Last Sunday I went to see the film Jojo Rabbit and found it extraordinary. I had seen the trailer and thought it might be a little "weird," but within three minutes, I was completely involved, laughing and engaged. It is a highly unusual film in its theme and presentation, but it touched me deeply. I was born not far from where the World-War-Two-themed story took place, and there were moments of recognition and connection. I remember my mother wearing the same striped sweaters, riding her bicycle with the basket on the handlebars. I remember my brother and I playing with our gas masks which we found hilariously hideous. We called it “playing piggy”. However, believe me, my life in England was a walk in the park compared to that of children in most of Europe.
The movie also took me back to the days I worked as a dancer on the original movie “The Producers”, performing in the musical number “Springtime for Hitler”. (That's me in the red checkerboard costume with the beer stein on my head!) At the time we wondered if it was really OK to be satirizing the man responsible for so much death and suffering. Would people accept the movie? Would they laugh? Was it in terrible taste or was it a relief to be able to laugh at Hitler?
At the end of Jojo Rabbit, there is a quote from a poet that the little girl in the story has found and it says:
Let everything happen to you
Beauty and terror
Just keep going
No feeling is final
It's probably very melodramatic for me to say this, but I felt a bit like this today! I could not get motivated to do anything useful, not even to write. (Well, now I am). Minor near-calamities happened, a water leak that nearly emptied my pool and flooded my neighbor's yard, a wrong biopsy diagnosis from my skin doctor. (The leak was repaired, the diagnosis was discovered to be a mistake!) And I am feeling in limbo as I wait for my editor to finish editing my book so I can get back work on it and do a final re-write before publishing.
Oh my, what woes! How minor my hiccups are! I am heeding the last two lines of the poem as I feel sorry for myself today, Just keep going, no feeling is final.