Friday, June 15, 2007

He Put Her In Her Box

The threat of being left behind as a useless pile of arms and legs in the middle of the stage and told that you're on your own without direction is a scarry thing when your strings have just been broken for the umpteenth time. Puppetry is hard work.

The master puppetter draws the strings up and up goes the puppet's legs. Down goes the strings and down go the legs. Faster, faster, and make her jump really hard all day long. Let's make her earn lots and lots of money and praise for the master puppeteer. As long as she keeps dancing, then he pulls the strings and everything is alright. People in his entourage tell him what a fine puppeteer he is and what a wonderful puppet he has. He is so thrilled with his perfect performance that the next night he makes her dance so hard that her strings almost break and he leaves her in a tangled pile on the stage. He can't see that he needs to fix her! Forget about how hard she has to jump. Just a thousand small repairs of glue and string and she'll be fine again. What's wrong with this cruel puppeteer who tries to destroy his puppet and is glorified by his public meandering pontifications of his sworn artistic allegiance to her.

And then one night, locked away in her little wooden chest, she remembers that she used to be able to move on her own. She remembered how her master used to lovingly put her in her chest every night. And how he always made sure that she was freshly painted and dressed for every performance. He always made sure that her strings were balanced so she could perform her best for the two of them. She remembered how she used to dance just for their friends and easy it was to please him long, long ago. Now her master is cruel, heartless and doesn't seem to care about her paint or how deteriorated her costumes have become. She wonders what she has done to make him feel this way. She wants to run away but instead she falls asleep dreaming of a quiet place where she could go and dance, where no one watches and no one will boast of her talents in front of others. A place without malice or scorn.

The next day, when he came to take her out of her box, she reminded him of how she used to dance on her own. She thought that he would love her more if she could show him her talents again. But when the master saw her, he grabbed her strings and pulled so hard they almost broke. He told her what she was nothing without him and he was going to throw her away. How dare she try and do anything without his approval. He declared that she was the one who couldn't live without him and her pitiful efforts weren't worth his time. Vanity won him over and he declared that he could have anything puppet in the world and how they would love him. He went to the rooftops cursed and swore and declared for all to hear that she was old,worn out and that he never wanted to see her again.

She felt rejected and disgraced. She had no one to talk to and no place to go. He quickly put her back inside her box for he knew that it was her prison. He felt his power grow whenever he placed her in her box. She lay there wondering what to do and how could she ever overcome her desperate situation. Self-doubt set in and she began to wish that he would just sweep her out the door with all the other broken and useless puppets in the world. She was alone in her box that he had placed her in so many hears ago and no one could help her. What a cruel puppeteer who would destroy something that he had vowed to cherish.

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