May 7, 2009
Theme Thursday - Wind
According to Bert,
“Winds in the east, mist coming in,
Like somethin' is brewin' and bout to begin.
Can't put me finger on what lies in store,
But I fear what's to happen all happened before”
And like breath of fresh air, Mary Poppins, the extraordinary English nanny, is blown by the East wind to Number Seventeen Cherry Tree Lane, and into the Banks' household to care for their children. With her parrot-headed umbrella and her magic carpet bag she introduces the children, Jane and Michael, to some wonderfully delightful people and experiences. Once she has transformed the Banks into a happy family once more, Mary puts up her umbrella and goes off with the changing wind.
“The wind stiffened, and the sky toward Providence stood revealed as possessing the density of some translucent, empurpled rock. . . . At the base of this cliff of atmosphere cumulus clouds, moments ago as innocuous as flowers afloat in a pond, had begun to boil, their edges brilliant as marble against the blackening air." And in blew Darryl Van Horne, a real horny little devil, ready to seduce the three Witches of Eastwick, Alexandra Jane and Sukie. The trio of bored, husbandless New England woman innocently conjure up a mystery man to satisfy their every desire. The wild-eyed, wild-haired and wildly rich Van Horne moves into town and he fits the bill perfectly. Although he wishes to have his evil ways with his witches and a fight between good and evil ensues, the three women have discovered almighty powers within themselves.
"The sly wind blew in from the north," narrates Vianne’s daughter Anouk, as she and her mother find themselves in the insolated and conservative French village of Lansquenet-sous-Tannes where they soon open a small chocolate shop. Vianne is treated suspiciously what with her wearing a red cloak and curvaceous clothing. She even has the nerve to defy tradition and open her chocolaterie during Lent. But her shop attracts the curious and Vianne and her tantalizing recipes mend a marriage, re-unite a grandmother and grandson, and empower a woman to leave her domineering husband. She even manages to make the uptight mayor loosen his girdle a little. "Chocolat" will do that to you. The wind changes again and Vianne and Anouk have to leave once again....or maybe this time, they'll stay.
Wind is often used as a metaphor for change. Here are three examples in which I think the change is positive.
Harris, Joanne, Chocolat, Doubleday 1999
Updike John, The Witches of Eastwick, Knopf 1984
Travers, P.L. Mary Poppins, Harper Collins, 1934