December 6, 2010

To Lead an Extraordinary Life

I've written about my family's love of the book and 1994 film Little Women before, but after watching it per holiday tradition last evening, I found renewed inspiration in the lovely words of the screenplay, translated from Louisa May Alcott's sacred text. I think of years more in terms of birthdays than calendar or school years. So as I begin this next year on my birthday today, I seek to keep in mind some of the most sacred sentiments expressed in the film. In the coming year I want to lead an extraordinary life.

The film is a perfect medium to stimulate creativity and passion for one's work.

Marmee always knows what to say:
"Oh, Jo, you have so many extraordinary gifts, how can you expect to lead an ordinary life?
Go, and embrace your liberty. And see what wonderful things come of it."

Every time I watch the film, Gabriel Byrne as Friedrich Bhaer becomes sexier and sexier:
"You must write from life, from the depths of your soul!"

I so admire Jo's passion and longing to live fervently through her art:
"Late at night my mind would come alive with voices and stories and friends
as dear to me as in the real world.
I gave myself up to it, longing for transformation."

Marmee's moralism is quite infectious and aspirational:
"I only care what you think of yourself. If you feel that your value lies in being merely decorative, I fear 
that someday you might find yourself believing that is all you really are.
Time erodes all such beauty, but what it cannot diminish is the wonderful workings of your mind,
your humor, your kindness, and your moral courage.
These are the things I cherish so in you."

Image found here.


  1. Oh my! Happy, happy, happy birthday, love! I think you pulled out some of my favorite quotes, too. I love Jo's thoughts on her writing--late at night, hoping for transformation. This has been a special film for my sisters and I. There's something very true about their relationships. And yes, he does become more and more sexy as the years go by. I just didn't see it at first (granted I was in high school when it came out)!

    I wish for you:

    1. COURAGE to follow your instincts and be true to yourself.
    2. DELIGHT in the marvelous array of skills, talents and gifts that you possess.
    3. SEEK those things that speak to you and know that there is no one out there with the same combination!

    Happy Birthday!

  2. Just when I think I can't love your blog more you write a post about my favorite movie!!! It is such a great movie because it reminds you of the things that are important: family, relationships, passion, creativity, and joy! The other thing I like about the movie is that every moment is absolutely gorgeous!

    Have a wonderful birthday! Enjoy every moment of it!


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