Thursday, February 24, 2011

Prayer to playwrights and poets

Emile Zola, I sat at your seat in Le Grand Vefour on my 40th birthday celebration after having seen Terese Raquin. I call upon you. The manliest man in Paris, that's what Mark Twain called you when you called the French people and government out on being racist. I don't want to be a man, but put in me your brave spirit of truth and also grant me an income that allows me to toast you at Le Grand Vefour again.

Vaclav Havel, you changed the direction of your people with the power of your plays for good in a way that shows the best of what humans are capable of. To me greater than a messiah who dies is the playwright who lives to serve. The wider world needs your power. I would like it now, please, for this play.

Shakespeare, you explained the darkest and lightest parts of our own souls better than anyone. This is me right now. I am trying to figure out the connection between Hecuba and him. What was it? And isn't it exhausting how quickly we can switch between the darkness and the light? And weren't you brave at the end always facing the murder, the cannibalism. And now the whole world loves your plays and you in ways you could never imagine. There was this other guy, Shaw. He said the quality of a play is the quality of its ideas. You had marvelously resonant ideas about humans. May I please have as much insight as you?

And George Bernard Shaw, I am going to pray the hardest to you. Because you were the one who said that all great truths begin as blasphemies. I hope you are right because this play is blasphemous in the extreme. And we all know from our Christian upbringing that the one sin that god can never forgive is blaspheming the holy spirit. At Wheaton I used to torture my friends by accusing them of blaspheming the holy spirit but I always used to end up laughing about what it meant. A nervous laugh, to be sure, but a laugh.

Please help me to not be so easily discouraged. Please keep me with this play a little longer. I need to finish it.

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