Creative Control

Miscellaneous Mental Musings of an Emerging Artist

The battle well and truly joined.

This morning, at a quarter til seven, I heard a songbird stretching its lungs. It took me a moment to realize that the streets at that hour have been deathly quiet since winter started, and I could take this bird’s singing as a sign that spring was very, very close. The days growing longer and the weather warming up, with the bird as spring’s loyal emissary.

But! The groundhog, not eight days ago, was appointed the emissary of winter, delivering a message that King Frost remained steadfastly upon the throne of earth, that any and all usurpers to the crown would be met with his cold hand and sharp icicles in their throat. You are not through with his reign, said the groundhog, scurrying away from his own shadow [1].

Today has seen the clearest blue skies in weeks and a bounty of sunshine…and yet the air is full of snow. And in some otherly aether, I can see the forces of spring amassing against the forces of winter’s incumbent tyranny, meeting on an unseen field of battle, the same epic play that they act out every year in Chicago. Winter still believing against all of history that one day it can survive the onslaught, as Macbeth choosing to fight Macduff despite the fulfillment of all omens toward his doom…the grand delusion that maybe, that maybe just, that maybe just this one time things will be different. Watching Birnam Wood renew itself, winter’s ears acutely aware of not just one bird, but now three, now a dozen, and now all of its sleeping wildlife awakening and greeting the arrival of spring, their true monarch returned. And slowly, it is vanquished, fading away, biding its time until it can make good its revenge and return.

Why yes, war has been on my mind as of late. How can you tell?

As the alert levels rise to orange and our Homeland Security head tells us that the al-Qaida chatter has gotten to a dangerous level, I find myself wondering, if we have to upgrade to red, whether or not I could call in terrified to work. Not sick. Terrified. Somebody has drawn a peace sign on the “1” located at the top of my office building elevator door. I’m still processing it, I think.

To my delight, I had a small dinner with Donna and two friends and had a lengthy discussion about the Issues Of The Day. Good conversation is very much like a good meal, but in many ways it is even better. You know where you can go for a good meal. You might even be able to make one happen all by yourself. Finding an evening of stimulating conversation is such a rare thing that you don’t realize you were starved for it until you begin to devour every scrap set in front of you. Also, there was a decent corn chowder.

I finally jolted myself into working on Staring Contest, and the extent of my progress so far is to have cut out a half page of dialogue. I have a large folder–by “folder,” I mean the area of the computer or disk which is represented by a folder icon, not an actual physical folder–filled with one and two-page script sections that have been cut out of various finished and unfinished plays. I do not yet know if these sections will find a home elsewhere. But who’s to say?

[1] And then I thought it might make an interesting Fox Special to pit normally incongruous creatures against each other. Not a cock or dog fight, mind you, since you can get those on the street, but something like Songbird vs. Groundhog. Or Gorilla vs. Polar Bear. Barbaric? Sure. Notice the part where I said “Fox Special.”

Current music: MP3 list, Elliott Smith, “Punch and Judy”

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This entry was posted on February 10, 2003 by in Life, News of the World, Plays, Politics, Theatre, Writing.
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