Weekend wrap and Gatsby review

So, we had our first long weekend of the season. I did not go up to the cottage since I wanted to get a lot done around the house. I had scheduled very little on the social front but that turned into tennis, shopping on Queen West, dockside drinks, getting to know the neighbours better at a BBQ, a couple of movies, and then another BBQ and fireworks with the kids. There are very few perfect times in life, but this weekend came pretty close. My friend Melinda, who upheld me during a very dark chapter in my life was amazed at the transformation. As we sat outside at the club, enjoying spectacular weather and watching the sailboats, we were spontaneously joined by various people I've come to know over the past eight months. God does amazing work. Even though I'm a type A planner, I'm learning that sometimes it makes more sense to hold things lightly and see what unfolds. 

On Friday, I saw Gatsby. Fabulous. The acting is bad - distractingly so at times. And the story is not plot-driven, as anyone who has read the book knows. But that is all beside the point. The sets and costumes are genius. The Prada gowns alone justify the ticket price. And the soundtrack. Amazing. I downloaded it the minute I got home.

The movie made me cry, which surprised me (and likely the people sitting beside me too...) It was some combination of Lana Del Ray's voice and Fitzgerald's words and the theme of the book and the space I was in. How easy it is to fill our lives with Buchanans and their associated money, power, and prestige. I first teared up when Nick sees Tom and Daisy for who they are:

They were careless people, Tom and Daisy - they smashed up things and creatures and then retreated back into their money or their vast carelessness, or whatever it was that kept them together, and let other people clean up the mess they had made....

I pulled out my high school copy of Gatsby. As an English major and voracious reader who has moved too many times, I have given away hundreds of books. But I kept Gatsby and as I flipped through it I saw that I'd both underlined and asterisked that particular passage in the book. Although most of the ink has faded over the years, the asterisks remained bold.

I was glad I filled my weekend with good people. I have a new life now, one devoid of the glitter set. What most people consider a major reversal of fortune has been my biggest blessing. And ultimately, that's where Gatsby gets it wrong. Yes, we beat on, boats against the current, but nothing is beyond redemption. There is life - amazing life - beyond the green light. And for this I am so very grateful.