I’m working on my full-length, sort of. I’ve kinda hit a wall in writing for the moment; I know thematically how it all ties together, I just can’t get the nitty-gritties straightened out. Here’s a little brain ramble about what I’m trying to say:
Narrator has been in an accident and is now confronted by her own subconscious that raises issues about her past, often in terms of other people’s words that she’s memorized – primary issue is the conflict of artistic vs. divine inspiration vs. maintaining either in ‘everyday life’. Issue is first raised by the prophet Jeremiah, who suffered much for his prophetic inspiration; narrator reveals the dissatisfaction she has with the fumbling ambiguity of her own life in comparison to his, as well as her faith being shaken by falling in love; he suffered tremendously but still had contact with that unambiguous reality of Truth and God. He quotes entirely from the Book of Jeremiah, which after a bit she recognizes, and then says the Emily Dickinson line about Art being a House that tries to be haunted. Narrator is startled; Jeremiah exits.
Transition of some sort that makes sense!
Next is Hamlet; Ophelia is mixed with the image/language of Dickinson as well as other troubled female poets/prophets: Anne Sexton, Virginia Woolf (who also drowned herself), Sylvia Plath, as well as the narrator herself. Begins with twist on “to be or not to be”; narrator unwillingly takes over Hamlet’s lines when Ophelia enters, turns it into an indictment of Hamlet and the men in her life in general, and urging Ophelia to leave while she still can.
Ok, here things get a little tricky, because I really want to put in this section on Satie and I don’t know if it fits anymore. He’s a kid that gave up everything to be an artist, essentially, and he had a very strange and very intimate relationship with God and Art and everything… and the boy she fell in/out of love with is there and they dance to Gymnopédie #1 because it’s a waltz; she hates dancing in front of people and he looks out to the audience directly and says, no one’s here… i have it written out, I see it in my head, but I don’t know if it’s in this play.
Then Ophelia’s madness (poetry?) scene, this bit is still sketchy…
And then she meets Mary Magdalene from George de la Tours’ “The Penitent Magdalene,” the one with the book and the mirror and the candle, and they have a chat. I think.
And then it ends with Hamlet answering his own question – it’s in the text actually, I had never seen it before, but it’s there, when he says
“Not a whit, we defy augury. There is special providence in the fall of the sparrow. If it be now, ’tis not to come; if it be not to come, it will be now; if it be not now, yet it will come. The readiness is all. Since no man of aught he leaves knows, what is’t to leave betimes? Let be.” poetry/prophesy/faith/life/death all mingled together
and there’s “the rowing endeth”
and she get’s ready for what happens next, and i think that what happens next is that the funeral in her brain comes to an end and she dies