Liam arrived home on Friday evening, via Amtrak. Aidan was so excited about the arrival of the train, complete with ghostly hoots, at the bitterly cold downtown station, that he started jumping up and down shouting “Choo! Choo! Choo!” This behavior makes me laugh, though I try to shush him gently. Kevin captured it all on film; his motive was to film the Amtrak for the sake of future train modelling projects. When we are obsessed in this household, we are obsessed.
Yesterday Liam woke up and right after eating hash browns and an omelette with cheese and onions, started making a new wooden sword. A couple of years back my kids found a whole bunch of wooden stakes discarded from a construction site (we have many, many construction sites in our “vacation” spot of the Sierras). As a consequence, many of our pivotal life moments are marked with a new sword. He spent most of the day with my scroll saw, his eyes sheathed in protective goggles and his hands in work gloves.
Then we all conversed about our plans for the Story Society during this vacation. Paddy and Aidan followed Liam around and happily tried to engage him in conversation; they wanted to eat everything he ate (quesadillas and chili and hot links for lunch — what a comfort-food day!)
We went to Mass in the afternoon and I made chicken patties for dinner, and we had ice cream for dessert, completing the slow-death-by-cholesterol trend.
Clare played him You-Tube clips from the Scarlet Pimpernel. Clare wanted Liam and me to see The Village, so we watched that while Paddy made Bionicle cartoons on my computer (he has a bitmap kit and is very good at putting together components and even typing dialogue with a bit of help).
The Village is an interesting film. It stays away from making a point; whether intentionally or by accident. I suppose the theme could be said to be, in the words of a main character, “The world moves for love. It kneels before it in awe.” But if that were the theme, it only really works for the second half of the production; only in a very implicit way did it carry forward to the beginning part. To me, the endeavour worked better when thought of as a collection of interesting ideas raised, not answered. There were several significantly unsatisfying parts, but it was visually beautiful and well-executed enough (to me) to work as a sort of “lived experience”. One of the ways the “love” theme did carry forward was the care taken with most of the characters. There were a lot of characters, and the length of the movie made it impossible to deal with more than a few in depth. But to me there was a sense that they did have complex, rounded out backgrounds and personalities (the “villain” of the piece was the most bothersome one and the part of the whole thing that I was least happy with).
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