Just about every Western culture has a matriarchal myth -- the story of a strong, single woman who fights circumstances to protect and ensure the welfare of her family. Heck, the myth predates western society and even includes some pretty unbelievable legends -- Wonder Woman is not just a Marvel creation....
GB, I really look forward to sharing stories with you. Marvel Comics' Wonder Woman is only slightly less exciting than the "real" legends about the Amazons. And I know your Grandpa will be excited about sharing movies with you. Although, don't expect him to stay awake throughout an entire animated film. Just not going to happen. Especially if you are at all cuddly.
It's funny -- I did not want to see Pixar's Coco because animated movies can be just a bit tiresome. But, wow. Not only is this a visually stunning film, but the story is fascinating. Matriarchal myth meets Día de Muertos meets coming of age story. And completely apropos in my quest for understanding the Grandmother's place in the world. Not one, not two, but three abuelas -- okay, one abuela is dead, but a very lively character in the film.
Hmm. Now there is a thread to be examined in the future -- what do our great-grandmothers bring to life even if they've passed over?
Anyway, Coco has so much to say about the influence of memories in our lives. And memories are fundamental to the development of a family identity. Memories we make together and memories we tell one another over and over. Good times. Hard times. And just plain funny memories. I'll try not to spoil the movie for you, but two abuelas keep hurtful memories alive and kicking (even in the next life!) by banning a very joy-filled activity - music -- from the whole family culture. But the third abuela -- now there is the story. Abuela Coco has every reason to hate music, but her memory of music is life-giving, life-sustaining.
What memories can I give to you, GB, that will be life-sustaining? What memories will we make together that will carry you through the next 90 years?