The Little Book of Maudism is my tribute to the vision of Colin Higgins & Hal Ashby.
A story of unconventional love, life and death, Harold and Maude had a real impact on my outlook and how I view my own mortality.
Harold and Maude was Colin Higgins’ post-graduate thesis and although the plan for him to direct the film was dropped by Paramount, director Hal Ashby insisted that Higgins be a producer and work closely on set to secure the essence of his story.
I came across “Maudism” on Urban Dictionary, MovieMan had posted the term in 2006 and provided this definition: “The “new age” philosophy of “living each day to the fullest.” Popularized by the 1971 cult film “Harold and Maude”, in which the character Maude completely alters the way Harold views the world, when she can show him the value of life and the beauty in living.” It struck me then that Harold and Maude is a philosophy to live by and I have been giving talks and sharing my own interpretation of Maudism ever since.
Little Book of Maudism comprises of ten lessons that Maude teaches Harold in their week together. To appreciate Maudism you don’t need to be spiritual or religious, but you can be. These teachings are about being human, what it means to be human. We are mortal beings and death acceptance is at the core of Maude’s message. Ultimately, we all die. If we can embrace the circle of life and immerse ourselves in nature we can live a richer existence. Desire for permanence and fear of change only limits our experience.
Using both Higgins’ original novella and Ashby’s box office flop turned cult classic, I present these teachings with illustrations from a range of wonderful artists.
Sarah Chavez whose blog Nourishing Death examines the relationship between food and death in rituals, culture, religion and society, has developed a recipe for Maude’s Ginger Pie with a pumpkin twist.
Annabel de Vetten of Conjurer’s Kitchen has created a recipe for Maude’s Birthday Cake, Champagne flavoured with strawberry frosting.
Ffion Harman of The Moon Underwater created a recipe for Maude’s Chrysanthemum Brandy Cordial. Based on the very drink Maude makes Harold in Higgins’ book.
Evan Filipek |editor and supporter throughout my writing process.
Jordan Lloyd | responsible for my sanity and the book’s format and design.
Lozzy Bones | creator of the beautiful and incredibly fitting cover illustration.
All profits are donated to the Colin Higgins Foundation in support of their work with the LGBTQ youth in under-served communities.
The book was originally released in December 2016 and sold out within six weeks. All profits were donated to the mental health charity Mind, chosen due to my own battles with depression and anxiety.
For some insight into the lessons Little Book of Maudism has to offer read this piece I wrote for Standard Issue.