Maitri Libellule
"Your life is an occasion. Rise to it."

From Mr. Magorium's Wonder Emporium

Last Thursday I was babysitting my five year old grandson. We watched a delightful movie that he had seen before and wanted to see again, the enchanting movie "Mr. Magorium's Wonder Emporium". With what has been going on in my life lately I was perfectly delighted to sit snuggled with this wee little curly haired towhead boy who is all gangly, with skinny arms and legs, and cuddlier than one can imagine, and all full of magic himself.

Dustin Hoffman was absolutely enchanting as Mr. Magorium. I have always loved Dustin Hoffman, and after watching the movie, I thought, this is so incredibly magical it could be this part of history's Wizard of Oz! And Natalie Portman as the whimsical adorable Mahoney, Mr. Magorium's cohort, who works in the store is so, so, well, there just isn't a word for it without repeating all of the words I've used 6 times over!

At the end of the movie (And I won't be a spoiler and give anything away...) Mr. Magorium gives Mahoney a piece of advice. When I heard it I got tears in my eyes and a shiver down my spine. It was so on target for me in my life right now it nearly startled me out of my seat. He gently looked at her and said, "Your life is an occasion. Rise to it." And I was dumbstruck.

I have done a lot in my life, but I have also been very fear-based about doing the things I most wanted to do, sort of low-balled what I deemed possible for me in my life. All of that is changing and I am being a little more bold and traveling into new areas and returning to work that I have loved and missed but for some reason, something inside was holding me back. Oh sure, I could give you a whole laundry list of "good reasons," but the truth is, life is always going to be life, filled with joys and sorrows, and hard times, and everything in between, and it is going to be busy and there are always going to be a million different reasons why we just can't do what we really want to do in our secret's heart desire. Phooey! Mr. Magorium was telling Mahoney that EVERYTHING is possible and MAGIC exists if only we believe and we shouldn't just slip-slide through life wishing and wanting and hoping and dying sadly disappointed at all that might have been.

When I see my mother in her dying process, I see a woman at peace. At nearly 83 (July 21) she has lived a very full life. She has loved and been loved. She has worked and been a hospice volunteer for 30 years and had many wonderful friends and traveled the world and she said that she has had a very full, blessed life. Her life has been an occasion, and she has risen to it!

It also reminds me of a wonderful passage in one of my dear friends, May Sarton's, books. I searched for the quote this morning, but could not find it. What she essentially wrote was that she was not afraid to die, because she had lived a full life. She had taken risks, she had found success, experienced failure, joy, sorrow, and all that life could hold. She too had traveled the world, having been born in Belgium and grown up in the United States she went to Europe often. She went to Japan when she turned 50, a long-held dream. She said that the people who were afraid to die were those that had not really lived, and were coming to the end with many regrets and lost hopes. That is my rendition of the quote, and it holds, I think, the meaning of what May said. It is certainly what she meant. I will have to find it and put it here some day.

I am a great lover of quotes and save them by the thousands. Two of my favorite writers to quote from are Ralph Waldo Emerson, and Helen Keller.

Emerson wrote:

"People wish to be settled: only as far as they are unsettled is there any hope for them."

And Keller wrote:

"Security is an illusion. Life is either a daring adventure or it is nothing at all."

I think Mr. Magorium would have loved these. Why, he lived 243 years! I'm sure he knew them all in person! I simply know that somehow, in these last few years, and more and more each day, I have taken the albatross around my neck and set him down, wished him well, and walked on. I am dancing down the yellow brick road of my life, and at the end I shall sail away in a hot air balloon!

Live your life fully. Rise to the occasion!

4 Responses
  1. Dorothy L Says:

    What a lovely ode to is so true in your thought of fearing death because there was no life...and when the thought of life ending appears...panic sets in and one feels gilted or robbed when all the time life was present yet unappreciated. not wait to to live :)

    Nice to see your CMF card on my blog....Thank You:)

    Keep on smiling:)

  2. Anonymous Says:

    Hi Maitri, just found your blog via CMF and wanted to say what a great quote, and moving post this is. I'm similar to you; especially being fear-based about things. My motto could be 'If I don't try, I can't fail!'

  3. kml Says:

    Another beautiful blog you have here, Maitri! I love quotes too - always have from a very early age.

    Thanks for your CMF ad and letting me find you!


  4. Anonymous Says:

    Hi Maitri,
    I just wanted to say that I am so grateful to you for keeping this blog. I love Mr. Magorium! It may be billed as a kids' movie, but adults can learn the most from it!

    With appreciation,


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