Monday, April 19, 2010

How's This for Muchness?

Keith took me to see Alice in Wonderland on Saturday afternoon.  For the second time.  Because ever since walking out of the theater the first time, I've been dying to see it again.  And right now?  I still want to see it again. Another time.  Because I love it.

And I know, I know:  deviations from the books, Tim Burton is over-hyped, we've already seen Johnny Depp freakishly pale with weird-colored eyes and an eccentric top hat, show me something new, blah, blah, blah, complaints.  Not everybody is a fan of this movie, I get it.  And not just for very in-valid reasons.  But I don't care.  I loved it.  I loved it!  And this is why:

"You're not the same as you were before.  
You used to be much more...'muchier'.    
You've lost your muchness!"

This?  Resonates with me.  It fills me with emotion.  Because this?  Is what it felt like, at least for me, to grow up.  As a very little girl I was so much more muchy.  And I don't think I'm alone in this.  It seems that so many of us, who caromed and cartwheeled our way through girlhood, suddenly came to a resounding stop.  And then went cringing on into womanhood.

I've written about this before.  I called it beauty, then- the thing I had lost.  But muchness is a much better word.  Because when I said beauty I meant so much more than just appearance.  I meant heart and grit and determination, audacity and daring, purpose and abandon, swagger and strength.  I carried these, I exuded them, without even realizing.  And then suddenly they were gone.

"Why is it, my dear Alice, 
that you always seem to be 
either too small or too tall?"

I don't know why this happens to girls, why it happened to me.  I don't know why the transition to womanhood brings with it this overwhelming sense of just being too much.  And also never enough.  But I felt- and often still feel- a compulsive need to constantly resize myself.  To shrink and then stretch myself in the vain attempt to fit an ideal that is undefined and unattainable.  Imaginary.  And ultimately unimportant.  I don't know where that comes from.  I don't know why being a woman is so much harder than being a girl was.

What I do know is that I loved seeing the fire light up in Alice's eyes.  I loved seeing her reclaim her heart and her swagger.  I loved seeing her grow to love, and then let that love propel and empower her.  She cartwheeled and caromed back up out of the rabbit hole and met her adult life head-on with determination and grace.  I know, I know, it's just a movie and I'm getting carried away with myself (don't care, don't care, la la la).  I just kind of think Alice's jabberwocky-sleighing, futterwacken-dancing, bandersnatch-taming ways are bad-ass.  And I don't care who knows it.  I want to be Alice when I grow up.

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