Last year a live-action adaptation of Beauty and the Beast with Emma Watson came out. I was quite excited for it, but somehow the snob in me did not expect the film to affect me very much. Come on, I know the story, right? It only goes to show that switching off your inner snob can be quite worthwhile. The text that struck me most comes from the song that Belle’s dad sings about his wife (and is repeated a few times by other characters too):
How does a moment last forever?
How can a story never die?
It is love we must hold onto
Never easy, but we try.
First of all, the way Kevin Kline performed this song and acted out Maurice’s love for and missing of his wife made me sob, I will admit. As the daughter of a widower, I feel quite close to this kind of grief. But more generally, this question can be applied to many moments in life. Do you recognize the bittersweet feeling of having a lovely time with friends or family but knowing it will end? Wishing you could charm the moment into a jar (Hermione-style) so you could feel that way forever? It’s the universal question of how we can let the good moments in our lives weigh more heavily than the sad moments.
The song’s answer may sound a bit cliché, but is also true (as often with clichés). For me it refers to the love we feel for people who are not with us at that moment. How just the simple fact of you loving someone has power and meaning in itself, even if they don’t know that you’re thinking about them that minute. (I’m a big supporter of telling people of how you feel though – go spread that love!)
The song reminds us about of the little batteries we have inside ourselves that we can charge in happy moments to get some energy from on sad days. “It’s not easy but we try”: we have to keep training ourselves to absorb love, to train the capacity of our batteries, to reach for them when we feel sad. Basically, life is hard (it sucks!), but remember: there are good moments. They won’t last forever, but their value to you can.
The image comes from the 2016 Flow Calendar that I still use as note paper. Under it lies my beloved passion planner.