Friday, October 18, 2013

Birthday and Billy Faulkner

It's a special day today!  Six years ago today our oldest son Parker joined our family. He has been terribly excited about his approaching birthday, just as we were terribly excited to welcome him into our family six years ago today.

Mommy meets Parker, 2007

The birthday boy is at school today while Holly is at a doctor's appointment for baby number 4.  I am home here watching Carter and Anderson.  When I pick Parker up from school we will be getting milkshakes like we promised him for his birthday weeks ago.  (He loves milkshakes.)  Then he will (finally) decide on a birthday dinner and we will open his presents.

Parker 2013
Where one birthday ends, another birthday will soon begin, as our love Holly is measuring 39 weeks!  It certainly will be any day now.  This weekend would actually be ideal since Holly's folks will be taking the boys for the weekend and it will just be myself and Holly waiting idly for the baby.  (To pass the time we will certainly go out to eat and enjoy being kid-less.)

As for me, I've been reading intently for the passed twenty-odd hours.  (Several last night while Holly was out with a friend and several more today while watching the boys.)  See, I spied a trailer for a new movie yesterday on the New York Times, the first cinematic adaptation of William Faulker's As I Lay Dying. I took a Faulker's seminar in college and As I Lay Dying was one of the first texts we examined.  I watched the trailer below.

After watching the trailer I just had to read the book again.  So I stumbled up into the attic and tossed my books around until I found my copy from college.  I just finished it a half hour ago and I am stunned to experience again how brilliant it is.  I mean holy smokes!  Those Bundrens!  The horror! The black comedy! The gravity! and Oh, the literary style!  It was revolutionary.

Faulkner's As I Lay Dying with some of Anderson's favorite texts!
I'd love to sit down and have a conversation with someone about it.  That can't happen right not so I will just make a cliff note observation and call it a day: Jewel and Cash are symbolically named. Cash is effective and hard working, building his mother's coffin outside her window, never complaining, and working stoically and methodically throughout the novel.  For the Bundren's that's as good as real money, or more simply, "Cash."

Our man William "Billy" Faulkner, author of As I Lay Dying
Jewel on the other hand, being illegitimate, does not have Anse's lazy streak in him.  (Consider how he works faithfully at 15 for his beloved horse, more work than Anse probably ever did in his life.) Jewel could probably actually be somebody, an actual "town folk" if his obligations to the family weren't holding him down.

Jewel's real worth requires more sacrifice on the part of the family. It's not a liquid wealth, but it is a "jewel", something that has to be cashed in to gain it's full value.  In other words, effort is involved to get Jewel to bless the family, effort no one in the family was willing to perhaps invest in.  I felt more sympathy for Jewel this time around in the novel.  He could have been so much had he not been muddled in the families difficulties.

Now what does that have to do with me?

P, C, & A
Simple.  I don't have a Cash, Darl, or Jewel, but I do have a Parker, Carter, and Anderson.  And I need to let them be themselves even if it means pushing my own laziness and ambitions to the side.
But enough of that.  I will be picking up Parker soon, Holly will come home, and birthday festivities will begin!

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