Girls Rock!

“Chippy Heads West” by Hope Arden, Plasticine

Hope & Chippy

Off the Map

Even though I lost interest in television years ago, I still enjoy watching movies. I usually borrow DVDs from the library. I often have little idea what I’m getting into and this is a hit-or-miss way of film watching. Still, I come across some very interesting films by this open-minded way of selecting DVDs. The film Off the Map captured my attention immediately with its cinematographystunning cloudscapes of New Mexicos desertand unusual characters that I can’t help admire.

I’m captivated by off-grid living and ways of being that are more in tune with nature. The way the couple in the film respectfully parent their daughter, Bo, in many ways, is what I aspire to accomplish with my own daughter. In fact, I don’t think they ever say “No” to their daughterever. Bo says and does as she pleases. She has a mind of her own that tends toward imaginative thinking and a thoughtful/loving nature. She does do a few alarming things though that her mother, Arlene, handles with grace and calm. In fact, I’m not sure anyone could be as non-reactive and relaxed as Arlene is portrayed, which leads to my favourite scene in the film...

William, the IRS agent that is sent to audit the family, has an allergic reaction to a bee sting and finds himself at the mercy of this unconventional family. As he’s recovering, he can’t help but fall in love with the beauty of the desert and the free-spirited Arlene. When he declares that he’s in love with Arlene and cannot hide it, she says, “That’s good.” There’s no ego in her response, it’s that she understands how love happens when your heart opens up to life. She tells William that New Mexico is a powerful place and that he should take as much time as he needs (and remain with the family) until he gets his bearings. When he asks if her husband will mind, she confidently says no. Later in the film, it’s apparent that the husband is as benevolent as Arlene is. He makes his own brotherly (fatherly?) connection with William that is most loving and healing for everyone involved.