Friday, September 28, 2012

subtext [it's under the text]

Art must not be a separate and special thing. The intention of art has always been to deepen, extend, elevate, ennoble, strengthen, and refresh the experience of living. True escape for man can be provided only by art, to taste life in its full flavor he has not the experience or equipment or style [outside of art].
--William Saroyan

Last night, I behooved myself to the Grotto. As Denise would say (and as I'm so fond of quoting), there was no other appropriate action.
Words don't often fail me, but sometimes they do. 
Throughout the day yesterday, I couldn't find the words to describe anything I was feeling or thinking or saying. All the words I had had been put on stage, and those were the only words I was thinking of, and they were no longer mine to say. The sound of my heartbeat was the sound of those words. I had to remind myself to breathe and not get lost in the words running through my mind. And then I heard the sound of my own heartbeat being spoken back at me, like looking into a verbal mirror. 
It gave me shivers of somber delight.

After the show finally happened, with showers of words and roses, I wandered to the Grotto, and just basked. Just basked in the radiance of the candles--warm lights shining in the midst of the crisp autumn night. I love the glow of the Grotto's throng of candles: it's warm and cozy, and instantly comforting.
I don't usually like the stark floodlights that shine on the statue of Our Lady. I don't like fluorescent lighting, and usually go out of my way to avoid it. If I had created the world, all lighting would be perpetually stuck at the Golden hour. The magic time of day that heralds sunset is the most beautiful lighting known to man. All good lighting is an attempt to mimic or capture that lighting.

And then, I retreated from the warm haven of the candles to a bench on the outskirts of the Grotto. My gaze shifted from the cozy den of candles to the heavens. I looked up above the surrounding trees at the sky, and was enchanted: the grey shreds of clouds were rolled back in one patch, and the moon shone through. The silver moon, radiating it's cold, stark light in the dark blue atmosphere. The light cast its spell on me, and I was transfixed by its beauty. It was the same light that was shining around Mary. So I looked back at her, and was transfixed by her beauty as well. Caught in this paralysis of beauty, I found I had no words to express anything. 
I could only delight in the light shining around me.

Unlike the poem, essay, story, or novel, a play is not fully created in itself, as a play. It is not an affair, finally, between one man and one man: the writer and the reader. It becomes fully created only through the deliberate and cultivated functioning of a considerable number of people rehearsed to behave harmoniously and on schedule, so that a desired meaning and message will be conveyed to each individual beholding the play, a meaning which more or less should be the same to all the individuals in the audience.
--William Saroyan

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