"pan's labyrinth" and "[local play]"

From my Art & Spirituality journal. I would include the name of the play, but since it's a local production, it'd be too easy to Google it and find out where I live. Hurray for paranoia!

They aren't much alike, on the surface. Pan's Labyrinth is a story juxtaposing a child's journeys in a supernatural fairy world with the rebel resistance to Fascist Spain. [Local Play] is an exploration of mental illness and creativity on the personal scale. One involves a relatively benevolent faun, the other a malevolent reptile demon.

They both, however, nearly made me cry in the theatre.

I was once a child who invented fantasy worlds to live in when the reality around me was too dark and too big to deal with. I was once a teenager who made bargains with my internal demons because I thought they constituted my creative powers. The tightrope between reality as it is and reality as I lived it is one I have balanced on before.

In my lived experience of spirituality, I have lately been separating the truths and the falsehoods from the systems I was given wholesale as a child, comparing and contrasting it with my own experiences and my own discoveries. Sometimes I don't know if I cling to certain beliefs because I believe them true on my own terms or because I fear the consequences of proving them false. Sometimes I still come home to an empty house and think I'm the only one who hasn't been raptured because I wasn't a Real Christian. I wonder if I might have to be the only one who can see the truth, like Ofelia as the sole believer in fairies and [Protagonist] as the only one who can see the lizards, and whether something exists independent of anyone's belief in it other than my own.

To a large degree, as an artist, I still negotiate the balances inherent in trying to make my own visions into a reality to be experienced by others, and the difficulties of the process of unraveling the fabric of my own reality in order to study the threads of which it is woven. I deal with my own experience of mental illness in order to help friends who are dealing with some of the same issues, separating the real from the illusory and the true from the false, and discovering the ways in which something real may be false and something dreamed can be the truth in the end.

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thus saith Liadan at 3:48 AM


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