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Black Elk

The impromptu life

October 23rd, 2007

What if life was like a play in which most of the time we believe there has to be a script somewhere, but we just can’t find it?

And so we move forward with a sense of something missing, of somehow rehearsing with an incomplete script until the script-writer at the back finishes the final draft and brings it over to us – of waiting for that moment when we finally understand what it is we’re supposed to be doing or saying.

Hence the yearning for a guru, for ‘enlightenment’, and for US publisher’s requests to ‘make it proscriptive’.

Nobody thinks they want an impromptu life. Deep down, though, the creative self yearns for this freedom of expression in the moment!

Thank you Zil for triggering this thought (ref comment in yesterday’s post – if you don’t know, you can click on a post title and it will take you to a page with that same post plus the comments on it)

One Response to “The impromptu life”

  1. Hi Philip,

    I replied to your comment on my log, but wanted to just say again here that your theatrical analogy struck home with me because I had a dream the other night that I was in a play and didn’t have the script. I’ve had that dream often, but this time it was interesting in that I was not particularly anxious about it. I do think life does not have a script. That’s one of the reason we love to read novels and go to films where all the loose ends are tied up at the finish and everything makes sense. We want there to be a Grand Author of the Universe. That might be so. But if there is, he’s writing a play with an awful lot of sets and characters!

    Still, the dramatic metaphor is a good one. It is comforting to think of one’s life as an unfolding play, a script that is being written by our actions and choices and words. One of the annoying slogans that Apple Computer uses for iPods is “The soundtrack for your life,” a phrase that bugs me because I wish people would unplug the headphones and listen to the birds and the wind in the leaves. But, perhaps, that slogan hints at something of the same longing — for our lives to be a coherent drama with a plot and purpose. So often we are all like method actors searching for our motivation to play ourselves.

    May I also comment that I liked your idea of “taking off your clothes”. I’ve never tried public naturism and my wife and daughter wouldn’t be caught dead without clothes on, but I’m always most aware of my nudity under the clothes. My weakness for robes and costumes is partly that theatrical urge too. But one mustn’t lose sight of the skin and bones under the clothes. I have an odd attitude towards clothes, I’ll admit. We were visiting a college town over the week end where almost everyone was wearing tee shirts and jogging shorts and my reaction was, “Good lord, all these people are walking around in their underwear.” But, you know, they are getting there, aren’t they? We do like to decorate ourselves, whether it is with school “spirit wear” and the logos of our favorite football team, or in druid robes or 18th century pirate garb, which is enormously popular here in the States at the moment. Not on the streets, you know, but at the Renaissance Festival and wherever a costume is considered appropriate attire.

    I always have my wardrobe. Everyone does really. That’s the first step to “getting in character” for your personal life script, I suppose.


    Alferian /|

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