Last year my husband and my girls made me a movie. For Mother’s Day. It is awesome and beautiful and not at all sappy or sentimental. (You will want to watch it now.)
Anyway, in this movie (SPOILER ALERT) one of my children dies—not actually, she’s acting. Still, the viewer watches her die on screen. She cries and coughs and is convincingly miserable. Give the girl an Oscar.
Did I mention this was my Mother’s Day present?
Anyway, I was talking to Justin about it later, about how much I loved it but about how maybe it wasn’t very Mother’s Day-y, what with the progeny dying and all, and he laughed and said “Yeah.”
Justin, turns out, hadn’t been thinking about a hearts and rainbows mommy present. He had his mind on telling a story. And in great stories, people die. Right?
Bridge to Terabithia, Les Miserables, Spiderman, Hamlet, The Princess Bride..
And, of course, The Bible, a book full of people (including one God-person) dying.
Justin calls the movie “Reduction,” as in the cooking technique of reducing a liquid, usually boiling it, until what’s left in the pan is smaller, more concentrated, and sweeter. In reduction we get to the saturated essence of something. That happens when people die—we see clearly.
I watched Justin’s movie again, on a non-Mother’s Day day pretending the actresses were not my children, and I decided he was right; that Eve character had to die.
She had to die to enable and propel the story.