rlbourges

gods in disguise

In Absurdlandia, and other spirits, Drafts, Film, Hautvoir, Local projects, Music, proto drafts, Sanford Meisner on March 18, 2016 at 8:24 am

Something about Euripides. Something about nostalgia for that creaking old device called a deus ex machina (although that’s Latin, and Euripides was a Greek). Ingmar Bergman used the deus ex machina in his film version of Mozart’s Magic Flute. In his case, he didn’t have a god lowered on stage by a machine; instead, three boy angels landed in the basket of a hot air balloon.

Whatever. The nostalgia lingers of an outside, occult, mysterious (and benevolent) entity that appears when all seems lost and – as the image goes – snatches victory from the jaws of defeat.

The Anonymous, for instance. At least, the Anonymous who consider themselves a contemporary version of Robin Hood. They have the knowledge and they use it to disrupt, put down or otherwise disorganize a hateful opponent’s online presence.

Do all small children have a longing for the magical, miraculous intervention that saves the day when all seems lost? Probably. Does the longing survive the transition into adulthood? In one form or another, I’d say yes.

What to do with the magical/miraculous when it insists in showing up in every draft, no matter how unlikely the intervention may be. The stranger who sets things right, then disappears. The geek who wipes out one identity and replaces it with another. The knight in shining armor who rescues the damsel in distress. Etc.

How to make use of one, the other (or all of them) in some way. They won’t go away, that much is clear.

***

Unrelated? Nothing is. On my way home in the pounding rain yesterday, a woman’s voice hailed me a few steps from my place. The woman wanted to show me her new living quarters. I followed her up a winding set of stairs to a space overlooking the local church. Didn’t gape (except inwardly) at the bare essentials and the collection of plaster statues of saints. Turned my head toward the far end of the room and almost gaped at the sight of an old prie-dieu – covered in faded and padded red plush for the kneeling part, and same for the arm rest – at the foot of a framed illustration of the Sacred-Heart of Jesus. The woman is in her forties. Born in a Muslim family, she’s converted to Catholicism. That much I knew. The extent of her devotion, I didn’t suspect.

***

gods, in disguise. What to make of them in story.

 

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