Friday, May 31, 2013

Behind the Curtain


The Lion finds his courage, the Tin Man a heart, the Scarecrow has a brain after all and Dorothy returns to Kansas with a new appreciation for her roots.  What of the Wizard?  What of the man behind the curtain?  Is he relieved at no longer having to play a role?  Does he no longer feel the need to portray the grand and glorious Wizard of Oz?  I think the discovery of his fraud meant only for him to move onto a new stage.  He will endlessly need the recognition from others that he is what he intends himself to be.  Yet, there are the moments of reflection when he admits while alone with himself, “My life is little more than a wonderfully, orchestrated show, produced for the benefit of others to believe.” 

What a wonderful story about yearning.  Our individual lives reveal a quest specific to ourselves.  What a burden it is to live with our shame.  How ridiculous it feels to be a cowardly lion.  If only I could love.  If only I were smart.  If only I could live happily in the moment.  The goals I’ve set for myself remain always out of reach.  This must remain a secret, known only to myself.  We greet with a smile the faces about us while we tug and fuss at our nagging chains that are caused by mistakes in DNA, all too human parents or the mystical doings of fate and the obscure role orbits play with our lives from deep outer space. 

The good news is that we are not alone.  We all roll boulders endlessly up hills, only to have them always crash downward to the point of our start.  We never seem to learn and we take up our futile task ever again.  God has, indeed, done us in for the sin of our conceit.

We all face death alone.  Give me relief, Jesus.  I’m sorry.  The number you have dialed is no longer in service.  If you feel you have dialed in error please hang up and try again.  I’m sorry…  No!  This can’t be.  Everything depends on my getting through.  I’m melting.  I must speak to Jesus.  Oh, God.  I am forsaken.

Hello.  You are now rapidly approaching a lifeless state.  I have for you a bit of reassuring news.  Billions of people have died prior to your demise.  Now that you are mostly gone billions more will follow you into death.  The great and small alike all die and are eventually forgotten.  Think of it this way.  You are about to join the fate of Frank Sinatra, Bob Hope and Dinah Shore.  Can extinction really be so bad if it overtakes even those who were, in life, so fortunate?  Even the entire earth will eventually be consumed and, with it, all our monuments to our ingenuity and industriousness.  Our art and great thoughts will all be rendered meaningless.  The sun itself will wither.  All that is created is destroyed.  But for now it is your turn.  Your last thought ends in three, two, one.

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