Thursday, June 25, 2009
This winter I read about an elderly woman in Seattle who refused to move from her home despite incredibly lucrative offers from developers for her property. She held out against the tide of glass towers and chain stores, choosing to stay in her home while construction cropped up around her, dwarfing her home. Befriended by the construction site manager who took her to doctor appointments, she bequeathed him her home when she died, and now he plans to sell it to cover his daughter's education. A strange turn of events that I was reminded of when I attended the new animated film UP. The main character, an elderly man, is another holdout, and like our friend in Seattle, suffered the sights and sounds of the earth around him making way for an evolving urban landscape. In this case, however, the homeowner inflates thousands of helium balloons and floats off to South America. The film, lovely and sentimental, spoke to us who love our homes, but wonder if the home holds the same meaning without its context and its inhabitants.