Black Cloud, White Feather

I hope that at least one or two of my previous posts has proved me to be a quasi-intelligent person, because this one certainly won’t.  But they say the first step in overcoming your problems is to admit you have them.  Well here goes:  I have a unicorn addiction.  And it’s not a small one.

At first it started out small – little figurines, a music box or two that my parents would buy for me.  But then it got bigger – unicorn busts, unicorn clothing, even unicorn shelves to put more unicorns on.  I just couldn’t stop.

A part of my craving was the classy movies of the time, the Last Unicorn in particular.  And while I no longer have the same admiration for the author of the book, Peter Beagle, that I once did (I’m still waiting for my copy of ‘Two Hearts’, you putz), the movie does have a certain self-empowerment message and additional charm that I approve of.  However, other standards of the day, particularly ‘Legend’, left something to be desired.  Has anyone seen legend as an adult?  Or at least listened to the musics?  If not, don’t.  And the dirty horses they used to play unicorns were just sad, really.

The other two unicorn movies I can recall from my childhood were both Unico movies:  The Adventures of Unico, and Unico and the Fantasic Island.  Both were pretty classy.  In the first a devil learns about making friends  and a little girl (Ok, cat first, girl later) learns about being content with what she has.  Pretty classy lessons.  I think I’m going to try and say classy in this post as many times as possible.  Anyway, in the second one a fat cat learns not to be a bully, and a snotty older brother learns to be less snotty.  Kinda.  So that’s classy.

The point is not many of these movies have much to do with today, or at least where I am today.  Sure, Last Unicorn is a good little lesson for a younger girl just learning to stand on her own to feet, finding her own way.  And the Unico movies do give some kiddie friendship and respect lessons.  But really, I think as an adult I’ve already learned most of these lessons.  With the possible exception of the being snotty one – maybe I should watch that second Unico again.

But it brings me to the very first Unico movie, the one I’ve never seen, that may have a lesson I haven’t learned yet.  Unico: Black Cloud, White Feather was never translated into English.  Thus far I have been unable to secure a version with English subtitles – but as I’m writing this I realize I have a friend who is a Japanese translator.  Duh.  Leo, I need your superpowers.  Anyway, the supposed plotline is that Unico is running away from the jealous gods again, who don’t think he should have the right to make people happy.  This time he ends up at a highly polluted city where he makes friends with a girl who is suffering and very ill due to the pollution of a nearby factory.  Obviously, as it is his nature to make people happy, he’s going to shut down the nasty, evil factory that makes technological devices at a cheap, cheap price.  And it came out decades before “An Inconvenient Truth”.

I’ve been mildly sick since Thanksgiving, as has Mike.  Maybe this whole living together thing means we’re just passing it back and forth alot.  But really, I just think it’s the factory.  I’ve got to find that evil factory that’s polluting my personal airspace.  Say, where’s my unicorn?

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Renewed Winter Wonderland

Today is the first day of the second snowstorm in Boston this winter season, the first of the new year. I, in my infinite wisdom, am sitting cozily at work rather than cozily at home. Why did I drag my sorry self out of bed, through the snow, and into the office? I don’t know. My boss isn’t here. In fact, the major percentage of the office isn’t here. Who is here? Myself, the other admin in my area, the intern, and our newest employee, just out of grad school. Oh, and the part-time HR lady. So that shows you where the real dedication to our office lies. Or the real naiveté. Or maybe just the people who still live within reach of public transportation. Anyway, I’m looking at a long day of doing not much.

True, there are some benefits to coming into work today. I don’t have to take care of my sick boyfriend, who is also working from home – instead I have no responsibilities. I get to spend more lovely time writing online with all of you. I may be able to find something profitable for myself to do. And I did get to go outside into the sunshine for awhile, get icy snow particles up my nose, and avoid snowblindness. So that’s good.Outside the office window

And to be honest, it is quite beautiful outside. The world is silent, and almost a little misty with blown snow obscuring visibility. There are no birds, and few people. Corina was remarking how Harvard Square was like the aftermath of a nuclear bomb-just no one and nothing visible, which is very rare. I wish I could show you what I was seeing on my way to work today, but as usual, I forgot my camera, so you’ll just have to imagine a bit and make do with these shots from my cell phone.

Snow obscures the landscape and the sky, yes, making driving more difficult. But it also blankets the world in loveliness, softening the jagged edges and covering the dirt and grime of our typical city existence. It redefines shapes with low contours – the sidewalks, the protruding eaves of buildings, the lettering of signs. It beautifies the tops of tree branches, giving the bare exposed limbs new winter life with little snowy flowerets. It silences the world, muting the everyday noises but filling your hearing with swirls of wind, numbing your ears. It makes my life difficult, yes, but for its strangeness, for its break in the monotony of my winter life, and for its beauty, I am grateful for it, and grateful to have been out in it today.

Tree ‘reflowering’