No childhood film today. Busy day of kitchen cleaning and map drawing. I did see a movie today--Coco. Not sure if it was great. It was good, and definitely affecting. And it had an interesting message--combining both the idea that you should follow your dreams and family is important. In context, these feel like two different directions--SPOILERS--for a good portion of the film, but then they pull together and it all gets wrapped in a little bow.
And, it got me thinking about family. Now, on the one hand, I haven't spent much time with most of my family in the past year. I'll be honest about that. The likelihood to get into a political argument has made hanging out with them less appealing. I'm talking about my parents, some of my sisters. But, it's worth noting that, for example, in many of the fictional stories I have written over the years, family was something constructed more than inherent. You choose family like you choose friends. Except you don't really choose either. My friends of late are great, but if not for chance of geography and an interested in Dungeons & Dragons, we wouldn't even know each other.
Coco involves a Mexican take on family that includes the whole Day of the Dead attachment to ancestors, to prior generations and all that. I don't have much attachment to ancestors. I know stuff about mine, like a handful of generations back, was a single mother named Hannah, for example. But, what matters to me is those here and now. Tomorrow is Thanksgiving. I will be making food at home and eating with my ex-wife, my two daughters and my son. This Sunday, I will be spending a few hours with my friends playing D&D. Lately, all of this feels like family.
And movies. Movies, too. Me and movies--we're close. Tomorrow, or maybe the next day, I'll get to the next childhood movie--I won't spoil it now, but I've actually watched it for this blog before. Right now, though, I'm catching up on some TV. I'm having a drink. I'm looking forward to making a bunch of interesting dishes tomorrow (all vegan). I'm looking forward to maybe seeing a movie in the theater Friday; I doubt I'll be doing any Black Friday shopping. I'm looking forward to ambushing my players Sunday. Looking forward to some speeches from my high school students next week. Looking forward to winter break. To Christmas. To New Year's. To life.
It's a common theme in film--follow your dreams. Also: family is important. The reason these themes repeat so often? Because you should follow your dreams. (I wish I'd followed some of mine a little longer. I wish I would follow some of my current dreams but life doesn't always make such things easy.) Because family is important. Whatever family is.