a Godfather Thanksgiving

now it's personal - December 1, 2013m
 

This week, I told my Romanian friend about some of our strange Thanksgiving Day traditions…

…about how we stuff ourselves with turkey and watch football and The Godfather movie marathon on TV.

Well, Thanksgiving is about “family” and I guess The Godfather could be called a family-oriented movie…

I jest, but to be honest, I did watch much of that marathon this Thanksgiving…

Yes, on a day of giving thanks, I watched a story about loss, grief, and darkness.

At the beginning of the saga, mafia scion Michael Corleone seems determined to forge a separate identify for himself…

…but then, after a sudden turn of events, he embraces what he’s tried so hard to reject.

Strangely enough, despite all his nefarious deeds, I still feel empathy for Michael.  I feel grief as I witness his loss of self.

The two Godfather movies are filled with betrayals.   But the greater darkness comes from the way Michael Corleone betrays himself—from the way he kills his better self.

Every year, as we approach the Winter Solstice, we find so many ways to distract ourselves from the darkness—the darkness of our Winter evenings, the darkness of our moods, the darkness of our depths…

But though we wish to be merry and bright…

…I believe we also hold an opposite desire…a desire that finds release, perhaps, in those dark Godfather movies.

These two competing desires need not lead to conflict—speaking for myself, I just need to balance the two.

All that “merry and bright” in the days before Christmas can become downright grating, and in that way, depressing…

…unless…

…it’s anchored by something deeper, something darker, something rich as black loamy soil.
 

© 2013, Michael R. Patton
Open All Night

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About Michael Patton

I am a poet, novelist, essayist, cartoonist, graphic artist, peace miller, new mythologist, and fledgling world citizen.... I grew up in Northwest Arkansas and have lived and worked all over the United States.... I'm self-taught, for the most part--which is like searching for the right door in the dark. It's an on-going process.... I don't want to write MY story, I want OUR story, so that's what I'm studying: the human story: past, present, future, in its many aspects--including the spiritual. I'm proceeding at a slow crawl.... I don't see the inner world and outer world as separate. By learning about myself, I learn about others, I learn about my world.... Conversely, as I struggle to understand what I see OUT THERE, I learn about myself.... But to be clear: I don't claim any special understanding. I'm still purblind, still only half-awake.... After frustrating experience with the publisher of my first novel, I've published on my own, beginning with e-books, with plans to move into print and audio. Even video.... Along with a second novel, I've now published eight books of poetry. Each poetry book focuses on a theme. For instance, the collection GLORIOUS TEDIOUS TRANSFORMATION is about the slow difficult wonderful process of change.... In that book, as with all my work, I try to be accessible to a general audience, while also striving to achieve a certain literary quality.
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