The Fool's Journey
A Screenplay by
meditation: Up the Tree.
LET'S START IN A SOMEWHAT TRADITIONAL MANNER...
IMAGINE YOU'RE A TREE... WITH ITS ROOTS DIGGING DEEP INTO THE EARTH, HOLDING YOU UP FIRMLY, ABSORBING MOISTURE AND NUTRIENTS.
YOUR BRANCHES REACH UP AND OUT INTO THE BRILLIANT SKY, YOUR LIMBS STRONG AND SUPPLE, AND YOUR LEAVES PLENTY AS THEY RUSTLE IN THE BREEZE AND SOAK UP SUNLIGHT TO PROVIDE MORE OF THE NOURISHMENT YOU NEED TO KEEP YOU STRONG.
NOW STARTING AT THE BASE OF THE TREE AND CLIMBING LITTLE BY LITTLE, WE THINK OF ALL THE THINGS THAT MAKE UP A FULL LIFE...
EVERYTHING SOLID THAT WE ARE MADE OF... OUR BLOOD AND BONES; THE ELEMENTS EARTH, AIR, FIRE, AND WATER;
UP THE TRUNK WE GO...ALL THAT WE DREAM OF AND ENVISION;
ALL THAT WE REVERE, ALL OF OUR KNOWLEDGE;
INTO THE BRANCHES NOW... ALL THAT WE LOVE AND ENJOY, THE EXPERIENCE OF OUR SENSES;
ALL OF OUR SELFLESS ACTS FOR THE GREATER GOOD;
HIGHER AND HIGHER... OUR DECISIONS AND DETERMINATION;
OUR THOUGHTS AND PLANS;
THE GODDESSES AND GODS THAT WE NAME AND CALL ON,
AND THE UNKNOWABLE SOURCE, BREATHING LIFE INTO EVERY GALAXY AND EVERY ATOM.
ARE AT THE VERY TOP OF THE TREE NOW, AND THERE WE FIND SOMEONE
AT THE BEGINNING OF A JOURNEY.
The Fool speaks:
AM I, AND WHERE AM I GOING? WHO WILL I BE?
ME ON THIS EXCURSION INTO THE UNKNOWN.
OH, WAIT, DON'T I NEED TO PACK SOME SUPPLIES FOR THE TRIP?
(Packs bag, from items arrayed around him: a key, a compass, a leash, a carpenter’s level, a red rose, a large Eye pendant.) Ties the bag onto a stick and puts it over his shoulder.
AND ONE THING TO REMEMBER:
(Steps out of center, to south, waits just out of sight.)
The Empress seats herself in the chair, and the Fool approaches.
The Fool presents her with the key, and she greets him.
HERE YOU ARE AT LAST! DEEP IN MY HEART, I FELT A SPARK, AND KNEW YOU WOULD SOON BE HERE, JUST AS I DO FOR EVERY LIVING BEING THAT TRAVELS THIS WAY.
EVERY ONE OF YOU ARE AS MY CHILDREN, AND I CHERISH YOUR COMING… I FEEL JOY IN ANTICIPATION OF YOUR TRIUMPHS, AND GRIEF AT THE HARDSHIPS YOU WILL ENDURE.
YOU ARE ABOUT TO JOIN INTO THE GREAT STREAM OF BEING. BY PASSING OVER THIS THRESHOLD, YOU WILL FIND MANY LIKE YOURSELF WITH WHOM TO SHARE YOUR LIFE. YOU CAN AND SHOULD CARE MUCH FOR YOURSELF…
BUT SINCE YOU WILL NOT BE ALONE, YOU MUST REMEMBER THAT OTHERS WILL ALSO BE PRESENT TO ASSIST AND GUIDE YOU – DEPENDING UPON YOUR ACTIONS AND YOUR ATTITUDES. SO BE MINDFUL OF YOUR INTERACTIONS WITH ALL.
THIS (hands key back to the Fool).
ALSO REMEMBER THAT THE STARS WILL ALWAYS BE YOUR COMPANIONS... FOR INDEED, YOUR VERY BONES ARE MADE OF THEM.
NOW – BEFORE YOU WOULD CROSS OVER FROM THIS PLACE OF IMAGINING INTO THE LAND OF THE LIVING. I MUST ASK, WHO ARE YOU? FOR THIS YOU MUST KNOW BEFORE YOU CAN STAND, FULLY FORMED, IN THE WORLD OF THE LIVING. (Pause, looks around to all people as if asking them, "Who are you?")
WHAT YOU ARE TO RECEIVE AND LEARN, ACCEPT AS A GIFT AND A BLESSING.
She sends Fool into the Abyss, and she departs in the opposite direction. The lights go off and a changing colored spotlight is projected from above. The Abyss music is played (4:24). Here is the first meeting of the Four Archangels of the Cardinal Points (Eagle, Bull, Lion, and Man), who become his guides:
The Fool is wandering in and out of the circle, bewildered. The Cardinal Points each appear at intervals and play "cat and mouse" with him, different ones at different times, passing in and out of the center circle area. After all have had a chance to chase the Fool, he ends up in the center and the Cardinal Points form a ring around him and dance/circle around him until he pulls out his compass and "orients" himself.
The Cardinal Points depart in different directions. The Fool steps back from the center a little, looking thoughtful.
enters, looking determined:
IT’S NOT JUST ABOUT HAVING ICE CREAM FOR BREAKFAST WHENEVER YOU WANT TO, OR THINKING YOU SHOULD BE FAMOUS… ESPECIALLY IF YOU’RE NOT GOOD AT THAT!
