Tuesday, December 27, 2016

December 27: Earth Reel, Carrie Fisher, May the Force Be with You

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I was standing lost, sunk, my hands in my pockets, gazing toward Tinker Mountain and feeling the earth reel down . . .

Dillard is feeling a little at sea near the end of the book.  It's the dead of winter.  Winterkilled grass.  Birds gone south.  Monarchs migrated.  Life in hibernation. 

Found out this afternoon that actress Carrie Fisher died.  Princess Leia gone.  It may seem silly, but it felt like a part of my childhood slipped away when I heard the news.  Like Dillard, I kind of stood near my desk at work, lost, hands in my pockets, feeling the earth reel.

Princess Leia was one of my first big crushes when I was a kid.  It was 1977, and I was ten when the original Star Wars was released.  I was at catechism class, and I found a magazine with pictures of golden robots, hairy giants, desert mammoths.  And in the middle of all that was Carrie Fisher, robed head-to-toe in virginal white, with those stupid hair buns on the sides of her head.  That night, I found a new religion.

I have been a Star Wars geek ever since.  I saw the original film 27 times in the theater.  The Empire Strikes Back--with Carrie Fisher is her space slave bikini--I saw over 30 times in its original release.  Sometimes, when I said prayers in church, instead of ending with "amen," I finished with "may the Force be with you."

I'm not going to talk about the religious and mythological implications of the story of Luke and Leia and Han--the hero's quest.  No, tonight I am mourning an important part of my adolescence.  My horny teenage boyhood.  The Star Wars universe taught me things about faith and hope and lust.  It also taught me that even the darkest soul can be redeemed through love.

The Death Star has cleared the planet, Princess Leia.

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