Saturday, September 03, 2005

Living in fantasy

JM Barrie and his wife are turning to seperate rooms in Finding Neverland. They halt briefly outside their individual bedrooms, say goodnight, and open their door. His wife steps into her room as anyone would into one where loneliness is assured: solemnly, steadily, as if an unsteady frame would buckle under the weight of accumulated miseries. His door, meanwhile, opens simultaneously to green fields and expanses lush with life and imagination. He walks at his wife's pace, in her style, and it is only the surroundings that distinguish the nature of those few steps into their sanctuaries.

Amelie sleeps on a bed that encourages fantasy, reads at bedtime beside lamps that illuminate fantasy, and lives within colours that are fantasy. Her days are a flurry of wild incidents that have a colour of their own, and the colours and fantasies add up so her life is scarcely believable, like one illustrated by Quentin Blake. The soundtrack of this life is yellow, orange, red, blue, purple, and it coincides with moments of daring, mischief, calm and other things as she looks for love.

In a third movie, there is bare room full of promise. It has no floor and its walls are unpainted. There is a long window which looks out upon a quiet lane. People walk by, peering through the low window at the man watching them go by, a man imagining his everyday view. Books will line this wall, a sofa will sit by that one over there. A rug in the middle. Can I be Amelie? Or am I JM Barrie? He decides he is Barrie. Looking for love is one thing, finding a place to let the imagination run wild is another. So yes, he is JM Barrie. He will sit at a table by the window and build his own characters as they walk by. There are other rooms but they are not important. There will be a few beds, a dining table, a few sofas. But this space will have ideas floating within, so every surface, like the inside of an theater, should help bounce the waves until the room is filled with thoughts and loose ends echoing madly. Then, mid-flight, one idea will blossom and the rest will freeze, crash to the floor and shatter. He cannot see it happening in a colourful room. No, the colour will come from inside and paint the walls by itself. This way he always has a blank canvas. The soundtrack will be of a noisy keyboard and pencil on paper.

In another three months that room will be ready. I cannot wait.

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