Fruit on a pine tree

Fruit on a pine tree

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Fruit on a pine tree

I don’t know if you’ve ever read that poem “Fruit on a Pinemont Tree” by the Spanish poet, Antonio Machado, but if not, read it here. It’s a little long but it makes me think of Alice. I’m not in the mood to do the rest of the original, so I’ll just explain the opening scene from a movie I saw this week.

The movie is “Never Let Me Go,” the second of the three (three?) “novel” about children in boarding schools – before that came “The Kite Runner,” which was also great, but not quite as long, and the third novel is “The Children Act.” (The novel “Atonement” was not quite the same, although it also had a deeply sad ending.) Anyway, the movie is about a group of people who are dying, and their lives are ending in an old house near a lake. I say “old” because the kids haven’t been in that school since they were about 14. The students who now have the most “lives” in their head, are Alex (Keira Knightley), who has just learned about the process (about which she has read in some internet page, but which she had no idea of how horrible it was) and when she realizes it’s her time to go, and that she has to lose her “life” in order to be able to have a life of her own (she’s only 16), she tells Alex, who has been her “friend” for most of her life, “I love you, I hate you, I love you, I hate you, but I have to say it, I love you.” Alex, who has been her “friend” since age 9, replies, “But you never have.” That is a major theme of the movie, and of this poem.

Alice has just been sent down to live in a convent, but she is not very happy. And in her room in the attic, it’s not the best space to meditate, since “it’s always shaking.” So she picks a Christmas tree, and climbs up into the attic, thinking about life and death and being sent away to a convent. But the more she tries to think about it, the more her mind starts “to dance,” and after a time, her mind is dancing so hard, that she starts to fall asleep –

One sweet flower blooms

A window of white snow

An infant’s rump and bare behind

And the sun, the Earth, the sky

The river-of-sparks rushing by

and the immense surge of the sea.

And all the while the child sleeps,

and in the midst of her dreams,

suddenly a shower of stars rain down

Shower of sparks

as if it had just all-together

Falling like a waterfall.

It is a glorious ending, and a perfect way to end the poem.

And that is the message of that movie, and that is the message of this post. But one of the actors has a problem, so there will be no link – the YouTube video of the song is way better than this clip – so, “Alice, In a Wonderland” for you!


6 Responses

Thank you, that is a beautiful version of the song.I also liked the movie that you referred to.

I have been thinking about making a donation to a food bank or a hospital for most of this week. My husband got a great deal on a ton of high-end items. Yesterday I got a great deal on some basic living supplies that I put together for him to take with him to get settled. He is leaving the city for the mountains tomorrow, so I put together a set of cleaning supplies. It was a chore but was well worth it. I also spent more time in the last few days than in the last couple of weeks in the kitchen (cooking, cleaning, washing dishes) but it was a good time, just me and the mess.

Now that I am thinking about it, I realize it was a good time, just for me. I spent a lot of time running around trying to get things done for my husband, so it wasn’t a time of rest and reflection.

This week I will spend more time resting and reflecting, maybe even finishing that book, and then I will spend more time making good use of my hands. I have been putting off what I think of as “the cleaning”, but the work will make me feel better about myself.

Just last week I bought a new roof for my car. It was needed after I had three storms last week. My son is going to the mountains to visit friends.

We get snow a lot around here, but it is usually dry and warm. So, I have time to get things done for me.

I also ordered another computer – a step up from the one I have now. I have been working with my college classes at the state institution I go to. I have also been thinking about what to do with the little “cabin” in the woods. Maybe I will order a hammock (or maybe put a rocking chair in the woods) so I can have a place for me to sit and write or do knitting.

I didn’t see the movie, but I read the book years ago, and have heard wonderful things about it. It is wonderful, and deeply sad, but it is also true.

I think it can be like that, Susan, with lots of time, and not a lot of worrying. When I read the book, I was thinking it was very short, when I read it the second time, I wondered what had made it so long.

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