The following article was previously posted at my Being the Magic; Sharing the Wonder blog.
Monday, 17 March 2008
I was thinking of Mary Poppins yesterday, which happens to be one of my favourite films. Mary Poppins is a nanny but no ordinary nanny. Wherever she goes, she is able to transform her environment from the ordinary to the extraordinary. Later while I was channel hopping on television, I discovered "Mary Poppins" was being shown on one channel though there was only about 45 minutes remaining.
It's funny how I've seen "Mary Poppins" so many times and yet it was the first time I'd actually noticed this line: "there's no such thing as you!" Before I go into what it means to me, a bit of background about the movie.
When the Banks children need a nanny, Mary Poppins magically appears to look after them. She introduces the children to a world of wonder: where animals and birds speak; inanimate objects come to life; where you can travel through paintings; and that wonderful word "Supercalifragilistic- expialidocious." Mary Poppins also introduces the children to a few of her friends like Bert who is an artist and chimney sweep and is filled with joy; and Uncle Albert who is also full of joy. Put another way, the children have stepped into the fourth dimension of Joy and Love where all things are possible.
When the kids share their adventures with their parents, they are too preoccupied with their life to take them seriously. Their mother is deeply involved in the Women's Lib movement; and their father is preoccupied with his work at the bank. Mr Banks believes what Mary Poppins is teaching the kids is not practical at all. He believes the children should be taught about real life and earning a living, not spending their days on "worthless frivolity."
I find the parents attitude in the film represents many people's attitude. When your focus is on love and peace, you're not taken seriously. You're seen as lightweight or even regarded as nuts. Yet people complain that life is hard and they want to be happy or they're looking for their joy. I find that the way to be happy is to put love first, then I am being the magic.
Back to the movie, Mary Poppins agrees with Mr Banks that it's time his children learned how to walk in his footsteps. The next day, the kids accompany their father to work. At the bank, Mr Banks introduces his children to the directors who describe the work they do and ask the kids to save their tuppence at the bank. However, the children are not convinced and they ask for their money back. When customers hear the kids asking for their money, they demand their money back and there is such pandemonium the cashiers have to close the bank.
Mr Banks is soon summoned by the directors of the bank to face up to what had happened at the bank. Mr Banks takes responsibility for his children's actions and he's dismissed. In this scene, Mr Banks has just been fired and is being quizzed by his boss, Mr Dawes:
Mr. Dawes (Snr):Well, do you have anything to say, Banks?Mr. Banks:Well, sir, they do say that when there's nothing to say, all you can say I-Mr. Dawes (Snr):Confound it, Banks! I said, do you have anything to say?Mr. Banks:Just one word, sir.Mr. Dawes (Snr):Yes?Mr. Banks:Supercalifragilistic- expialidocious.Mr. Dawes (Snr):What?Mr. Banks:Supercalifragilistic- expialidocious. Mary Poppins was right. It's extraordinary. It does make you feel better!Mr. Dawes (Snr):What are you talking about, man? There's no such word.Mr. Banks:Oh, yes. It is a word. A perfectly good word, actually. Do you know what there's no such thing as? It turns out, with due respect, when all is said and done, that there's no such thing as you!Mr. Dawes (Snr):Impertinence, sir!Mr. Banks:Speaking of impertinence, would you like to hear a perfectly marvelous joke? A real snapper!Mr. Dawes (Snr):Joke? Snapper?Mr. Banks:Yes. There are these two wonderful young people, Jane and Michael. And they meet one day on the street, and Jane says to Michael, "I know a man with a wooden leg named Smith." and Michael says, "Really? What's the name of his other leg?"Mr. Dawes (Snr):The man's gone mad. Call the guard! Mary Poppins Script
It's interesting that instead of being worried about his future, Mr Banks is actually in very high spirits. I believe when Mr Banks says, "there's no such thing as you" he is finally able to understand Mary Poppins' world. In that world, there are no bosses or employees, there is only the Wonder and Magic being the many. How can you be scared of the future when there is only Joy?
After Mr Banks leaves the bank, he repairs his children's kite and invites his wife and kids to come out with him to fly the kite. While Mr Banks is out with his family, he encounters directors of the bank who are also flying their kites. They tell him that their father, Mr Dawes (Snr), had passed away but he died laughing at the joke Mr Banks had shared with him. The directors tell Mr Banks there is now an opening for a partner on the board and offer Mr Banks that position.
It is at that moment that Mary Poppins realises her work in the Banks household is done. Not only is the Banks household transformed into Love, Love also transforms the directors at the bank where Mr Banks works and beyond. That's the power of Love.
For me, Mary Poppins represents the Magic and Wonder of life that is in all. Some even call it the Subconscious Mind. The Magician is really my True Self. When the Magician is awake, life is truly magical.
There is no such thing as me or you, there is only the Magic.
Related articles: Love is the Only Cause I Support; Remember Love; Inspiration; Not a Person; Love Always Has the Right of Way; Jekyll and Hyde; Putting Love First; Aliveness; The Ordinary is Extraordinary; Never Mind the Clouds; Only Love is Shared, Not Problems!; The Future is Joy; I'll Be There No Matter What; Practical Perfection