Monday, September 29, 2008

keep believing, keep pretending...

i'm not a terribly weepy person, but i cried like a baby this past sunday (some of it in public, and some of it privately), when AJ and i went to see the Jim Henson exhibit in d.c.

it's hard to explain... actually, it's not hard at all. i was raised on the muppets. i have very early memories of NEEDING my ernie doll in order to function. i still have my first kermit. i (it's true) have a little bit of a crush on kermit. i watch the Muppet Movie more often than most children probably watched it when it first came out. I still dream of reenacting moments from Kermit and Piggy's wedding when AJ & I tie the knot.
(can you imagine if we had a bunch of penguins and bears singing "somebody's getting MAAAAAAAA--WEEEEED"?)

jim henson and the muppets are childhood. they are dreams and they are possibilities.
seeing the 1970's Kermit puppet in a glass case was like seeing, i dont know, maybe the Mona Lisa for some. They were there! Bert and Ernie, and Rowlf, and these guys:
Mahna Mahna.
(man! i love that video! thanks youtube... this song, these muppets... this is the oldest "inside joke" my mom and i have).
To this day i can not listen to The Rainbow Connection without sobbing from the pure faith and hope in those lyrics--- "it's something that i'm supposed to be...." ; its a mantra i must have adopted before i ever knew what i mantra was.

i have no doubt that growing up with all that dancing & singing; all those happy, optimistic felt and feathers and eyeballs; all that love really affected me. it's not a coincidence that i make dolls, (as an adult) whose main audience happens to be adults. its not a coincidence that i try every day to find things i love and ways to share them and even more, ways to make a living sharing them. admittedly, it's hard to stay optimistic and positive every day... it's hard not to give in or give up and i know i get affected by that a lot more than i'd hoped to when i was younger, but all in all, i think i've handled adulthood pretty darned well, and i can't help but want to credit this amazing man, who only ever did what felt right and did it because it made other people happy too.

Henson once accepted an award and thanked the academy for allowing him to share his work, or rather "his fun", and i think i'd be happy to say the same to anyone who asked.

i found myself smiling in a full grin the entire way through the exhibit (occasionally singing along with the video clips, oohing and awwing at sketches and notebooks of Henson's private thoughts and plans) and managed to stay completely sober and calm until the last wall of the exhibit, when a poster with a slightly different version of this photo (this is the one i am familiar with from the commemorative stamps--- the one they had showed Henson face to face with a Bert doll),

and above the closing remarks were the lyrics from the song that closes The Muppet Movie. And this is when i lost it. I felt an actual lump moving up in my throat, and luckily, my sweet boy was there to hug me (and shield me from any strange looks or children my outpouring may have frightened). We left the exhibit, after watching an 18 minute wrap up film about Jim Henson's life and proceeded on with our day (including a trip to the National Zoo... amazing photos to come), and the rest of the day just felt B E A U T I F U L.

maybe it was the weather.
or the company.
or the animals.
or the fact that we barely paid for anything all day.

or, maybe it was the sensation of weightlessness that comes from knowing Optimism is Power and everything happens for a reason, and Anything truly is Possible. all i know is, i can't get these lyrics out of my head and i am determined to keep them there.

thank you kermit.
thank you mr. henson

"Life’s like a movie,
Write your own ending
Keep believing, keep pretending
We did just what we set out to do –
Thanks to the lovers
The dreamers
And you"

xoxo, danamarie


Dolcepuku said...

Very beautiful. I have no doubt that you and I would get along really well if we knew each other in life. Henson is my hero and I love everything he has ever done. I went to the exhibit the first day it opened and loved every piece. A lot of your stuff reminds me of Henson's monsters. My husbands family is obessed with doxies and in fact have 8 of them. And well overall I think you are a great person with a wonderful blog. Keep up the amazing work.

greenstarstudio said...

thanks dolcepuku.. that's the most beautiful thing i've ever read. i smiled for hours thinking about the wonderful compliments in so few sentences... and i had a pretty cruddy day today, so i definitely needed it! xoxo

Caitlin said...

Aww, this almost made me cry, myself. But it sounds like it was a good day.:)