My wife says I have to write about this. So here goes. The context is that we just went and saw the final Twilight movie last weekend…our first trip to the theater since July. Clara has understandably challenged our frequent movie-going lifestyle of the pre-Clara era. Though to be fair, Clara actually does really well in the two movies we’ve taken her to…sleeps through it all.
Okay, I’m not a Twilight fanboy, to clarify. Though I was admittedly looking forward to the final flick of the series. And I enjoyed it. So there it is.
Why I want to be a vampire. There’s a scene in the movie (possible though not probable spoilers ahead) in which Bella, newly “vampired,” is hunting in the woods. Part of her self-discovery of her new abilities includes her realization that she possesses a strong awareness of her surroundings. We the viewer see through her eyes the intricacy and beauty of the nature around her. It is reminiscent of the attentive mind of Annie Dillard but certainly with a far greater perceptiveness than Dillard possesses. After all…Dillard isn’t a vampire, I don’t believe. Just a writer.
There’d be some downsides to being a vampire, for sure. My daughter might be at risk of getting eaten. I think I’d really regret that. I really like Clara. As a daughter, I mean, not as food.
But becoming a vampire—in the lore of Twilight—is a kind of awakening, a baptism, a new awareness. While vampires are in some sense dead (I think, if I understand the mythology correctly, sorry Twilight geeks, forgive my uncertainty), their death is in ways a movement from frailty to strength, from ignorance to awareness. Vampires can more clearly see things as they are. They don’t just see a tree but seem to really understand that it’s more than just a tree.
I wonder if I were immortal like a vampire, and had this heightened awareness of beauty and complexity, of the sacredness of creation, if I might spend my days just learning, watching. I only have so much time in my day, my year, my life, and so much I have to do. I don’t always have time to savor the world around me. I have to produce, be active, make things happen. Right? That's life, isn't it? But if I were a vampire—and thus had long life and strong senses—I’d probably spend my days learning to enjoy, to watch, to see, to delight in the endless beauty screaming out from the created (and still being created) world around me.
That’s why I want to be a vampire. Or, at least start acting more like one...but maybe not in all ways. I tried gelatinous pig’s blood when I lived in China. That was all the blood I think I'll ever need.
Oh, and, for the record, I’m still “Team Charlie.”
Also, here are a couple old pics from July that Joann thought were relevant to the topic. I was trying to play Clara like an electric guitar. That's my rock star face. Although, now I see that it makes me just look, um, "thirsty." Perhaps the transformation has already begun.