I had a strange dream the other night. It was one where I was on my own, trying to find my friends, to meet someone. I walked and wandered long halls looking. I found myself being approached and manhandled by someone, but strange…I can’t remember now who it was.
It was one of those dreams that seemed to drag on and on, like being stuck in the Land of Oz. I called for help, but none came.
It was one of those dreams, like when you fall asleep with the TV on and it enters your dreams, but this time it was smell that was the problem. I was smelling something, so strong, that pierced my nostrils. I couldn’t get away from it and I tried so hard to wake from that.
All so strange.
Strange, stranger, strangest.
I do believe in spooks. I do believe in spooks. I do I do I do. I do.
So, it’s the night before Halloween and I’m watching The Wizard of OZ on television, right.
Halloween equals witches. Wizard of Oz equals witches.
A yellow brick road. A pair of magic, ruby, red slippers. What magic powers could a pair of red shoes contain anyway?
Hourglass counting down the minutes till doom would arrive.
I’ve always feared this film, at parts, and I’m certain I am not alone in that, but more than feeling afraid, growing up I just thought this story was odd, bizarre, weird, but it also felt strangely like home.
I was definitely no writer or storyteller when I was a kid. I don’t think I had much of an imagination, anyway, and maybe that’s why I still lean toward nonfiction today, when I write, although I now really do enjoy reading fiction too.
There’s no place like home. I will forever equate Oz with my grandparents. This movie will always remind me of them. It’s set during the thirties, on a farm, and with a tornado. My grandparents and their farm lived through a tornado in the late seventies.
I’m now watching Wizard of Oz with descriptive. Even when I watched as a kid, I had more sight than I do now, but I’m still learning things about the movie, by listening to the descriptive track. I must have seen this film a hundred times, but must have missed a lot every other time I watched.
I can understand always feeling like I’m a bother, that I’m in the way, as they tell Dorothy she is at the beginning of the film.
That feeling of wanting to get away, the one she expresses during her “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” is one I like to think about, beyond everything, but how do you get there? Does it require a twister every time?
Like entering Narnia through the wardrobe or through a picture of a boat on the waves, of which I’d read years later. I could compare and connect so many of these stories, showing that all ideas are a part of one another.
Well Dorothy gets her wish for adventure. The Wicked Witch was scary.
It’s a frightening part, when they scream for help in the magic poppies, but it’s that strange sensation you have during a dream, during those times where you know you are dreaming and yet you want to wake up, but can’t. Your mind isn’t quite ready for consciousness.
It’s a helpless feeling, but the feeling of complete and utter fatigue is one I knew well when I was going through kidney failure, twenty years ago. It’s a scary feeling, that exhausting fatigue that drags you down, leaving you feeling like you’re lost in a fog.
The witch bewitches poppies, attractive to the eye, but poisonous. Not so different from the poisoned apple in Snow White. More of that literary connectedness that I love.
Back to witches, as it is the time of year for those.
Even the Wicked Witch of the West reminded me of my grandma, sometimes, when she would say a specific line, not that my grandma ever talked with wickedness, but again it’s the accent, the way they spoke in those days I guess.
A horse of a different colour? Trees that talked, men made out of straw, tin, and a lion that spoke like a man. Yeah, that’s right. Absolutely no ability to imagine things different from what they were. Why couldn’t the seven-year-old me let go of all that I knew?
I knew it was make believe, but it was the strangest thing to me. I couldn’t quite let go of the logic I was so familiar with, even as a child who knew how to play make believe myself.
Dorothy reminds me of my grandmother for her clear naivete
Glinda the Good Witch, for her kindness, the light, love, and warmth that radiate from her, that pink bubble that she floats in and out in.
All the men, the wizard, and Uncle Henry all reminded me of my grandpa, when they said certain words and in the tone of their voices. Even the Witch’s guards sounded like my grandpa when they spoke.
