We are too much with the world
Posted October 6, 2009on:
I’ve been following the XYZ’s Got Talent (India, America, Britain) shows on youtube the past few months. I’ve seen many stories of obscure people – a farmer (Kevin Skinner), a cancer survivor (Barbara Padilla), a village mom (Susan Boyle) a group of laborers (Prince dance group in India), making it big instantly, almost in fairy tale, fantasy fashion. There is something about people climbing from obscurity to great heights that captures everyone imagination, and that is the stuff these shows feed off.
And these people indeed seem to be living a dream. When they tell their story over and over (i had never stepped out of my town before this/i battled cancer for eight years/i couldnt attend last years audition because my brother died), one can see the stars in their eyes blazing, the distant look. Although the channel may add violin music for effect, and stage manage the settings, one can see the truth, the earnestness behind their constant refrain “this is the best moment of my life”.
As the judges of the show, pile on the praises, educate us about our own greatness, we drink, savor, wash ourselves in every word. Maybe all of us want to be washed in the gaze of the world, to be aknowledged by the world for our worth, our talent, to be given sympathy for our sufferings, our tragedies. To absorb the applause, and see tears for us in everyones eyes. This really is what in our heart of hearts, where we always wanted to be, what we always considered finally being what we were constantly becoming. The culmination point of our life. It was great to fall in love, the first intimate touch, to have children, to spend joyful moments with friends, revel in everyday acheivements, but, this really is the “best moment of my life”.
And then comes the grand finale, the big moment, when your greatness shall be finally sealed, your place forever guaranteed amongst the stars, the final brush stroke in the grand script of your life.
And the winner is – someone else!
Your dreams are shattered with the force of a hammer driven through a glass pane. Or like a lovesick girl who thought she had finally found true love walking into the room to find her lover in another’s arms.
The smile is still there on your face, the smile you had imagined for yourself for the victory, but the eyes are bewildered. The applause is still there, the drumroll, the confetti. But it is not yours. The limelight has moved away, and you are left in the darkness of the stage to assess your state.
You suddenly feel like an absurdity.
Where did the grand script, with you in all your great suffering and struggle, the grand hero, go wrong, and you suddenly become an absurdity?
It never was your script. It was their script. A circus sequence, where you had a part.
To be fair, someone wins. But even he (or she) is living their script.
Finding the meaning of life on the stage has its perils.