With global warming and all, we're pretty safe. However, there are no longer any children at home to help me plant annuals which is just fine as gardening is one of my new passions (note the lilac hedge above, lower right, coming in just fine!).

Waking up too early this morning due to other stresses, the thought came to me that the number-one, cliché responsibility of a good provider is "to put a roof over your head." As we're getting quality shingles with a "life-time" of 30-50 years, they will last me out and I have fulfilled my obligation here.

Sol Hurok is credited with:
"The sky's the limit if you have a roof over your head." 
We are getting a slate-colored asphalt shingle "a cool gray with a beautiful green undertone--exactly like real slate." Green is my wife's favorite color and slate matches with our Welsh homestead. (Our house, like nearly every home in Britain, has a name, "Tŷ Fychan" or "Vaughan House.")

The green brings me to another thing. As if roof-pounding wasn't stressful enough, yesterday was a bad day on other fronts. I caught some relief as I watched La La Land again because the replacement Blu-Ray disk came from Amazon for the one that wouldn't work.

When I raised the issue of the vibrant techni-colors in the movie, my daughter commented that the color green is for the never-attainable dream of love from The Great Gatsby, one of my favorite books and my joint contender with Huckleberry Finn as the Great American Novel. (Together, they represent the extreme ends of  social-economic status in America and both even bring in Slavery as America's original sin - Mark Twain's Jim, obviously, and Tom Buchanan's racist social theories a bit more subtly.)

So on to the green theme (spoilers):

I'll admit I got teary-eyed on the second viewing. This shot encapsulates Sebastian's unattainable dream of love.

I see now that the movie pivots on Mia's audition in which she "finds her voice" and sings:

And here's to the fools who dream
Crazy as they may seem
Here's to the hearts that break
Here's to the mess we make

Sure, they both got their Hollywood success through mutually aggressive pushing even if that kind of success is the ultimate crassness in the corrupted American Dream. But after the beautifully filmed Fantasy sequence in which Sebastian sacrifices all for her, in the end, it is Sebastian who ends up alone, even as their bittersweet smiles recognize their true love, forever lost.

It's OK for me to be grateful for true love found and maintained by a "beautiful green undertone."

My heartbreak is the loss of America's dreams.

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