Now it will forever help me feel closer to both my grandpa and grandma. Someone once said the whole story made no sense. Of course not, but in a strange way…
There’s no place like home?
Home is this terrible place, where Dorothy was always in the way and some nasty neighbour woman was trying to take Dorthy’s dog.
Many people are forever trying to escape the reality of their own lives, to discover what’s waiting for them (over the rainbow), only to discover that the grass isn’t necessarily greener and home really isn’t so bad after all.
Well, Oz didn’t seem like such a merry old land to me. It may have been in colour: yellow brick road, ruby red slippers, and the Emerald City, but everything about it seemed frightening to me. A bad dream, but I was used to those, or just a strange dream, the strangest. I had plenty of those.
I didn’t really know, when I was a little girl, about the books the movie was based on. The film made recently, Oz the Great and Powerful, with James Franco and Mila Kunis playing the future Wicked Witch of the West I feared so much. This film was even stranger than the original.
The witch’s guards were only doing what she said because they were afraid? Because she told them, ordered them to do it? This question puzzled me. They would cheer when she was dead. How strange.
Also, a witch could be killed by having water thrown on her?
That seemed strange, a stranger way to kill a witch, I had not heard. If it were that easy, why didn’t someone do that much earlier?
There again came my rationalizations. I was a bit of a strange kid, to be honest.
But that feeling that Dorothy almost had a way home, the wizard planning on taking her with him, but then the dog ran off and the balloon floated up and off without her, leaving her there for good, or so it would seem.
Couldn’t she just recognize the scarecrow, tin man and lion, not to mention the wizard and witch were people in her real life?
Dorothy was crying so much. Strange.
Other characters cried a lot too. The man who let them in to see the wizard and the lion. All of it, strangely reminded me of my grandparents.
All she had to do, it turned out, was click her heels together three times and say: “theres no place like home.”
Really? That’s all?
She couldn’t do it before, really?
Because the movie needed to run its course, but Glinda said it was because Dorothy wasn’t ready, that she had to figure it all out for herself, that there was no place like home. She had to go on the whole strange journey, to learn the lesson she needed to learn.
“Oh, what a world!”
–The Wicked Witch of the West
Is it strange that I felt sad once the witch was gone?
I thought all the costumes and makeup were strange. The one actor playing the Tin Man had to back out of the role because he was allergic to the silver makeup, nearly dying I think I read somewhere.
So strange that the wizard, thought to be all powerful, “very good, but very mysterious,” according to Glinda, wasn’t what he appeared. How many in power are not so mysterious or so smart or strong as they want people to believe?
Looks are deceiving, or something like that.
The Lion cries, as they stand before the wizard, begging to go home. More crying and that’s not even including the big goodbye scene between Dorothy and her friends.
“Dorothy…small and meek.”
Your Honour, Your Excellency, Your Wizardry.
They had to prove they were brave before he would grant their wishes. Who was he to demand bravery anyway? What kind of magic was this?
They call the wizard: “Humbug!”
Again, reminding me of the square mints my grandma always had.
Universities where men go to become great thinkers?
Oh right. A strange feeling I get when I realize the time of these stories, when mostly men, if not only men would have gone to university, whereas now we don’t give it a second thought that we, as females, go to university right there along with the guys.
The Cowardly Lion had been Confusing courage with wisdom. He was given a medal to prove his bravery. We need medals to prove bravery these days. They have a medal. Like soldiers. Or witch slayers.
“Aw, shucks folks. I’m speechless.”
I feel self conscious when I’m told I’m brave too, Lion.
Hearts will never be practical until they can be made unbreakable. The Wizard of Oz says this and he is quite right.
Good deed doers.
“A heart is not judged by how much you love, but by how much you are loved by others.”
–The Wizard of Oz
The night before Halloween, every year, author Anne Rice is the guest of honour at a ball named for her most famous character from her books.
I am not a fan, but many people love the world Rice has created. Who’s to say what is strange and what is not?