Sunday, December 30, 2007

For friends who have followed the same path.

Of all the things I’ve written, I have one favorite. It’s a play – the only one of my works that has never been produced. About three-quarters of the way toward completion of the script, I realized this play never would/could be presented in what I considered a satisfactory manner. (I don’t know of any theatre in the world with a stage large enough, for one thing.) So I’ve never offered it to anyone.

As a rule, I like simple plays – not much set, few props, modern costumes – you know the type. Maybe it’s vanity. I’d much rather you remember the work because it’s well written, and not because of an abundance of gimmicks or a lack of clothes.

Even before it was finished, I knew this thing wasn’t going to fly. But by then I was hooked – I had good characters and a solid (maybe even slightly original) story.

The work is a biography of Morgan le Fay, half-sister to King Arthur. The thrust of the story is that Arthur was the villain of the age, and that Morgan spent the entire of her life seeking not revenge, but justice. Ironically, after Arthur’s death, Morgan learns that she was instrumental in giving Arthur a semblance of immortality – had she left him alone, had he not been forced to create the round table, he would have lived and died as little more than a footnote to a dusty genealogy.

My agent loved it. She agreed with me that a play requiring a stage area half a mile square on the side of a mountain probably wasn’t going to be produced anytime soon. On the other hand, she pleaded (and when was the last time you saw an agent plead?) with me to turn the play into a book.

So that’s what I’m doing. I’m in no hurry. (Obviously) Today I worked on two different plays for a goodly part of the day. It was by accident I even found my Morgan play at all (Oh, THAT’S where that was!) I was in process of putting it away again, when the thought occurred to me of sharing it with you – at least a portion.

I don’t know how you feel exactly, but I’ve become quite fond of our relationship. You’re a little strange at times, and I’m comfortable with that. I look forward to you being there.

So here’s a section of dialogue few people have seen. As you have pleased me, I hope this pleases you.

Early in her search, Morgan came to the realization that everything had a price. Even the air she breathed was not free – it was taken. An elder witch, tiring of the constant complaining, forced the younger woman to look to the heavens – to the myriads of stars. “What price is here,” she was asked. “What do these cost you?”

Morgan considered for a moment before answering.

I once thought they be not stars, but mirrors of my soul
(those myriad twinklings set apart, aloof.)

How alike we are, I thought, to watch as bourgeois kingdoms
gasp for life,
and fall.

To remain pure, chaste – unreached and unreachable – thereby avoiding the countenance of that soiled creature (God in His perfect wisdom) permitted to begrime the earth.

To live forever! To never age or …or if to die, to die apurpose,
a bright
across the heavens!

I thought them supreme! Omnipotent! One with the Creator! But …
with the coming of the simple morn, they depart –
those stars,

frightened (no!) offended by the belligerence of the sun.

i remain. iii

take me with you, leave me not to face the iniquities of this little life, which draw me away, which make me less like you …

They do not hear me. Or, if hearing, disdainfully ignore my supplication.

And in my
that secret place where truth be not denied,

I am pleased. Grateful!

For if in compassion they respond,
then they be more like me
than I would be like them.

So. For a space I forgot them, moved as I was toward consuming sorrow,
(the pain within all too jealous for attention.)

And now I think again we are alike, those stars and I.
Affecting not the nature of
living thing,
save as a curiosity.

Existing for the mere sake of …………………………………………….. existing.

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