BUT – IT IS DESIRE, THOUGH NOT JUST DESIRE. IT’S A HEARTFELT SENSE OF WHERE YOU BELONG, WHAT YOU ALWAYS THOUGHT YOU SHOULD DO AND HAVE ALWAYS YEARNED TO DO… AND THE THINGS THAT YOU DO BEST. YOU GET A SATISFACTION FROM FINDING YOUR WILL -- COMING FROM A SENSE OF DOING THE THINGS YOU WANT TO BE DOING, THAT INDEED YOU SHOULD BE DOING IN ORDER FOR YOUR CORNER OF THE WORLD TO WORK OUT RIGHT. AND THE WHOLE WORLD, TOO, FOR IF EVERYONE FINDS THEIR TRUE WILL, AS THE STORY GOES, HARMONY IS ACHIEVED.
YOU MAY BE FULL OF IDEAS, AND INDEED, IT’S BEST TO START OUT FULL OF IDEAS. THE FIELD IS WIDE OPEN, AND FROM THERE WE NAVIGATE, USING OUR INSTINCTS – AND OUR PASSION – TO FIND OUR WILL.
(Looking into the distance) I THINK I JUST SAW MY LION, SO I’VE GOTTA RUN. PLEASED TO MEET YOU — AND GOOD LUCK! (she exits, and Fool smiles)
Justice enters, with sword and scales.
(who is still standing there):
DO YOU AVOID THE OBSTACLES? DO YOU RUN DOWN ANYONE IN YOUR PATH? DOES THE PLACEMENT OF EVEN ONE NAIL OF YOUR CRAFT, OR YOUR VERY THOUGHTS STAND IN THE WAY OF YOUR PROGRESS? HOW IMPORTANT, HOW STRONG IS ANY ONE FACTOR AGAINST THE OTHERS? YOU MUST LEARN TO TEMPER YOUR WILL WITH DISCERNMENT.
FIRST, JUSTICE IS NOT ONLY SOMETHING METED OUT AMONG MEMBERS OF A SOCIETY; IT IS A NATURAL LAW OF SORTS. EVERY ACTION, EVEN THE SMALLEST, HAS ITS CONSEQUENCES, WHETHER ANYONE IS WATCHING OR NOT!
SECOND, ONCE YOU CHOOSE A PATH, YOU WILL FIND THAT THERE ARE OTHER POSSIBILITIES YOU HAVE PRUNED AWAY. ANOTHER CONSEQUENCE TO BE ACCEPTED.
Cardinal Points enter and say:
The Cardinal points say “THANK YOU”, take a bow, and depart.
FIRST QUIETLY, AS YOUR STRENGTH GROWS,
ONE DAY, YOU FIND THAT ALL THE PIECES
YOUR FRIENDS AND LOVED ONES WILL BE TAKEN BY SICKNESS AND DEATH. AND SO WILL YOU. SO MANY SIGNS ALONG THE WAY… SO MANY DAYS WHEN THE PATH IS SET WITH THORNS. THE FLOWER IS BEAUTIFUL, BUT THE SEEDS OF ITS DESTRUCTION ARE BUILT RIGHT INSIDE OF IT, AS IT LURES THE BEE TO HELP IT CREATE ANOTHER GENERATION TO TAKE ITS PLACE. I’M SORRY, BUT NO ONE WILL LIVE FOREVER, NO MATTER HOW MUCH YOU WILL WANT THEM TO.
DO YOU MOST FEAR LOSING? HOW WILL YOU STAND THE PAIN AND THE SEPARATION
THAT WILL COME? I SAY, YOU MUST LET GO. YOU CAN KEEP MEMORIES,
BUT LET GO OF YOUR DESIRE FOR THINGS TO NEVER CHANGE, FOR CHANGE
THEY ALWAYS WILL.
enters and says:
LIGHTNING’S FIRE DISSOLVES YOU.
The Fool sits down and takes the rest of the items out of his bag, realizing that he has no more tools left unused. He crumples the kerchief in his hands and looks down at it.
Lights dim halfway down. Silence for ~30 seconds, then a voice sings:
BIG STORM CAME THROUGH THE OTHER DAY
SO WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO BE REDEEMED IF YOU CAN'T BE BOUGHT OR
BOLT OF LIGHTNING BLEW THE TOP AWAY
WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO BE REDEEMED IF YOU CAN'T BE BOUGHT OR SOLD?
WHERE IS THE GOLD IN THAT PILE OF STONES
All goes dark. A bell is rung, x 8, at 10 second intervals. (Meanwhile, the Sun takes his place lying on the bier, lays his cap upon his chest, and covers himself with the shroud.)
The “stars” come out: people distributed around the room with small candles light them, one by one. Fool is in the center with his kerchief in his hands.
Fool opens his kerchief slowly, and the lights come up:
NEW GROWTH OF SPRINGTIME,
(Sun dismounts from bier and stands beside Fool)
THE EGG AMONG THE ASHES,
LIKE YOU, HAVE BEEN THROUGH MANY TRIALS –
the following call and response chant:)
CELEBRATE MY LIFE AND ALL THAT I AM.
YOU MAY GO FORWARD TO A PLACE
The Cardinal Points enter from various directions.
AND ALL LIKE YOU ARE AS MY CHILDREN, AND I CHERISH YOUR COMING.
BECAUSE YOU HAVE MASTERED THE WAYS OF LIFE IN YOUR JOURNEY,
(Gives Fool the two wands. In exchange, he gives her the foursquare red kerchief belt he’s wearing.)
DEEPLY OF THE WATERS OF EARTH,
The World dances a scarf dance/spinning dance (about 4 minutes); and kerchiefs for everyone are handed out by the Cardinal Points from baskets.