Tuesday, March 31, 2009

The Muse and the Poet: Part III

Fates’ Finale

(Scene opens on a dark stage, surrounded by black Ionic columns with lit candles upon them and cut out silhouettes of trees scattered about. A pool with three stones around it sits at center stage front, with one ionic column specifically set at far back, equal distance from the pool as both side stage entrances. Lamia hides behind it. Faint chanting can be heard in background, either Gregorian or native (director’s discretion). A loud gong sounds the beginning of the play.)

MORA (enter stage left with yellow spotlight following): We are the Fates.
NORNA(enter stage right with green spotlight following): We are the Fates.
LAMIA (step from behind pillar with red spotlight following): We are the Fates.
(all take three steps towards center pool in unison)
MORA: I am Mora, she who spins the wool of existence and crafts the thread of new life.
(all take two steps towards the center pool in unison)
NORNA: I am Norna, she who weaves the strings of lives together and apart again.
(all take another step towards pool)
LAMIA: And I am Lamia, she who cuts the threads when they have reached their determined length!
ALL(all should reach pool by this step, raising arms above heads while intoning): We are the Fates! (and sit down as respective lights turn off and a single blue spotlight shines from pool)
MORA (truning to sisters): I have called this meeting of the Fates for a specific purpose. Its concerns the Muse and the Poet.
NORNA (gazing into pool): Ahh, yes. I remember them. I wove their lives together with that of another girl. Do you recall her name?
LAMIA (with proud smirk): Hmph! She is not important. She is not the one who has called us accursed!
NORNA (with evident shock): But none would dare curse us! We are the Fates!
MORA (to audience): Yes, and it’s a foolish wager to curse the Fates unless your thread is already cut!
LAMIA: The point is, we must reassess what we have done!
NORNA: I see. For a human and a muse to both call us accursed, either they must be mad, or their fate may be wrong.

(Lights change from blue to purple to red at Norna’s comment as Lamia rises slowly and serpentine from her seat.)

LAMIA: We are the Fates.
OTHER TWO (trembling): We are the Fates
LAMIA (with thunder and roaring in background): We are destiny! We are purpose! We cannot be mistaken! We SHALL reassess the situation, for we are bound by oath to, but as for the curses, they mean nothing coming from corpses!(Lights return to blue again after Lamia sits donw.) Now, I think you should start Mora.
MORA (shaken but still smiling): Oh, yes! Of course. Well, the poet was still a young man. He was in love with a girl, not our doing, I’m sure. But you know how humans can be. (nervous laugh). Anyway, yes, the young man drank too much one night, and thought that he actually saw his Muse.
NORNA (interrupting): Excuse me sister, but you are mistaken.
MORA (smiling venomously): What are you talking about?
NORNA: Well, there was a Muse. I wove their life strings together myself. I even wove the love into the Muse’s string.
MORA: That’s impossible! There was no new Muse string that I wove. The rest are all accounted for. There was defiantly no Muse. It was merely a figment of his imagination, becoming so real to him, that it must have made a thread of its own.
NORNA: Ha! Please! I may not make the thread, Mora, but I know threads don’t appear out of thin air!
MORA (philosophically): Stanger things have been done by the human mind. We may control their destinies, but the inner workings of their minds and their potential shall always remain a mystery.
NORNA: There was most defiantly a Muse. The Muse fell in love with the poet and then caused him to see the first girl for the evil she truly is! But that caused the Muse to die before he could return in time.
LAMIA (stage whisper to herself): Interesting
MORA (stands up and light changes to yellow with her standing): Listen, both of you! This tale is about the Poet! He fell in love and sacrificed his own sanity to gain the love of the girl. But she scorned him and derided him and so he ran and then fell into darkness. It’s a tradgic tale of scorned love (to Norna) which doesn’t need imaginary Muses to make it better. It is a warning of the dangers of love.
NORNA (stands with light change to green): Well as nice of a story as that was, it is only a story. For the tale is not about the Poet but the Muse! She did exsist! She loved the Poet, she would have done anything for him. But he was blinded by lust and could not see it! She made a way for him to see the evil one’s deception, and for that she sacrificed her life! She saved him from untrue love and a life of suffering by sacrificing her own!
MORA (jumps up, lights don’t transition smoothly, instead flash instantly to yellow): The Poet gave his life for love! How can you tarnish that with this absurd fiction!
NORNA (jumps up also, instant color change to green): You would call such a great sacrifice absurd fiction!?
BOTH (ad lib arguments at the same time as lights flash green and yellow, getting louder and louder)
LAMIA (stands up and lights go out completely as she yells): Enough! (after a 10 seconds of darkness and silence red light fades back on. Lamia is seated on the left, other two are on the right, clutching each other fearfully while quaking.) You are both wrong. This story is not about the Muse or the Poet. Can’t you see (to audience) it’s about us.
OTHER TWO (in shock ad lib): What? That’s impossible! What do you mean? Etc.
LAMIA: We, those who watch into the story of the Muse and the Poet, it is really about us. It is a mirror, reflecting back our own helpless ability to intervene in our destinies.
MORA: But we are the fates! All of us shape our own destiny! Each one us forms their own path through our decisions!
LAMIA: And why do you make decisions? Why? You think that you make your own decisions because you view the various factors of your life, and then decide the best route based on the interpretation of your heart or your head. But who’s to say that your mind or your instincts are truly your own? If they were not, then those who decide you fate would keep you ignorant of that fact!
NORNA (slowly): So… you’re saying, sister, that the words I’m speaking, right now, are not even truly my choice? How bazaar…
LAMIA (to audience): We have looked into the tale as if we control the Poet and the Muse’s actions, but whose to say our actions are our own? That our minds can be trusted to be true, or our hearts to be pure and untouched?
MORA: I will not believe it! There was no Muse.
LAMIA: Does it matter if there was? Will it change anything for you?
MORA: No one controls my words or actions!
NORNA: What if they merely controlled the circumstances? So that, in the end, we could only make one decision, the one they wanted…
MORA: I have had enough of this foolish speculation! I declare the investigation into the lives of the two (to Norna) or three, closed.
LAMIA (still to audience): True, you can just leave and forget all about this. No one will ever make you think for yourself. But that is then the question, can you ever really think for yourself? Where do your thoughts themselves come from?
NORNA (standing): We are the Fates
MORA (standing): We are the Fates
LAMIA (standing): We think we are the Fates.

(all exit stage right, as lighting from pool turns to white and “Ave Regina Cælorum” can be heard chanted in background by full choir.)

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