Sunday, January 6, 2013

Neverending Nail Art


Aussie Nails Monday 7/01/12 Theme: Animal
As usual, I managed to take this theme and run off somewhere pretty unexpected with it - but that's what you're all here for, right?
When running through my head all the animals that I could use as inspiration, for some reason my brain seized on Falcor from the Neverending Story. I wonder if this is because The Neverending Story is inextricably linked with the despair of realising you're becoming an adult and that you'll never be truly a child again once it starts, and I've got a bit of that going on with my imminent return to my day job. Maybe it's just because I picked up a sweet sky blue polish the other day and was looking to use it. Regardless, here is my effort.

I took my visual inspiration from the movie version, and did what I think is a pretty good impression of Falcor soaring across my nails.

I even painted some clouds for him to fly in on my other hand.

The Neverending Story is the first movie I remember really, really loving, and I would watch my VHS copy over and over if allowed to. Even though I was so scared of the wolf at the end I had to leave the room until it was over, I watched the movie again and again. I've often wondered if this is where my long time obsession with boys with long hair came from. I even put down money to get the actor who played Atreyu, Noah Hathaway, to sign a picture for me last year at a comic con - he looks NOTHING like he did when he was in the movie anymore, but then, I don't look like I did when I loved it either. (In case you're curious, he now runs his own tattoo parlour, and has cut his luscious tresses into a mohawk now.)

My obsession with researching the crap out of things that interest me isn't new - I remember as soon as I found out the movie was based on a book I started a frantic hunt to track down a copy of it. Unfortunately, the single copy in our local library was in the adult section, and being only nine, I wasn't technically allowed to borrow it. Fortunately, I was friends with the librarian and she was kind enough to let me borrow a book as big as my head from a section I wasn't even supposed to be browsing. She appreciated my passion for books, and apparently didn't think the fact the book was translated from German, or intended for readers roughly twice my age would hinder my enjoyment of it. And she was absolutely right.

I loved it so much I immediately decided I was going to be a writer, and started a novel with some rather striking similarities to The Neverending Story. Eventually I gave up on this idea, and the ambition got pushed aside for more pressing matters, like whether that boy at school liked me or not. I have occasionally gone back to writing fiction, but it never lasts. I write some shorts, attempt another draft of the novel I've been working on for over ten years now, but the compulsion always gets swamped by self doubt and the dream gets shoved back under the bed again.

I read this book again a couple of years ago, and ended up weeping for hours over it, because lost dreams are what the book is all about, and as it turns out, it only gets more moving the older you get. 
If you've only seen the movie, you've really missed the best part of the story. The first half is pretty stock standard "for children" fantasy. Bastian hates his life, he gets sucked into a magical world where everything is way more awesome. Only the land is in danger! Oh noes! Of course, Bastian saves the day. This is where the movie ends, but it's actually only about halfway through the book, and while there is a sequel movie, it's pretty dreadful and doesn't capture any of the bleak pathos of the second half of the book. The quick crib notes of the second half of the book are that Bastian sets about rebuilding Fantasia (Fantastica in the English translation of the book), but eventually discovers that for everything he creates, he loses a memory of who he used to be and the life he had before Fantasia. If he keeps going he will become nothing but a shell. While his BFF Atreyu is horrified by this, Bastian is largely unmoved for a long time - he doesn't even remember what he's lost, so why would he stop?

It's a fascinating study of the relationship between power and freedom, and the sliding scale between adulthood and childhood. It warns against leaving your childhood entirely behind, and illustrates the sacrifices that are demanded by power. It asks the reader to decide what they are willing to lose to get what they want, and whether it will really be worth it in the end, while pointing out you have no way of being sure of whether it will be worth it or not until it's over.

Having said all that, it's an incredible book, and I would highly recommend it to anyone. If I could get everyone who saw the movie to read the book and really think about it, I have a sneaking hope the world might be a different kind of place.

 And on that inspiring note, be sure to check out the other participants in the Aussie Nail Challenge!
Lissa’s Polish Addiction - Nail Gun XS - Marie’s Manicure Madhouse - Shatter Me Claire - A Polished Prance -Shades of Phoenix - The Epitome of Superficiality - Lacquer Dreams - NananaisNails - Enamoured With Enamel - Adelle1985 (Instagram) - Kelly's Kolors - Polished Peripherals - Every Little Polish - Mel My Issta - Walk In My Eyeshadow - JennLojko (Instagram) - Erinzi’s Nails - Lovessweetas (Instagram) - Jas’ Blingtastic Nails - Mckfresh (Instagram) - Lili_Bete (Instagram) - Jibber Jabber - Messy Mansion - Nailovelogy

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