I've been puzzling over the best way to describe the theme of my book. Two people are reading my draft and one said it would be helpful if while reading, she knew what it is I'm trying to say. To know what bigger picture I'm trying to portray. Initially I said it was a fish-out-of-water tale with an illegal immigration twist but, as I hear happens quite often, the story has taken on a life of its own. I'm discovering that it's really about Ibis and me, and the journeys we take together.
Without being too melodramatic, it's about love. Not romance-novel love, with erotica on every other page (goodness, no) but about two people who find each other and the extremes they go to for their relationship. Which brings me to the title of this post. It's the theme of one of my favorite movies, Moulin Rouge, and without realizing it I've incorporated those ideas into my story.
Early in the movie Christian's friends ask him to write the play that becomes the basis for the movie, and they want to make sure he's the right man for the job.
"Do you believe in love?" they ask.
"Love? Above all things I believe in love. Love is like oxygen. Love is a many splendid thing. Love lifts us up where we belong. All you need is love."
I know it's cheesy but there's some Truth in that - hence the fourth word in the title.
Recently my motives for moving to Mexico, and Ibis' intentions for being with me, were called into question. I was told I'd be better off looking at this as my first marriage and returning to the States to pick up my old life. I was told my husband will never change and does not value me.
It's clear to me this person does not know me, or Ibis, very well. To presume that an anonymous email would persuade me to give up on our life together, to abandon my husband, is ridiculous. I'm sure many people look at my situation and wouldn't trade places with me if their lives depended on it. That's okay, because I know plenty of people with whom I wouldn't trade lives either. I chose Ibis and whatever comes along with him.
Honesty has always been very important to me. That's not to say I don't tell the occasional white lie, but on issues that matter I try to speak the truth. My relationship with Ibis is based on that. Writing this book has made that clearer to me - as I've reflected on our years together and tried to explain it in writing, truth and love are high on the list of why we're together. (There's also salsa dancing and a love of red wine, but it can't be all fluffy bunnies.)
For someone to not know that about me, to think that I've never stopped to evaluate my relationship and the choices I've made, places their opinion very low in my eyes. I'm angry that someone would choose this route to tell me something supposedly for my own good, I'm angry they said these things about us without knowing who we really are as people, and I'm angry that this email made me suspicious of my friends. I have faith that those close to me would have the courage to say something to me directly, so all I can determine is that this person has an ulterior motive.
In terms of my book, this email helped me solidify my theme. Truth and Love are the reasons I'm here. If I didn't love my husband and the possibilities for our future together, I never would have gotten married or packed up our apartment and driven to Mexico.
Freedom as a theme is so obvious I almost don't feel I need to explain it. The movie meant it in terms of the Children of the Revolution in 1899 Paris, but for us, it's about the freedom to go where we want without fear of our lives being ripped apart. If that means spending a few years in Mexico, so be it.
As for Beauty, I think my husband is beautiful, so there you go.