Through Pinocchio's Lens

Manila Bulletin, August 18, 2014 | Go to article overview

Through Pinocchio's Lens


Ive been wanting pizza all day. Ive been thinking about Elizabeth Gilberts Eat, Pray, Love, and her time in Italy, living vicariously through her carb-eating body, grateful that imaginary gluttony can also be remedied with imaginary cardiovascular exercise. The truth is, movement of any kind is the last thing I want to tackle right nowmy couch is comfortable, the weather outside is schizophrenic, and I have about an hour and 10 minutes to mobilize again to pick up Kaya from school. Now, there are several directions I could take you in at this point of my rambling, sort of like a Choose Your Own Adventure book, except each of my options end on the same page. The first path, for example, would revolve around the question of what it means to be an involved parent, and at what point your life stops and your childs starts (or vice versa). The second path might traverse into a discussion on whether or not one needs to take a physical journey to find their personal truth or if the search for spiritual salvation can be sated with a proverbial trek. The third path could really just digress into Italian culture, discuss if and how pizza has been bastardized by Americans, which would then likely trigger a discussion on whether or not anyone in China actually knows what General Tsos Chicken even is. Whats that you say? You want to plunge through all three? Fine. But like I said, I have to pick up Kaya in an hour and five now, and you know how traffic is these days, so well skim and save the plunging for another day. Lets spice things up a little bit though, shall we, and dissect the three storylines using the tale of Pinocchio as our microscope. Parenthood. In Le Avventure di Pinocchio, as written by Carlo Collodi (Carlo Lorenzini by birth) between 1881 and 1883 in his native Italy, the story begins with the character of Geppetto, a woodcarver and craftsman who creates a magnificently lifelike puppet, stemming from his personal desire to have a real live son of his own. As we all know, in both the original written version and later Disney interpretations, a divine or magical force makes this wish come true, and Pinocchio, now only half-a-puppet, steps fully into this role of the little boy. Fully means running the entire gamut of what it is little boys bring to the table. Irresistible bursts of affection, inquisitiveness, and a dash of stubborn defiance. A result of disobedience toward his maker-father, Pinocchio finds himself lost, and in a significant amount of trouble. Geppetto risks life and limb to find his newly gifted son, representative of the parent who will quite literally give up his life for that of his children. …

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