Something Wicked This Way Comes

We saw Wicked today--a musical extravaganza with exhilarating stage sets and costumes--and a creative bent on a story that left me feeling jealous of the guy who thought of that (Gregory Maguire). The life, perspective and tale of Oz's witch. Brilliant.

Brilliant, too, is this idea of Wicked--Nature or Nurture? Real or perceived? What is happening or what we are told to believe is happening? If it's hard to hear, hard to look at, hard to understand, is it wicked? Or is it beautiful, and up to us, to do as Elphaba's lover did and just look at it differently?

I put the girls to bed, logged onto Facebook and learned that Osama bin Laden is dead. On a very real level of who I am, I am glad for this. I am grateful that tomorrow the sun will rise on a world inhabited by one less person hell-bent on perpetrating anger and hatred. Yet, I read "Proud to Be an American" status updates and heard the fireworks down the street and found myself crying. Sobbing. Not mourning bin Laden's death, but mourning the life we spend celebrating what I believe in my soul to be wicked: the perpetuation of Them and Us, Right and Wrong, Good and...Wicked. 

It's a sobering night for me, because I have two little girls sleeping soundly in the next room who look to me to teach them right from wrong and I wish wish wish it were as easy as saying, "The guy who died was wrong. The guys waving the flags are right." But it's not that easy for me because there's a mom out there tonight who sees that waving flag as a symbol of the people who murdered her son. There are thousands of those moms. 

So I'll tell them to look at things differently; to always question what they're told is True. And then ask again.  I hope I can teach them to celebrate life, never death. I hope that somehow, I can get over my self-righteous, indignant, opinionated self and teach them that there are "moral ambiguities" everywhere, all the time, and to be at peace with them. Dear God, give us a generation that's at ease with the gray areas... 

Some lyric's from Wicked's Wonderful: 

Elphaba: You lied to them.
Wizard: Where I come from, we believe all sorts of things that aren't true. We call it history.
A man's called a traitor or liberator
A rich man's a thief or philanthropist.
is one a crusader or ruthless invader?
It's all is which label
is able
to persist.
There are precious few at ease with moral ambiguities.
So we act as though they don't exist. 

No comments:

Post a Comment