September 11, 2006

A Play A Day #151



Setting: A basement, seated in a circle, holding hands, eyes closed, there is mystical new-agey, pseudo-tribal music in the background. They speak dreamily, but seriously.

Doug: Within us all, there is a stone. This stone forms the kernel of our being, our outer shell. We are of this stone and born from it. It protects us by giving us a solid center to fend off the negative energies we may encounter, it weights us down so that we may remember the solid earth from which we have come.

Lindee: For some, who have nurtured their stones, they have rediscovered their connections with the Earth again. They are constantly reminded that they are part of the Earth and the Earth is part of them. They learn to live above the plane of those who obsess about the mundane details of life. They have found purpose in the entwining of themselves with Earth energy.

Phoo: The nurtured stones, having been nurtured, nurture us in return. (Gerty snickers) They vibrate within, giving their pleasure at being alive within those who have elevated their being to the harmonius levels of the Great Spirit that walks within our past, that seeks to guide the willing on their future journey away from the worries of humanity to the other world where our great ancestors walk. (Gerty snickers, a bit more so, drawing some quick looks)

Tertia: Oh! Ancestors! We have fouled your land, your skies, your wataers, your air, and your very flesh. We are unkind visitors to the Great Spirit Mother, our stones, mere pebbles, compared to the great boulders within you! (Gerty laughs) We will seek your guidance to help us gather our stones apace, to teach us Your ways of Might and Deliverence, to help us walk bravely in the dark land of the unseeing.

Gerty: (blurting out) To make it really hard to swim! (laughs a lot, upset adlibs by other four in the group) Oh... c'mon off it you guys... really! You weren't serious with all this, were you? I mean all this is really nice and mystical, but what do you have to do with it?

Phoo: What do you mean?

Gerty: Well, I mean, I was invited here to join in a spirituality discussion group.

Phoo: Right. And?

Gerty: Are you telling me this is it?

Tertia: Yes, it is.

Gerty: The four of you getting together to self-flagellate?

Doug: It's reconnecting ourselves to a more authentic spitual core, Gerty. We are trying to discover our natural selves through prayer, recitation and meditation.

Lindee: We all feel that modern life has deserted its spiritual values in the maddening quest for more and more material goods, and we seek to rectify that by connecting with the spirit energy of the Great Earth.

Gerty: Is that different than the actual Earth?

Doug: What Lindee was saying was that we are hollow versions of the spiritually whole ancestors who walked this land before us.

Gerty: You mean your dad, Doug?

Doug: No, I mean...

Gerty: 'Cause I thought he drank himself to death when he was fifty.

Doug: No, I refer to the Great Earth Ancestors who...

Gerty: There's that term again... is that a second Earth I've never been to before?

Doug: No, it is this Earth, and my dad was fifty-two when he passed back to the Earth that bore him.

Gerty: Oh, not you grandmother?

Doug: What?

Gerty: Nevermind.

Tertia: Gerty, I find it a bit off-putting that you can sit here and mocked the very positive and enriching spiritual activities that we have been called to.

Gerty: Hey, I was called too, by you, Tertia. Remember? You called last week to a spiritual (makes air-quotes) "discussion" group, and I end up at this Ouija board session here.

Phoo: It is our chosen path to connect with the Earth.

Gerty: Wow. You know, I understand what's going on, Phoo. I just want you to know that it's bullshit.

Lindee: I think perhaps you don't understnd the power of the energies with which we connect.

Gerty: No, no, Lindee, I understand. It's the power of a raindrop on a bass drum: the power to drown the hollowness of your own life with meaningless words. A chance to pretend you are mystical, that you commune, that you just understand everything so much more deeply than those around you, because you have the time to waste on whatever new fad helps you to ignore the rest of your dull, dull days.

Doug: I wish you could really understand the beauty and the power of our path to the light.

Gerty: Pretty sure, it was just path toward the earth a little while ago.

Phoo: It can be both!

Gerty: Sure it can, because it's meaningless anyway.

Tertia: Who are you to tell us that which we find meaningful is meaningless!?

Gerty: I'm me. I'm Gerty. I'm saying it's meaningless. It's a hollow fad you're pursuing because you think it will make you appear more real.

Phoo: We are real people!

Gerty: Then act like what you really are: four upper-middle, and, in at least one case, upper-upper-middle class white people with no connections to the land. Phoo, you don't even go camping. Lindee, you drive a huge-ass SUV... just like the Earth Spirits? I doubt it. Doug, you put chemicals on your lawn, I've seen you do it. And, Tertia, don't get me started with you, except to say you have more damn shoes than your ancestors ever had feet.

Tertia: We are trying to reconcile that within our spiritual journey!

Gerty: You mean, find excuses for the vapid materialistic leanings you all hold so dear? If you do, then you're even worse than I thought. That would mean that you're using all this mystical shit as cover for everything in your life that directly contradicts with its precepts.

Phoo: We all contain contradictions.

Gerty: Some more than others.

Phoo: Exactly.

Gerty: Exactly nothing. You're far less than exactly what you pretend to be. I appreciate people attempting to improve themselves. I need to do it myself. But I'm going to try actually changing myself and my behaviors, not hiding in a tarpaper shack of half-understood myths. Believing in fantasies about ancestors and spirits you know nothing about. Geez, this shit's almost as bad as Christianity.

Tertia: Perhaps you had better leave, Gerty.

Gerty: Are you kidding? I definitely better leave. This mystical fog you're all in is making me nauseous. (she gets up to leave)

Doug: I'm sorry it didn't work out for you, Gerty. Perhaps another time.

Gerty: Sure. Maybe I'll be back someday. I'll be the one in the gas mask. (exits)

Tertia: I know someone who is about to become persona non grata at the country club.

Phoo: I should hope so! I think we need to do the cleansing ritual.

Lindee: Oh no, my crystals are still in the light incubator!

Tertia: It's alright, I brought the subterra talisman!

Doug: Thank the Earth Mother for your planning, Tertia.

(genral ad libs of comforting words as lights fade)



emcee emdee said...

Reminds me of a drum circle I used to go to every Thursday after my spinning class.

Love the "this shit's almost as bad as Christianity" line.

I've known several Dougs, a couple of Gertrudes, and one Lindee. Tertia I can kinda buy. But Phoo? I hope that's the upper-upper-middle class one.

Brendon Etter said...

Phoo is a play on words, of course. As is Tertia, but they are, neither of them, particularly good plays on words. Roughly Phoo = Phoolish and Phooey, Tertia = Terra and Tertiary or Earth-Third, the sense that nature is not her real priority.

"Spinning" as in natural intoxication induction through rapid rotation, or the making of yarns out of individual strands of fiber?

The Christianity line was meant to point out that I actually believe more in the power of what they are attempting; but not their bastardized, overly-romanticized, popular new-age treatment of the material.

It goes on all the time, and it's nauseating. I know some people who play the game, and mostly they seem to do it, not out of a sense of humility for what they don't know about nature and a truly natural spirituality, but rather to try to put themselves at the vanguard of trendy alternative lifestyles. It becomes yet another status symbol.

They can look down their noses and say with a straight face: "I'm so much more humble than you."

Buddhism is going through a lot of the same thing right now. Cultural apprpriation and misapplication.