Friday, July 1, 2011

Modern Day Miracle

This season's final simulcast from the National Theatre of London yesterday was Chekov's The Cherry Orchard. Rachel and I joined a nearly packed theatre. There was a drab [on purpose] black and whiteness about the production with it's huge cast of characters [difficult to keep in mind who was who much of the time]. The translation seemed very up to date but only jarred when the word "Bozo" was used as an insult. No cast list was provided so only Zoe Wannamaker as the lady of the family is known to me although I very much liked both the entrepreneurial ex-peasant and the not so young student -- others were very good but these three had the big roles and were wonderful.

Later I thought more about the wonder of the experience itself. Perhaps people who have grown up in the computerized world take such things for granted but to me, who remember our family's first party line telephone, sitting in a theatre in Dennis, Massachusetts watching a play that is happening "in real time" as they say, 6,000 miles across an ocean is awesome [and that's not jargon]. I find that a pre-electronic era mind says, it would be less awesome if the theatre were in New York City only 200 miles away. Immediately the educated part of my mind says, don't be daft, distance doesn't matter today. Somehow the signals for the transmission bounce far up in the sky to satellite and bounce back down to be picked up immediately whether in Dennis, MA or in Rio de Janerio or in Sydney, Australia. And it's marvelous! It's amazing. I absolutely cannot understand it except in words, it touches nothing my senses can understand.

Have those who take such things for granted, as very little different than the live TV programs they watched from childhood on, lost something by never understanding that sense of wonder? Just as possibly, back in my childhood I had lost something my parents possibly had at the awe of a wire bringing electricity to their home -- although actually I remember that happening when I was 4 or so. And then is there any advantage to this kind of awe at technological advances. I'm sure smart, thoughtful people have written about such things and possibly about how the loss of amazement has affected us as both individuals and cultures. That's why I never stop reading, I'm always looking for insights I haven't found about the world around.



June good thoughtful post. I like to keep one leg in my past and one in the moment -- the future is a toss-up for everyone. So I will continue to read "spine" books and not give way to kindles which seems like holding cold fish. -- barbara

June Calender said...

I so much agree, Barbara. A real book in my hand, in my lap, on the table as I eat ... a pen near by to mark wonderful words to remember. No cold fish, please.