Too Much Spirit
By making sure she was the first person to tell Noah that Ally was going to Sarah Lawrence College whether she liked it or not, Ally’s mother Anne from The Notebook publicly sticks a dagger into Noah’s heart and leaves Ally paralyzed to heal the wound. In the following scene she can’t help herself and sticks one into her daughter’s back as she watches her jump out of the boat after Noah like Peter went after Jesus.
“That child’s got too much Spirit for a girl of her circumstance,” says Anne.
Despite the excess of liquor at her table, her exquisitely lavish manner of dress and rhetoric, and having over so many guests to their mansion for dinner that getting to know Noah would not even be a matter of obligation, the only thing Ally’s mother seems to believe someone can have too much of is the Spirit. We find out later that she doesn’t really believe this. She just didn’t like the way Ally was reminding her of the decisions she made so many years ago. But nonetheless she ends up revealing that the spirit of the world in every age says that people with too much Spirit need to be stopped and disconnected before the Spirit liberates them and killed before they help liberate anybody else.
Do you know anyone in your life who at some point said you had too much Spirit? Whether it was behind your back and right to your lover’s face, you’re in good company. The daughters of Jerusalem more or less fell back into the same thing at times whenever the beloved woman in the Song of Solomon began to burn with love. Like Ally’s parents, the kings and queens of Israel often started out ignoring the prophets and saving their daggers for when the madmen started to cause too much trouble. Jesus was killed for having too much Spirit. Paul shows us that it’s better to have too much of the wrong spirit than no Spirit at all.
If someone gets truly loved for very long in this world, they’ll fall in love with God sooner or later. And as soon as a child falls in love with God, they don’t belong to their parents or the world anymore. Ally’s mother reacted the way she did because she felt herself losing her god status over her daughter. It is far from a coincidence that Finn barges in on their lovemaking and Ally’s parents call the police right before Noah tells her and himself that he loves her. Such premeditated smothering of the heart ended up driving them to end their relationship prematurely.
“As he was scattering the seed, some fell along the path, and the birds came and ate it up” (Matthew 13:4).
Ally was being loved in ways her parents don’t believe in by people her parents would never eat with. By contrast Noah’s father welcomed Ally right into his life and his home and fed her some pancakes at 10 o’clock at night. Her parents efforts to empty her of the Spirit wasn’t even about her. It was about them remaining her god.
True love will always be a threat to this world because it begins to strip god status from everyone and everything except God.
I’m sure Ally wanted to drop out of college or transfer closer to Noah at some point. What would have happened if she had been allowed to? I’m sure Peter didn’t want to hear the rooster’s cry three times. What would have happened if he hadn’t? We’ll never know. And we don’t need to know.
Love wins because it outlasts what death is made of whether it succeeds in this world or not. First loves simply know more than they’re allowed to live out here.