Friday, July 08, 2005

peter pan and wendy darling

I just watched Finding Neverland with my kids and my exhusband. My son first rested on me, and then moved to the armchair where he fell asleep, looking so much like me as a young child. My daughter who is growing up so fast, then laid her head on my shoulder, snuggling up to me. "Time," the old lady said in the movie, "like the clock inside that old crocodile, it is time that chases after all of us."

The movie was beautiful, poignant, sad, based on a true story of the inspiration for playwright James Barrie's Peter Pan. Wendy Darling of that movie is my namesake (I changed the spelling of my name in 8th grade to be different). Wendy wasn't really a common name at all before the 1970s. According to The History of Wendy, the character represents "mothering, caring, loyalty, and undying friendship." Wendy also means wanderer. The character Wendy Darling escaped to Neverland where she had grand adventures, and never had to grow up and grow old or become a boring grownup. Wendy felt torn between these two worlds, but she ultimately chose to Leave Neverland and return to the world and choose responsibility over eternal fantasy. I hope to one day write something as brilliant and meaningful as that play.

As we all four sat on my couch watching the movie like a family we once were, sometimes it seems so sad that we are not. We get along far better now and yet I treasure our friendship because genuine friendships are so rare. Yet my heart aches for and completely belongs to someone else who came into my life early this year, full of dreams and desires and poetry and depth. As I walked through my house with tears in my eyes and a knot in my chest I knew that nobody will ever live up to what he provided me in such a short time. Words cannot begin to describe the magic of what we shared. And yet when I had all of him I could not give in to it because love terrifies me.

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