Saturday, December 22, 2007

mythological lovers

an image from the yale repertory's staging of sarah ruhl's eurydice

a few days ago, i read sarah ruhl's play eurydice, which is included in a new collection of her plays. the play is remarkable--the first in a long time that i could not stop reading. i am in love with the text, can't stop thinking about it, and had to post a small excerpt. (if you don't know the myth of the two lovers, catch up on orpheus and eurydice this is from the first movement of the piece.

orpheus: i made up a song for you today.
eurydice: did you?!
o: yup. it's not interesting or not interesting. it just--is.
e: will you sing it for me?
o: it has too many parts.
e: let's go in the water.
they start walking, arm in arm, on extensive unseen boardwalks, toward the water.
o: wait--remember this melody.
he hums a bar of melody.
e: i'm bad at remembering melodies. why don't you remember it?
o: i have eleven other ones in my head, making for a total of twelve. you have it?
e: yes. i think so.
o: let's hear it.
she sings the melody. she misses a few notes. she's not the best singer in the world.
o: pretty good. the rhythm's a little off. here--clap it out.
she claps. he claps the rhythmic sequence for her. she tries to imitate. she is still off.
e: is that right?
o: we'll practice.
e: i don't need to know about rhythm. i have my books.
o: don't books have rhythm?
e: kind of. let's go in the water.
o: will you remember my melody under the water?
e: yes! I WILL ALWAYS REMEMBER YOUR MELODY! It will be imprinted on my heart like wax.
o: thank you.
e: you're welcome. when are you going to play me the whole song?
o: when i get twelve instruments.
e: when are you going to get twelve instruments?
o: i'm going to make each strand of your hair into an instrument. your hair will stand on end as it plays my music and become a hair orchestra. it will fly you up into the sky.
e: i don't know if i want to be an instrument.
o: why?
e: won't i fall down when the song ends?
o: that's true. but the clouds will be so moved by your music that they will fill up with water until they become heavy and you'll sit on one and fall gently down to earth. how about that?
e: okay.
they stop walking for a moment. they gaze at each other.
o: it's settled then.
e: what is?
o: your hair will be my orchestra and--i love you.

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