I wrote this first bit after the Indonesian Tsunami Dec. 2004. Since then there have been plenty of other natural disasters and plenty of unprecedented violence to keep us wondering what on earth is going on. I don’t know the details of what is going on, can’t answer that in this finite form, but things are changing. Opinions all the way from “it’s all going to hell in a hand basket” to “the current changes are a cleansing as the planet rises in vibration” are all out there having a field day as opinions do. In spouting them we create even more drama and on and on we go — but where we go nobody knows :). I revive these bits about the BIG Dramas in the wake of the Virginia Tech shootings. I am so sorry for all those involved. I’m sorry for all of us whether we were close to any on that campus or not. We are one and we feel these things in our own gut no-matter where we are. Thus the blog For Whom the Bell Tolls before my own little contributions.
These are just two of my takes, written at different times, different disasters, on the BIG picture. I find it helps in stressful times to get some distance on it.
The BIG Dramas
In contemplating all this, Tsunamis and such, I was thinking of Madame Butterfly. A production of Madame Butterfly was the first opera gig I ever did and let me tell you, the last scene is TRAGIC! And the last musical chord rips your heart out. No kidding! You play Madam Butterfly once a night for four nights and twice on Sat. and twice on Sun. every week for 3 weeks and you are seriously messed up! The drama — the music — my god. Both the singers and the musicians in that production were seriously out of control during the entire run — drinking and smoking anything in sight, f**king everyone in sight — It was quite a sight!
The next opera we did was a comedy by Donizetti — a wonderful bit of fluff. The leading man was such a sweetheart — unlike the bastard he played in MB — and those of us who couldn’t be around him before, found he was actually a nice guy. Everyone was happy, a lot of us fell in love during the run of Donizetti. I was one of those who fell in love and I am still good loving friends with the man 28 years later!
So while we were doing these operas we were living breathing eating the plot and the players. We were so enmeshed in the dramas that we couldn’t tell what was real and what was Grand Opera! We did a lot of our conversing in lines from the operas! We could sing our lives in the style of whatever composer we were playing at the moment. Sitting here today I can say, feeling sorry for the Singer who played Madam Butterfly and hating the singer playing the lead roll is nonsense, but it happened. It happened to all of us.
So here we are playing our rolls. The rolls are changing now. We are ready to start a new opera altogether but we have yet to get out of character and wipe off the make up because the last chord is ripping our hearts out still — even though the opera is over and we are in our dressing rooms getting ready for a new roll.
To be? Or not to be.
There was a time when men met to rampage through the halls of life raping and pillaging and having a marvelous time of it. That time is over. The last echoes of that time are fading yet many try to carry on as if nothing has changed. There will be dismay for those who can not see that a new time has come and that they are the ones who have become the endangered species. Ha Ha’s about the spotted owl come settling round their ears as their deeds die not with a bang but the infamous whimper.
Celebrate this passing! It is time to create a new earth. We start with nothing but the ruins of this previous civilization, not washed and scoured as was Atlantis. Still the detris all around in heaps and hollow monuments remain to remind us of our ruin. But this too will pass. Hollow shells left by past masters of brutality can be consecrated to new purpose and thus transformed to fit a gentler age. The new play is cast, the audience awaits. The playwrights and directors have fallen away to leave the cast to play as they would like. How shall we go brave troubadours? Shall we play light or dark, cunning or creative, venture to heights unimaginable or to old standby scripts of torture and longing? How shall we go?