Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Strolling in the Perambulator with Mary Poppins

"Come along, we don't have time to dawdle. Spit spot! Pick up your feet. You are not as finely turned out, as I'd like but no matter. We are off!"

Going for a walk with our Nanny, Mary Poppins has indeed been an eye opener. She's sort of a cross between a nice Mommy, a bitchy nun and Baba Yaga who may eat you if you aren't careful where you step.
So please DO be careful.

We've learned a lot at the leading of this character from the author P.L. Travers who published the first of her Mary Poppins series in 1934. I admit that my knowledge of this story came to me via Disney and the movie of the same name. It was both fascinating and a bit unsettling when I watched it as a child. I didn't know whether to trust Mary or fear her. She is so unpredictable! Kind, well, not really. Civil, yes. Calculating, aware of the Universe's secrets and very proud of her less than stellar looks. What? Mary Poppins was not a beautiful Julie Andrews???  NO. Mary Poppins, (while practically perfect in every way) was really quite plain. Yet it did not stop her from admiring her visage in every mirror she came across.
Mary Poppins tells us to Love Ourselves. As we ARE.
To always keep a weather eye on the horizon. To go with the flow of the Universe and be able to adapt to the changes in the circumstances or the changing of the wind. She also tells us to not take things so seriously. Even miracles. Did we have tea on the ceiling? Yes we did. Was it a miracle? "Absolutely not. You can have tea on the ceiling anytime you wish. Such an idea. Why, I never! Sit up straight and don't pinch your sister."

I had never actually read the novel and found it to be quite amusing! There were some elements in the writing that were familiar to me via the movie, but in actuality there was quite a lot of difference and P.L. Travers was distraught with the movie's depiction of her writing when if first came out. Most of us in StoryBook Club though preferred the movie to the book (which is saying a lot because we usually prefer the book version to a movie).

How'ere, I would say that there were several stories within the book that really took me back to the Magick of Childhood. I especially liked the story of Andrew the dog and the returning of the stars to the night sky. Both of these stories were new to me, and they really captured my childhood wonder and the miracle of imagination to me. I felt like I was six again as I read it!

There are LOTS of themes out there to try to decipher Mary Poppins:

*One idea is that she was a Witch and that P.L. Travers was Pagan and into Theosophy. I agree that there are symbols and traits that can back that up.

*There are also conjectures that Mary Poppins is a Christian theme with Mary symbolizing Mary the Mother of God and that the chimneys are the gateway to Spirituality and the rooftops are the upper levels of Spirit and that Andrew is an Angel. I can certainly appreciate those threads.

*There are other ideas that Mary is a Time Lord and her carpetbag is a Tardis.

*Another idea is that Mary is actually a teacher in Hogwarts. Ok so she was killed in the first Voldemort Uprising so you didn't see her in the J.K. Rowling notes...
I like all these ideas too!  But first let me finish this joint......(cough cough....ah).

That's better. It's just all too amazing to be true! But SO wonderful to think on! Wouldn't it be wondrous to be able to jump into a painting? Or ride up a bannister? How about gluing the stars back in the heavens when they fell? I'd personally love to have a conversation with Andrew....or better yet, my dog Monty! I'm sure he'd tell me lots of things.

And well, there it is. It's the fact that we do NOT know everything. And much like God (or Spirit or Fate or whatever you call it) trying to teach us things, we can only learn from experience and imagination.

Here are some things I've learned from Mary Poppins:

*We are supposed to be Good.

*Stand up straight (figuratively and literally).

*Take your medicine. (but appreciate and take in the Good that comes from it too, realizing growth can be sweet).

*Don't dillydally. Get to the Point.

*Be your Best and always try to do the Right Thing.

*Admire Yourself. You ARE beautiful.

*Pick up after yourself. Don't make a mess for Others.

*You are allowed to have Fun and get Dirty as long as you hurt no one.(Harm None, do what you will :)

*Remember to Appreciate everything around you.

*Always Sing! It makes you and everyone around you feel better and understand things.

*Feed the Birds. Be Kind to those less Fortunate than You.

*Love makes you feel Grand!

*Don't be Sad. Au Revoir is "till we meet again" and not really Goodbye. (even if it means the Next Life)

But before we go, we should eat something and have a Nosh up. :)
And so we did!  We met at Korinna and Robs' house on 17 Cherry Tree Lane and it was splendid!

There was Tea (of course) and Bangers and Mash with Onion Gravy, Homemade Rolls, Scones, Pies, Jammy Dodgers, Honey Butter and crumpets and good clean lively fun and some swearing.

*I did not hear any swearing Michael. The Nerve of you to say so."

And so now we push on to Next Month's Theme in time for Winter Solstice, Yule and Christmas!

We are walking VERY quietly in the Woods and trying to find GNOMES.
 I HIGHLY recommend that this is the FIRST book you should read:

"Gnomes" by Wil Huygen, Rien Poortvliet
There will be a test. :)

Till then, may we wish you a loverly cuppa and some English Allsorts.

Happy Thanksgiving from StoryBook Club who is very thankful for our group ....
and to Mary Poppins for keeping ALL our secrets in her pocket!

Life IS what you make it.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

OH MY! It has been awhile since I commented!! Mary Poppins is my very favorite Disney movie, mayhaps because of me name! As a child, goings-on in the movie brought me true joy, and they still do! Have to admit though, never even realized that there was a novel that the movie was based on. Can't think of a better way to spend my Barnes and Noble gift card!